Tuesday June 8th, 2010 informationliberation.com
An Introduction to Austrian Economics (InformationLiberation)










Austrian economics should not be studied merely to understand the basics of supply and demand, Austrian economics is a philosophy and a field of work unto itself. When you understand real economics, you understand everything, no amount of statist propaganda can confuse you or hide you from the truth.

With the world becoming ever more socialistic and the government printing record amounts of money, there could be no more important time to understand what economics is, how wealth is actually created, and how the world was transformed in only 200 years from a world of incredible scarcity to a world of unimaginable abundance.

Through our government's economic policies we risk falling back into a world of general poverty, things are that bad. - Chris, InformationLiberation


Part One: The Keynes vs Hayak Raps

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

This is the perfect introduction video, pay close attention to what Hayak has to say, listen to it multiple times until the theory starts to sink in.

LYRICS


We’ve been going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No… it’s the animal spirits

[Keynes Sings:]

John Maynard Keynes, wrote the book on modern macro
The man you need when the economy’s off track, [whoa]
Depression, recession now your question’s in session
Have a seat and I’ll school you in one simple lesson

BOOM, 1929 the big crash
We didn’t bounce back—economy’s in the trash
Persistent unemployment, the result of sticky wages
Waiting for recovery? Seriously? That’s outrageous!

I had a real plan any fool can understand
The advice, real simple—boost aggregate demand!
C, I, G, all together gets to Y
Make sure the total’s growing, watch the economy fly

We’ve been going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No… it’s the animal spirits

You see it’s all about spending, hear the register cha-ching
Circular flow, the dough is everything
So if that flow is getting low, doesn’t matter the reason
We need more government spending, now it’s stimulus season

So forget about saving, get it straight out of your head
Like I said, in the long run—we’re all dead
Savings is destruction, that’s the paradox of thrift
Don’t keep money in your pocket, or that growth will never lift…

because…

Business is driven by the animal spirits
The bull and the bear, and there’s reason to fear its
Effects on capital investment, income and growth
That’s why the state should fill the gap with stimulus both…

The monetary and the fiscal, they’re equally correct
Public works, digging ditches, war has the same effect
Even a broken window helps the glass man have some wealth
The multiplier driving higher the economy’s health

And if the Central Bank’s interest rate policy tanks
A liquidity trap, that new money’s stuck in the banks!
Deficits could be the cure, you been looking for
Let the spending soar, now that you know the score

My General Theory’s made quite an impression
[a revolution] I transformed the econ profession
You know me, modesty, still I’m taking a bow
Say it loud, say it proud, we’re all Keynesians now

We’ve been goin’ back n forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Keynes] I made my case, Freddie H
Listen up , Can you hear it?

Hayek sings:

I’ll begin in broad strokes, just like my friend Keynes
His theory conceals the mechanics of change,
That simple equation, too much aggregation
Ignores human action and motivation

And yet it continues as a justification
For bailouts and payoffs by pols with machinations
You provide them with cover to sell us a free lunch
Then all that we’re left with is debt, and a bunch

If you’re living high on that cheap credit hog
Don’t look for cure from the hair of the dog
Real savings come first if you want to invest
The market coordinates time with interest

Your focus on spending is pushing on thread
In the long run, my friend, it’s your theory that’s dead
So sorry there, buddy, if that sounds like invective
Prepare to get schooled in my Austrian perspective

We’ve been going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No… it’s the animal spirits

The place you should study isn’t the bust
It’s the boom that should make you feel leery, that’s the thrust
Of my theory, the capital structure is key.
Malinvestments wreck the economy

The boom gets started with an expansion of credit
The Fed sets rates low, are you starting to get it?
That new money is confused for real loanable funds
But it’s just inflation that’s driving the ones

Who invest in new projects like housing construction
The boom plants the seeds for its future destruction
The savings aren’t real, consumption’s up too
And the grasping for resources reveals there’s too few

So the boom turns to bust as the interest rates rise
With the costs of production, price signals were lies
The boom was a binge that’s a matter of fact
Now its devalued capital that makes up the slack.

Whether it’s the late twenties or two thousand and five
Booming bad investments, seems like they’d thrive
You must save to invest, don’t use the printing press
Or a bust will surely follow, an economy depressed

Your so-called “stimulus” will make things even worse
It’s just more of the same, more incentives perversed
And that credit crunch ain’t a liquidity trap
Just a broke banking system, I’m done, that’s a wrap.

