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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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

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

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