The Fight of the Century is two weeks old

by Russ Roberts on May 12, 2011

in Music

The Fight of the Century is two weeks old. It has been viewed about 640,000 times. Thanks for watching and please continue to share it widely. Some people have asked how it is doing relative to Fear the Boom and Bust. I’ll have a reliable take on that when we hit week three.

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{ 35 comments }

ORyan May 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Love the video. However, there is a demand for the mp3. When will the market deliver? Perhaps we need some Government intervention or regulation.

Martin Brock May 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I’ll leave it here until Russ tells me to remove it. You can probably right click and select “Save as” to download.

sams May 14, 2011 at 5:23 am

The market already delivered years ago, you can use this program to download the soundtrack of a youtube video.

http://atube-catcher.dsnetwb.com/video/

;)

Mao_Dung May 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I’m left with some uneasiness about the video which I found initial catchy. Please clarify what you were trying to say about Keynes’ beliefs about war as a vehicle of for economic growth, or as a solution to economic malaise. Suggesting that someone is an advocate for war for economic reasons is a serious accusation.

Daniel Kuehn May 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm

They’ll come back to the point that Keynes himself said – deficits in a downturn can help and war can cause deficits. At worst they’ll impute a broken window fallacy to him that he never made. They’ll always (rightly) be able to claim they’ve never called him a warmonger.

I think the bigger concern is the impression the video gave of indifference to war, of having a top-down orientation, of wanting to dictate things to people, of indifference to people’s dreams, and of course this impression of sympathy to central planning (although here as well they can always point out they never actually said that).

You can’t ultimately criticize all that much about the lyrics themselves, and what can be criticized is pretty easily defended by poetic license. But I think being “left with some uneasiness”, as you call it, is appropriate precisely because of the impression left by the video. I’ve always been a fan of Hayek. But when I come out of watching it thinking that Hayek is representing my views a lot better than Keynes is, there’s something very wrong.

Anotherphil May 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm

“I think the bigger concern is the impression the video gave of indifference to war, of having a top-down orientation, of wanting to dictate things to people, of indifference to people’s dreams, and of course this impression of sympathy to central planning”

Do you have a problem with facts?

You can’t ultimately criticize all that much about the lyrics themselves.

We’ll reserve such criticism for the “lyrics” of the latest White House poetry night guest, ok?

Dan May 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

What filth, to invite a racist to the white house who writes about shooting cops.

Gareth May 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I don’t know Keynes exact take on it but it seems his disciples are very much pro war/destruction.

Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/an-iraq-recession/

Robert Madsen MIT
http://www.npr.org/2011/03/13/134516028/Japan-Disaster-May-Have-Global-Economic-Impact

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

The video only hints that Keynes is pro war in the same way that Krugman only hints that war is good.

John V May 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm

You have a debilitating paranoia and over-sensitivity to the video. You read far too much into things that you feel can be interpreted in a negative way that was never intended. There is no indifference to war in the video, nor any attempt to even imply Keynes was a warmonger. So rightly being able to say that Russ and John never called him a warmonger isn’t just a technicality but also the flat out truth.

And why all the hub-bub from you? See your last sentence.

John V May 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I think the war comment was more to those who cite Keynes’ ideas when offering an explanation that WW2 got us out the GD.

Daniel Kuehn May 13, 2011 at 9:15 am

I am amazed at the knee-jerk reaction so many people have had to the idea that a lot of people don’t see Keynes the way Russ and John do. Why are you upset about this? I’m not paranoid – I’m just noting the thing has a very unambiguous slant. Lot’s of people have noted that. It shouldn’t be all that surprising.

John V May 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I’m not upset….just making an observation. And I finf your use of knee-jerk to be incredibly ironic. LOL.

kyle8 May 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Once again, you miss the whole point, It might be true that Keynes himself never advocated war or central planning, (then again I cannot rule that out since he is on record as having said a lot of quite frankly conflicting things. )

However, his general philosophy has indeed degenerated into not much more than that. It was taken like a football by the socialistic and power hungry and they just ran with it.

Chucklehead May 13, 2011 at 2:02 am

“There is one good thing about Marx: he was not a Keynesian.”
Murray Rothbard

Daniel Kuehn May 13, 2011 at 9:16 am

No, that’s precisely my point – that his “general philosophy” has nothing to do with the sorts of things that have been associated with it.

Kevin May 12, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Wow a post about things people didn’t say about things a guy didn’t say and impressions people didn’t make about feelings a guy didn’t have. Moar of these plz DK?

Marcus May 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Keynes was not an advocate for war and the video doesn’t claim that he is.

In the video, Keynes claims that it is only during a war that you can only get the kind of deficit spending he thinks is necessary to end the recession. He’d much, much rather spend on something other than war, but the political process won’t allow it.

