A group of Columbia University grad students have produced a creative little masterpiece, Every Breath You Take. It’s a music video that targets Ben Bernanke by using the original music and re-written lyrics of the Police’s song.
I knew where it was headed with the introductory image: a dart board with Big Ben’s photo on it. Then a dart hits it. This is not random-walk satire.
The opening lyrics get right to the point.
Every breath you take Every change of rate Jobs you don’t create While we still stagflate I’ll be watching you
The video is attributed to Dean Glenn Hubbard. Columbia’s Dean Hubbard was on the short list to become FED Chairman. He is presently the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.
The title page also tells us, “Don’t call it a comeback.”
The Web is perfect for this sort of thing. People forward links to their friends, as someone forwarded the video’s link to me. The message spreads.
If someone wants a detailed introductory critique of the FED, the documentary produced by the Mises Institute is ideal. It’s on Google’s video site.
It presents both the history and the economics of the FED as well as anything I have seen. But it takes 45 minutes to watch. Most people will not invest this much time. They may be willing to watch a music video.
The power of video is obvious. The cost of distribution is essentially zero to the producer, once the file is on-line. Word of mouse then takes over.
Satire is an effective way to undermine nonsense. It raises doubts. It doesn’t provide solutions. That’s a task for the printed word. But it gets the ball rolling.
Let’s hope this ball keeps rolling.
April 27, 2006