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Contra Krugman

Join Bob Murphy and Tom Woods in this weekly libertarian podcast as they teach economics by refuting Paul Krugman's New York Times column. Plus, expect special guests like Ron Paul, David Stockman, and more!

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Ep. 215 Don't Worry About the Deficit!

That's Krugman's message now. Interestingly, back in 2003 the very indicators he's now using to tell us not to worry were actually less pronounced, and yet back then he was warning of a "fiscal train wreck." In any case, today we discuss what the genuine problems with the deficit are, and why it makes perfect sense to be concerned about it. Show notes for Ep. 215


19 Jan 2020

Rank #1

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

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.


23 Oct 2015

Rank #2

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

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


30 Apr 2018

Rank #3

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

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


7 May 2018

Rank #4

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

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 their mistakes.   Sure.   And don't worry: there's real economics in here, too, as we discuss Krugman's claims about the predictive power of Keynesianism and the supposedly poor track record of its opponents.   Show notes for Ep. 134


12 Apr 2018

Rank #5

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Ep. 150 We Need the State to Protect Workers

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


4 Aug 2018

Rank #6

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

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


23 Jun 2018

Rank #7

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

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


15 Jul 2018

Rank #8

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Ep. 149 How to Unwind the Welfare State

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


30 Jul 2018

Rank #9

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

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


24 Jul 2018

Rank #10

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

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


13 May 2018

Rank #11

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Ep. 41 Brexit and Liberty: Krugman Wrong Again

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


21 Jun 2016

Rank #12

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Ep. 10 Terrorism Creates Jobs

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


21 Nov 2015

Rank #13

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

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


13 Nov 2016

Rank #14

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

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


23 Feb 2019

Rank #15

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

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!


14 Nov 2015

Rank #16

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Ep. 145 The Libertarian Wing of the Libertarian Party

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


3 Jul 2018

Rank #17

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Ep. 210 Elizabeth Warren's Fiscal Fantasies

Krugman is impressed by the detail and alleged seriousness of Elizabeth Warren's Medicare for All plan and how it will be paid for. Bob and Tom, by contrast, are not so impressed. Show notes for Ep. 210


9 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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

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


16 Jun 2018

Rank #19

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Ep. 176 Trump vs. Socialism?

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


14 Feb 2019

Rank #20