This is something many modern Keynesians agree with. Here’s Paul Krugman on the subject:

“From an economic point of view World War II was, above all, a burst of deficit-financed government spending, on a scale that would never have been approved otherwise…Deficit spending created an economic boom — and the boom laid the foundation for long-run prosperity.” — Paul Krugman

http://tinyurl.com/36d2jte

Read the whole thing and please explain to us how the video doesn’t say the same thing Paul Krugman wrote above.

Paul also wrote a blog piece on the subject in which he quote Keynes:

http://tinyurl.com/238dkd

Marcus May 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I posted a reply 5 hours ago that is still ‘awaiting moderation’ for some reason. It had links in it so I’ll repost it without the links and see how that goes.

Keynes did not advocate war and the video does not claim he did.

In the video, Keynes claims that it is only during a war that we get the kind of deficit spending he thinks is necessary to end a deep recession. He’d much rather spend all that money on something more useful, but with politics being what it is it would seem to take a war to get there.

This is something many modern Keynesians agree with. Here’s Paul Krugman on the subject:

“From an economic point of view World War II was, above all, a burst of deficit-financed government spending, on a scale that would never have been approved otherwise…Deficit spending created an economic boom — and the boom laid the foundation for long-run prosperity.” — Paul Krugman, 1938 in 2010, New York Times, September 5, 2010

Now Mao, please explain to us how the video misrepresents that point of view.

Scott G May 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm

“Suggesting that someone is an advocate for war for economic reasons is a serious accusation.”

I love Cafe Hayek! Thank you Mao_Dung; you made me laugh.

Mao_Dung May 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Is it the Vietnam War or the two gulf wars that made you laugh? Or was it the holocaust that was conducted under the cover of war? You have a sick sense of humor.

Scott G May 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm

If you’re ever in the SF Bay area, I’d like to take you out with some Cafe Hayek readers and show you a good time. No talking about politics though – just 100% pure fun! Maybe some dancing, maybe a few drinks if you’re into that sort of thing, take you up to Lake Tahoe and do some water skiing, take you over to Santa Cruz and catch a few waves.

Wha’da’ya say?

Anotherphil May 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

No, its Obama’s rush into Libya. Its a real laugh riot. Since it was Hillary Clinton & Samantha Power’s prodding that pushed it, I wonder if its now fair to say war is an old WOMAN’s game fought by young men.

As for you, its a good idea if you withold judgment on other’s “sick sense of humor” until you resolve the cognitive dissonance of acting with smug superiority while using one of the great mass murderer’s names as a pseudonym.

You are mentally ill.

lamp3 May 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I think it’s “Mao” as in mandarin for cat, and Dung, english for well, dung. Catshit!

John V May 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm

troll.

The way you pull and tug discussions in the most ridiculously self-serving directions is simply shameful.

John V May 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Dung:

“Suggesting that someone is an advocate for war for economic reasons is a serious accusation.”

It’s also an accusation that was never made. What a troll.

Mao_Dung May 13, 2011 at 11:34 am

John Papola, the co-producer of the rap video wrote in the comments section to another post:

I’ve taken great pains at every turn to point out that the man who wrote “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” was not a war-monger. But he acknowledged that the reality of democratic capitalist societies made it such that only wars could drum up enough support to spend at the levels his framework demands. When run through the take-this-leave-the-rest filter of politicians, however, these distinctions go away.

I’ll read you post. If you’re interested in more tone and nuance on these issues, definitely check out the Econtalk we did which came out on monday.
================================================
John V

You are the twisted troll around here. Stop the name-called. I think the V in your name stands for vituperative. Go away, and get a job!

John V May 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Your quote on reinforces my point. Troll.

Justin P May 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I’m still waiting for some shirts!

Martin Brock May 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Fans of the video will eventually notice that Keynes mysteriously teleports from his chair to the floor of the committee room during the discussion of unemployment.

Daniel Kuehn May 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm

They move in and out of a boxing ring and this is the teleportation you notice??

:)

Martin Brock May 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I noticed that one right away. The committee room teleportation took several viewings.

SaulOhio May 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Congratulations again on a brilliant video.

I’ve got to say, the nutcases have come out of the woodwork in the comments section. Some even conspiracy theorists!

But a lot of intelligent people have come out in support, as well.

Keep up the good work. Can’t wait for part III

chineseLiber May 13, 2011 at 3:11 am

You obviously failed to count Chinese viewers. 640,000 should be doubled or tripled, considering those put on Chinese video sites.

Troy Camplin May 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I did my part posting it here:

http://theliteraryorder.blogspot.com

An Truong May 14, 2011 at 12:49 am

Taking into long term consideration, i would agree with Hayek because government spending would do more harm. Specifically, Government Spending would increase nation debt deficit, and it would give younger generation a bigger burden to pay the nation’s debt. However, if economy is being a recession, Government Spending would be helpful to stable the economy and boost up investment and employment as well. Therefore, there is nothing bad or good about Government spending. The only thing we need to take before justifying its benefits or harmful impacts is timing; When is the right time to use Government Spending as stimulus tool in order to help the economy as a whole.

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