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VIDEO: It’s Called Ecopop; “Fear the Boom and Bust” a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

November 2, 2010

When Economics meets Pop Culture. I think this is a very cool way of promoting sound, rational economic ideas and principles. Although I’m not really a Friedrich Hayek fan, I believe his ideas are way, way better than John Maynard Keynes’. Hayek, a student of Ludwig von Mises, was one of the pillars of Austrian School of Economics, while Keynes is the intellectual grandfather of many pseudo-economists today like Paul Krugman.

What’s the lesson of this EcoPop story? It simply means that ideas have consequences. Sound and reality-based economic policies logically lead to economic boom, while bad economic policies lead to economic disaster.

In October 25th, an audience of financial managers and CEOs, politicians, central bankers and Nobel Prize-winning economists at The Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering were treated to an unusual experience: a live rap battle between John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek.

Following a presentation by Nassim Taleb, the lights went down in the auditorium and Fear the Boom and Bust blasted onto the screen. This video picks up at the end of that special presentation, where Keynes and Hayek stepped onto the stage to give a preview of the next EconStories music video.

In the final new video, which will be completed in the months ahead, expect many more lyrics and an all new beat.

Lastly, Russ Roberts and John Papola took the stage with John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist for a brief Q&A about the origins of FTBB and the resurgence of Hayek in the global debate over the economy.

The complete set of presentations are available at

Here’s the viral “Fear the Boom and Bust” video that was viewed more nearly two million times.

PART I: Keynesianism- It’s All About Spending

Is our prosperity derived from a continual circular flow of spending? Is it impossible for a society to increase it’s total savings? Can deficit spending by a government step in to replace private activity in order to maintain full employment and restore lasting economic growth? What is a liquidity trap and what does it mean for the economy? What did Keynes really mean by “in the long run, we’re all dead”?

In this EconStories mini-documentary, we explore the foundations of Keynesian economics with Keynes most famed biography, Lord Robert Skidelsky.

In the next episode, we’ll dig deeper into some of the most controversial aspects of Keynesianism including the notion that ditch digging or world war could provide a pathway to economic recovery and prosperity.

Part II: The Bust- The Austrian Theory of Boom and Bust with Lawrence H. White

Are Austrians a broken clock that’s right twice a day (when there’s a bubble that busts)? Why do entrepreneurs continue to be fooled by manipulation of interest rates by the central bank?

In this EconStories mini-documentary, part III in our first series on the Mises/Hayek theory of boom and bust, Lawrence H. White addresses the expectations and the cluster of entrepreneurial errors that reveal themselves during a bust.

Lawrence H. White is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Prior to position at George Mason, he was the F. A. Hayek Professor of Economic History in the Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has been a visiting professor at the Queen’s School of Management and Economics, Queen’s University of Belfast, and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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