The Fight of the Century

by Russ Roberts on April 28, 2011

in Film, Music, Stimulus

My second rap video with John Papola is now live. Please spread it wide and far.

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Steve April 28, 2011 at 5:45 am

Love it, Russ!

Daniel Kuehn April 28, 2011 at 5:54 am

Congratulations on the video!

Speedmaster April 28, 2011 at 6:42 am

Haha, Love the spot with Prof. Munger at the start! :-)

kyle8 April 28, 2011 at 6:47 am

simply brilliant

John Peer April 28, 2011 at 6:47 am


Craig April 28, 2011 at 6:53 am

The casting of the Fed Chairman was brilliant. I thought it was really Big Ben for most of the video.

Daniel Kuehn April 28, 2011 at 7:36 am

It really was – was that supposed to be Summers to Bernanke’s right too? I was trying to identify others, but I wasn’t quite sure.

Chucklehead April 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

There should of been a empty chair next to Hayek marked Romer.

Nick April 28, 2011 at 7:04 am

Great Job! I love it!!

gregworrel April 28, 2011 at 7:20 am

Economics education on steroids, and that’s a good thing! Home run. Great work.

Keith April 28, 2011 at 7:22 am

So who won?

russell April 28, 2011 at 7:24 am

i hate rap…but i love this video.

jfc April 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

well done Russ. Bravo!!!

Darius Martin April 28, 2011 at 7:52 am

Thank you! This is awesome.

David Cordeiro April 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

Fantastic job, again!

John Barton April 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

Simply fantastic. Thanks for the effort that this obviously requires.

indianajim April 28, 2011 at 8:22 am

“The fight continues…”; yes and the enemies of capitalism and freedom have become terribly strong. Still, your video gives pause to perhaps hope that Patrick Henry fire might again ignite popular imagination: “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” Amen.

muirgeo April 28, 2011 at 8:41 am

How have the “enemies” become strong. We have greater free trade, Wall Street is hardly regulated for what matters, tax rates are at an all time low, corporate profits are at an all time high, the stock market is up 50%…. and now we are pushing austerity.

indianajim April 28, 2011 at 10:00 am

Given you demonstrated invincible ignorance to evidence evinced at Cafe Hayek, it is unlikely that you can be persuaded by evidence. Still, maybe you are not the hopeless case that others here have suggested; in that hope, take a gander at this link about the “progression” of “tax freedom day”:

muirgeo April 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

OK.. tax freedom day was May 1 in 2000 now its April 9th.

Around the world other then India we have the shortest time to tax freedom day.

Did I miss something?

Ken April 28, 2011 at 11:17 am


Yes, you’re missing a basic capacity for logical thought. Before Keynes tax freedom day was February 12. Almost two full months, 1/6 of a year, before April 9.


indianajim April 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

Look at your words: “…tax rates are at an all time low…”

Are you stupid?

muirgeo April 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm

So we should go back to the tax rates of 1930…cus that worked so good?

The Great depression Era is not gonna make your point. We came OUT of the Great depression with massively increased tax rates. How much more contrary evidnence could you possibly need?

Ken April 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm

“How much more contrary evidnence could you possibly need?”

After, what 15 YEARS of complete economic chaos and sloth?

Sam Grove April 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

Wall Street is hardly regulated for what matter


Wall Street is regulated enough to keep out competitors.

W.E. Heasley April 28, 2011 at 8:25 am

Part 1 and now part 2 are home runs! Most excellent!

Which begs the question: when will the 90 minute, full length, cinemascope, visa-vision, holy cow production from our friends in “GeorgeMasonWood” be produced?!?

Jon Lachman April 28, 2011 at 8:26 am

Wonderfully done! Inspirational! Round 2 is better than round 1!

Liberty 1 April 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

I wish every High School student in the country could/would see the video!!!!
Well my kids will!!!!!

muirgeo April 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

Very good but of course Keynes is the underdog in the real with free markets having been knocked down twice (1929 and 2008) but still undeservingly winning the day. All that political cronyism IS real world free markets. It’s not serving regular people it’s serving people who when asked will mostly side with Hayek.

The week stimulus did improve the economy and all around the world other countries that took austerity measures are failing and we are about to follow them down that road.

