Podcast

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!

Episodes

  • Ep. 202 David Stockman on Western Regimes Entering Cuckoo Land

    Aug 23 2019

    David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, joins Tom (Bob is on vacation) to explain what's really happening with the current inverted yield curve, as well as how to tell real growth from phony growth, and a lot more. Show notes for Ep. 202

  • Ep. 201 The White Nationalist Hoax

    Aug 17 2019

    The ordinarily serene Bob Murphy is genuinely outraged in this episode, in which we cover Krugman's casual claim that Donald Trump is trying to establish an "authoritarian, white nationalist regime." Needless to say, it does not matter what your opinion of Trump is. This idea is out of some sort of alternate reality that in no way corresponds to the real world, but which in classic Orwellian style is presented as if all reasonable people just know it to be true. Show notes for Ep. 201

  • Ep. 200 Krugman on Bonds & Uncertainty: Interesting, But Still Wrong

    Aug 10 2019

    Bob minds the store and explains what is interesting about Krugman's discussion on bonds vs. stocks as ways to forecast recession, how an inverted yield curve signals problems, and the precise way that Trump could be depressing investment. Yet even though these abstract discussions are instructive, Bob argues that they don't really work in the cases where Krugman deploys them. Show Notes for Ep. 200

  • Ep. 199 Krugman: Trump's Tax Cuts Make the 1% -- and Rich Foreigners -- Richer

    Aug 03 2019

    Krugman says that since Trump's tax cuts amounted to nothing but a giveaway to wealthy shareholders, and since many of those are foreigners, the tax cuts amounted to a perverse foreign aid program. Show notes for Ep. 199

  • Ep. 198 Should We Prevent the Rich from Living Longer?

    Jul 26 2019

    In an "op-ed from the future," Krugman speculates about a world in which "the rich" have access to life-extending technology. Should they be allowed to have it if not everyone can afford it? This episode gets to the heart of the left-liberal worldview. Show notes for Ep. 198

  • Ep. 197 Is Privatization (Including Prisons) Expensive and Evil?

    Jul 21 2019

    Krugman suggests that although it makes sense for much of the economy to be in private hands, there are some sectors where private control would yield perverse results. He devotes particular attention to so-called private prisons. So we set him straight. After all, that's why we're here. Show notes for Ep. 197

  • Ep. 196 There Aren't Any Socialists in the Democratic Party?

    Jul 10 2019

    There aren't any real socialists running in the Democratic Party, says Krugman, because none of them want to abolish private ownership of the means of production. Republicans level the accusation because they're ignorant idiots. Krugman wonders what would happen if Republicans began to be routinely referred to as fascists (as if isn't happening every day). Show notes for Ep. 196

  • Ep. 195 Trump Demands Lower Interest Rates; Krugman's Head Explodes

    Jun 28 2019

    Krugman is horrified at Trump's pressure on the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. Yet he thinks a case can be made for doing precisely that. What is Krugman to do? Show notes for Ep. 195

  • Ep. 194 Elizabeth Warren Has Some Great Ideas

    Jun 22 2019

    Krugman is very impressed by Elizabeth Warren, who he thinks has a whole bunch of very good, detailed policy proposals. This is precisely what the world needs more of, he says: public policy proposals based on the best scholarly literature. He proceeds to misrepresent that literature. We nail him. Show notes for Ep. 194

  • Ep. 193 How Dare Trump Criticize Britain's National Health Service

    Jun 15 2019

    Krugman is horrified that Donald Trump has been critical of the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain. Why, the NHS is doing a great job! We put Krugman's arguments under a microscope. Show notes for Ep. 193

  • Ep. 192 Your Deepest Questions About the Fed Answered

    Jun 08 2019

    We do another Q&A episode this week, a good portion of which revolves around the Federal Reserve: the best ways to undermine it, how we might transition away from it, whether a reckoning has to come even if the Fed never raises interest rates, and a lot more. Plus: would we rather debate ten duck-sized Krugmans or one Krugman-sized duck? Show notes for Ep. 192

  • Ep. 191 Krugman Admits Hurting Trump Better Than Helping the Country, When It Comes to Infrastructure

    Jun 03 2019

    Bob flies solo to point out a shocking admission in Krugman's column: He actually thinks Democrats are lucky that Trump backed out of an infrastructure deal, even though Krugman also believes the deal would have helped the country. Bob goes on to explain what's wrong with Krugman's economic arguments for more government infrastructure spending. Show notes for Ep. 191

  • Ep. 190 Universal Basic Income, Trade Deficits, and Other Areas of Confusion

    May 25 2019

    Bob and Tom take some outstanding and very important and helpful listener questions in this episode, such as: what is one legitimate contribution a Keynesian has made? Can trade deficits be bad? What are the best critiques of Austrian economics you've heard? And plenty more. Show notes for Ep. 190

  • Ep. 189 The Truth About Trump and the Tariffs

    May 19 2019

    The issue of international trade is not a simple one of a difference of opinion: Trump genuinely appears not to understand the subject. We sort it all out in this episode. Show notes for Ep. 189

  • Ep. 188 Trump's Economy Proves Keynesianism is Right, Says Krugman

    May 10 2019

    After having predicted that the election of Trump would lead to economic hard times as far as the eye could see, Krugman's new line is that of course the economy is strong: federal deficits have been driving it! Show notes for Ep. 188

  • Ep. 187 It's OK for Bernie to Be Rich Because He's Not Evil

    May 05 2019

    Krugman addresses the claim that Bernie Sanders, who until recently had been railing against "millionaires and billionaires," is a hypocrite since he's now a millionaire himself. Krugman proceeds to explain that among the super rich, most are right-wing and evil. Show notes for Ep. 187

  • Ep. 186 Krugman Finally Mentions Mueller -- and It's Straight Outta Orwell

    Apr 28 2019

    Had the Mueller report truly vindicated Krugman, we can be certain his victory-lap column would have come swiftly. Now that he's finally gotten around to mentioning it after a curious delay, he's jumping on the bandwagon of the Orwellian "Mueller proves we were right all along" segment of the American media. Show notes for Ep. 186

  • Ep. 185 David Stockman Joins Us to Shred Economist's Love Letter to the Fed

    Apr 23 2019

    Greg Mankiw, a professor of economics at Harvard, wrote an article for the New York Times urging America to preserve the Federal Reserve he loves. And what is that? A nonpolitical, nonpartisan, scientific economic management agency staffed by selfless advocates for the public good. David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, joins us to dismantle it. Show notes for Ep. 185

  • Ep. 184 What Is Trump Doing to the Fed?

