Clash of the century with Czech subtitles

If you don't know videos from Econstories.tv, I recommend watching. The first "economic rap" - Fear the boom and the bust, which was published last year, has become almost legendary and has survived successful Czech translation. New, in my opinion yet a better video was released recently. Nobody had a Czech translation for a long time, so I threw myself into it.

In the first video, people from Econstories focused more on the specific mechanisms that cause the crisis and how to deal with it. They illustrated the debate between Hayek and Keynes in the 30s. In the second, new video, they went further - is it after the crisis or not? "We solved it," and did Mr. Keynes return, or is it still the same fateful conceit? The video is better and goes more in depth and philosophy.

I didn't just want to translate the text mechanically word for word, but I also tried to keep some rough rhyming for it. Sure, it often goes away (it's a song, not a poem), but I hope it's digestible. At times, I'm not sure if the translation fits the original content well - well, comment!

Czech translation

KEYNES
It's here - goodbye, we said recession!
As you know, we're not depressed because of me.
Follow me and renewal will be your destiny,
Lord Keynes, follow me in the procession of instinct!

HAYEK
We brought shovels and we are in the ditch…
You don't think it's time to change the subject - keep kicking,
no fun, man - from hammering a wedge,
It's time to sober up and look at it in the long run.

KEYNES
Are you kidding me? My treatment works great!
Look, the year 2009 and the recession is receding.
The situation could have been worse, I deserve recognition!
All estimates confirm it, that's knowledge!

HAYEK
Economometrists, as always ideal!
Do they devote themselves to science, or do they just confirm their prejudices?
Their "Keynesian" models are elegant,
but that superficial approach - they just guess everything!

REF
Which path should we choose?
Here from below or from above?
The fight continues,
Keynes and Hayek - second round.
It's time to hit,
but from below or from above?
Let's listen to the giants,
Keynes and Hayek - against each other.

KEYNES
It was enough to spend more and it could have been better,
Too bad, but to provoke a world war is harder.
Dig as you want to go bankrupt and statistics,
Do you deny that World War II could cut the crisis into time?

HAYEK
Hey! One figure and you're jumping for joy!
As far as I know, war only destroys it.
No multiplier, you're crying over consumption,
because from rare sources the tanks are rising.

Is that prosperity? Perverse!
Life in short supply, meat, butter for rations…
For your friends, the end of the war was a disaster,
but the economy grew, it clearly benefited her!

KEYNES
You just see what you want, too,
GDP grew thanks to spending in the war!
Unemployment zero, where did it end?
That is why I am a master, the new Jesus!

HAYEK
Creating employment is pure fraud,
when nations in war form a war procession.
If we force everyone to join the army,
we have employment - but we have nothing to eat!

REF

HAYEK
Jobs are means, not goals in themselves,
fulfill the pantry at home, I work to live in a better time.
Real growth means producing the things that people want.
Not your central plan, but entrepreneurs want growth!

KEYNES
My solution is easy for everyone to understand…
spending matters, why is it scandalous?
The dust will make its way through the line,
economy will replenish the necessary fuel!

It's like an engine that goes out and is braked,
I need a spark in the ignition to start!
Spending is blood in the arteries, the body spreads,
wherever it flows - it doesn't matter, just let the consumption grow!

HAYEK
The "general surplus" for you is weakening in a few fields,
but somewhere it's cool, only somewhere they're in trouble!
Consumption is not free, that's the heart of the matter,
too much is thrown away for political bullshit.

The economy is not a car, it does not have an engine to repair,
there is no "it", no expert or mechanic.
The economy is us, I don't need a fix,
put down the tools, the economy is alive!

REF

KEYNES
So how do you help the unemployed?
This is a question you are obviously avoiding.
Would you keep us waiting when we're in a bad way?
Would you do nothing before the markets have balanced?

HAYEK
I don't want to do anything, there is a lot to do,
but I ask: who should plan for whom?
Me or do you plan me?
Let's not leave it to the chosen ones, it is easier for many to plan.

Let's not repeat what created our problems,
I want real growth, not repetitive bubbles!
stop being liable for bankruptcies, let the prices mean,
they won't be beasts if I don't want to drive them!

KEYNES
What, are you kidding? Wall Street and profit there
Doesn't your view of self-regulation change the risk?
After all, you must also acknowledge that what we have learned
supervision is needed, we've been burned once!

HAYEK
Supervision? Governments have been dancing in bed for a long time
with those from Wall Street, the companies they destroyed!
Capitalism is about profit and loss.
Saving the losers? Dizziness comes from the amount of costs!

What did I learn? How little we know.
The world is complicated, we are not in a closed round.
Economics is not a subject that you can study at school.
To think the opposite is the pretense of knowledge.

REF

KEYNES
You stubbornly adhere to your teachings,
Case by case - this is my world vision.
And if people suffer, I'll roll up my sleeves
and I do what I can to help us out of trouble.

The future is unknown, predictions shaky,
The market's propensity to fall is so sharp!
In a volatile world, I need more caution,
state intervention can do enough for the crisis.

HAYEK
People are not pieces you can move on the board
on a whim - ignore their dreams and desires.
Political motives and caution, maybe you're joking,
With your bullshit ?? you just cover up and twist.

