Economic Stimulus? S&P US Debt Downgrade? QE1, QE2, QE3? HipHop Rap Tune Brings Fundamental Economic Issues To The Common Man

What is economic stimulus? If you ask enough economists that question you will quickly discover an abundance of very dry answers riddled with jargon that would put even ADHD victims to sleep. Economics has always been presented in a very intellectual manner with elegant charts and mathematical formulations that are supposed to show how the world works.

In the scholarly world, economics is positioned as a social science that explains how production, distribution and consumption of goods and services work.


The reality is that if you talk to the common person on the street they will be unable to explain economic jargon to you unless you pose the most fundamental economic questions to them on their terms. This is exactly what film maker John Papola and economist Russ Roberts have done in an entertaining YouTube video which has gone viral online. Now, a follow-on video, entitled Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two helps to answer such common questions as:

* Why is there poverty?
* Why does it always seem to get harder to make a living?
* Why are there boom / bust cycles?
* Does wealth flow from the top down or from the bottom up?

In their short film, Papola and Roberts tell the story of the most important economic questions through a hiphop rap music video. The two main characters are the world’s most prominent economic thinkers, John Maynard Keynes and Friederich von Hayek. Keynes’ legacy was his thesis that central planning of the economy is the main purpose and function of government. Friederich von Hayek, on the other hand, spent his life claiming that the greatest economic good would come about by government leaving economics and decision making to free markets, individuals and entrepreneurs.

While most people think that government spending, interest rates, and government bailouts are pretty scholarly subjects, Papola and Robert’s collaboration has posed these important issues in hip-hop layman’s terms, making these important topics as contemporary as Snoop. (We’re referring to Snoop Dogg, not Snoopy. Get with the program dude, or lose yo bling.)

The top economic issues today include debt, central planning, jobs, currency devaluation, and more. With the recent downgrade of US debt by Standard and Poor’s to AA+ from AAA, this video is very timely and newsworthy.

The authors have appropriately called it the “Fight of the Century”.

Believe it or not, IDEAS matter. When the ideas have a good beat and you can dance to them, it’s possible to change the destiny of a civilization.

Here is a short excerpt from “Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two”:

The government’s long been in bed
With those Wall Street execs and the firms that they’ve bled.
Capitalism is about profit and loss.
You bail out the losers there is no end to the cost.”

“Which way should we choose?

more bottom up or more top down

the fight continues…

Keynes and Hayek’s second round
it’s time to weigh in…

more from the top or from the ground
let’s listen to the greats

Keynes and Hayek throwing down.”

About The Authors:
Russell Roberts is a professor of economics at George Mason University and former Director of the Center for Experiential Learning at Washington University in St. Louis. Roberts is a regular commentator on business and economics for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and has written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Subscribe to his podcast at

John Papola is an award winning producer / director in broadcast entertainment and marketing. He is the creative director and co-founder of Emergent Orderâ„¢ ( ), the video production engine behind

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