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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Nov 13, 2016

Even though Donald Trump supports massive infrastructure spending financed by debt in order to put people to work (sound familiar), Krugman is of course horrified by the election result. This week we're joined by David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, to review what Trump is likely to accomplish, what the Democrats will block, and what it all means for the economy.

Show notes for Ep. 60

Nov 6, 2016
The big problem this election cycle, according to Krugman, are all the media attacks -- on Hillary Clinton. The scandals surrounding her are manufactured out of nothing by the right wing.
On Twitter last week, Krugman expressed his outrage at people who make evidence-free insinuations, and five seconds later speculated that FBI Director James Comey was trying to help GOP senators in the 2016 election.
Show notes for Ep. 59
Oct 29, 2016
Krugman can't believe people who worry about the national debt are taken seriously. There are no serious budgetary or financing problems on the horizon, so if there's anything to be concerned about at all, that concern is surely misplaced today. Instead, we should be worried about climate change!
Krugman has things exactly backwards, as usual.
Show notes for Ep. 58
Oct 21, 2016

Both Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, each in his own way, spin crazy dystopian stories about America, says Krugman. Our country isn't perfect, but where are they getting these crazy ideas? We sort out who's crazy and whether things really are dystopian.

Show notes for Ep. 57

Oct 15, 2016

In this special episode recorded before a live audience on board the Contra Cruise, which Tom and Bob are hosting this week, your hosts take on Krugman on tighter fuel efficiency standards of automobiles, Krugman's anti-scientific statements on climate change, and more, including audience questions.

Show notes for Ep. 56

Oct 9, 2016

Krugman says it's not just Trump who's an ignoramus, but his economic advisors, too: why, they seem to think a foreign VAT (value-added tax) hurts US exporters. We investigate, and turns out these guys are against fiscal and monetary stimulus -- how bad could they be? Yes, there are some problems in the Trump white paper, but there's a lot of good in it, too. And its key fallacy on trade accounting is something Krugman himself has pushed in other contexts.

Show notes for Ep. 55

Sep 30, 2016

All the Republicans want to do is cut taxes on the rich, says Krugman, but Hillary has lots of programs she wants to enact for "working families." And each one is obtuse in its own special way.

Show notes for Ep. 54

Sep 23, 2016
Krugman sternly lectures millennials: DO NOT vote for Gary Johnson. You are wasting your vote. Plus, the Libertarian Party platform is nuts!
We respond, in one of Tom's favorite episodes of Contra Krugman.
Show notes for Ep. 53
Sep 17, 2016

Krugman suggests that the image of Hillary Clinton as particularly untruthful is a fabrication of the right-wing noise machine. We remind him of some uncomfortable truths.

Show notes for Ep. 52

Sep 9, 2016

This week, Krugman is unhappy about the adverse health effects of lead paint, which only Hillary Clinton wants to eradicate. This is typical, Krugman says: Republicans (which in his mind is synonymous with free-market people) hate science and love when poor people are unsafe and die.

Show notes for Ep. 51

Sep 3, 2016

Why have mortality rates among pregnant women in Texas doubled in recent years? There's no one explanation, Krugman admits -- and then proceeds to pounce on one explanation: cuts to Planned Parenthood.

And you'll never guess: Krugman is full of it!

Show notes for Ep. 50

Aug 29, 2016

The bad news keeps piling up for Obamacare: Aetna, for example, is pulling out of a lot of the exchanges. The failures are everywhere now. According to Krugman, a little tinkering here and there would fix it, if it weren't for all the unreasonable right-wingers. OK, Paul.

Show notes for Ep. 49

Aug 20, 2016
We know how to do some things, Krugman says, like deliver health care to everyone, provide for people's retirement, and increase the wages of low-income people. But economic growth? That's a tough nut to crack, he says. We can try infrastructure spending, but maybe even that won't work.
We bring some Contra Krugman awesomeness to this pile of confusion.
Show notes for Ep. 48
Aug 13, 2016
With long-term interest rates low and no shortage of ideas for public-works projects, Krugman says now's the time to do -- wait for it -- lots of borrowing and spending.
Actually, you know what it's really time for?
Show notes for Ep. 47
Aug 5, 2016
This week, Krugman appeals to Republican opponents of Donald Trump and says: Hillary won't be a disaster, in all likelihood, even from your point of view. If she continues the center-left policies of Obama, we'll continue to have a good economy.
We're unconvinced.
Show notes for Ep. 46
Aug 2, 2016

In this special episode of Contra Krugman, recorded live at the Mises Institute's Mises University summer instructional program for college students, Bob and Tom are joined by three other professors: Peter Klein (Baylor University), Lucas Englehardt (Kent State University), and Mark Thornton (Mises Institute).

Show notes for Ep. 45

Jul 24, 2016

Is a rising stock market an indication of economic health? Not necessarily, says Krugman, and on that he's of course correct. But what accounts for rising stock prices today? He says a lack of alternative options for investors -- another way of saying the economy stinks, even though he devotes half his columns to defenses of Obama.

Show notes for Ep. 44

Jul 16, 2016

This week, Krugman considers several possible explanations for why long-term interest rates are so low around the world. The one he settles on: investors have concluded that the weak economy is the new normal, so to speak, so they're willing to accept low yields. But this explanation contradicts Krugman's repeated insistence that the Obama recovery is stronger than ignorant right-wingers give it credit for. Which is it, Paul?

Show notes for Ep. 43

Jul 9, 2016

This week, Krugman is unhappy that Donald Trump has earned a reputation as a defender of workers. How can he be, wonders Krugman, if he doesn't support Obamacare, more privileges for labor unions, higher taxes on the rich, and so on?

Show notes for Ep. 42

Jun 21, 2016

Krugman urges the British to remain in the European Union, and thinks free-market arguments against it are mere fantasy. In fact, British exit from the EU would be a great step forward for freedom, as Bob and Tom show in this week's episode.

Show notes for Ep. 41

Jun 19, 2016

This week, Krugman suggests that the Republican Party attracts scammers and shysters who build email lists of gullible conservatives and then market fearmongering products or "get-rich-quick" schemes to them. Thank goodness the Democrats never do anything like that! They teach that the only way to prosper is through hard work and individual initiative, and.... Well, anyway, this is a juicy episode. Listen to it, or the world will end.

Show notes for Ep. 40

Jun 12, 2016

Krugman admits the recent job numbers aren't so good, but says there's an easy solution: fiscal stimulus. Waiting for actual examples of successful fiscal stimulus? You won't find them in this column, and for good reason....

Show notes for Ep. 39

Jun 5, 2016

This week, Krugman makes one decent point: successful businessmen aren't necessarily any good on economics. No argument there. Krugman doesn't quite get why his insight is true, but at least it's something. Bob and Tom discuss (1) why government can't be run like a business, (2) why falling wages need not be a catastrophe for "aggregate demand," (3) whether it makes sense to speak of a "manager" of the economy, and more.

Show notes for Ep. 38

Jun 1, 2016

In this column, Krugman takes things to a whole new level. He tries to draw lessons from the Clinton boom in the 1990s, which he incorrectly says was better than the Reagan boom, even though he himself admits there are no applicable lessons from that boom. It's awful, and we beat him to an intellectual pulp.

Show notes for Ep. 37

May 23, 2016

This episode was recorded before a live audience in Seattle on May 21, 2016, as part of the Mises Institute's event in Seattle. Krugman had been giving us thin gruel all week, but then, the day before the event, he gave us such a whopper of a column it was like a giant gift with a big red bow on it.

Show notes for Ep. 36

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