    Apr 14 2019

    Krugman is very unhappy about the nominations of Stephen Moore and Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. (Cain's nomination now seems likely to be abortive.) Krugman devotes particular attention to Moore, whom he considers a partisan hack who changes his recommended policy depending on who is in power. We consider Krugman's accusations, and also discuss what the best monetary policy is regardless of the state of the economy. Show notes for Ep. 184

  • Ep. 183 Contra Ocasio-Cortez

    Apr 06 2019

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the controversial left-wing member of Congress, got into a Twitter war when she observed that a mere croissant at La Guardia Airport goes for $7, yet some people think $15 is too much to ask for a whole hour of human labor! She started it, we finish it. Show notes for Ep. 183

  • Ep. 182 Hooray for the Minimum Wage? How Economists Went Off Track

    Mar 30 2019

    In paying his respects to the recently deceased Alan Krueger, author of the widely discussed 1994 Card-Krueger study on the minimum wage, Krugman praises him for changing the way economists think about that subject. According to Krugman/Krueger, the labor market is more complicated than we thought, and increases in the minimum wage appear to have little to no effects on employment. Here's our reply to all this. Show notes for Ep. 182

  • Ep. 181 Don't Blame Robots for Low Wages

    Mar 23 2019

    Krugman starts off more or less all right in this one, arguing that robots aren't the reason wages aren't higher. But then he goes off into cloud cuckoo land, blaming the problem on a decline in labor unions. We also discuss the controversy about the connection (now broken, say some) between productivity and wages. Show notes for Ep. 181

  • Ep. 180 Are We Full of Irrational Rage? (This One's a Doozy)

    Mar 16 2019

    Krugman can't get over the stupid things his opponents get upset about, and how full of irrational rage they are -- quite unlike today's left, you understand. Show notes for Ep. 180

  • Ep. 179 How to Defeat a Smear Attack Against You

    Mar 09 2019

    This week, although we do cover Krugman a bit, we use a recent Caitlin Johnstone article as a springboard for discussion. With social media and traditional media in swarm mode against perpetrators of thoughtcrime, what is the best approach to maintain one's good name? Show notes for Ep. 179

  • Ep. 178 Let's Socialize the Family, Say Warren and Krugman

    Mar 04 2019

    This week Krugman endorses Elizabeth Warren's plan for subsidized child care at the federal level. It's so cheap, and it would help so many people! Meh. Show notes for Ep. 178

  • Ep. 177 Semi-Sensible Krugman vs. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)

    Feb 23 2019

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is picking up steam (thanks to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders), to the point that even Krugman is alarmed. Yes, he says, you will have to raise taxes to pay for what progressives want. This is the episode folks have been asking us for. Show notes for Ep. 177

  • Ep. 176 Trump vs. Socialism?

    Feb 14 2019

    Socialism isn't all that radical, insists Krugman. Plus: virtually all people who call themselves socialists just want to be like Denmark, not Venezuela or the Soviet Union. They just want poor people cared for! Anyone who thinks nicey-nice socialism like this could lead to bad outcomes is crazy and unreasonable, he says. So, as usual, we respond. Show notes for Ep. 176

  • Ep. 175 The Free Market: Unpopular Without Racism

    Feb 08 2019

    Krugman says nobody really supports free-market (what he calls "conservative") economics. Racists tolerate it because it's the only way they can get their racism fix; the Republicans, who give them the racism they seek, cling to "conservative" economics, so racists grudgingly accept it. But most Americans are far left on economics, which is why Howard Schultz, who's trying to combine some kind of fiscal restraint with social liberalism, is encountering so much hostility. It's a nutty column, but...more

  • Ep. 174 They Are Really Coming After the Rich

    Feb 02 2019

    The proposals to tax the rich much more heavily are coming fast and furious from Democratic presidential candidates. We examine the ideas and so-called economics behind it all. Show notes for Ep. 174

  • Ep. 173 The Case for One-Third Communism

    Jan 26 2019

    Krugman says that the case for putting the government directly in charge of approximately one-third of the economy is very strong. We're not so sure it's quite so strong. Show notes for Ep. 173

  • Ep. 172 The Government Shutdown: A Big Libertarian Experiment?

    Jan 19 2019

    Krugman points out that even though Republicans have been calling for limited government for as long as anyone can remember, now that the federal government shutdown is upon us they're desperate to get emergency funding for various government functions. In this episode, we discuss this argument, as well as whether the shutdown is really a "big libertarian experiment," as Krugman claims. Show notes for Ep. 172

  • Ep. 171 The Economics of Soaking the Rich

    Jan 12 2019

    Paul Krugman loves Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and says her suggestion for a much higher top marginal income tax rate is actually well founded and economically sound. Now if the column were just about that, it'd make for a great episode of Contra Krugman. But the way Krugman speaks of "the rich" is downright sinister, and we hit that head on as well. Show Notes for Ep. 171

  • Ep. 170 Are Conservatives Hypocrites on Fed Policy?

    Jan 07 2019

    Krugman can't believe that the same people warning about expansionary monetary policy under Barack Obama are suddenly concerned about contractionary monetary policy under Donald Trump. You already know part of the answer: Krugman is as inconsistent as the folks he criticize are. But we have much more for you, particularly: what's so bad about the Federal Reserve's intervention into the economy? Show Notes for Ep. 170

  • Ep. 169 You Want the Free Market? You're Unscientific and a Hack

    Dec 23 2018

    Why can't Krugman be a plain old economist who speaks in a nonpartisan way? That's what supporters asked after hearing him speak dispassionately about trade on a recent podcast. His answer: people who oppose me on fiscal and monetary policy are partisan cranks with no scientific standing, so they deserve to be smashed. In this episode, we do the smashing. Show Notes for Ep. 169

  • Ep. 168 The Problems With the Green New Deal

    Dec 18 2018

    Newly elected member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been calling for a "Green New Deal," which she says will at once confront the dangers of climate change and also provide good jobs at living wages and overturn racial and gender injustices. We are unconvinced. Show notes for Ep. 168

  • Ep. 167 How Can a Free Society Handle Terrorism, Climate Change, and Quarantines?

    Dec 12 2018

    We take on additional hard questions for libertarians: quarantines (for infectious/incurable diseases), terrorism, Somalia, and climate change. Show notes for Ep. 167

  • Ep. 166 Krugman's Recent Q&A: His (Lousy) Answers, and Ours

    Dec 01 2018

    Krugman took questions last week on Quora, and they spanned a wide range:   -- Has Keynesian economics failed America? -- What are the causes of inequality? -- What will Trump's long-term economic legacy be? -- Why haven't wages increased alongside corporate profits? -- Would universal basic income work? -- Can Krugman refute "trickle-down" economics? -- and a whole bunch more.   In this episode, we critique Krugman's answers and offer our own.   Show notes for Ep. 166

  • Ep. 165 Why Did a Booming Economy Hit a Snag? (You'll Never Guess Krugman's Answer....)

