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Austin Driven to Drink Keynesian Cocktail

Friday, 15 Jul 2011 | 3:33 PM ET

Does the economy have you feeling muddled?

Let's put that muddler to better use.

Climb aboard the Keynesian Economics bar crawl in Austin!

Mike Litt is the genius (?) behind the most obscure alcohol-related event in history: the launch of a "Mixed Economy" cocktail to be served at three different Austin bars on July 23rd.

It may take you three bars to understand John Maynard Keynes.

Be sure to bring a tax attorney and a designated driver.

"Rampant Free Market Ideology Has Put the Idea of a Mixed Economy ‘on the Rocks’" is Litt's pitch, which he's promoting on social media, twitter.com/amixedeconomy and on its own website - amixedeconomy.com

"Seventy-six people have RSVP'd so far on the Facebook page to attend the bar crawl," Litt tells me. "That should improve the economy, at least for that night."

The Mixed Economy cocktail is made of vodka and pomegranate juice, a "socially-minded drink" that "aims to spur discussion and increase support for Keynesian thought."

It's come to that? You have to get people drunk to increase support for Keynes?

Litt submitted the idea as part an Austin art event. His website, iLoveMikeLitt.com, describes his efforts and those of his friends as "an outlet to put together cultural events that we think would be fun and awesome."

They are self-described progressives who support veganism and non-profits and early efforts include a campaign to make Mike Litt homecoming king at UT in 2004.

Let us review.

Progressive? Check.

Vegan? Check.

Supporting Keynes' belief in the need for government intervention? Double check.

Running for Homecoming King? Now you've won me over.

Participants in the bar crawl will get a recipe card featuring a picture of Keynes and an explanation of his economic model. “If markets and individual actions alone don’t produce the results we want as a society, we can take collective action through institutions like government to make adjustments. That’s the idea behind a mixed economy."

For those of you not willing to drink to that, I asked Litt if he might come up with an Art Laffer cocktail. "Let's see..." he replied. "A Laffer cocktail might be called the 'Supply Side' and would have to give the most buzz for the least amount of alcohol."

Who wouldn't prefer that??

In the end, however, Litt is leaning toward Keynes, and not only because of his economic model. "We went with Keynes because he looked good holding a cocktail on the recipe cards we made."

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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