Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Keynes And Hayek Throwing Down – Round Two

by Matt Rosenberg May 4th, 2011

Econstories.tv has done it again. Experience this new rap video starring the theories of “prime the pump” government stimulus theorist John Maynard Keynes versus the laissez-faire free market views of Frederick Hayek. The staging in what looks like a U.S. Senate or House committee hearing room is perfect, and the extras play their parts to a T. The intro is pretty funny, as Keynes gets a hero’s welcome from the security guard and is waved through the metal detector even though he sets it off. Hayek gets a very different welcome but is finally let into the ring. The econo-rappers state their opening arguments well, but it’s at 4:26 – after a brief joust over the lessons of WW II U.S. stimulus spending – that the flow really emanates. Here’s the whole thing.

One set of money verses:

Keynes: “My solution is simple and easy to handle. It’s spending that matters, why is that such a scandal? The money sloshes trough the pipes and the sluices, revitalizing the economy’s juices. It’s just like an engine that’s stalled and done dark. To bring it to life, we need a quick spark.”

Hayek: “Spending’s not free, that’s the heart of the matter. Too much is wasted as cronies get fatter…. The economy’s not a car; there’s no engine to stall. No expert can fix it, there’s no ‘ít’ at all. The economy’s us, we don’t need a mechanic. Put away the wrenches, the economy’s organic.”

And another.

Keynes: “So what would you do to help those unemployed? This is the question you seem to avoid. When we’re in a mess, would you have us just wait? Doing nothing, until markets equil-i-brate?”

Hayek: “Ï don’t want to do nothing, there’s plenty to do. The question I ponder is who plans for who? Do I plan for myself, or leave it to you? I want plans by the many, not by the few.”

They take it deeper, but never lose the Plain English thread. What a teaching tool. High school and college teachers of economics, political science and communications will find this a great addition to the curriculum.

Props to creators John Papola and Russ Roberts, and to Billy Scafoli as Keynes and Adam Lustick as Hayek.

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