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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: 2018
Dec 23, 2018

Why can't Krugman be a plain old economist who speaks in a nonpartisan way? That's what supporters asked after hearing him speak dispassionately about trade on a recent podcast. His answer: people who oppose me on fiscal and monetary policy are partisan cranks with no scientific standing, so they deserve to be smashed. In this episode, we do the smashing.

Show Notes for Ep. 169

Dec 18, 2018

Newly elected member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been calling for a "Green New Deal," which she says will at once confront the dangers of climate change and also provide good jobs at living wages and overturn racial and gender injustices. We are unconvinced.

Show notes for Ep. 168

Dec 12, 2018

We take on additional hard questions for libertarians: quarantines (for infectious/incurable diseases), terrorism, Somalia, and climate change.

Show notes for Ep. 167

Dec 1, 2018
Krugman took questions last week on Quora, and they spanned a wide range:
 
-- Has Keynesian economics failed America?
-- What are the causes of inequality?
-- What will Trump's long-term economic legacy be?
-- Why haven't wages increased alongside corporate profits?
-- Would universal basic income work?
-- Can Krugman refute "trickle-down" economics?
-- and a whole bunch more.
 
In this episode, we critique Krugman's answers and offer our own.
 
Show notes for Ep. 166
Nov 19, 2018

Brazil's economy was booming and everything looked great, and then it suffered a severe slump. What the heck happened? Well, whether or not you're interested in Brazil you'll be interested in Krugman's attempted answers and our replies. (You'll also be shocked to learn that Krugman has quietly changed his position on Brazil, hoping no one would notice. No such luck, Paul.)

Show notes for Ep. 165

Nov 10, 2018

Krugman laments that the Senate disproportionately represents people he obviously dislikes. we use that as a springboard for a lively discussion of the recent midterm elections and what's really going on in American politics.

Show notes for Ep. 164

Nov 5, 2018

The apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudis was the subject of this Krugman column, which discusses and criticizes the Trump response. Foreign-policy expert Scott Horton joins us for this chilling episode.

Show notes for Ep. 163

Oct 27, 2018

Aboard our third Contra Cruise, we take on some of the hardest questions libertarians have to answer: roads, the poor, defense, and more.

Show notes for Ep. 162

Oct 20, 2018

During and after the financial crisis the Fed increased the monetary base to an unprecedented extent. Everyone hailed it for its wisdom. but that alleged solution is now a major problem hanging over the economy. What if anything can the Fed do now?

Show notes for Ep. 161

Oct 15, 2018

The media is delighted that William Nordhaus shared this year's Nobel Prize in economics. Why, he warns about the damage likely to be caused by climate change, just as we do! Not so fast, alarmists. Not so fast.

Show notes for Ep. 160

Oct 8, 2018

Krugman insists that the Brett Kavanaugh controversy is all about entitled, envious white men terrified of losing their status and privilege. We SLIGHTLY disagree. SLIGHTLY.

Show notes for Ep. 159

Sep 29, 2018

Bob and Tom discuss the work of Bob's favorite economist, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. Böhm-Bawerk refuted many an economic fallacy in his day, including Marxism itself. We discuss the arguments he made as well as how he made them.

Show notes for Ep. 158

Sep 22, 2018

Krugman surprises us by writing about economics. He tells us that in the wake of the financial crisis, the public and even other economists have drawn the wrong lessons. Contrary to what you've heard, says Krugman, the Keynesian macro model did great during the crisis, while microeconomics is overrated. Well yes, we agree that Krugman's model did great...if we overlook all the times it blew up in his face.

Show notes for Ep. 157

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

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