Bling, babes, and John Maynard Keynes

A rap video to explain why fiscal stimulus doesn't work? Bring it on!


Andrew Leonard
October 15, 2009 5:39PM (UTC)

In the course of offering a behind-the-scenes look at how talking heads get booked for television shows, Bruce Bartlett presents an eye-opening e-mail that a friend of his, economist Richard Rahn, recently received from The Newshour with Jim Lehrer explaining why he had been bumped from the show.

"We just learned that Russ Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University, who was our second choice for the anti-Keynes position, is shooting a rap video about Keynes and Hayek next week in New York. He has written the lyrics (they are quite good), hired rappers and musicians, and tapped professional music video producers -- there will be bling, babes, limos, the works."

(Free Exchange informs us that Russ Roberts' previous claim to fame was "The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism" -- in which "David Ricardo acts as a sort of ghost of economists past, who reveals to a manufacturer supportive of protectionist policies the horror of a world in which they're enacted.)

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HTWW promises to provide a fully-considered review of this "rap video" when it is available for public viewing, even though it's fair to say that my taste runs more to the pro-fiscal policy stimulus crunk than tired old crass gangsta "I'm all about the price mechanism" Hayekianism. But while we're waiting, I think we can have some fun imagining how Keynes would roll if he here alive today, trying to get his message across via hip hop.

I'm the Notorious J.M.K. and I'm here to play
Don't believe the haters when they tell you I'm gay
Just know that the government has a role to play
If, after a crash, you wanna brighter day

Then he dies in a hail of gunfire from a Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek driveby. But bullets can't stop the Master. He'll be back.


Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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