That's Krugman's message now. Interestingly, back in 2003 the very indicators he's now using to tell us not to worry were actually less pronounced, and yet back then he was warning of a "fiscal train wreck." In any case, today we discuss what the genuine problems with the deficit are, and why it makes perfect sense to be concerned about it.
Show notes for Ep. 215
Krugman blames the "austerity" that began a decade ago for ensuing economic ills and political instability. This is a fashionable enough view, but the evidence against it is more or less overwhelming. Enjoy!
Show notes for Ep. 214
Although details are still emerging, a deal has evidently been reached between China and the United States regarding trade. Did Trump accomplish anything (from his standpoint)? Was the whole thing a waste of time and resources? Did it create uncertainty in the business world? What should we think about trade deficits? It's all in here, folks.
Show notes for Ep. 213
We discuss the impeachment, Krugman's selective praise for whistleblowers, and what the correct approach to the problem of "crony capitalism" should be.
Show notes for Ep. 212
We recorded this episode before a live audience at -- of all places -- the Austrian central bank in Vienna, where the Austrian Economics Center held a two-day academic conference. We respond to Krugman's key claim: namely, that Eurosclerosis is long over, and that Europe can no longer be cited with any plausibility as evidence that significant social spending and regulation retard employment.
Show notes for Ep. 211
Krugman is impressed by the detail and alleged seriousness of Elizabeth Warren's Medicare for All plan and how it will be paid for. Bob and Tom, by contrast, are not so impressed.
Show notes for Ep. 210
Krugman criticizes Democrats who think automation is behind American job losses. But just when he's sounding sensible, he jumps back into "inadequate spending" being the problem.
Show notes for Ep. 209
We got a lot of requests for an episode on debt after Krugman tweeted that "debt is money we owe to ourselves." What's the real truth?
Show notes for Ep. 208
Historian and podcast host Brion McClanahan joins Bob to discuss Krugman's defense of Elizabeth Warren against the big bad plutocrats, who apparently are threatening to support Trump if she's the Democratic nominee. Krugman dismisses the possibility that these wealthy people might oppose Warren's wealth tax, and instead suggests that the real reason they hate Warren is that she hurt their feelings.
Show notes for Ep. 207
Krugman says people on the political right get inordinately worked up over minor regulations that have a clear public benefit, and that such people now have a champion in the White House. Could there be a reason other than derangement for why people get upset about various kinds of regulation? Bob and Tom discuss.
Show notes for Ep. 206
Krugman argues that an undemocratic, authoritarian regime is being built in the United States, and cites Sharpiegate and Trump's treatment of the auto industry as prime examples.
Show notes for Ep. 205
We take listener questions in this episode, from Krugman's worst blunders, to how the Fed might return interest rates to their natural level, to a former Fed official's implication that the Federal Reserve ought to make Trump's reelection more difficult.
Show notes for Ep. 204
Because Krugman is a bore, Tom and Bob field questions from the listeners. They handle objections about their recent arguments concerning the economics of slavery, clear up apparent contradictions in the libertarian handling of free trade and the welfare state, and explain Rothbard's view of debt repudiation.
Show notes for Ep. 203
David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, joins Tom (Bob is on vacation) to explain what's really happening with the current inverted yield curve, as well as how to tell real growth from phony growth, and a lot more.
Show notes for Ep. 202
The ordinarily serene Bob Murphy is genuinely outraged in this episode, in which we cover Krugman's casual claim that Donald Trump is trying to establish an "authoritarian, white nationalist regime." Needless to say, it does not matter what your opinion of Trump is. This idea is out of some sort of alternate reality that in no way corresponds to the real world, but which in classic Orwellian style is presented as if all reasonable people just know it to be true.
Show notes for Ep. 201
Bob minds the store and explains what is interesting about Krugman's discussion on bonds vs. stocks as ways to forecast recession, how an inverted yield curve signals problems, and the precise way that Trump could be depressing investment. Yet even though these abstract discussions are instructive, Bob argues that they don't really work in the cases where Krugman deploys them.
Show Notes for Ep. 200
Krugman says that since Trump's tax cuts amounted to nothing but a giveaway to wealthy shareholders, and since many of those are foreigners, the tax cuts amounted to a perverse foreign aid program.
Show notes for Ep. 199
In an "op-ed from the future," Krugman speculates about a world in which "the rich" have access to life-extending technology. Should they be allowed to have it if not everyone can afford it? This episode gets to the heart of the left-liberal worldview.
Show notes for Ep. 198
Krugman suggests that although it makes sense for much of the economy to be in private hands, there are some sectors where private control would yield perverse results. He devotes particular attention to so-called private prisons. So we set him straight. After all, that's why we're here.
Show notes for Ep. 197
There aren't any real socialists running in the Democratic Party, says Krugman, because none of them want to abolish private ownership of the means of production. Republicans level the accusation because they're ignorant idiots. Krugman wonders what would happen if Republicans began to be routinely referred to as fascists (as if isn't happening every day).
Show notes for Ep. 196
Krugman is horrified at Trump's pressure on the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. Yet he thinks a case can be made for doing precisely that. What is Krugman to do?
Show notes for Ep. 195
Krugman is very impressed by Elizabeth Warren, who he thinks has a whole bunch of very good, detailed policy proposals. This is precisely what the world needs more of, he says: public policy proposals based on the best scholarly literature. He proceeds to misrepresent that literature. We nail him.
Show notes for Ep. 194
Krugman is horrified that Donald Trump has been critical of the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain. Why, the NHS is doing a great job! We put Krugman's arguments under a microscope.
Show notes for Ep. 193
We do another Q&A episode this week, a good portion of which revolves around the Federal Reserve: the best ways to undermine it, how we might transition away from it, whether a reckoning has to come even if the Fed never raises interest rates, and a lot more. Plus: would we rather debate ten duck-sized Krugmans or one Krugman-sized duck?
Show notes for Ep. 192
Bob flies solo to point out a shocking admission in Krugman's column: He actually thinks Democrats are lucky that Trump backed out of an infrastructure deal, even though Krugman also believes the deal would have helped the country. Bob goes on to explain what's wrong with Krugman's economic arguments for more government infrastructure spending.
Show notes for Ep. 191