Schoolin’ the kidz in economix

Most people have no idea what ideas inform our economy, or even that certain schools of thought do inform our economy. For most of the last century, American policy makers have largely followed one of two men, either John Maynard Keynes or Friedrich August von Hayek, and yet most people have never heard of either man, nor could they articulate in cohesive manner what either believed. In my humble yet persistent effort to bring such information to the masses, particularly to the yutes’ that are hardly schooled in such concepts at all even through college, I present a brief primer produced by director John Papola and creative economist Russ Roberts on modern economics in an approachable and popular form – the rap:

For those who can’t follow rap, lyrics are here, and the an interesting story of how the video was produced here. Obviously I tend to agree with Hayek when it comes to policy proscriptions – and our current economic disaster has only re-enforced my reasons for that.

*Warning: The above video is contains graphic content of early 20th century economists dancing and rapping – this video is not for small children, please use discretion*

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4 Responses to Schoolin’ the kidz in economix

  1. Bettawrekonize says:

    You want free markets, vote for Ron Paul.

    Back many many years ago, like early in the U.S.’s existence, there was the gold standard and whatnot and the federal government was not allowed to tax much.

    “The Confederate Congress had powers almost identical to the US Congress, however all the minor differences added together amounted to a much more constrained federal government than the US government of the times and of today. The Confederate Constitution contained clauses which increased the powers of the Executive Branch, such as the line item veto power given to the president. However, they also granted essentially a line item veto to the Senate and Congress by limiting each bill to one issue written in the name. By making both the executive and legislative branches of government more powerful they did more to tie the hands of the Federal government over all–enhancing the planned ineffectiveness of the central government, one of the founding premises of the US Constitution.”

    Under the pretext that this was a disaster they started allowing the federal government to tax more and control things more.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_Constitution

    But was it really a disaster? and if it was, for WHOM was it a disaster? The problem is that (at least before the Internet) it’s so easy for the government (and mainstream media even) to claim what it wants and to do what it wants under the pretext that something is a disaster, and pretty much it gets away with it because the people don’t really have the communication means to discuss the issues and spread opposing views and to compare things before and after (and by the time something that benefits a special interest group at public expense is actually adopted it’s pretty much very difficult to overturn it and then, through the generations, people quickly forget that things were better before such laws were adopted and what ends up getting written in history is exactly what those special interest groups want, that things are indeed better now).

    and perhaps the same thing can be said for the gold standard. Was the gold standard really worse than the floating standard? and if so, for WHOM was it worse? Now sure history might record that the gold standard is worse, but could it be that it records such a thing BECAUSE special interest groups benefit from the floating standard at public expense and hence they intentionally influenced the history books to say such a thing? With the gold standard most of the gold was in circulation. With the floating standard, the U.S. government and other governments just store the gold under lock and key and they protect it far better than they protect any airplanes and buildings and the American people. I guess what they say is indeed true, money is thicker than blood.

    I’m not saying that the gold standard or that the Confederate Congress (with a far more limited government) is better than what we have now, I’m just saying I don’t know but I don’t simply believe something to be true just because our history books claim it to be. I am skeptical, I ask questions, like who benefits from these interpretations of history? Who benefits from saying that the gold standard and the confederate congress, with a much more limited government, is worse than what we have now, and who is indeed harmed from it? Could it be that the public is harmed and special interest benefits? Who knows.

    and if the government starts passing laws to destroy the Internet, they could then easily claim that the Internet was a disaster for the public welfare and it could easily go down in our history books as such. But is it really true, or was it just a disaster for mainstream media and evil rich corporations (not to mention those who promote UCD and other atheistic views)? and what about the FCC regulating airwaves and also the pretext that cableco/telco companies have a “natural monopoly” that makes it more beneficial to give them monopoly power? and what about intellectual property. We often record in econ books taught in school and such that these things are better for society and we are better off as a result (with no evidence of course) and things were perhaps worse off before some of these laws were in place and it’s easy for them to get away with such nonsense (outside the Internet) because competing views (and evidence) are censored from the public. But the Internet has made it blatantly obvious that many these pretexts are lies and that it’s those who unfairly benefit from these laws that ensure that we are brainwashed to support them. Just like people used to argue that slavery and racial discrimination were somehow good for society (and even for those being oppressed) when in fact those were lies just as well and it’s usually those who unfairly benefit from unfair laws that most adamantly argue for them and that ensure they remain in place and that history records that these laws are a success and that the lack of them is a failure.

    My point is that just because history records something a certain way doesn’t necessarily make it true. Be very skeptical about how history books and such interpret something and about what you’re taught, always ask questions.

  2. bZirk says:

    That was great!!

    But people don’t want free markets. They want a sugar teat. What’s scary is that inflation hasn’t really reset yet. When it does, we’re going to hear some squealing the likes we’ve never heard.

    Road to Serfdom ought to be required reading in school, but then teaching where books like that can actually be understood needs to occur.

  3. jackhudson says:

    Yes, I am anxiously awaiting the words that plagued my parents working years – “economic malaise” and “stagflation”. I believe we are experiencing the hangover depicted in the video, and unfortunately the current administration is offering drinks on the house as a cure.

  4. […] as if it was a banana sitting on the kitchen counter. This despite the fact that I posted the first video nearly a year before he had a blog. […]

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