The victory should have went shamingly to Hayek.

Ken April 28, 2011 at 10:37 am


“of course Keynes is the underdog”

Of course this is a complete lie. The federal government has spent upwards of $5,000,000,000,000 on stimulus and QE not including the regular federal budget spending, which has spiked 30% in just three years. In addition to this, the federal government has done nothing but grow, with social programs that Keynes advocated eating up the majority of the budget.

“free markets having been knocked down twice (1929 and 2008)”

Free markets fall into recessions all the time. It takes large government acton to turn an unfortunate recession into a full on catastrophic depression and to extend recovery much longer than it otherwise would have taken.

Hoover, in 1929, radically increased federal speding and began exercising enormous control over the economy. FDR simply continued these policies. Economists estimate that the recession that had started before FDRs first term was extended at least seven years due to FDRs policies and interventions.

In 2008, after a series of government interventions into the economy (namely Fanne and Freddi and the FED) the economy started to slump. Then the government jumped into the fray and the real decline began, with official unemployment spiking to over 10% and unofficial unemployment (since discouraged job seekers are no longer counted as unemployed) around 20%.

As mentioned in the first point, on top of the regular federal budget, an additional $5,000,000,000,000 has been spent through the fed and other stimulus agendas. Much of that money has gone to prop up failing businesses that paid good money to the administration to get elected.

” All that political cronyism IS real world free markets.”

Another complete lie. Please explain the cronyism of the internet. Until the late 90s Microsoft had little interaction with the government. Only through threat of anti trust did Microsoft start sending an army of lobbyists to DC. The market is full of free markets. The unfortunate thing is that the more visible a market becomes the more it attracts the attention of politicians who want to the money in those markets and control over who spends and produces.

“The week stimulus did improve the economy”

Bullshit. According to the administration’s own numbers the economy did worse than it would done without the stimulus. Either Keynsians and the administration were guessing and the models don’t reflect reality at all or the stimulus made things worse.

You’re a liar through and through.


dan April 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Lying implies the intent to mislead. He could just be a confused person who sees the world as flat and the sun as revolving around the earth as the Earth is the center of the universe.

Ken April 28, 2011 at 6:08 pm


There’s no way he can’t know the things I’ve listed above. It’s been pointed out time and time again TO HIM SPECIFICALLY. Even Don who usually doesn’t respond to muirgeo’s idiocy, responded to muirgeo recently when muirgeo insisted Hoover did NOT increase federal spending.

No muirgeo is a dark hearted lying son of a bitch.


SaulOhio April 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Not lying. NUTS! How could a sane person dream that people who know better would fall for such lies? If he is lying, it is to people who have exposed his lies time and time again. Just remember Einstein’s definition of insanity.

muirgeo April 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I don’t know the things listed above because they are false. I have rebutted them all. You guys have to re-write the history books to make Hoover look like a Keynesian… that’s so obviously false that it’s clear you guys have to delude yourselves to protect your beliefs… just like any other superstitious or religious person.

Ken April 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm


Your response is the very definition of Orwellian. You use the word ‘rebutted’ to mean the exact opposite of what it actually means. You have failed to rebut any of the above.

There doesn’t need to be any rewrite of history to show that Hoover intervened into the economy and increased spending to unprecedented levels. That stuff is actually in the history books. I never claimed he was a Keynesian, but he did believe in the power of the government to cure all societies ills. He was an engineer and saw himself as a social engineer. Once he finally got hold of the levers of power, he pulled them, turning a recession into a depression.

It’s quite astonishing that you refuse to believe standard history and official US federal budgets from the Hoover administration.


John V April 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

“All that political cronyism IS real world free markets. It’s not serving regular people it’s serving people who when asked will mostly side with Hayek.”

Complete opposite of the truth. You seriously don’t understand neither what you claim to support nor what you claim to oppose.

SeanO April 28, 2011 at 8:38 am

Great video! I’m curious, is Mike Munger a natural actor or a born TSA officer?

W.E. Heasley April 28, 2011 at 8:56 am

Now that’s funny!!

Felipe April 28, 2011 at 8:40 am


Adam April 28, 2011 at 8:42 am

Absolutely brilliant, and the production quality is second to none!