We’ve been goin’ back n forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No it’s the animal spirits



Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two


LYRICS


KEYNES

Here we are… peace out! great recession
thanks to me, as you see, we’re not in a depression
Recovery, destiny if you follow my lesson
Lord Keynes, here I come, line up for the procession

HAYEK
We brought out the shovels but we’re still in a ditch…
And still digging. don’t you think that it’s time for a switch…
From that hair of the dog. Friend, the party is over.
The long run is here. It’s time to get sober!

KEYNES
Are you kidding? my cure works perfectly fine…
have a look, the great recession ended back in ’09.
Surely, I deserve credit. Things would have been worse
All the estimates prove it—I’ll quote chapter and verse

HAYEK
Econometricians, they’re ever so pious
Are they doing real science or confirming their bias?
Their “Keynesian” models are tidy and neat
But that top down approach is a fatal conceit

REFRAIN
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
…lets listen to the greats
Keynes and Hayek throwing down

KEYNES
we could have done better, had we only spent more
Too bad that only happens when there’s a World War
You can carp all you want about stats and regression
Do you deny World War II cut short the Depression?

HAYEK
Wow. One data point and you’re jumping for joy
the Last time I checked, wars only destroy
There was no multiplier, consumption just shrank
As we used scarce resources for every new tank

Pretty perverse to call that prosperity
Rationed meat, Rationed butter… a life of austerity
When that war spending ended your friends cried disaster
yet the economy thrived and grew ever faster

KEYNES
You too only see what you want to see
The spending on war clearly goosed GDP
Unemployment was over, almost down to zero
That’s why I’m the master, that’s why I’m the hero

HAYEK
Creating employment’s a straigtforward craft
When the nation’s at war, and there’s a draft
If every worker was staffed in the army and fleet
We’d be at full employment with nothing to eat

REFRAIN

HAYEK
jobs are the means, not the ends in themselves
people work to live better, to put food on the shelves
real growth means production of what people demand
That’s entrepreneurship not your central plan

KEYNES
My solution is simple and easy to handle..
its spending that matters, why’s that such a scandal?
The money sloshes through the pipes and the sluices
revitalizing the economy’s juices

it’s just like an engine that’s stalled and gone dark
To bring it to life, we need a quick spark
Spending’s the life blood that gets the flow going
Where it goes doesn’t matter, just get spending flowing

HAYEK
You see slack in some sectors as a “general glut”
But some sectors are healthy, and some in a rut
So spending’s not free – that’s the heart of the matter
too much is wasted as cronies get fatter.

The economy’s not a car, there’s no engine to stall
no expert can fix it, there’s no “it” at all.
The economy’s us, we don’t need a mechanic
Put away the wrenches, the economy’s organic

REFRAIN

KEYNES
so what would you do to help those unemployed?
this is the question you seem to avoid
when we’re in a mess, would you just have us wait?
Doing nothing until markets equil-i-brate?

HAYEK
I don’t want to do nothing, there’s plenty to do
The question I ponder is who plans for who?
Do I plan for myself or leave it to you?
I want plans by the many and not by the few.

We shouldn’t repeat what created our troubles
I want real growth not just a series of bubbles
Let’s stop bailing out losers and let prices work
If we don’t try to steer them they won’t go berserk

KEYNES
Come on, Are you kidding? Don’t Wall Street’s gyrations
Challenge your world view of self-regulation?
Even you must admit that the lesson we’ve learned
Is more oversight’s needed or else we’ll get burned

HAYEK
Oversight? The government’s long been in bed
With the Wall Street execs and the firms that they’ve led
Prosperity’s all about profit and loss
When you bail out the losers there’s no end to the cost

the lesson I’ve learned? It’s how little we know,
the world is complex, not some circular flow
the economy’s not a class you can master in college
to think otherwise is the pretense of knowledge

REFRAIN

KEYNES
You get on your high horse and you’re off to the races
I look at the world on a case by case basis
When people are suffering I roll up my sleeves
And do what I can to cure our disease

The future’s uncertain, our outlooks are frail
Thats why free markets are so prone to fail
In a volatile world we need more discretion
So state intervention can counter depression

HAYEK
People aren’t chessmen you can move on a board
at your whim–their dreams and desires ignored
With political incentives, discretion’s a joke
The dials you’re twisting… are just mirrors and smoke

the market’s a process where we can discover
the most valuable ways to serve one another
we need stable rules and real market prices
so prosperity emerges and cuts short the crisis

REFRAIN
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 ground
…lets listen to the greats
Keynes and Hayek throwing down




Part Two: Irwin Schiff's Comic Books

Once you're done with that, next read this comic book by famed economist Peter Schiff's father, Irwin Schiff. It's called 'How an Economy Grows and Why it Doesn't" and it explains economics in a simple and easy to read comic book format!



