Welcome to Week 3 (July 13) – before you proceed with any assignments, please review the outline below. (Go back? Course main page)
By now you should be an active, engaged member of this course’s facebook group – See Bb announcement for details, and post an introduction about yourself.
Please see my intro videos (three videos, 4 minutes each, on our facebook page [links here] and Bb).
Please see my PowerPoint notes on Keynes and Hayek: keyneshayek
John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936). Read at least Chapter 1, chapter 18, chapter 24 (full text online here).
Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (1944). Condensed version, here, pp.34-70, using page numbers on bottom of document (ok to skim, but for understanding – don’t just gloss over). And: Hayek, The Road to Serfdom: Cartoon version (Look magazine, 1945).
Video: Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World’s Economy (PBS, 2002): selections from. Please see note on my Links page, under Hall of Fame. If you can’t watch the full two hours, from the PBS site you can read Episode 1, chapters 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, and 15. These introduce Keynes, Hayek, and their questions. And watch Episode 1 Chapters 1-6, 0:00-39:35 (40 min).
Video: Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World’s Economy (PBS, 2002): take a very brief look at this question being addressed in the 1990s Mexico crisis by Democratic President Clinton and new Speaker of the House, Republican Newt Gingrich. Watch Episode Three: chapter 7: Averting a Meltdown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYf6gn_x-Zk from 27:52 to 32:45 (5 min).
Video: Too Big to Fail (HBO, 2011). A glimpse at the Hollywood version of the 2008 crisis and the debate over what role the government has – to protect markets, firms, investors, or economic stability. For an introduction to the complex origins of the crisis, try this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk6dUaZXXug (6 min)
For a sample of some of the government efforts, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT_XzYr0-Yo (9 min, some unpleasant adult language.)
(You can watch the whole film, which is really pretty good, on amazon.)
Keynes and Hayek today – Greece:
And this story continues to evolve, so look for emerging thoughtful analysis.
DISCOVER: MEASURING POWER AND MONEY
If you didn’t get a chance last week, please look at two important sources for measuring power and money- in these case, measuring democracy: the Center for Systemic Peace’s Polity IV series, and Freedom House’s annual report on Freedom in the World.
Additionally, this week please look at please also take a look at the World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders, and the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. You want to have a solid, introductory understanding of these sources.
NEWS LINK – By 11pm EDT, Tuesday, July 14 This is just like last week. Post a news story entirely of your choosing, but in some way related to power and money (which, really, is almost anything), to our facebook group page. The story, and the source, can be local, national, or international. Try to get a news story that we may not have all already seen, or an unfamiliar perspective on a familiar topic, etc. Be sure to provide a short comment on the link – probably 10-30 words – that will help us understand why you posted it or your reflections on it. *See instructions in the text of the syllabus on what constitutes good comments (and what does not).
ESSAY POST – By 11pm EDT, Wednesday, July 15 The essay prompts are at https://govt396.com/courses/pam-au2015/pam-au15-july13/pam-au15-july13-essays/ They ask you to reply to a question on the reading(s) and/or videos of the week. Your post will be approximately 300-500 words (max 500).
Please pay careful attention to these notes, from your syllabus:
The discussions should not merely be summaries of the readings, nor should they be merely how you “feeeeel” about something.
Good discussion format:
The Keynes and Hayek readings are typical in one sense: Keynes advocates a greater role for government intervention, and Hayek argues that government intervention always risks another step on the road toward serfdom. But a careful reading reveals that, despite their differing philosophies and backgrounds, Keynes and Hayek share not only certain perspectives and biases, but also certain goals….
Not good discussion format (maybe you can suggest several reasons why):
Hayek’s an idiot. He thinks this Bush recession is “creative destruction” which makes Romney richer and lets General Motors die and that’s good for America.
NEWS REPLY – By 11pm EDT, Thursday, July 16 On our facebook group page, briefly reply to at least one of your classmates’ news links. Remember to see the guidance on comments, on our syllabus.
ESSAY REPLY – By 11pm EDT, Friday, July 10 Where you posted your Essay Posts, now you discuss with each other. Reply to at least two of your classmates’ Essay Posts. Your replies should advance the discussion, not merely re-iterate, approve, or reject your classmates’ ideas. You want to be thoughtful, insightful, etc. You can certainly take a different perspective, or ask questions, or build.
You should not merely criticize: “that’s stupid,” or “you have that entirely wrong,” or “what are you, a RedSox fan?,” or worse, is not constructive. Your comments should be at least 100 words. Remember to see the guidance on comments, on our syllabus. From the syllabus:
Good reply format:
“That’s interesting – I was more focused on X and missed the author’s point of Y that you raise. But perhaps then there is a contradiction between what Keynes advises to FDR and what he advocates at Bretton Woods. That is, Keynes….”
Not good: “No, that’s stupid. “
Also not sufficient (but at least nicer): “Nice point.”
SPECIAL NOTE ON FB AND GOVT396.com:
From the syllabus: It seems like it should go without saying, but just in case: this is academic work, not the place for screeds, ad hominem attacks, or other unpleasantness. That’s not really suitable for your personal twitter account either, but it is certainly not appropriate here. This is “classroom”, not “locker-room”. Open, sincere, fact-based, and analytical, and even partisan, but not mean or rude. Treat this work as you would any homework: smart, thoughtful, analytical, proofread – no first drafts. Thanks.
Thanks, everyone. Semester moves fast – keep up, get smart, have fun.