Methinks1776 April 28, 2011 at 9:04 am


W.E. Heasley April 28, 2011 at 9:15 am


We absolutely, positively have to respond to the next casting call for video three. It would be grand fun!

Methinks1776 April 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm

You go ahead. I am considered photogenic only by the blind.

W.E. Heasley April 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Oh, be that way. LOL

Stone Glasgow April 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm


Scott A. Robinson April 28, 2011 at 9:06 am

Fantastic! Another winner!

Captain Profit April 28, 2011 at 9:14 am

Your next video should feature Dorian Electra. (Just sayin’…)

Liya P April 28, 2011 at 9:18 am

Absolutely amazing!

DaveyNC April 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

Outstanding! Maybe, just maybe, this will soak through the haze in the brains of the young.

Georges Kaplan April 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

You could get a Grammy Awards for this!

Marcus April 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

I shared the video on a political forum I participate on. As I was typing in ‘Keynes vs. Hayek’ (just as now) I noticed the spell checker recognizes Keynes but not Hayek!

I found that funny and thought I’d share it.

JohnK April 28, 2011 at 10:05 am

Firefox’s spell checker flags prezbo’s first and last, but not middle.

Marcus April 28, 2011 at 10:52 am

Well, I just thought it was funny for how it parallels the video.

David April 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

Nice work. Mike Munger was great, although I thought the ring girls were good too.

The corruption of the referee was a masterstroke – a metaphor I presume for the corruption of mainstream academics by the state?

Captain Profit April 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

Works for the state as “neutral referee” in the market, too.

David Pinto April 28, 2011 at 10:09 am

Extremely well produced. Great stuff.

Steve Ducharme April 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

Outstanding production values and fantastic message. I really enjoyed how even after defeat, JMK is still declared the winner. Very nice touch.

Dan April 28, 2011 at 10:23 am


Melissa Eggleston April 28, 2011 at 10:26 am

I like seeing Professor Munger as the security agent. And Hayek dancing! He’s pretty slick. Nicely done!

Jason April 28, 2011 at 10:29 am

Simply genius. Great humor, great lyrics, great music. Good job guys.

(Couldn’t believe how buff Keynes and Hayek are for a pair of economists!)

simon... April 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

Congratulations!!! It’s flawless! I loved the first video, but this one is even better!

Scott G April 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

Wow! Amazing, and awesome!

Ed C April 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

Even better than Thriller!

Am forcing this on my family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and random passers-by.

Thank you.

Daniel Kuehn April 28, 2011 at 10:48 am

re: “Am forcing this on my family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and random passers-by.”

Not very Hayekian :)

Ed C April 28, 2011 at 11:00 am


Nathan April 28, 2011 at 10:47 am

What a great way to learn economics – well done. This is awesome!

MIchael E. Marotta April 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

Thank you for your productive effort.

Kevin Mann April 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

Love love LOVE that Say and Mises are in Hayek’s corner! Brilliant touch!

Holly April 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

You guys really rock (uh. . .rap) — and just in time for the final macro class of the semester. My students dig on this and, together with so many great podcasts, you have made teaching macro a great joy and a passion. Thank you!

Eric Hammer April 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

Wonderful! Keynes inexplicably being declared the winner after Hayek puts him down was a brilliant touch. The thought that goes into these really rewards multiple views; I hadn’t even realized the reason the guard looked familiar was that it was Mike Munger!

Brad Hutchings April 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

Plans by the many, not by the few.


Alex April 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

Very nice. Wish we would see this on MTV ;)

Martin Brock April 28, 2011 at 11:44 am

Beautiful. I was awestruck. You outdid yourself. I haven’t felt so inspired since Ron Paul faced down Giuliani in SC in ’07.

tms April 28, 2011 at 11:45 am

Fantastic. Congratulations!

Justin P April 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm

This is Awesome!

Downsize DC April 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Perhaps you should form the Hayeksplosive Company. Kind of like the Electric Company on PBS.

Richard Stands April 29, 2011 at 12:37 am

It’d be a great T-shirt.

indianajim April 30, 2011 at 11:34 am

Maybe put the image of Munger’s gloved hand on the back with perhaps these words below the image:

Road to Serfdom Detour

Emerson April 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

If the last video got 2 million views, this one will get 4 million. Well done, Russ!

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