Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hayek and Keynes face off over free markets -- rap-style

Explaining the massive hurdles you'd have to overcome to impose a "rational" controlled society to people -- the sheer impossibility of substituting government planning for the values and preferences of millions of people -- is often a lost cause. Eyes glaze over, yawns are politely stifled (or not stifled at all), and the virtues of freedom and dynamism get lost in the vast disinterest many people harbor toward matters philosophical. Frankly, people want bad times made better -- and they're not interested in hearing anybody tell them that the cure is usually worse than the disease.

So, don't waste your time boring your friends. Instead, point them toward this video, the work of economist Russ Roberts and creative director John Papola, in which free-market economist F.A. Hayek and liberty-distrusting economist John Maynard Keynes lay down their opposing views in rap form while out on the town.

No, really -- it's good.

By the way, this economic debate is important beyond the economic sphere because the fact of the matter is that liberty is not divisible -- you can't expect to enjoy full civil liberties, like freedom of the press, if the government nationalizes the media. As Hayek wrote, "Economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest. It is the control of the means for all our ends."



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