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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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.
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

Mar 23, 2018
Krugman says Trump is surrounded by people who are wrong on trade: first, the neo-mercantilists, who view trade as a zero-sum game of winners and losers, and second, "neo-goldbugs," who favor a strong dollar and won't concede the merits of a weak currency.
Krugman isn't wrong about the neo-mercantilists, but he's wrong about plenty else....
Show notes for Ep. 131
Mar 19, 2018

Today we branch out a bit and take on one of Robert Reich's popular (but obviously simplistic) videos about what's gone wrong with the economy. Why, we once had strong labor unions, education, and health care, and then big money corrupted politics and we don't have any of these things, and that's where our problems come from. We're further told that the financial crisis was caused by banks "gambling," and by fraud. (He never asks why the banks should suddenly have started gambling at a particular moment, as opposed to 50 years ago; there certainly was no "deregulation" that artificially encouraged "gambling," contrary to popular belief.)

Show notes for Ep. 130

Mar 14, 2018

Trump's tariffs are bad economics, so Krugman isn't entirely wrong, but his cheerleading for some of the well-known trade agreements needs the gentle correction we're known for on this show....

Show notes for Ep. 129

Mar 5, 2018
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is gaining traction. Its adherents think it's just common sense, but it's actually destructive nonsense. Why, governments can never "run out of money," because they have a printing press! OK, it's a little more sophisticated than that, but not nearly as much as they think it is.
More inanities smashed courtesy of Contra Krugman.
Show notes for Ep. 128
Feb 24, 2018

Krugman insists that Republicans are unique in refusing to admit to making mistakes, lying about their intentions, etc. Of course, these are characteristics of the entire regime, but Krugman, who is deeply tied to that regime, can never admit this. Bob and Tom, however, are subject to no such constraints.

Show notes for Ep. 127

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

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