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A repeat for the BBC Radio 4 Keynes v Hayek debate

Today I learned, from someone who was involved in the making of it, that:

The Radio 4 bosses liked the Keynes v Hayek debate so much that they are going to repeat it at 9 am on Wednesday 24th August. This sort of thing is very very unusual. This is probably going to add around 1.5 million listeners to the estimated 1 million radio listeners the programme has already had. (I haven’t looked at the podcast stats yet but it was in the iTunes News and Politics top 5 in the UK.)

My own personal reaction to the debate was that a true clash of archetypes was too often, for my taste, dragged off into nitpicking about who said what, when, and just what Keynes would have made of Q(antitative) E(asing), when the real point is that he wouldn’t have started from there. But then again, the show was flagged up as “Keynes v Hayek”, rather than as “Mainstream Economics v Austrian Economics”, so I probably shouldn’t grumble but should instead be counting blessings.

Which are numerous. Far more to the point, the above news makes me think, again, more so, this, which said that we are at least, at last, having this argument, beyond the confines of the Austrian Economics tribe and of the tiny few others who had until recently actually heard of it. Austrianism is now emerging from the great gaggle of alternatives to the present disastrous economic policies to take pride of place, at least in the heads of a great many of those who think seriously about economic policy, as The Leading Contender.

This is, in short, very good news, which puts an interesting slant on the ever ongoing argument about whether and how the BBC is biased.

7 comments to A repeat for the BBC Radio 4 Keynes v Hayek debate

  • Richard Thomas

    Having a bias does not preclude being able to tell which way the wind is blowing.

  • And if you are a broadcaster, having a bias is not going to stop you from broadcasting something that you think is going to attract a large audience, whether or not it is consistent with your bias.

  • Surely the case for Mainstream Economics should be presented by the man who taught us everything anyone needs to know about economics, Mr. Micawber in Dickens’ David Copperfield.

    “Annual income Twenty pounds, annual expenditure Nineteen pounds nineten shillings and sixpenence, result happiness: Annual expenditute twenty pounds, annualexpenditure twenty pounds and sixpence, result misery.”

    Now if politicians and economists could just get their heads round that …

  • Deep Lurker

    As someone who hasn’t seen the debate (and who is a follower of the Chicago school to boot) I have to ask: Was it a “Mainstream vs Austrian economics” debate, or a “Keynesian Establishment vs Mont Pelerin Society economics” debate?

  • bobby b

    “Having a bias does not preclude being able to tell which way the wind is blowing.”

    Having a bias likely has no effect on your own ability to tell up from down, blue from red, or four from thirty.

    Bias merely gives you a moral free pass to lie to others about it.

  • George Selgin

    For the record, I’m not a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.