Arnold Kling  

Keynes and Hayek, Round 2

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10-year Budget Projections... A Misconception Worth Emphasiz...

Wow. Mike Munger, a political science professor at Duke, gives an Oscar-caliber performance as a security guard in the opening scene. Keynes argues that we cannot simply sit back and watch unemployment mount up. Hayek argues that the economy is not a machine.

The production is really superb. It's probably better than Fear the Boom and Bust, but you can't replicate the sheer novelty of that first Keynes-Hayek rap.


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CATEGORIES: Macroeconomics



COMMENTS (16 to date)
Daublin writes:

Holy cow, this is really well done.

Favorite line: "If every worker was staffed in the army and fleet, we'd have full employment and nothing to eat." It's a genius condensation of Bastiat's broken mirror.

Second favorite: "The economy's not a class you can master in college." Sounds pretty stupid if you put it like that. Good luck convincing the public not to look for heroes, however.

So many things are great about it. I love the cronies' poker game. People run out of money but the chairman of the debate (!) keeps hauling up new bags of cash.

Michael Orlowski writes:

Yeah, this second video is really superb.

John Voorheis writes:

Better production values, but its also a more ideological piece than the first one. It sounds less like the rap version of a conversation between a Keynesian and Austrian, and more like a conversation between an Austrian and what an Austrian thinks a Keynesian might say, which are two separate things.

chipotle writes:


This would be a great supplement to um--what are those things a called again?--a book, but it's not a replacement.

It looks like a really nifty pedagogical device that would be really helpful to an econ student who was trying to retain information new s/he learned for the first time.

It's too bad that they had to deface the genre of rap music to make it happen.

Daniel Kuehn writes:

John Voorheis nailed it.

It's still very good, of course. But better for people that already know Keynes and Hayek than for people who are trying to learn about them.

A lot of Austrians wonder why they are ignored by most Keynesians. Calling them "central planners" and "top down" might have something to do with it, guys. It's pretty condescending.

chipotle writes:

...gives an Oscar-caliber performance as a security guard...

Wow, those are some pretty effective ideological blinders. He may be a fantastic political scientist (in fact, I think he is) but he over-acts like crazy in that scene.

I love the high-production values in the video and I especially enjoyed a deeper exposition of Austrian insights.

But we shouldn't praise works of (comedic, pedagogical) art just for their truly admirable intentions when they are flawed in execution. That would be akin to praising the actions of central bankers and central planners for their good intentions.

Andrew writes:

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Tom Grey writes:

The desire of the top down elites to "do something" is, in rhetoric and fact, their chief weapon.

Unemployment is high -- the Keynesian idea of spending more (gov't) money is
a) something the politicians can actually do,
b) might have some positive effect.

While if it fails, like socialism does so often, "it wasn't really tried".

By the way, let's remember that Bush tried a medium tax refund in 2008 that did not stop, but did delay, the onset of Recession. Would have stopped it if it had been big enough!

I'm a "tax cut out of downturns" kind of neo-Austrian, the Republicans should always be arguing for bigger tax cuts so that those who are successful have more reasons to hire more people.
Tax cuts were successfully demonized by the big gov't folk; and Bush's successful 2002 tax cuts were too weakly defended by small gov't types. (And Bush's big spending).

$1 trillion in deficit spending thru tax cuts is far better than thru more gov't spending.
Bigger tax cuts to encourage more hiring should be the Rep message, but cutting gov't spending to reduce the deficit makes the tax cut message inconsistent.

Tax cuts are for bottom up growth.

PrometheeFeu writes:

I really liked Fear the Boom and Bust, but this one is I feel more informative. It has a lot more content to it even though as chipotle said, it's no replacement for a more thorough examination of the subject of macroeconomics. I would wager that kids watching the video might be sparked to go out and learn more about those topics. If you show this to your kids (I mean the sentient kind) and they want to learn more, there is a great econtalk podcast where Mike Munger talks about Austrian business cycle theory. If anyone knows of a good Keynsian podcast, I would appreciate it.

I also agree that the video is somewhat biased in favor of Hayek's view point which is more thoroughly developed while the Keynsian view is a little bit caricatural. But then again, it is to be expected. We all know the arguments in favor of our own position better than those opposed. Overall, this is great!

ben writes:

Chipotle: lighten up.

Anonymous writes:

Wow, those are some pretty effective ideological blinders. He may be a fantastic political scientist (in fact, I think he is) but he over-acts like crazy in that scene.

Wow. Do you really think Professor Kling really thinks Mike deserves an Oscar?

Jonathon Hunt writes:

I still believe it should have been Mises v. Keynes, although I know it was mostly Hayek who took on Keynes publicly. I love how Hayek shuts Keynes down as usual.

Methinks writes:

It's a rap video folks.

No rap video can fully explain economics and no rap video can fully capture the details of the debate between Keynes and Hayek.

The quality is excellent. The refrain is catchy. If it introduces students to the debate and entices them to learn more about Keynes and Hayek or to even find out what "top-down" and "bottom-up" means, it will have achieved more than any other production since Friedman's "Free to Choose".

I suggest we remember the target audience (it ain't economists) and the constraints of this medium.

Mr.M. writes:

a great econtalk podcast where Mike Munger talks about Austrian business cycle theory

None of the Munger econtalk podcasts obviously fit this description. Which one were you thinking of?

Eric Hosemann writes:

Daniel Kuehn--

"A lot of Austrians wonder why they are ignored by most Keynesians. Calling them "central planners" and "top down" might have something to do with it, guys. It's pretty condescending."

Nice. Is that really what all this is about? Hurt feelings?

As if central planning and top-down management are not implicit in nation-spanning edicts to build bridges and dig ditches and buy houses.

Greego writes:

Daniel, how can you tell if the puzzle pieces are flipped over unless you're looking from the top down?

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