James Yang for NPR
Find all episodes of Planet Money Summer School here.
Planet Money Summer School is back! It’s the free economics class you can take from anywhere… for everyone!
For season three of Summer School we ask the the big economic questions. It’s time for macroeconomics! What makes a country grow richer? Is there a “right” level of unemployment? What rhymes with ‘paradox of thrift’? Also, inflation, we’ll get to inflation.
Our first lesson concerns one of the most fundamental economic debates of the last hundred years: what causes booms and busts, recessions and depressions? And what can the government do about it? Or, should the government just get out of the way?How free should a free market be?
The big economic policies we know today emerged from the depths of the Great Depression, a time when the government had few tools to control the macroeconomic forces that were wreaking havoc on the average American’s life and livelihood.
From that darkness emerged two economists determined to shine a light and end the crisis, albeit in very different ways: In one corner we have John Maynard Keynes, a vivacious, charismatic public face of economics, still so to this day, who argued for a larger role for the federal government to counter balance market forces. And in the other corner, F.A. Hayek, an austere and comparatively little-known Austrian economist, who argued for just the opposite, that government was likely to do more harm than good meddling with economic booms and busts.
On today’s episode we’re throwing it back to a classic episode that reimagines their battle over monetary policy…as an actual rap battle. The rhymes come at you fast, but our friendly summer school professors are here to play rap battle genius, making the big ideas clear and simple … even if you’re listening with one ear from a beach chair. Pay close attention and you just might pass the test and get your own Planet Money Summer School diploma at the end of the season come Labor Day.
- John Maynard Keynes
- Freidrich von Hayek
- Paradox of thrift
- Interest rates
- Animal spirits
Find a song that makes you think about some part of the economy and tell us what you picked!
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