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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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Now displaying: Page 1
Sep 14, 2018

This week's column, which makes hysterical claims about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, is a combination of baseless assertion and historical ignorance. Joining us for this week's dismantling is special guest and James Madison biographer Kevin Gutzman, professor of history at Western Connecticut State University.

Show notes for Ep. 156

Sep 8, 2018

We take a listener question -- early-bird registrants for the Contra Cruise got this as a bonus -- about what would happen if one country went completely stateless, but the rest of the world stayed the same. Lots of potential consequences here, and we do our best to sort them out! Plus the usual fun.

Show notes for Ep. 155

Sep 1, 2018

The Cato Institute recently issued a ranking of economic freedom in the 50 U.S. states. Krugman thinks they're defining freedom too narrowly, for surely workers in New York, where they have many protections, feel freer than workers elsewhere. He further suggests a positive correlation between economic freedom and infant mortality. These and other Krugman claims are ground into sausage.

Show notes for Ep. 154

Aug 26, 2018

Senator Warren has proposed sweeping changes to how corporations would be allowed to operate in the United States -- no longer will they cater to stockholders only, but they will have to take into account the needs of a wide range of "stakeholders" (workers, communities, etc.). Special guests Gene Epstein and Peter Klein join Tom.

Show notes for Ep. 153

Aug 18, 2018

Krugman calls Nancy Pelosi "by far the greatest speaker of modern times," and says she "surely ranks among the most impressive people ever to hold that position." He credits her with helping push along financial reform, Obamacare, the stimulus, etc. -- and that gives us a chance to smash all those things.

Show notes for Ep. 152

Aug 11, 2018

Krugman advances two main arguments against cryptocurrency. One of them, it turns out, applies equally well to the U.S. dollar, a point Krugman fails to acknowledge. Neither argument carries much sting, and in fact cryptocurrencies can parry Krugman's criticisms without breaking a sweat.

Show notes for Ep. 151

Aug 4, 2018

There's been plenty of discussion of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, says Krugman, but it's been focused mainly on his views of presidential power, and not on his opinions on business and workers. On this, too, he's atrocious, says Krugman. We say: Krugman is leaving out 95% of the argument.

Show notes for Ep. 150

Jul 30, 2018

Krugman is on vacation this week, so we take a topic suggestion from someone who's joining us on this year's Contra Cruise: how to unwind the welfare state peacefully as the fiscal crisis becomes impossible to evade.

Show notes for Ep. 149

Jul 24, 2018

We recorded this episode before a live audience at the Mises Institute's Mises University summer program. What a blast!

Show notes for Ep. 148

Jul 15, 2018

During the 2016 campaign Krugman was critical of Bernie Sanders, but all of a sudden he can't see anything wrong with "radical Democrats" like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We help him see more clearly.

Show notes for Ep. 147

Jul 9, 2018

The economy may be doing well, says Krugman, but when you look closer at what Trump touts as his great economic victories, they've been neutral to negative. (Also: winners of the Contra Cruise contest announced!)

Show notes for Ep. 146

Jul 3, 2018

The Libertarian Party's Mises Caucus held a special event last weekend during the Libertarian Party's national convention, and we both spoke. We recorded this episode with three other speakers as guests: Jordan Page, Michael Heise, and Murray Sabrin.

Show notes for Ep. 145

Jun 23, 2018

In this episode, Bob flies solo and fields another Contra Cruiser request. Specifically, he explains the standard Austrian approach to air pollution, and then talks about the risks of catastrophic climate change. Do libertarians just have to hope nothing really bad happens? 

Show notes for Ep. 144

Jun 16, 2018

We get this question all the time: what did Krugman win it for, and can you explain it in an episode? It involves trade, and we're discussing it today.

Show notes for Ep. 143

Jun 9, 2018
Krugman tips his hat to the neoconservatives, whom he describes as "sincere," but says the rest of his right-of-center opponents are unprincipled shills. Why, they support Trump's government support for coal!
 
Uh, nope.
 
Show notes for Ep. 142
Jun 2, 2018

It's one thing to find problems with the current monetary system. It's quite another to recommend an alternative. Switzerland has establishment commentators going berserk over its own proposal -- why, this would return us to the "Dark Ages," warns Business Insider. We're less interested in Switzerland than we are in figuring out what changes would move us in the right direction, and what changes would amount to the cure being worse than the disease.

Show notes for Ep. 141

May 25, 2018

Krugman bewails the mistakes and poor judgment of the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic, because the result has been a popular revolt tending towards fascism. We also discuss the euro, and Krugman's claim that "austerity" caused great damage to Europe. Paul Gottfried is our special guest.

Show notes for Ep. 140

May 19, 2018

Krugman is unconvinced by the Trump plan to get Americans lower drug prices, and tries to figure out why those prices are so high. Let's just say that in this episode we help him do a better job of that....

Show notes for Ep. 139

May 13, 2018

Krugman makes fun of the idea that conservatives and libertarians are treated particularly unfairly. Why, people criticize Krugman, too, and that's all right by him! Well, we have more fun in this episode than in any episode in recent memory. Not to mention: Tom says something fairly outrageous and decides to edit it out -- then let himself be talked into keeping it in the episode. You'll know it when you hear it....

Show notes for Ep. 138

May 7, 2018

Philip Goff argues that libertarians make a variety of unsupported and unsupportable assumptions when they claim that taxation is theft. We defend the libertarian claim against Goff. (What else did you expect us to do?)

Show notes for Ep. 137

Apr 30, 2018
Are Republicans at war with schoolteachers? Krugman thinks so: their state-level tax cuts have wrought havoc on education budgets, and it's teachers' salaries that have suffered.
 
We discuss the real truth of that question, plus the more general claim that education funding has suffered or that money or lack thereof accounts for how good the results are. This one's a smash.
 
Show notes for Ep. 136
Apr 21, 2018

Krugman says renewable energy is getting less expensive and more realistic as a power option all the time, and that the only thing standing in the way are shills for the various fossil-fuel industries. Really?

Show notes for Ep. 135

Apr 12, 2018
In this column Krugman suggests that the decline in the moral and scholarly rigor of conservative intellectuals has to do with the intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican Party, which has no interest in science or truth. So to get ahead or even to be heard, intellectuals have to say ridiculous things that the Party wants to hear.
 
Left-liberals, by contrast, are overwhelmingly committed to the dispassionate examination of evidence, are not sycophantic toward those in power, and readily admit their mistakes.
 
Sure.
 
And don't worry: there's real economics in here, too, as we discuss Krugman's claims about the predictive power of Keynesianism and the supposedly poor track record of its opponents.
 
Show notes for Ep. 134
Apr 9, 2018

Opponents of protectionism sometimes misrepresent what the real danger of it is. It isn't going to cause a depression or mass unemployment. But it does do something -- beyond just raising domestic prices -- that undermines everyone's standard of living.

Show notes for Ep. 133

Mar 31, 2018

Krugman insists on the validity of the Phillips Curve, which purports to show an inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation, but the causal mechanism Krugman sees between them is straight out of Keynesian la-la land.

Show notes for Ep. 132

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