Hayek vs. Keynes Rap

Russ Roberts, the George Mason University economist and host of EconTalk (iTunes – RSS Feed – Web Site) recently teamed up with John Papola, a television exec, to produce “Fear the Boom and Bust.” It’s a rap song/video with intellectual substance that follows this premise:

John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the economic crisis. Before the conference begins, and at the insistence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there’s a boom and bust cycle in modern economies and good reason to fear it.

This clip is now added to our YouTube favorites. You can get the full lyrics, story and free download of the song in high quality MP3 and AAC files at: http://www.econstories.tv

via the always great Planet Money Podcast

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Comments (3)
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  • Nick says:

    I love this video! Top-notch production.

  • The Road to Serfdom was written by Hayek in 1944 and is among the most influential and popular expositions of libertarianism. In February 1945 a picture-book version was published in Look magazine and later made into a pamphlet and distributed by General Motors. For Hayek “the road to serfdom” inadvertently set upon by central planning, with its dismantling of the free market system, ends in the destruction of all individual economic and personal freedom. Hayek’s central thesis is that all forms of collectivism tend towards tyranny, and he used the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany as examples of countries which had gone down “the road to serfdom” and reached tyranny.

    26. Hayek argued that democratic legislatures move too slowly to manage a modern industrial economy. Management of socialism would therefore lead to bureaucrats gaining discretionary powers. Disagreement about the practical implementation of any economic plan would invariably necessitate coercion in order for anything to be achieved. Hayek further argued that the failure of central planning would be perceived by the public as an absence of sufficient power by the state to implement an otherwise good idea. Such a perception would lead the public to vote more power to the state, and would assist the rise to power of a “strong man” perceived to be capable of “getting the job done”. After these developments Hayek argued that the worst get on top of socialist bureaucracies. Those who are good at acquiring and exercising discretionary powers in government are usually the most ruthless and corrupt individuals. Hayek argued that countries such as the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had already gone down the “road to serfdom”, and that various democratic nations are being led down the same road.
    27. Keynes read The Road to Serfdom and said of it: “In my opinion it is a grand book…Morally and philosophically I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it: and not only in agreement with it, but in deeply moved agreement”. Having said that, Keynes did not think Hayek’s philosophy was of practical use; this was explained later in the same letter, through the following comment and prophecy: “What we need therefore, in my opinion, is not a change in our economic programmers, which would only lead in practice to disillusion with the results of your philosophy; but perhaps even the contrary, namely, an enlargement of them. Your greatest danger is the probable practical failure of the application of your philosophy in the United States.”

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