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.
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.
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.
This week we bypass Krugman's columns to discuss the different schools of Keynesianism, how and when they emerged, and what their differences are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....)
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.
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?
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.
Krugman says Republicans are expecting too much from the corporate income tax rate cut they're proposing. Is he right?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.