    Nov 19 2018

    Brazil's economy was booming and everything looked great, and then it suffered a severe slump. What the heck happened? Well, whether or not you're interested in Brazil you'll be interested in Krugman's attempted answers and our replies. (You'll also be shocked to learn that Krugman has quietly changed his position on Brazil, hoping no one would notice. No such luck, Paul.) Show notes for Ep. 165

  • Ep. 164 Krugman: Backward Hicks Keep Thwarting My Candidates

    Nov 10 2018

    Krugman laments that the Senate disproportionately represents people he obviously dislikes. we use that as a springboard for a lively discussion of the recent midterm elections and what's really going on in American politics. Show notes for Ep. 164

  • Ep. 163 Scott Horton on Trump, the Saudis, and Murder

    Nov 05 2018

    The apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudis was the subject of this Krugman column, which discusses and criticizes the Trump response. Foreign-policy expert Scott Horton joins us for this chilling episode. Show notes for Ep. 163

  • Ep. 162 LIVE FROM THE CONTRA CRUISE: Hard Questions for Libertarians

    Oct 27 2018

    Aboard our third Contra Cruise, we take on some of the hardest questions libertarians have to answer: roads, the poor, defense, and more. Show notes for Ep. 162

  • Ep. 161 The Huge Problem the Fed Caused When It, Ahem, Solved the Last Problem

    Oct 20 2018

    During and after the financial crisis the Fed increased the monetary base to an unprecedented extent. Everyone hailed it for its wisdom. but that alleged solution is now a major problem hanging over the economy. What if anything can the Fed do now? Show notes for Ep. 161

  • Ep. 160 Climate Change Alarmists Prematurely Cheer New Nobel Winner

    Oct 15 2018

    The media is delighted that William Nordhaus shared this year's Nobel Prize in economics. Why, he warns about the damage likely to be caused by climate change, just as we do! Not so fast, alarmists. Not so fast. Show notes for Ep. 160

  • Ep. 159 We're All Angry, Envious White Men

    Oct 08 2018

    Krugman insists that the Brett Kavanaugh controversy is all about entitled, envious white men terrified of losing their status and privilege. We SLIGHTLY disagree. SLIGHTLY. Show notes for Ep. 159

  • Ep. 158 How to Be Elegant When Smashing Your Enemies With a Sledgehammer

    Sep 29 2018

    Bob and Tom discuss the work of Bob's favorite economist, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. Böhm-Bawerk refuted many an economic fallacy in his day, including Marxism itself. We discuss the arguments he made as well as how he made them. Show notes for Ep. 158

  • Ep. 157 Krugman's Model Worked Great -- So Long as He Writes the History Books

    Sep 22 2018

    Krugman surprises us by writing about economics. He tells us that in the wake of the financial crisis, the public and even other economists have drawn the wrong lessons. Contrary to what you've heard, says Krugman, the Keynesian macro model did great during the crisis, while microeconomics is overrated. Well yes, we agree that Krugman's model did great...if we overlook all the times it blew up in his face. Show notes for Ep. 157

  • Ep. 156 Brett Kavanaugh Will Kill the Constitution, Krugman Says

    Sep 14 2018

    This week's column, which makes hysterical claims about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, is a combination of baseless assertion and historical ignorance. Joining us for this week's dismantling is special guest and James Madison biographer Kevin Gutzman, professor of history at Western Connecticut State University. Show notes for Ep. 156

  • Ep. 155 What Would Happen If One Country Became Free, and the Rest Had States?

    Sep 08 2018

    We take a listener question -- early-bird registrants for the Contra Cruise got this as a bonus -- about what would happen if one country went completely stateless, but the rest of the world stayed the same. Lots of potential consequences here, and we do our best to sort them out! Plus the usual fun. Show notes for Ep. 155

  • Ep. 154 The Economic Freedom of the States Proves Our Point, Not Krugman's

    Sep 01 2018

    The Cato Institute recently issued a ranking of economic freedom in the 50 U.S. states. Krugman thinks they're defining freedom too narrowly, for surely workers in New York, where they have many protections, feel freer than workers elsewhere. He further suggests a positive correlation between economic freedom and infant mortality. These and other Krugman claims are ground into sausage. Show notes for Ep. 154

  • Ep. 153 Elizabeth Warren's Accountable Capitalism Act

    Aug 26 2018

    Senator Warren has proposed sweeping changes to how corporations would be allowed to operate in the United States -- no longer will they cater to stockholders only, but they will have to take into account the needs of a wide range of "stakeholders" (workers, communities, etc.). Special guests Gene Epstein and Peter Klein join Tom. Show notes for Ep. 153

  • Ep. 152 Krugman Hearts Pelosi for Giving Us Obamacare, Stimulus, Financial Reform

    Aug 18 2018

    Krugman calls Nancy Pelosi "by far the greatest speaker of modern times," and says she "surely ranks among the most impressive people ever to hold that position." He credits her with helping push along financial reform, Obamacare, the stimulus, etc. -- and that gives us a chance to smash all those things. Show notes for Ep. 152

  • Ep. 151 Krugman Is a Crypto-Skeptic, and for Lousy Reasons

    Aug 11 2018

    Krugman advances two main arguments against cryptocurrency. One of them, it turns out, applies equally well to the U.S. dollar, a point Krugman fails to acknowledge. Neither argument carries much sting, and in fact cryptocurrencies can parry Krugman's criticisms without breaking a sweat. Show notes for Ep. 151

  • Ep. 150 We Need the State to Protect Workers

    Aug 04 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 150

  • Ep. 149 How to Unwind the Welfare State

    Jul 30 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 149

  • Ep. 148 LIVE FROM MISES U: Why Does Austrian Economics Matter to the Average Person?

    Jul 24 2018

    We recorded this episode before a live audience at the Mises Institute's Mises University summer program. What a blast! Show notes for Ep. 148

  • Ep. 147 Krugman Hearts Democratic Socialists; We Don't

    Jul 15 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 147

  • Ep. 146 Trump's Fake Victories?

    Jul 09 2018

    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!) Show notes for Ep. 146

  • Ep. 145 The Libertarian Wing of the Libertarian Party

    Jul 03 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 145

  • Ep. 144 How to Answer Climate Alarmists? Read Their Own Reports

    Jun 23 2018

    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?  Show notes for Ep. 144

  • Ep. 143 Here's What Krugman Did to Win the Nobel Prize

    Jun 16 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 143

  • Ep. 142 KRUGMAN FLATTENED: The Neocons Are Sincere, He Says, But Everyone Else Is a Shill for the Coal Industry

    Jun 09 2018

    Krugman tips his hat to the neoconservatives, whom he describes as "sincere," but says the rest of his right-of-center opponents are unprincipled shills. Why, they support Trump's government support for coal!   Uh, nope.   Show notes for Ep. 142

  • Ep. 141 Do You Want the Crankish Monetary System We Have Now, or This Other Crankish Monetary System?

