Contra Krugman

Join Bob Murphy and Tom Woods in this weekly libertarian podcast as they teach economics by refuting Paul Krugman's New York Times column. Plus, expect special guests like Ron Paul, David Stockman, and more!
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Contra Krugman




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Feb 16, 2018
Krugman can't believe Republicans who worried about deficits under Obama -- when, according to Keynesianism, we needed deficits to help the struggling economy -- have no problem with them today, at a time when Keynesianism would consider them unnecessary.
Yes, there are plenty of Republican hypocrites, whom we do not spare in this episode. But Krugman and his friends might want to be more careful when accusing other people of hypocrisy....
Show notes for Ep. 126
Feb 9, 2018

Krugman insists that "the stock market is not the economy," and that downturns in the stock market need not portend bad economic times. But he takes the opportunity of stock market volatility to evaluate the present condition of the economy and its prospects for growth.

We respond.

Show notes for Ep. 125

Feb 2, 2018

Krugman thinks Bitcoin serves no good purpose, except perhaps for people who are up to no good, and is powered by libertarian fantasies and paranoia. Bob and Tom have some fun banter on this one.

Show notes for Ep. 124

Jan 26, 2018

Krugman complains about Trump again this week, and blames him for (among numerous other things) the loss of U.S. credibility abroad. We take a stroll down (recent) memory lane to add some perspective: there's plenty of presidential crappiness to go around.

Show notes for Ep. 123

Jan 21, 2018

This week we bypass Krugman's columns to discuss the different schools of Keynesianism, how and when they emerged, and what their differences are.

Show notes for Ep. 122

Jan 12, 2018

Krugman hits a bunch of themes in this one, among them Alexander Hamilton, Russiagate, and the claim that no president ever acted on the desire to imprison his opponents. We restore a bit of perspective by glancing back at American history.

Show notes for Ep. 121

Jan 10, 2018

Immediately after the 2016 election, Krugman predicted markets would "never" recover, but after a strong 2017, Krugman is suddenly reminded that presidents don't have much influence over the economy after all. But if we should need more stimulus, he says, we'll be sorry we don't have a Keynesian in office.

Show notes for Ep. 120

Dec 31, 2017

In this episode, Bob once again flies solo, burdening the listeners with his odd sense of humor. But along the way, he tackles Krugman's objections to Bitcoin, and also discusses the relevance of Mises' regression theorem to the cryptocurrency.

Show notes for Ep. 119

Dec 23, 2017

In this episode, Bob flies solo when analyzing a Krugman interview with Vox's Ezra Klein. Being close to the holiday, it's only appropriate that our Keynesian Nobelist seems to be contradicting the ghost of Krugman past.

Show notes for Ep. 118

Dec 17, 2017

Krugman is claiming that everything he said regarding housing and the financial crisis has been vindicated. The problem, he says, was a general collapse in "demand." Contra Krugman co-host Bob Murphy, on the other hand, has shown in his own writing that in fact the crisis was not caused by a problem with "demand" in general, but with problems in particular sectors, brought about during the inflationary boom.

Show notes for Ep. 117

Dec 6, 2017

Krugman is upset that more Republicans aren't speaking out against the tax bill that's been in the news. But there's one bright light for Krugman: the neocons. Lots of them have been soundly anti-Trump, and Krugman appreciates their adherence to principle. (Funny, we don't recall Krugman ever admiring Ron Paul's adherence to principle, and his led to far fewer deaths....)

Show notes for Ep. 116

Dec 2, 2017

In one of the most heated episodes ever, Bob and Tom take apart Krugman's apologies for not fully appreciating the extent of his "white privilege," and for the things he says he once appreciated about America that are now disappearing: toleration (no, he's not criticizing people who shout down speakers), environmental protection, respect for truth and evidence, respect for intellectuals, etc. It's brutal.

Show notes for Ep. 115

Nov 25, 2017

No Krugman column this week for us; instead we step back and look at the big picture: what exactly do Keynesians get wrong in their understanding of the economy?

Show notes for Ep. 114

Nov 18, 2017

Krugman argues that the GOP tax plan, even on its own terms, would blow up the trade deficit and lead to millions of lost manufacturing jobs. We teach the economics behind his argument, but also mention--get ready for this--that Krugman leaves out two big factors that completely undercut his case.

Show notes for Ep. 113

Nov 11, 2017

Krugman says Republicans are expecting too much from the corporate income tax rate cut they're proposing. Is he right?

Show notes for Ep. 112

Nov 4, 2017

This week, Krugman disputes the claim that reductions in corporate tax rates help anyone but the super-rich. So we explain to him how they work.

Show notes for Ep. 111

Oct 29, 2017
Krugman thinks everyone who disagrees with him on monetary policy has been decisively refuted and ought to be ridiculed or ignored. The Fed has done great work, he says. He also insists that unlike him, we refuse to admit our mistakes.
That's a lot of fodder for one episode. Enjoy!
Show notes for Ep. 110
Oct 21, 2017

Krugman is a fan of Richard Thaler, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, and speaks in favor of Thaler's argument that real people often don't act like the calculating robots of neoclassical lore. Thaler is right about that, but we've got a bunch of punchy responses to his more dubious claims -- responses that are all the more fun to listen to because delivered before a live audience aboard the Contra Cruise!

Show notes for Ep. 109

Oct 16, 2017
Krugman is concerned that Trump will appoint a hands-off Fed chairman who hasn't learned the lessons of history.
We challenge the hidden premise in there.
Show notes for Ep. 108
Oct 8, 2017

Krugman complains that what we know so far about a potential Trump tax reform plan is not good -- it would give most relief to millionaires and billionaires. We discuss Rand Paul's opposition to the plan, and what genuine tax reform should really do.

Show notes for Ep. 107

Oct 1, 2017
Krugman says: who cares if high marginal income tax rates make people work less, or lower rates would give them an incentive to make them work more? It's all a wash, says Krugman: if they work more they also earn more, so they get all the gains and society gets nothing.
This is smashed like nothing we've smashed before.
Show notes for Ep. 106
Sep 25, 2017

The Graham-Cassidy bill is yet another version of Obamacare repeal -- but is that what it does? We cover the ongoing debate, with plenty of the usual fun.

Show notes for Ep. 105

Sep 16, 2017

Krugman observes the anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, with a column about the unique wickedness of the Republicans, and no acknowledgment of the bipartisan War Party. Scott Horton joins us for some real history from those terrible days.

Show notes for Ep. 104

Sep 9, 2017

Bob flies solo in this episode, as Tom & Family evacuate for the hurricane. Krugman makes some good observations about the economics of immigration, but (as usual) he misrepresents his opponents (while accusing them of being liars). Bob offers his own views on how libertarians might better approach this controversial subject.

Show notes for Ep. 103

Sep 2, 2017

Krugman blames the destructiveness of the hurricane partly on climate change and partly on Houston's lack of zoning. We take these on, and also defend the "price gouger," who genuinely saves lives.

Show notes for Ep. 102

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