Sure, many people have already seen these two videos. After all, the first is over a year old. Nevertheless, I’d like to draw your attention to them in case you have not. Although one doesn’t typically see rap music and economic discourse combined, the folks at Econ Stories have done a fine job bringing the two together, resulting in a product that is both entertaining and informative.
After you watch (or re-watch) them both, I invite you to scroll down below for a bit more commentary.
Much like the majority of the populace, with the exception of a few classes at William & Mary, I haven’t had much in the way of formal study of economic theory. Therefore, after watching these videos, I drove over to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy of Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom.
As the videos illustrate, John Keynes is much more well-known than Friedrich Hayek and his ideas seem to be in fashion with those in power. We all are witness to the massive federal spending and their resulting deficits combined with bailouts of private industries and stimulus programs. During the 2008 Presidential debates, Obama and McCain seemed to joust for position as to who was the most Keynesian.
Even more than the first, Round 2 suggests that Hayek’s positions are superior to Keynes. After all, it seems fairly obvious that inflation destroys any incentive to save and any current debt must one day be repaid by future generations in either treasure or blood. Therefore, we have to ask ourselves, do we expect the free market to create greater prosperity or should we leave it to the bankers to steer a prudent course? Do we want currency tied to some fixed asset like gold or silver, or something that can be easily overprinted and thus rapidly lose value? Regardless of any perceived merit of Hayek, those in power in the federal government seem hell-bent to continue a Keynesian model.
So, are we all Keynesians, as Milton Friedman stated in 1965, or, as a result of these bailouts and quantitative easing, have we all become socialists as Newsweek suggested back in 2009? Either way, are the two mutually exclusive?
Give our current economic mess, isn’t it time for a change?
My favorite line from the whole production is, “capitalism is about profit and loss. You bailout the losers, there is no end to the cost”. Certainly food for thought.
You can find a much more in-depth discussion of both Keynes & Hayek with the Econ Stories podcast on the iTunes store. Best of all, it is absolutely free!