Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Commanding Heights

I am watching PBS's miniseries "Commanding Heights", which you can watch online. It's a history of the last 90 years in terms of capitalism, communism, and globalization. Though I didn't expect such from PBS, it's quite even-handed. It's sort of framed as a grand debate between markets and social planning.

I recommend it if you have 6 hours to spare.

UPDATE:I've finished the first 2-hour episode. I'll watch the others tommorrow while working. I do have a couple of nitpicks. The "grand debate" I mentioned before is given life in terms of the debate between Hayek and Keynes. But doing this casts Keynes in the role of the central planner, which really isn't accurate. The debate between Hayek and Keynes was really about the effects of inflationary policy. And neither was totally right, but they explicitly say that, with the rise of Reagan and Thatcher, Hayek won. But economic policy is still largely driven by Keynes' inflationary ideas.

So, though a bit less subtle than I'd like, it's still pretty good, and has interviews with Friedman, Sachs, Thatcher, Summers, Peltzmann, others.


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