    Jun 02 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 141

  • Ep. 140 Fascism Is Coming to Europe

    May 25 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 140

  • Ep. 139 Why Are Drug Prices So High in the U.S.?

    May 19 2018

    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.... Show notes for Ep. 139

  • Ep. 138 The War on Dissidents, Which Krugman Pretends Not to See

    May 13 2018

    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.... Show notes for Ep. 138

  • Ep. 137 Is Taxation Theft? Not If You're Not Entitled to Your Paycheck in the First Place, Says Philosopher

    May 07 2018

    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?) Show notes for Ep. 137

  • Ep. 136 You Hate Schoolteachers, and Education, and Knowledge

    Apr 30 2018

    Are Republicans at war with schoolteachers? Krugman thinks so: their state-level tax cuts have wrought havoc on education budgets, and it's teachers' salaries that have suffered.   We discuss the real truth of that question, plus the more general claim that education funding has suffered or that money or lack thereof accounts for how good the results are. This one's a smash.   Show notes for Ep. 136

  • Ep. 135 Evil Fossil Fuel People Are Keeping Renewable Energy Down!

    Apr 21 2018

    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? Show notes for Ep. 135

  • Ep. 134 Liberals Are Honest, Aren't Bootlickers, and Admit Their Mistakes, Unlike Krugman's Stupid and Evil Enemies

    Apr 12 2018

    In this column Krugman suggests that the decline in the moral and scholarly rigor of conservative intellectuals has to do with the intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican Party, which has no interest in science or truth. So to get ahead or even to be heard, intellectuals have to say ridiculous things that the Party wants to hear.   Left-liberals, by contrast, are overwhelmingly committed to the dispassionate examination of evidence, are not sycophantic toward those in power, and readily admit ...more

  • Ep. 133 Protectionism Doesn't Cause Depressions, But Here's What It Does Do

    Apr 09 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 133

  • Ep. 132 The Phillips Curve and Keynesian La-La Land: The Alleged Relationship Between Unemployment and Inflation

    Mar 31 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 132

  • Ep. 131 Trade and Tariffs, and Should We Fear a Strong Dollar?

    Mar 23 2018

    Krugman says Trump is surrounded by people who are wrong on trade: first, the neo-mercantilists, who view trade as a zero-sum game of winners and losers, and second, "neo-goldbugs," who favor a strong dollar and won't concede the merits of a weak currency.   Krugman isn't wrong about the neo-mercantilists, but he's wrong about plenty else....   Show notes for Ep. 131

  • Ep. 130 Contra Robert Reich

    Mar 19 2018

    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 particula...more

  • Ep. 129 Trump's Tariffs Are Bad (and So Is Krugman)

    Mar 14 2018

    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.... Show notes for Ep. 129

  • Ep. 128 The Destructive Idiocy of "Modern Monetary Theory"

    Mar 05 2018

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is gaining traction. Its adherents think it's just common sense, but it's actually destructive nonsense. Why, governments can never "run out of money," because they have a printing press! OK, it's a little more sophisticated than that, but not nearly as much as they think it is.   More inanities smashed courtesy of Contra Krugman.   Show notes for Ep. 128

  • Ep. 127 Krugman Is Half Right: He Says Half the Political Class Are Liars

    Feb 24 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 127

  • Ep. 126 Deficit Hawks Are Hypocrites (Says Krugman, Who Is 100% Not a Hypocrite)

    Feb 16 2018

    Krugman can't believe Republicans who worried about deficits under Obama -- when, according to Keynesianism, we needed deficits to help the struggling economy -- have no problem with them today, at a time when Keynesianism would consider them unnecessary.   Yes, there are plenty of Republican hypocrites, whom we do not spare in this episode. But Krugman and his friends might want to be more careful when accusing other people of hypocrisy....   Show notes for Ep. 126

  • Ep. 125 Is the Stock Market Telling Us Something?

    Feb 09 2018

    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. We respond. Show notes for Ep. 125

  • Ep. 124 Bitcoin Is Evil, and a Bubble, Says Krugman

    Feb 02 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 124

  • Ep. 123 We're Forgetting How Bad Previous Presidents Were

    Jan 26 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 123

  • Ep. 122 Varieties of Wrongness: The Different Kinds of Keynesianism

    Jan 21 2018

    This week we bypass Krugman's columns to discuss the different schools of Keynesianism, how and when they emerged, and what their differences are. Show notes for Ep. 122

  • Ep. 121 We've Never Had a President Who.... Oh, Really?

    Jan 12 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 121

  • Ep. 120 Krugman Tries to Explain Away the 2017 Economy

    Jan 10 2018

    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. Show notes for Ep. 120

  • Ep. 119 Is Bitcoin More Evil Than Krugman?

    Dec 31 2017

    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. Show notes for Ep. 119

  • Ep. 118 Krugman Talks Taxes, Debt, and the Innovative Post Office

    Dec 23 2017

    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. Show notes for Ep. 118

  • Ep. 117 How Bob Smacked Down Krugman on the Financial Crisis

    Dec 17 2017

    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. Show notes for Ep. 117

  • Ep. 116 Krugman Hearts the Neocons for Their Principles

    Dec 06 2017

    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....) Show notes for Ep. 116

  • Ep. 115 Brutal: Contra Krugman Takes on Krugman's P.C. List of America's Sins

    Dec 02 2017

    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. Show notes for Ep. 115

  • Ep. 114 What's Wrong With Keynes, in a Nutshell

    Nov 25 2017

    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? Show notes for Ep. 114

  • Ep. 113 Will Tax Cuts Mean Millions of Lost Manufacturing Jobs?

    Nov 18 2017

    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. Show notes for Ep. 113

  • Ep. 112 Don't Get Excited About Tax Cuts, Says Krugman; Results Will Be Pitiful

    Nov 11 2017

    Krugman says Republicans are expecting too much from the corporate income tax rate cut they're proposing. Is he right? Show notes for Ep. 112

  • Ep. 111 Cutting Corporate Taxes Helps Only "The Rich," Says Krugman

    Nov 04 2017

    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. Show notes for Ep. 111

  • Ep. 110 Krugman Demands We Admit Our Mistakes, Embrace the Fed

    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

  • Ep. 109 LIVE from the Contra Cruise: Do People Behave the Way Economists Predict?

    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

  • Ep. 108 Do We Need an Interventionist at the Fed?

