Hayek Versus Keynes

The video “Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two” (via Econstories.tv) allows us to discern one reason why reporters side with the forces of large government.

Hayek’s corner man is von Mises, while Keynes strangely has Say (Galbraith must have been off skiing). Hayek clearly wins the round on points, scoring blow after unanswered-blow. The only point which Keynes bests Hayek is at the lip. Keynes’s ‘stache is bold, serious, starched, Bismarckian. It makes John Bolton’s walrus-like appendage appear anemic. Hayek’s fuzz is half-hearted, cutoff too soon, a foreign interloper. As a soup-strainer it is a failure. Hand that man a glass of milk!

But Hayek doesn’t even break a swear in the battle over the public ledger. Even though Hayek wins the fight proper, it is Keynes’s gloved hand the referee lifts at the end, not Hayek’s. Why?

It’s obvious that the fight was organized by some Don King-like entity, the outcome decided in advance by the connected, made men who depend on bailouts, payouts, and regulations foist on the other guy; the connected who move in and out of the government that feeds them. But why do reporters tout the loser?

Ego. The reporters throng around the man whose theory gives their lives meaning. Oh, sure, there are plenty of other reasons, like indoctrination in college and ignorance of economics. But no less important is self-esteem. I mean, the larger is government, the more important the reporter’s job, thus the more magnificent his opinion of himself.

Caution: the video is set to poor music. The lyric is clever, but the beat grates: it is, however, tolerable. The noise which accompanies the credits must have been a mistake uncorrected in production. Be ready to hit mute.

The fight isn’t over. There are more rounds to come, as evinced by this morning’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal, which reminds us of Mr Obama’s Keynesian thinking:

First came $168 billion in one-time tax rebates in February 2008 under George W. Bush, then $814 billion in spending spread over 2009-2010, cash for clunkers, the $8,000 home buyer tax credit, Hamp to prevent home foreclosures, the Detroit auto bailouts, billions for green jobs, a payroll tax cut for 2011, and of course near-zero interest rates for 28 months buttressed by quantitative easing I and II.

Scratchy growth, loose money, a tanking dollar, boasts—boasts— of “Leading from behind”, and inflation coming. Are we ready for five more years or this, or just one?


  1. DAV

    A knockdown fight in at a House hearing accompanied by House music. LOL. I thought the shrug by “Keynes” to “Hayek” after being mobbed by adoring reporters even though he lost was priceless.

  2. Kit

    Say and Mises were in Hayek’s corner; Keynes had Malthus.

  3. Briggs


    Thank you. But poor, misunderstood Malthus!

  4. Eric Anderson

    Wow, somebody put a lot of time into that vid. Don’t tell me economists aren’t hip!

  5. Inflation is here, running over 25% per year. Check the prices of oil, gold, and other key indicators. Funny how nobody wants to talk about it.

  6. George Steiner

    He doesn’ care whether you are ready or not ready. Briggs et all are no match for Marxist dialectic.

  7. Justin Ert

    Fantastic. I also interpreted the loser’s hand held aloft as the result of unseen manipulation to force a pre-determined consensus and this was for me possibly the most profound assertion within the narrative.
    I really sympathise with the idea that a “fair fight” or “fair hearing” scenario can be little more than an illusion – a kangaroo court – whose outcomes are not only pre-defined but also go unchallenged by an accepting media.
    Which is the reason I’m not quite so convinced why the director chose to portray the media supporting the loser. I might have anticipated a media presence already coerced into being organs of the state and supportive of the Keynsian position.
    Thought the music was actually very fitting, and I’m wondering whether there was supposed to be a deeper relevance with the choice of genre and who the director chose to play the roles of judge and referee. I can’t see a better vehicle for a wordy argument in music than rap, and I can’t imagine being able to voice such poignant lyrics with rock or soul or…anything.

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