Keynes v. Hayek III

Lead: John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich August Hayek are often arrayed at either end of a vast intellectual divide, but in reality they had virtual agreement on a remarkable range of economic theories.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Despite the near adoration with which Hayek is held in conservative and libertarian circles, he was no lover of laissez-faire economics or advocate of an indolent or passive state, an idea much associated with 19th century classical liberalism. Recognizing that modern economies and societies had irrevocably reached a mixed solution to the marketplace that required state participation and state/private collaboration, he once argued against the idea that the state should be inert. He said, “In no system that could be rationally defended would the state just do nothing.” In fact, he understood that the government would play a role in the economy by providing those services that the free market could not create by itself. Hayek allowed the government to regulate safe working conditions, prevent pollution and fraud, and create a safety net in which citizens receive minimal food, shelter, and clothing.

 

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Keynes v. Hayek II

Lead: The work of Friedrich August Hayek represented an acute, powerful intellectual rebellion against the growing power of state involvement in the lives of citizens and commerce, but he was no classical liberal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Adherents to the Austrian approach to economics and its champion, Ludwig von Mises, rose to intellectually challenge the rise of the state, particularly the two great experiments in state dominance over individual life and the marketplace, Communism and Nazism. Von Mises’s most influential acolyte was Nobel Memorial Laureate Friedrich August Hayek. His premier insight in political economy was that as the involvement of the state grew, the reach of individual freedom was circumscribed and the productive, creative contribution of the marketplace to the general prosperity of society as a whole was compromised.

 

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Keynes v. Hayek I

Lead: They represent two distinct approaches to political economy. John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich August von Hayek are perhaps the most influential economists of the modern era.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Lord Bertrand Russell, himself no slouch among the intelligentsia of the 20th century, said John Maynard Keynes’s “intellect was the sharpest and clearest that I have ever known. When I argued with him, I felt that I took my life in my hands, and I seldom emerged without feeling something of a fool.”

 

 

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The Electoral College II

 

Lead: Despite the general disdain with which Americans regard the Electoral College, on balance it has proven to have its good points.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The College tends to decrease, but of course not eliminate, the practice of fraud and corruption by reducing the opportunities for vote swindling to the few states where the vote is very close. The Hayes-Tilden disaster 1876 was utterly corrupt but the fraud was so obvious that it ruined any claim that Hayes had to a mandate and ushered in the long reign of Jim Crow in the South. Fortunately, he turned out to be a better President than the election that gave him the White House might have indicated.

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The Electoral College I

 

Lead: It is among America’s least popular constitutional creations, yet the nation cannot rid itself of the cranky, musty way of electing its President, the Electoral College.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The founders never really intended it to be the way the Chief Executive was elected. They expected it to be an elaborate nominating committee. In a largely rural Republic where distances prevented all but a very few candidates from attaining true national stature, the College would elevate several. They would then be referred to the House of Representatives which would choose the President and Vice-President. After the unanimity of the two elections of George Washington, however, the election of the President degenerated into a series of closely contended cat fights highlighted by the growth of what the founders said they hated most, factions and political parties.

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Spiro Theodore Agnew – II

Lead: In 1973 Spiro Agnew he became only the second U.S. Vice-president to resign.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Agnew was very popular with party activists because of his aggressive hits on Nixon's cultural and political enemies. He was frequently mentioned as the President's successor, but he came to grief in the gathering storm of the Watergate scandal. Agnew was the son of a Greek immigrant, elected as Baltimore County Executive and then in 1967 as Governor of Maryland. His service in Annapolis was short but yielded important progressive legislation: a graduated income tax, anti-pollution laws and the first open-housing law in the South, but the Governor was taking bribes under the table. In 1973 it caught up to him and the Nixon Justice Department purged its own Vice-president securing an indictment, a plea of no contest on Federal income tax evasion, and Agnew's resignation.

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Samurai

Lead: Out of ancient Japanese history emerged a caste of iconic warriors that often had military and political power. They were the samurai.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The bushi or samurai were members of a powerful class of military combatants who played an increasingly influential role in Japanese political life from approximately CE 800 to fairly late in the modern era. They adhered to the strict ethical code of bushido, the way of the warrior, which stressed Confucian morality, devotion to one’s master, self-discipline and respectful conduct. In defeat, rather than accepting capture, some bushi chose what they considered to be an honorable death by se’ppuku, ritual suicide.

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Secretariat the Greatest Racehorse

 

Lead: He was perhaps the greatest racehorse in history, and his extraordinary speed and strength may have been due to Secretariat’s huge heart.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: They called him Big Red and in 1973 he won racing’s Triple Crown decisively. The horse even seemed to have a celebrity’s instinct for posing at the sound of cameras clicking. Secretariat was a publicist’s dream. He was the culmination of a carefully planned and brilliantly executed breeding program by his owner, Christopher Chenery of New York and the Meadow Stables in Doswell, Virginia. He used the fortune he made in the oil and gas business to pursue one of his great loves, the breeding of fine racehorses.

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