    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

  • Ep. 107 The Problems With Tax Reform

    Oct 08 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

  • Ep. 106 One of the Top Krugman Errors Ever, Literally Out of Economics 101

    Oct 01 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

  • Ep. 105 How Bad Is the Latest GOP Health Care Bill? (Includes Great Bob/Tom Banter)

    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

  • Ep. 104 Another 9/11 Anniversary, and the Political Class Is Still Stupid (and/or Evil)

    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

  • Ep. 103 Krugman Fair With Sessions? Keep DREAMing

    Sep 09 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

  • Ep. 102 Hurricane Harvey, Climate Change

    Sep 02 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

  • Ep. 101 Krugman: Trump and Republicans Plot Against Workers

    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

  • Ep. 100 Ron Paul’s Guide to 2017

    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

  • Ep. 99 Krugman Doesn't Get What Happened in 2008

    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

  • Ep. 98 Do Krugman's Opponents Lie About Taxes, Health Care, and Everything Else? Or Is Krugman Just Dead Wrong?

    Aug 04 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

  • Ep. 97 How Central Banks Hurt Regular People (LIVE from Mises U)

    Aug 01 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

  • Ep. 96 Long Ago, Weren't Conservatives Better Than They Are Now?

    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

  • Ep. 95 Do Economic Laws Have Expiration Dates?

    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

  • Ep. 94 The Disastrous Results of a Trade War

    Jul 09 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

  • Ep. 93 The Seattle Minimum Wage Policy Is a Disaster

    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

  • Ep. 92 Krugman Says GOP Policies Are Zombies and Vampires

    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....more

  • Ep. 91 You Know Where There Won't Be a Shipwreck

    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

  • Ep. 90 Trump Has Destroyed the Planet!

    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

  • Ep. 89 Risking the Planet?

    Jun 03 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

  • Ep. 88 Krugman: Free Markets Are the Real Road to Serfdom!

    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

  • Ep. 87 LIVE IN SEATTLE: Krugman Wrong on Everything

    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

  • Ep. 86 Krugman Warns Fellow Elites: We Are Under Attack

    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

  • Ep. 85 Trump Is Terrible, and His Supporters Won't Admit It, Says Krugman

    May 08 2017

    On the one hand, people are telling pollsters that they're bullish on the economy, but on the other, the economic statistics (like retail sales) aren't reflecting this kind of confidence. What's going on here? Krugman has a theory.... Show notes for Ep. 85

  • Ep. 84 Tax Cuts, Shmax Cuts: They're Overrated, Says Krugman

    May 01 2017

    Krugman can't believe people still think tax cuts (particularly on "the rich," who of course pay most of the taxes) might have good and substantial effects on the economy, or that they could believe that the ensuing economic growth could make up some of the lost revenue. We look at the facts of the matter. Show notes for Ep. 84

  • Ep. 83 Why All the Talk About Manufacturing? Don't All Jobs Matter?

    Apr 21 2017

    Krugman (correctly) wonders about all the emphasis on manufacturing employment, when many other perfectly honorable lines of work have also witnessed declines. Why the emphasis on manufacturing? Why, because white people tend to hold those jobs, says Krugman. What a surprise.... Show notes for Ep. 83

  • Ep. 82 Is Krugman Right About Syria?

    Apr 13 2017

    Krugman says Trump's recent strike on Syria is typical of the man: a one-shot action masquerading as policy. He also says that Obama was right to stay out, since there was no clear way through the morass there. Special guest Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-host of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, joins us for this episode. Show notes for Ep. 82

  • Ep. 81 Trump the President and Trump the Candidate Seem Rather Different

    Apr 08 2017

    Krugman wonders what became of Trump's bluster about trade -- so far, the proposed changes to trade policy are minor. Bob and Tom discuss President Trump as compared to candidate Trump. Show notes for Ep. 81

  • Ep. 80 When Krugman Struck Back at Bob on Business Cycles

    Mar 31 2017

    This week (with Krugman discussing Obamacare yet again) we decided to hop into our time machine and revisit a golden oldie: Krugman's response to one of Bob's articles on capital theory and business cycles. Now that's an episode! Show notes for Ep. 80

  • Ep. 79 Since Government Is Awesome, Where and Why Would You Cut the Budget?

    Mar 24 2017

    Conservatives suffer from the delusion that government spending is generally waste that doesn't do anyone any good, says Krugman. Now that they're in power, they're seeing how great and important government is, and how much voters love it. So where are their promised budget cuts going to come from?   Bob and Tom sort through it all!   Show notes for Ep. 79

  • Ep. 78 If You're Not a Keynesian, You're Not Living in Reality

    Mar 17 2017

    Krugman's opponents all live in a fantasy world where facts don't count. That's his dispassionate assessment of our present situation. He also can't believe anyone would think the Congressional Budget Office's reports might be politicized. Too bad he himself made that precise accusation in 2015.... Show notes for Ep. 78

  • Ep. 77 It's Easy to Criticize, But How Good Are Self-Proclaimed Free Market People at Devising Alternatives?

    Mar 12 2017

    Republicans are now figuring out that really, the Democrats have been right all along, which is why it's so hard to devise a true alternative to Obamacare. That's Krugman's argument in this column. They're also flubbing the way they're corporate tax reform. This isn't because their leader, Donald Trump, is a bozo, but because they themselves are shysters who are good at sloganeering but bad at governing. Show notes for Ep. 77

  • Ep. 76 Has Obamacare Really Saved Lives? Plus: Now Krugman Knows How Libertarians Feel All the Time

    Mar 05 2017

    We've covered Obamacare quite a bit on this podcast, but we had to address Krugman's claim -- advanced by many on the left -- that Obamacare has surely saved lives, and its repeal would undoubtedly involve the loss of life. Then we look at Krugman's worry about the prospect of a media in the regime's pocket, and private individuals and companies feeling pressured to toe the regime's line. Yeah, we've never seen anything like that before! Show notes for Ep. 76

  • Ep. 75 Tax Cutting and Deregulation: It's a Myth That These Cause Economic Growth!!

    Feb 26 2017

    Krugman says the Trump Administration is wrong to expect economic growth in the range of 3 to 3.5 percent a year. We look at Krugman's analysis of what does and doesn't cause economic growth -- and why he thought it was reasonable to expect 3 percent growth a year under Obama, which never happened in any year. Show notes for Ep. 75

  • Ep. 74 If Ignorance Is Strength, How Strong Is Krugman?

