There's been plenty of discussion of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, says Krugman, but it's been focused mainly on his views of presidential power, and not on his opinions on business and workers. On this, too, he's atrocious, says Krugman. We say: Krugman is leaving out 95% of the argument.
Krugman is on vacation this week, so we take a topic suggestion from someone who's joining us on this year's Contra Cruise: how to unwind the welfare state peacefully as the fiscal crisis becomes impossible to evade.
We recorded this episode before a live audience at the Mises Institute's Mises University summer program. What a blast!
During the 2016 campaign Krugman was critical of Bernie Sanders, but all of a sudden he can't see anything wrong with "radical Democrats" like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We help him see more clearly.
The economy may be doing well, says Krugman, but when you look closer at what Trump touts as his great economic victories, they've been neutral to negative. (Also: winners of the Contra Cruise contest announced!)
The Libertarian Party's Mises Caucus held a special event last weekend during the Libertarian Party's national convention, and we both spoke. We recorded this episode with three other speakers as guests: Jordan Page, Michael Heise, and Murray Sabrin.
In this episode, Bob flies solo and fields another Contra Cruiser request. Specifically, he explains the standard Austrian approach to air pollution, and then talks about the risks of catastrophic climate change. Do libertarians just have to hope nothing really bad happens?
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.
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.
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.
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....
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....
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?)
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?
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.
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.
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.)
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....
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.