Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dziura, Swift, Hayek, Rand, Stossel

I’m pleased Jen Dziura is devoting this week on her blog to wordplay inspired by my favorite childhood sci-fi character, Tom Swift, boy industrialist. Jen, one of the most entrepreneurial liberals I know and a dweller in the Wall Street area, also e-mails a link to this Keynes vs. Hayek rap Russ Roberts co-created — which is quite good, though it’s also a bittersweet reminder that the really important insights in life do not necessarily work well as short slogans.

You can’t blame the masses for wanting a pithy Bible verse or a political chant instead — but that doesn’t make the masses correct, unfortunately. Reality never promised you these things would be easy — or poetical (speaking of which, anyone have a job for a young history-minded libertarian econ prof from Italy, since I know one who may be seeking a new gig?). Sadly, points out Scott Nybakken, you can even sense from listening to the rap — despite the fact that libertarians made it — how much easier it is to get Keynes’s erroneous views across in this form than it is to explain Hayek’s take on Austrian economics. Sigh. Maybe I need to make more use of my years-ago experience in advertising to turn all this free-market stuff into usable bumper stickers.

Somewhere in between slogan and complexity lies Atlas Shrugged, and if that seems like a good balance to you — or at least a worthy topic of conversation — you’ll have to keep reading this blog during its “Month of Ayn Rand,” which begins next week and will include everything from the band Rush to a little bit of performance art by me at Yale, if all goes as planned.

As a prelude, remember to check out tonight’s Stossel-hosted town hall with me in the audience, probably voicing an opinion (8pm Eastern until 11pm or so, with Obama’s State of the Union and presumably the GOP response heard in the middle) — not to mention my “Twinkie defense,” no disrespect meant to Harvey Milk, at the end of tomorrow’s regular 8pm Stossel broadcast.


Gerard said...

Actually, I thought Adam Lustick conveyed Hayek’s philosophy much more succinctly and cogently than the other actor translated the Keynesian views.

Perhaps this is just one of those Nas vs. Jay-Z beefs that will never be resolved the court of public opinion.

Jennifer Dziura said...

Not a day or a week of Ayn Rand, but a month! Shall you be reading in chronological order? Shall we get your commentary on Anthem? Will you illustrate your Atlas Shrugged posts with photos of Angelina Jolie?

Todd Seavey said...

I shall do none of these things. I will act in accord with my own pleasure, my own wishes, as cruelly indifferent to the hopes of others as a man wielding a whip over the world.