    Feb 18 2017

    You know the drill: Krugman says Republicans--including but not limited to Donald Trump--are blithering idiots who are actually proud of their ignorance. There are plenty of right-wingers we dislike too, but as usual Krugman's claims are utterly biased. We remember some of President Obama's "greatest hits" when it comes to diplomatic gaffes and botched policy execution. Show notes for Ep. 74

  • Ep. 73 Trade, Tariffs, Walls, and Trump

    Feb 10 2017

    In this episode we talk tariffs, taxes in general, and whether business can really "pass on" a tax to consumers. Show notes for Ep. 73

  • Ep. 72 Will Trump Make Manufacturing Decline Faster?

    Feb 05 2017

    Donald Trump was elected in part to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States and reversing that sector's decline. Krugman says his program will do the exact opposite. Show notes for Ep. 72

  • Ep. 71 Krugman: Things Are Going to Get Worse, and When They Do, My Opponents Will Manufacture Their Own Reality

    Jan 29 2017

    Trump and his supporters live in a bubble and manufacture their own reality, says Krugman. That's Krugman talking, we remind you. Krugman is speaking about other people manufacturing their own reality. This from a guy who manufactures whatever reality conforms to the partisan demands of the moment, as we've shown in drearily copious detail. Show notes for Ep. 71

  • Ep. 70 The Obama Years: A Libertarian Assessment

    Jan 21 2017

    We decided to depart from our usual format this week, given the significance of the Obama-Trump transition, to look back at and offer some thoughts about the Obama years. Show notes for Ep. 70

  • Ep. 69 This Is Why Our Podcast Exists: Krugman Literally Says Deficits Matter Again -- at the Very Moment a Republican Takes Over

    Jan 11 2017

    Krugman actually had the nerve to write a column called "Deficits Matter Again." We demolish this column. We prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Krugman is simply a hypocrite, despite his protestations to the contrary. His reasons for why the deficit suddenly matters were all in effect months ago, yet back then Krugman didn't care about the deficit at all. Show notes for Ep. 69

  • Ep. 68 Corruption: What Krugman Sees, and What He Pretends Not to See

    Jan 07 2017

    Trump promises to be the most corrupt president in U.S. history, says Krugman, who offers hotel reservations as a key example. Democratic and bipartisan corruption is of course ignored. Oh, and two more times -- in a single column! -- Krugman links to something he claims is saying one thing, but which when you click on it you discover is saying quite another. In all, perfect fodder for Contra Krugman. Show notes for Ep. 68

  • Ep. 67 Protectionism Is Bad (but When Democrats Support It, Krugman Will Find Excuses)

    Jan 03 2017

    Krugman disagrees with Trump's trade policies and thinks they're grounded in falsehoods (e.g., China as a "currency manipulator"). You'll never guess what Krugman has said in the past when Democrats have flirted with protectionist ideas.... Show notes for Ep. 67

  • Ep. 66 Krugman's a Little Late to Be Worrying About the Republic: His Analogies with the Ancient World Are Lame

    Dec 23 2016

    So Paul Krugman is suddenly shedding tears over the fate of the republic. Of course, he cheered every step that brought us here. Show notes for Ep. 66

  • Ep. 65 Did the Russians Hack the Election?

    Dec 16 2016

    That sounds totally realistic and not at all like it was concocted by spooks. Show notes for Ep. 65

  • Ep. 64 Why It's Impossible to Keep Only the "Good Parts" of Obamacare

    Dec 11 2016

    Let's keep the part about covering pre-existing conditions, say Donald Trump and many other Republicans, and just get rid of the parts we dislike. Unfortunately for them, that can't be done. Show notes for Ep. 64

  • Ep. 63 On Education, We Catch Krugman Telling the Exact Opposite of the Truth

    Dec 03 2016

    In Krugman's column on cronyism and profiteering, Bob and Tom pay particular attention to the section on education, where Krugman discusses school vouchers and "privatization." Wait till you hear how Krugman summarizes the results of these policies.... Show notes for Ep. 63

  • Ep. 62 Krugman Desperate to Oppose Trump Infrastructure Stimulus

    Nov 23 2016

    Funny: Krugman used to be happy about any kind of fiscal stimulus. But when it's a Republican doing it, he has to come up with a laundry list of reasons to oppose it. But his own economic theory virtually requires him to favor it, so we have a little fun with the poor guy. Show notes for Ep. 62

  • Ep. 61 Surprise: Krugman's Concerned about the Debt Again

    Nov 20 2016

    Well, well, well: guess who's suddenly worried about the deficit and the debt! After just telling us that increasing the debt in any way for any reason would be a good thing, to boot! Show notes for Ep. 61

  • Ep. 60 Krugman Copes With Trump: Special Guest David Stockman

    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

  • Ep. 59 The Media's Tough on Hillary Because of Right-Wing Pressure, Says Paul "La-La Land" Krugman

    Nov 06 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

  • Ep. 58 Only Idiots Worry About the National Debt

    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

  • Ep. 57 Everything Is Awesome, So Why Are Trump and Ryan Complaining, Wonders Krugman

    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

  • Ep. 56 LIVE from the Contra Cruise: How Krugman Wants to Make You Poorer

    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

  • Ep. 55 Krugman, Trump, and Trade

    Oct 09 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

  • Ep. 54 Watch Out: Hillary and the Government Want to Help Families

    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

  • Ep. 53 Krugman's Stern Warning: Don't You Dare Vote for the Crazy Libertarians

    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

  • Ep. 52 Why Would Anyone Think Hillary Clinton Isn't Truthful?

    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

  • Ep. 51 Not Voting Democrat? Then You Want to Kill Children, Says Krugman

    Sep 09 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

  • Ep. 50 Cuts to Planned Parenthood Caused Pregnant Women to Die? Here's the Real Story Behind This Whopper

    Sep 03 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

  • Ep. 49 Obamacare Sinking? Why, It's Just a Flesh Wound, Says Krugman!

    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

  • Ep. 48 Where Does Economic Growth Come From? Krugman Genuinely Stumped

    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

  • Ep. 47 Time for Lots of Borrowing and Spending?

    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

  • Ep. 46 Krugman to NeverTrumpers: Hillary Probably Won't Be a Disaster

    Aug 05 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

  • Ep. 45 Contra Krugman LIVE: Are We Just Like Milton Friedman? Where Austria and Chicago Differ

    Aug 02 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

  • Ep. 44 Booming Stock Market Indicates Bad Times, Says Krugman

    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

  • Ep. 43 Krugman Says Investors Have Given Up Hope...So, What Happened to that Obama Recovery, Paul?

    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

  • Ep. 42 Without Government, Workers Are Doomed

    Jul 09 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

  • Ep. 41 Brexit and Liberty: Krugman Wrong Again

    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

  • Ep. 40 Krugman Shocked by GOP "Scandals," Not So Shocked at Destruction of Libya, Iraq

    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

  • Ep. 39 It's Easy to Fix the Slowing Economy: Try Something That's Never Worked, Says Krugman

    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

  • Ep. 38 When Businessmen Are Clueless About the Economy

    Jun 05 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

  • Ep. 37 Our Most Brutal Takedown Yet: Krugman on the Clinton Economy

    Jun 01 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

  • Ep. 36 LIVE FROM SEATTLE: Krugman's Greatest Hits

    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

  • Ep. 35 Debt Default: Good or Bad?

