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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Oct 29, 2017
Krugman thinks everyone who disagrees with him on monetary policy has been decisively refuted and ought to be ridiculed or ignored. The Fed has done great work, he says. He also insists that unlike him, we refuse to admit our mistakes.
That's a lot of fodder for one episode. Enjoy!
Show notes for Ep. 110
Oct 21, 2017

Krugman is a fan of Richard Thaler, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, and speaks in favor of Thaler's argument that real people often don't act like the calculating robots of neoclassical lore. Thaler is right about that, but we've got a bunch of punchy responses to his more dubious claims -- responses that are all the more fun to listen to because delivered before a live audience aboard the Contra Cruise!

Show notes for Ep. 109

Oct 16, 2017
Krugman is concerned that Trump will appoint a hands-off Fed chairman who hasn't learned the lessons of history.
We challenge the hidden premise in there.
Show notes for Ep. 108
Oct 8, 2017

Krugman complains that what we know so far about a potential Trump tax reform plan is not good -- it would give most relief to millionaires and billionaires. We discuss Rand Paul's opposition to the plan, and what genuine tax reform should really do.

Show notes for Ep. 107

Oct 1, 2017
Krugman says: who cares if high marginal income tax rates make people work less, or lower rates would give them an incentive to make them work more? It's all a wash, says Krugman: if they work more they also earn more, so they get all the gains and society gets nothing.
This is smashed like nothing we've smashed before.
Show notes for Ep. 106
Sep 25, 2017

The Graham-Cassidy bill is yet another version of Obamacare repeal -- but is that what it does? We cover the ongoing debate, with plenty of the usual fun.

Show notes for Ep. 105

Sep 16, 2017

Krugman observes the anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, with a column about the unique wickedness of the Republicans, and no acknowledgment of the bipartisan War Party. Scott Horton joins us for some real history from those terrible days.

Show notes for Ep. 104

Sep 9, 2017

Bob flies solo in this episode, as Tom & Family evacuate for the hurricane. Krugman makes some good observations about the economics of immigration, but (as usual) he misrepresents his opponents (while accusing them of being liars). Bob offers his own views on how libertarians might better approach this controversial subject.

Show notes for Ep. 103

Sep 2, 2017

Krugman blames the destructiveness of the hurricane partly on climate change and partly on Houston's lack of zoning. We take these on, and also defend the "price gouger," who genuinely saves lives.

Show notes for Ep. 102

Aug 25, 2017

Even if Republicans don't get their way on taxes or spending, don't be fooled, says Krugman: they have lots of other ways to make workers miserable.

Show notes for Ep. 101

Aug 17, 2017

Ron Paul joins us as our special guest on episode 100! We cover health care, the Trump foreign policy, trade, the splintering of the “liberty movement,” and more. Enjoy!

Show notes for Ep. 100

Aug 11, 2017

Krugman claims the downturn of 2008 was caused by inadequate "demand." The Austrians claim the downturn was more complicated: it involved problems in particular sectors that had been artificially expanded, not a system-wide problem of not enough spending.

Thankfully, we can resolve this dispute swiftly enough -- and we do, in this episode.

Show notes for Ep. 99

Aug 4, 2017

Republicans are incorrigibly wrong on issue after issue, from taxes to health care, says Krugman. They have no respect for experts, for data, or for the truth itself.

And yet it turns out that the guy who's wrong is...(you'll never guess).

Show notes for Ep. 98

Aug 1, 2017

How do central banks hurt the common man? That's the theme of our discussion in this episode, recorded live at the Mises Institute's annual week-long instructional program for students. Professor Jeffrey Herbener of Grove City College and Ph.D. candidate Louis Rouanet join us.

Show notes for Ep. 97

Jul 21, 2017

On his blog, Krugman responds to fellow columnist Bret Stephens, who argues that the conservative movement has fallen a long way since the days of William F. Buckley. Krugman responds that the conservative movement was never any good, and never had any kind of golden age.

Believe it or not, we get more worked up in this episode than probably any episode thus far. You won't want to skip this one.

Show notes for Ep. 96

Jul 17, 2017

Krugman reviews economic ideas that he says no longer apply today. Is there anything wrong with his thinking?

Show notes for Ep. 95

Jul 9, 2017

Is a trade war in the offing? There's plenty of protectionist talk coming from the White House. Will it "save jobs"?

Show notes for Ep. 94

Jun 30, 2017

The official study commissioned by the city of Seattle is painting a grim picture of the consequences of the minimum wage increase in that city thus far.

Show notes for Ep. 93

Jun 24, 2017

Well well well, in a splash of serendipity, the one week Tom leaves the show in Bob's hands, Krugman devotes his column to zombies--and vampires. Specifically, the GOP idea that tax cuts on the rich are great for the economy is an idea that just won't die. And the Republican plan for health insurance reform must be kept hidden from the sunlight. (Just like a vampire, get it?)

Bob brings on Cato Senior Fellow Dan Mitchell to talk about the alleged supply-side failure in Kansas.

Show notes for Ep. 92

Jun 18, 2017
Krugman says Trump is wrecking the ship of state: the president's worse than even his harshest critics warned. Trump's petty politics on health care is causing insurers to hike premiums, while his foreign policy moves indicate corruption and recklessness.
We point out Krugman's flip-flopping on health insurers, and you'll also learn how to pronounce "Qatar."
Show notes for Ep. 91
Jun 12, 2017

Krugman wrote two columns in a row on Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Accord and the abdication of American leadership on climate change, and we reply to them both in this episode.

Our thanks to Marcus Brown for the Contra Cruise jingle! Check out his comedy podcast, Make My Day.

Show notes for Ep. 90

Jun 3, 2017
Krugman says Donald Trump is all wrong to want to give regulatory relief to the coal industry. That industry can't ever be revived to where it was in the old days, says Krugman, and it would be silly to try, especially when all these abundant clean alternatives are available. In fact, to try would amount to putting "the whole planet's future at risk."
(Krugman also makes a side remark about Trump's blasphemy on NATO, and we also comment on that.)
Show notes for Ep. 89
May 27, 2017

This week Krugman complains that workers are becoming less free: Obamacare is in danger of repeal, and more and more workers are being required to sign noncompete agreements. These things limit people's choices, says Krugman, so in a very real sense they are being made less free. Is any of this true, and is Krugman's understanding of freedom coherent? This is all especially good fodder for Contra Krugman.

Show notes for Ep. 88

May 24, 2017

For the second time, we recorded a live episode of the show in Seattle. We hit health care, foreign policy, taxes, and more. Thanks to the energetic crowd!

Show notes for Ep. 87

May 12, 2017

You probably know what Paul Krugman thinks of Brexit and Marine Le Pen, but in this column he urges European elites not to treat them as if they can be brushed aside. The populist wave is strong and real, says Krugman, and it's in part a response to the lousy job European politicians have done.

Show notes for Ep. 86

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