I need firm rules and real market prices,
so that prosperity can emerge and the crisis can end.
Give us a chance to find
the best ways to serve each other!

REF at the end
Which path should we choose?
Here from below or from above?
The fight continues,
Keynes and Hayek - second round.

It's time to hit,
but from below or from above?
Let's listen to the giants,
Keynes and Hayek - against each other.

English original

KEYNES
Here we are… peace out! great recession
thanks to me, as you see, we're not in a depression
Recovery, destiny if you follow my lesson
Lord Keynes, here I come, line up for the procession

HAYEK
We brought out the shovels and we're still in a ditch…
And still digging. don't you think it's time for a switch…
From that hair of the dog. Friend, the party is over.
The long run is here. It's time to get sober!

KEYNES
Are you kidding? my cure works perfectly fine…
have a look, the great recession ended back in '09.
I deserve credit. Things would have been worse
All the estimates prove it — I'll quote chapter and verse

HAYEK
Econometricians, they're ever so pious
Are they doing real science or confirming their bias?
Their “Keynesian” models are tidy and neat
But that top down approach is a fatal conceit

CHORUS
Which way should we choose?
more bottom up or more top down
… The fight continues…
Keynes and Hayek's second round

it's time to weigh in…
more from the top or from the ground
… Lets listen to the greats
Keynes and Hayek throwing down

KEYNES
We could have done better, had we only spent more
Too bad that only happens when there's a World War
You can carp all you want about stats and regression
Do you deny World War II cut short the Depression?

HAYEK
Wow. One data point and you're jumping for joy
the Last time I checked, wars only destroy
There was no multiplier, consumption just shrank
As we used scarce resources for every new tank

Pretty perverse to call that prosperity
Rationed meat, Rationed butter… a life of austerity
When that war spending ended your friends cried disaster
yet the economy thrived and grew faster

KEYNES
You too only see what you want to see
The spending on war clearly goosed GDP
Unemployment was over, almost down to zero
That's why I'm the master, that's why I'm the hero

HAYEK
Creating employment's a straightforward craft
When the nation's at war, and there's a draft
If every worker was staffed in the army and fleet
We'd have full employment and nothing to eat

REFRAIN REPEATS

HAYEK
jobs are a means, not the ends in themselves
people work to live better, to put food on the shelves
real growth means production of what people demand
That's entrepreneurship not your central plan

KEYNES
My solution is simple and easy to handle ..
its spending that matters, why's that such a scandal?
The money sloshes through the pipes and the sluices
revitalizing the economy's juices

it's just like an engine that's stalled and gone dark
To bring it to life, we need a quick spark
Spending's the life blood that gets the flow going
Where it goes doesn't matter, just get spending flowing

HAYEK
You see slack in some sectors as a “general glut”
But some sectors are healthy, only some in a rut
So spending's not free - that's the heart of the matter
too much is wasted as cronies get fatter.

The economy's not a car, there's no engine to stall
no expert can fix it, there's no “it” at all.
The economy's us, we don't need a mechanic
Put away the wrenches, the economy's organic

REFRAIN REPEATS

KEYNES
so what would you do to help those unemployed?
this is the question you seem to avoid
when we're in a mess, would you just have us wait?
Doing nothing until markets equilibrate?

HAYEK
I don't want to do anything, there's plenty to do
The question I ponder is who plans for whom?
Do I plan for myself or leave it to you?
I want plans by the many, not by the few.

Let's not repeat what created our troubles
I want real growth not a series of bubbles
Stop bailing out loser, let prices work
If we don't try to steer them they won't go berserk

KEYNES
Come on, Are you kidding? Don't Wall Street's gyrations
Challenge your world view of self-regulation?
Even you must admit that the lesson we've learned
Is more oversight's needed or else we'll get burned

HAYEK
Oversight? The government's long been in bed
With those Wall Street execs and the firms that they've bled
Capitalism's about profit and loss
you bail out the losers there's no end to the cost

the lesson I've learned? It's how little we know,
the world is complex, not some circular flow
the economy's not a class you can master in college
to think otherwise is the pretense of knowledge

REFRAIN REPEATS

KEYNES
You get on your high horse and you're off to the races
I look at the world on a case by case basis
When people are suffering I roll up my sleeves
And do what I can to cure our disease

The future's uncertain, our outlooks are frail
Thats why free markets are so prone to fail
In a volatile world we need more discretion
So state intervention can counter depression

HAYEK
People aren't chessmen you move on a board
at your whim – their dreams and desires ignored
With political incentives, discretion's a joke
Those dials you're twisting… just mirrors and smoke

We need stable rules and real market prices
so prosperity emerges and cuts short the crisis
give us a chance so we can discover
the most valuable ways to serve one another

FINAL REFRAIN
Which way should we choose?
more bottom up or more top down
the fight continues…
Keynes and Hayek's second round

it's time to weigh in…
more from the top or from the ground
… Lets listen to the greats
Keynes and Hayek throwing down

0 comments

  1. It's great that you translated it. Now fix typos and grammatical errors :-). Do you have it in SRT or something? That you would send it and then upload the corrected. I'll do it, even though Martin-hnidopich would, I think, do better than me 😉

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