    May 15 2016

    You'll never guess: Krugman contradicts himself this week, but only Bob Murphy, who knows Krugman's columns inside and out, caught him. This week the topic is whether it's a good idea at some point to repay the national debt at less than face value. Krugman is horrified, so maybe it's a good idea.... Show notes for Ep. 35

  • Ep. 34 What the World Needs Is More Spending

    May 07 2016

    Surveying the economic stagnation in Europe, all Krugman can come up with is an alleged need for more government spending. Show notes for Ep. 34

  • Ep. 33 Krugman and Hamilton Sitting in a Tree

    Apr 30 2016

    According to Krugman, we should embrace the ideas of Alexander Hamilton, particularly his view that the national debt is in fact a "national blessing." We are unconvinced! Show notes for Ep. 33

  • Ep. 32 Why Antitrust Is the Problem, Not the Solution

    Apr 23 2016

    Krugman is now blaming poor economic times (but hasn't he been trying to tell us things are much better than the stupid right-wingers say?) on a lack of competition. Lax antitrust enforcement is the problem! Sure it is. In fact, antitrust itself is the problem, as we show in this week's episode.

  • Ep. 31 The Nonsensical Case for More Regulation

    Apr 15 2016

    Krugman is upset this week at a judicial ruling that held that the government's case for naming MetLife a Systemically Important Financial Institution (SIFI) was inadequate and should be thrown out. Sure, it's impossible to nail down what the criteria for a SIFI are, says Krugman, but so what? We take on the whole issue -- not just MetLife, but the whole idea of extra regulation for so-called SIFIs. Show notes for Ep. 31

  • Ep. 30 Obama's Been a Great President? Not So Fast

    Apr 09 2016

    Krugman argues that blinkered conservatives and cynical progressives alike have failed to appreciate the successes of the Obama presidency. He concentrates on four areas: the economy, health care, financial reform, and climate change. We concentrate on those areas, too -- and come up with rather different conclusions. Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, joins us as a special guest this week. Show notes for Ep. 30

  • Ep. 29 We're Told to Fear Globalization, but We Shouldn't

    Apr 02 2016

    This week Krugman says we ought to acknowledge that there are losers in international trade, and that we should introduce government subsidies, rather than trade restrictions, to help them. He says right-wing ideologues have failed to make note of these losers, even though he himself failed to mention them in his own scholarly work on trade. But we spend much of the episode defending the unpopular view that globalization is overwhelmingly and indisputably a good thing. Show notes for Ep. 29

  • Ep. 28 Income Mobility Really Does Exist, Paul Krugman

    Mar 26 2016

    We managed to dig out some economics from yet another standard Krugman attack on the Republican Party. This time it's his skepticism about the existence of very much income mobility in America. We'll say this: if government programs had the record of success in this area that the (hampered) market economy has, Krugman would never let us hear the end of it. Show notes for Ep. 28

  • Ep. 27 Is Free Trade Good or Bad?

    Mar 18 2016

    Krugman discusses how economists should respond to the growth in sympathy for protectionism. Along the way, his Keynesian assumptions lead him to oddball conclusions. Bob and Tom also spend some time explaining the classical case for free trade and discussing whether that case has been vitiated in light of modern conditions. Show notes for Ep. 27

  • Ep. 26: Trump, China, Trade, and Currency Manipulation: It's All Here

    Mar 11 2016

    Krugman says both Trump and Romney get the economics of trade wrong, but as usual, it's Krugman who makes his share of mistakes. With Bob on a lecture tour of Europe, Tom is joined this week by David Howden, chairman of the department of business and economics at St. Louis University's Madrid campus. Show notes for Ep. 26

  • Ep. 25 Krugman Says: You Racist Republicans Paved Way for Trump

    Mar 05 2016

    Bob and Tom use Krugman's column as a springboard from which to try to come to grips with the Trump phenomenon. Krugman does get a bit of it right this week, as it turns out, but whom are you going to look to on this, Krugman or Bob and Tom? Show notes for Ep. 25

  • Ep. 24 Krugman Attacks Bernie; Bernie's Supporters Hit Back

    Feb 26 2016

    Paul Krugman criticized Bernie Sanders again last week, arguing that the numbers in his economic proposal don't work. In particular, he went after economist Gerald Friedman of the University of Massachusetts, arguing that his projected growth figures are far too high to be plausible. Friedman and others fired back, arguing that they were using Krugman's own models to reach their conclusions! Bob and Tom discuss and enjoy this exchange, and then give the Austrian view of the whole thing. Show no...more

  • Ep. 23 Krugman: You're Stupid If You Oppose Stimulus

    Feb 19 2016

    We couldn't pass up this column, called "On Economic Stupidity." If you want to rein in the Fed or not run deficits during a recession, you're just stupid. Here's our reply. Show notes Ep. 23

  • Ep. 22 Fear Balanced Budgets and Sound Money, Warns Krugman

    Feb 13 2016

    Krugman accuses Establishment man John Kasich -- of all people -- of supporting hard money. Then he tells us that balancing budgets hurts depressed economies. A tone-deaf understanding of American politics, plus old-fashioned Keynesianism -- that's Krugman, and that's what we discuss today. Show notes for Ep. 22

  • Ep. 21 Did the Financial Crisis Occur Because the Fed Was Too Timid?

    Feb 06 2016

    Krugman evaluates the claims of market monetarists, who blame the Fed for the crisis because its policy was allegedly too timid. Krugman doesn't agree (and on that he's correct!), and he also finds it weird that "free-market" economists would say the Fed "caused" the crisis by not intervening. Isn't not intervening what free-market economists are supposed to favor? Show notes for Ep. 21

  • Ep. 20 Government Water Supply Is Contaminated? Don't Blame Government, Urges Krugman

    Jan 29 2016

    You'll never guess how Krugman apportions blame for the polluted water fiasco in Flint, Michigan. Wait, you probably will. Bob and Tom exonerate libertarianism in this episode! Show notes for Ep. 20

  • Ep. 19 Enough About Inequality Already; Here's the Truth

    Jan 22 2016

    Krugman wonders how rich "we need" the rich to be. A strange question, but you know the answer: less rich than they are now. We're then treated to a lecture on income inequality. We don't like lectures.   Is this the best episode yet of Contra Krugman? Tom thinks so....   Show notes for Ep. 19

  • Ep. 18 Krugman on China: No Matter What Happens, He's Proven Right!