With wit and humour Schiff explains:
1. The roots of economic growth.
2. The economic benefits of underconsumption.
3. Where savings come from.
4. Why economic growth is dependant on savings.
5. How consumer spending stiffels economic growth.
6. How capital is created.
7. How governments destroy capital.
6. The four uses of capital.
9. How capital benefits even those who don't have any.
10. The destructive nature of consumer credit.
11. How free enterprise forces capitalists, no matter how mean and greedy, to benefit society, if they want to get richer.
12. Why government can not expand credit.
13. How the federal government loots society's limited store of savings.
14. How the Federal Reserve operates as the U.S. Government's partner in crime.
15. Where inflation comes from and why prices go up.
16. How the government creates unemployment.
17. The myth of government "jobs" programs.
18. Why most politicians are deceivers, (this of course will not be news to many, but this book will allow you to cite chapter and verse.)
19. How the U.S. government destroys America's ability to produce.
20. Plus a whole lot more!

Read the book!
PDF Format
(Right click, save as)

Watch the video with narration below!


Next download Irwin Schiff's other classic, The Kingdom of Moltz, which explains how inflation is used to quietly steal people's savings!
PDF Format




Part Three: 'Economics in One Lesson' by Henry Hazlitt

Download the Book Here (.PDF) - Read it in HTML Here - Buy it from Amazon Here

"The average American knows very little about economics or monetary theory. That's why they tend to believe whatever they see and hear on their televisions. By reading this short book, you'll gain a basic understanding of economics, and an explanation of the many myths that are taken as truths.

In the final chapter of this book, Hazlitt revists his work 30 years later (he was writing in 1978, and the book came out originally in 1946). He surmises that during that period, nothing was learned. If anything, he says, subjects related in the book (wage rates, price controls, government 'make work') have become more political. I wonder what Hazlitt would say now.

You need to read this book in order to appreciate the real consequences of actions your government wants to take. The theme emphasized over and over in the book is that actions must be thought through to see what the long term effects will be, not just the highly visible short term ones." - James P. Brett "Publius", Amazon.com Reviewer

“I strongly recommend that every American acquire some basic knowledge of economics, monetary policy, and the intersection of politics with the economy. No formal classroom is required; a desire to read and learn will suffice. There are countless important books to consider, but the following are an excellent starting point: The Law by Frédéric Bastiat; Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; What has Government Done to our Money? by Murray Rothbard; The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek; and Economics for Real People by Gene Callahan.

If you simply read and comprehend these relatively short texts, you will know far more than most educated people about economics and government. You certainly will develop a far greater understanding of how supposedly benevolent government policies destroy prosperity. If you care about the future of this country, arm yourself with knowledge and fight back against economic ignorance. We disregard economics and history at our own peril.” - Congressman Ron Paul

"It is a brilliant performance. It says precisely the things which need most saying and says them with rare courage and integrity. I know of no other modern book from which the intelligent layman can learn so much about the basic truths of economics in so short a time." - F. A. Hayek




Part Four: An 'Introduction to Austrian Economics' Seminar

Now that you're done with that, you should have a wonderful understanding of the basics of real economics as opposed to the pseudo-science of Keynesianism. Next to watch is this series of eleven videos called 'Introduction to Austrian Economics.' The content in these videos are pure gold, but beware, after you've seen these videos you will never think of anything the same!

Money, What Is It?

A short intro video explaining what money actually is, the clips are taken from the full lectures below.























Ok! If you've made it this far than trust me, you are really something special! In order to go even deeper into the field I would recommend checking out the following websites!

#1. Mises.org
#2. MisesMedia's Youtube Channel
#3. LibertyInOurTime's Youtube Channel
#4. Nielsio's Youtube Channel

You will find plenty of content there for a lifetime of learning! I would highly recommend the works of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Murray Rothbard is also hilarious, Jeffery Tucker I find hysterical and entertaining as well. Congratulations and enjoy!

Chris | InformationLiberation