Hayek & Keynes rap again

Remember that little rap, literally, by Friedrich von Hayek and John Maynard Keynes?

Well, my colleagues at The Economist got them (ie, Hayek and Keynes) to rap again, for one of our conferences. Afterward, our editor, John Micklethwait, (ie, my boss) interviewed them about how they came up with the idea. Video below.

My slightly more serious treatment of the subject, from the “continental” point of view (which produced Hayek, but not Keynes) is here.

18 thoughts on “Hayek & Keynes rap again

  1. Actor Michal Caine’s real name is Maurice Joseph Micklewhite. No idea why this morsel of irrelevant information popped into my head upon reading your post.

    To wrap again? Where’s my present? (Once the extra w has been expunged, my question will appear even more nonsensical than it is now.)

    • Obviously it was just a little typo, as I’m sure no one seriously believes you have trouble telling wrap from rap, but this is what I mean. Your little typo had been on public view in all its glory for four days. Not the biggest deal of all deals, but given your line of work, you’d certainly prefer your published pieces to be typo-free.

      Now, how many hits have you had on this post during those four days? And as a matter of sheer guestimation, how many of those readers who noticed the typo chose silence over informing you? And how many of those who chose silence did so not out of sloth but out of fear they’d be judged and dismissed as some sort of nitpicky wisenheimer desperate to boost their lowly self-esteem by pointing out little mistakes others have made?

      Only last week, someone was finally nice enough to point out to me that in one of my own posts from several months ago I had written Brooklyln instead of Brooklyn. Everyone else who had noticed it most likely elected to be loving and non-judgmental, so they were “nice” enough to not tell me. Drives me crazy.

  2. The audience! Andreas, does everybody at the Economist look so point-device?

    I fear that my economics-through-interpretive-dance will never pass muster with this crowd.

    • So that was you in that class all those years ago? Wow. I was quite impressed how you interpreted the demand curve. I was in the back by the mirror, doing marginal returns — and diminishing, no less.

      Seriously, we’re not all suits. This is how you should picture me. But yes, I admit, this crowd was quite point-device. It was a finance-themed conference, after all.

  3. Although I realise that the video was light-hearted, the lyrics of the rap song bespoke an underlying seriousness, being about the competing economic philosophies which – because they either caused, or are the potential cure of, the current economic woes, depending on one’s ideology – have been the topic of much acrid public debate, which is becoming more acrid still.

    Hence in this comment I won’t enter into the light-heartedness of your posting, but will draw attention to a recent (and serious) NYT *op-ed piece* by Paul Krugman, which I thought marvellous.

    And why I thought it marvellous is that it points out that the huge increase in US government spending, and the huge expansion of government – which is causing the Right to become choleric – is no less than a chimera, for the reasons Krugman so clearly lays out, and is why the level of unemployment is where it is.

    Should not the Fourth Estate in America be educating its readers better?

    • Certainly, there’s an underlying seriousness. Not that far under, in fact.

      Krugman is the one who nowadays makes the clearest, simplest case for the Keynesian side.

  4. Hi Andreas,
    I find these econ raps interesting. To me they are upfront serious with civility and honour presented on both sides. Great clarity, also. Alas, the pugilists ruin the discussions and hinder progress.

    I’m prone to Keynes and clutch on the words of Paul Krugmann.

    btw: Isn’t it time to put your story cap back on?

    • Understood, Geraldine. We have the same view about pugilists and pugilism — the Jon Stewart view, you might say.

      My story cap: you mean, to analyze their rap in those terms?

  5. No, no. I just meant another story using the voice you used to present Psyche. I call this your story cap (cap as in hat) voice. Different caps for different tones.

    One of my grandfathers was a storyteller and when he began to tell a story, people would say he had his story cap on, imaginary or otherwise. He was much admired for his natural ability to pull his audience into himself. You have it! 🙂

    Have ‘elephants’ made it into the title of your new book? Do you think it will be released in the first quarter next year?

    • “You have it! :)”

      Well, thanks, Geraldine. You made my day.

      I hope you’re right. We’ll find out when the book comes out. That, however, seems to be in “fall” of 2011.

      Don’t even ask me to comment about the publishing industry. Apparently, they know exactly what they’re doing. Gotta wait, just wait.

      Oh, and no title yet. As you might have noticed, they take their time….

  6. I wish more of our public discourse came to us in the form of rap. Instead of debates, we could have freestyle throw-downs! Any expert in a field should be able to explain their work in a way that rhymes.

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