Monday, January 25, 2010


Hayek/Keynes Rap Video

[UPDATE #2 below.]

[UPDATE below.]

I think my job requires me to blog this, much as I had to teach the multiplier theory to my macro students. What interested me most about this video is that the hotel receptionist apparently skipped work in order to get in the limo with Keynes. Now that's a smooth economist.

I was tempted to make fun of this but apparently it worked in getting the message through to at least one person.

UPDATE: I should probably add that this video is amazing, for what it is trying to do. I am just surprised that they tried to do this. Perhaps it's my checkered past of actually listening to rap music, but I am not sure the Beastie Boys actually pulled off white rapping.

UPDATE #2: OK in retrospect, I underestimated the potential benefits of this video. My first reaction, to be honest, was that I couldn't believe how much money they must have spent on this, when it (a) isn't really s study guide for people who like Hayek and (b) wouldn't really convince a Keynesian to abandon his ideas. And since it is an intentionally goofy video of two geeky guys rapping, the video obviously wouldn't win a layperson over, because its terminology and references would be way over his head.

However, I have read reactions elsewhere, and I forgot that grad students would be a great target audience for this. They would of course get the Keynesian C+I+G stuff, and they would at least be able to make sense of what "Hayek" says in the video. Coupled with the drunken imagery...It's a crazy plan, but it just might work.


When I watched it I couldn't tell if it was done in rap because that was Russ Robert's idea of what is "hip with the kids" these days, or if it was supposed to add an element of self-mockery, or they weren't as confident turning it into rock or some other musical genre (and thus it serves as a subtle affirmation of the critique of rap music as "not music"). The sporadic gun shot sound effects only make those question marks longer.

Additionally, Scott Sumner is a living affront to intelligent, thoughtful people everywhere. "A slightly off-center perspective"?! Only in a world as "off-center" as ours could a person who advocates massive, institutionalized arbitrary theft via printing press consider himself a moderate of any stripe.

At least he's "getting it" now. Wonder if this cat will be curious enough to trot over to and re-educate his punk ass, as a hip-hop Hayek might suggest he do.
I liked it. No, it's not going to top the charts and stomp Run DMC, Dre or Nas, but for what it was, I thought it was cool.

Hayek was gangsta, and I mean that in a good way.

Keynes was "A" gangster, and I mean that in a bad way.

There also needs to be a Hazlitt video, to visualize the drive-by he did on Keynes.
I think this should be posted on the LRC blog as well. :)
First time I saw it I was cheering Hayek. Guess I am now oficially a econo-geek...
does anyone else think the balding fellow looks more like keynes rather than hayek?
In the link you provide, why does Scott Sumner thank Tyler Cowen?

Is this something new we are doing at the end of any economic discussion, kind of like "Praise Allah"?
The advantage of using rap is the acceptable volume of words per minute.
Taylor you're clueless.
The Blackadder Says:

It's hard to see how, on Austrian principles, printing money would constitute theft. It's true that printing more money makes the value of my cash holdings go down, but that's true for anything I own when the supply increases. No Austrian considers it theft if the price of my house declines due to new houses being built.

I should mention that I am going to be gone for a couple of days, so I won't be around to read any denunciations for writing the above. Sorry.
This comment has been removed by the author.
All hail the nerdy guys!
Taylor, I'd bet Sumner has about 50 IQ points on you. He is actually able to think original thoughts, rather than chanting LVMI talking points!
Yes, Blackadder, to call printing money "theft" is simply a propaganda tactic.
"If you're saying that all the houses now equate to a certain value and that increasing the number of houses makes each of those houses worth a little less I'm confused."

Yes, that's true -- you are confused! Price can drop two ways:
1) The demand curve shifts leftward; or
2) The supply curve shifts rightward.

Just go study and supply and demand graph for a moment and this should be pretty clear.
Give it a rest Gene. You sound desperate. Forgive those who have wronged you. Move on. It will hold you back, none else!
So, when Taylor calls an intelligent, professional economist a thief and an affront to thoughtful people... hey, well, he's just spressin' hisself, man!

But if I call him out on it... I'm "desperate"?! Libertarian, WTF?
I don't know Taylor Conant. I haven't seen him publish articles on So, I wonder why you have to drag LvMI into almost every one of your comments? I could be nasty in public and say that I represent LvMI, but that wouldn't be the truth. So hold back. We know you are pissed. Continuously moping about it is not going to help you.
"So, I wonder why you have to drag LvMI into almost every one of your comments?"

Hmm, five comments today on this site -- LVMI mentioned in one of them.

The last 37 posts at my blog -- LVMI mentioned in one of them.

So, you're just making this up. You sound... desperate!
And today's mention of LVMI was not even a critical one (critical of Taylor, yes, but not of LVMI).

My IQ is about 135. Marginal utility of additional 50 IQ points above 135 is not much utility at all. I don't know about Taylor. What are LvMI talking points BTW?
"My IQ is about 135. Marginal utility of additional 50 IQ points above 135 is not much utility at all"

maybe you could cash some of those IQ points in and get some economic knowledge back?

just a bit of friendly advice, you seem to enjoy talking economics but say some ridiculous things anyway.
its understandable the lvmi folks are angry about this.

Russ Roberts beat them at their own game and offended their paleo sensibilities all at once.

besides... where's Rothbard?
Anon said:

its understandable the lvmi folks are angry about this.

Russ Roberts beat them at their own game and offended their paleo sensibilities all at once.

besides... where's Rothbard?

Anon, you don't know what you are talking about. Here is the LRC blog about it with no comment, and here is Jeff Tucker's Mises blog about it saying it is "brilliant" and "[i]ndescribably great."

As you can tell by my updates, I felt bad after my initial reaction. I don't know why I responded that way, perhaps it is because I am very sensitive when professors try to "be cool." In any event, my personal reaction was not "the lvmi" reaction. Even on a private list of primarily LvMI fans and scholars, someone else (not just Tucker) was raving about it.
Confused why some said the LVMI folks are upset. Jeffrey Tucker said "Absolutely brilliant by GMU economist Russ Roberts. Indescribably great. "
maybe it's just the cranky peeps over here.
The feuding in this comment-thread is underwhelming. Hey Bob, StatsGuy referred to your "sushi economy" piece at as an example of "pop-Hayek", in contrast to the "real Hayek" of, I suppose, Roger Garrison. Oh, snap!
Why does the gay guy get the babes?
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