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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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....
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.
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
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.