    Jan 15 2016

    This week's column is classic Krugman. No matter what happens, he can claim to have predicted it. Or when a country obviously follows his advice, he finds some loophole on which he can blame the ensuing disaster. In this column Krugman discusses the recent plunge in Chinese stock markets, and what if anything it portends for the rest of the world. Finally, a column about economics, at least! Show notes for Ep. 18

  • Ep. 17 The Dramatic Consequences of American Elections, and Yes, We're Being Sarcastic

    Jan 09 2016

    Krugman reassures progressives that Barack Obama really has had some accomplishments. Think of how radically different America would be under Mitt Romney! Top marginal tax rates might differ by a few percentage points, and Obamacare might have been slightly modified! Oy vey. Show notes for Ep. 17

  • Ep. 16 George W. Bush Was for Small Government, Says Krugman

    Jan 02 2016

    Krugman says the GOP presidential candidates have all embraced the radical, anti-government views of George W. Bush. First, we were speechless. Then, we recorded an episode of Contra Krugman. Lew Rockwell joined us this week. Show notes for Ep. 16

  • Ep. 15 Krugman Calls for Housing Bubble, Tries to Weasel Out of It, Then Blames Capitalism

    Dec 26 2015

    This one is a doozy. Krugman called for low interest rates in 2001 precisely to stimulate housing, even calling for a housing bubble (this was "a joke," he later claimed). Now he says the artificial stimulus to housing had to do with crooked Wall Street shenanigans, and had nothing to do with the Fed or government policy at all. We ain't having it. Show notes for Ep. 15

  • Ep. 14 Krugman's Climate Hysteria Refuted

    Dec 19 2015

    The Paris agreement on climate may have saved civilization, says Paul Krugman. The usual fact-free analysis then follows. But as you know, Paul Krugman is the bologna, and Contra Krugman is the slicer. Show notes for Ep. 14

  • Ep. 13 Krugman's Lame Defense of the Obama Economy

    Dec 12 2015

    Krugman says the economy isn't really so bad! And the good parts are due -- of course! -- to what little Keynesian policy the stupid American rubes have permitted. You think he's going to get away with that, with Contra Krugman around? Show notes for Ep. 13

  • Ep. 12 Krugman Wants Less Regulation; Our Podcast Is Wearing Him Down

    Dec 05 2015

    Krugman correctly identifies one of the reasons housing is so expensive in New York. What else could the explanation be if not the salutary influence of Contra Krugman? Show notes for Ep. 12

  • Ep. 11 Ignore the Bad News About Obamacare! Everything Is Fine!

    Nov 27 2015

    This week Obamacare got some terrible news: rising premiums, lackluster enrollment (which is why the pool is sicker than anticipated), and major losses being suffered by insurance companies participating in the Obamacare exchanges. These are problems, Krugman magnanimously concedes, but not a big deal. Oh, yeah? Wait until you hear this episode! Show notes for Ep. 11

  • Ep. 10 Terrorism Creates Jobs

    Nov 21 2015

    Krugman's commentary on the Paris attacks is partly correct, with the usual nonsense thrown in. Even better his is blog post earlier this week, assessing whether there might be good economic effects from the terrorist attack if the French government spends enough money in response. That kind of analysis is why Contra Krugman exists, folks.   Scott Horton joins us this week. Show notes for Ep. 10

  • Ep. 9 Is Conservative Rhetoric Making White Men Kill Themselves? Krugman Thinks So

    Nov 14 2015

    On the one hand, Krugman says we really don't know why mortality rates for middle-aged white men have been on the rise. On the other, it's probably because of his political opponents. We have a much more plausible explanation for this rise, and it isn't because conservatives have been warning about bad economic times. Listen in!

  • Ep. 8 Does the Economy Perform Better Under Democrats?

    Nov 06 2015

    This week, Paul Krugman claimed that the economy does better under Democrats, and that the wild growth promises of "free market" Republicans never materialize. Without being water carriers for either party, we set Krugman straight -- after all, that's what we're here for!

  • Ep. 7 Obamacare Is a Big Success, Says Krugman

    Oct 31 2015

    Says Krugman this week: poor Mitt Romney. Now he wants to take credit for paving the way for Obamacare, but the rubes in the GOP will rip his head off. But Mitt is right, says Krugman, and in any event the Affordable Care Act has been a great success! None of the terrible things opponents predicted would happen have come to pass.

  • Ep. 6 Enough About Denmark Already: Here's What Krugman and Sanders Left Out

    Oct 23 2015

    Is Denmark a good model for the United States? Krugman thinks so, and claims the large welfare state there, combined with that country's prosperity, disproves free-market claims about the impoverishing effects of heavy government spending and intervention. To make his case, Krugman has to contradict his own textbook from six years ago. It isn't pretty, folks.

  • Ep. 5 Who's Crazy?

    Oct 17 2015

    Paul Krugman says Paul Ryan is an empty suit whose budget plans are ridiculous. No arguments there, as we'll show. But the problem with Ryan isn't that he's an Ayn Randian, as Krugman absurdly suggests, or that his proposals are too draconian. As usual when Krugman gets one right, he gets it right for the wrong reason. Ryan's proposals are much too timid, they take domestic "savings" and pour them into military boondoggles, and don't do a thing about entitlements.

  • Ep. 4 Krugman Hearts Solar and Wind, Attacks Fossil Fuels

    Oct 10 2015

    This week, Krugman says only GOP intransigence, and devotion to Big Energy, can account for conservative hostility to renewable energy. Wind and solar power aren't for hippies anymore, he says; they're growing by leaps and bounds and becoming more and more plausible as substantial energy sources for the United States. We disagree, and we've got the numbers on our side.

  • Ep. 3: Trump Is Right About Economics, Says Krugman

    Oct 01 2015

    Paul Krugman says Donald Trump is right to question supply-side orthodoxy about taxation of the wealthy. And Krugman says it's a myth that cutting those taxes helps the economy. Lots of great stuff in today's episode: even Keynesian researchers disagree with Krugman; it's not true that the job creation numbers under Obama are better than in the 1980s; and how Krugman can claim to be right no matter what happens.

  • Ep. 2: Do the World's Governments Need More Debt?

    Oct 01 2015

    Paul Krugman says that all the concern over debt is misplaced -- that what we need, in fact, is still more government debt. All we can say is: it's time for Contra Krugman.

  • Ep. 1: Why Contra Krugman?

    Oct 01 2015

    Welcome to Contra Krugman! In this inaugural episode, Tom Woods and Bob Murphy explain what they're seeking to accomplish with the podcast, what the format will be, the occasional guests they'd like to see, and much more. Enjoy, and please subscribe to the show!