• Joe Romm is not happy with the climate change chapter in Superfreakonomics, and neither am I. More later.
  • Perils of a Talking Head“:

    I bring all this up because a friend of mine, economist Richard Rahn, recently had a segment on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer canceled. In this case, however, it wasn’t because he had the wrong point of view, but because the show found a better guest to say the same thing. Again, this is part of the game. Policy wonks all know that if a producer can bag a congressman or senator to make his point he is going to get bumped. No problem.

    What is funny about Richard’s experience is that he wasn’t bumped for a bigger name, but for another economist prepared to make his points in the form of rap. I’m not making this up. For a segment on the economics of John Maynard Keynes, this news program found someone who apparently has produced a rap video on the subject. Here is the relevant portion of the e-mail Richard got canceling his appearance:

    “We just learned that Russ Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University, who was our second choice for the anti-Keynes position, is shooting a rap video about Keynes and Hayek next week in New York. He has written the lyrics (they are quite good), hired rappers and musicians, and tapped professional music video producers — there will be bling, babes, limos, the works.” (My emphasis)

    Richard received this e-mail as he and I were having dinner and I almost fell on the floor laughing. The absurdity of being rejected for an economist who brings bling, babes and limos to the table was bad enough. The idea of making a rap video about Keynesian economics made it even more absurd. But what really cracked me up was the idea of Russ Roberts doing this. Even by the standards of economics professors he’s pretty nerdy. I can’t even begin to imagine how he could do a rap video of anything, let alone Keynesian economics.

  • Biggest Obstacle to Global Climate Deal May Be How to Pay for It
  • Democrats and Schools. About charter schools and accountability, not vouchers.
  • Cantwell’s tenacity yields results on key health-care committee