Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rex in Regno suo superiores habet Deum et Legem.

Translation:
The King in his Realm hath two superiors: God and the Law. -- Henry Care (1646-1688) on English liberties and the Magna Carta

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Ancient History

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See the Rappers Dissed by the White House

While the White House’s Poetry Slam invitation to rapper Common created an uproar due to his lyrics praising a cop killer, an even bigger outrage occurred without a bit of attention from the media.

In innovative music videos, pseudo-John Maynard Keynes and faux-F.A. Hayek have been going toe-to-toe in two rap battles, educating listeners about their economic principles and using rhymes to explain how their theories would fix current economic woes.

But did they get an invite to the White House shindig? Noooo. You can bet Common couldn’t explain these concepts nearly as well.

Rap Battle Round One: “Fear the Boom and Bust”
I love how they present current elite opinion so accurately, having everyone fawn over Keynes, a man highly responsible for our lack of economic recovery. Meanwhile the brilliant Hayek politely awaits his turn.

Come on, Hayek! Get in there and duke it out. You’re the sure winner.

Rap Battle Round Two: “Fight of the Century”
Producers John Papola and Russ Roberts resurrect our two rapping economic philosophers for another round. Fellow Austrians, brace yourselves for the end. It ain’t pretty, but it’s today’s reality.

The videos and more information can be found at EconStories.tv.

To learn more about their economic philosophies, I suggest reading Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money and F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. If you only want to buy one, I am huge fan of Hayek and the Austrian school of economics, and I believe that the abysmal failure of the Obama stimulus and bailout programs and financial regulations and market interventions and so on have thoroughly discredited the Keynesian model. Therefore, I recommend Hayek first and foremost.

Plus if you need a primer on economics, either as an introduction or as a refresher, you can’t do much better than Thomas Sowell’s graph-free Basic Economics—former winner of a Prudence Prize for Best Book.

3 comments to See the Rappers Dissed by the White House

  • I love the Keynes vs. Hayek rap battles. The scene with the security guard is brilliant, BTW. Speaking of the Austrian School, I’ve been downloading a bunch of books by Mises and Rothbard to my Nook. I still think Henry Hazlitt wrote the best book about the economy though, Economics in One Lesson. It’s amazing to think there was a time when economic writers for the New York Times weren’t complete nincompoops.

    • Prudence

      Hazlitt wrote for the NY Times?! I did not know that. And you are so right about his Economics in One Lesson I almost used that instead of Sowell’s (whom I see as being one of his modern-day torch-bearers), because I think it’s more comprehensive. But Russ Roberts, one of the EconStories.tv guys responsible for the videos and an econ professor at George Mason University, recommended Hazlitt’s as his top economics book pick too.

      Everyone—or at least every clear-thinking person concerned about the country and the economy—should become acquainted with the Ludvig von Mises Institute. The mises.org site is stuffed with superb information, including hundreds (if not, thousands) of free books, including many Hazlitt ones.

      In going to get the Mises link to their Literature section, I just downloaded his first book, 1916’s Thinking as a Science (also available at the site in EPUB format) and his 1922 The Way to Will Power, which looks very Ben Franklin-esque. The Thinking as a Science one intrigues me for a variety of reasons, but especially because a late chapter called something like “What to Think” explains how to put into practice all his theories on “how” to think and immediately chastises the reader for wasting brain energy—“thinking for the sake of thinking”—by doing a puzzle in the Sunday paper. haha! Now that’s a strict taskmaster.

      And I totally agree on the security guard scene. It just has to be inspired by TSA patdowns…and where we are headed with them.

  • A big fan of Mises. I actually met someone who writes for them last night at the Manhattans Project.

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