Ep. 173 The Case for One-Third Communism

26 January 2019     |     Tom Woods     |     19

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.

Krugman Column

The Case for a Mixed Economy” (December 22, 2018)

Related eBook (Free)

Education Without the State, by Tom Woods

Related Episodes, Tom Woods Show

Ep. 717 The Myth of Nordic Socialism (Nima Sanandaji)
Ep. 523 Now They Say Norway Is the Model to Follow (Morten Rolland)
Ep. 338 Did Sweden Succeed Because of Government? (Johan Norberg)
Ep. 32 The World’s Happiest Country? (Christian Bjørnskov)
Ep. 17 Is Sweden a Good Model? (Per Bylund)
Contra Krugman Ep. 6 Enough About Denmark Already: Here’s What Krugman and Sanders Left Out

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  • martinbrock

    Despite its more extensive welfare state, Sweden’s economy is freer than the U.S. economy, but Swedes do better in the U.S. than in Sweden. I guess we need all of the regulatory capture in the U.S. without the pesky welfare state.

    • Ludwig van El

      I agree with you, Martin Brock, but I’d please like to offer one caveat:

      “public” is sometimes (often) portrayed as government owned, therefore not private. I beg to differ: government is the most private institution of all; the people have no influence on government whatsoever (excluding rarities like the French revolution, the fall of communism; erstwhile Somalia) So I like to speak of “democratic” ownership, because businesses are more responsive to the people, since they don’t have absolute, total power over them..

      • martinbrock

        Yes. I cast dozens of votes every time I buy groceries, once or twice a week, and my options are mind boggling. In what we call “democracy”, I cast a few votes every few years, and my “options” are mostly distinctions without differences.

  • Eric

    I can purchase 100 different coffee makers from dozens of retail sources. I can refer to many different sources for advice on what to buy, including (especially?) the reputation of the retailer. But there’s exactly one hospital in town, subsidized by the government. The hospital is busy enough that they need more beds, which required a ballot initiative. I voted against it just for spite. If they cannot address my issue I get shuttled off to another hospital that might be hours away.

    Oh but our health is just too important for you to be trusted with choice. You might chose incorrectly. Then what? A bad cup of joe is one thing, but a botched cancer treatment? You’d better trust the professionals to determine what the best course of action might be. Otherwise you might think that acupuncture might be an option. Even though many insurance companies will cover acupuncture treatment, it has been proven to be 100% quackery. By tacitly approving acupuncture, the government give credence to these snake oil salesmen. And hey, maybe the insurance companies did the math and figured it might be cheaper to treat your cancer with acupuncture since you’ll die sooner…

    Tell me again why socialized healthcare is better?

    • martinbrock

      Socialized healthcare (as in state owned hospitals and state employed doctors) is not better, but what we typically call “socialized medicine” in the U.S. is something else. Medicare doesn’t own hospitals or employ doctors. It only pays bills. VA hospitals are more like socialized healthcare, not surprisingly, since everything about the military is more like socialism, but no one advocates VA-for-all.

      Canadian Medicare doesn’t own hospitals or employ doctors either. It’s a welfare state program, not socialized medicine. I’m not defending it, but the distinction is significant. Our side of the debate insists on the distinction when discussing Sweden’s welfare state, but blurs the distinction when discussing a Swedish-style welfare program in the U.S. Of course, this argument only appeals to our choir. Sanders’ choir sees through it.

      Suggesting that “socialism” (meaning a welfare state) is only a slippery slope away from Stalinist mass murder and Maoist famine doesn’t persuade anyone outside of our choir either. We need to do better.

      • Intersnooze

        Not reading martinbrock is the first step to doing better.

  • Eric Tee

    Could it be as simple as Krugman is just saying what he says cause it makes him money? Where would he be if he ever told the truth?

    • Snirate snigs

      I came to that conclusion a long time ago. Once he realized he can command additional income using the “noble prize” fame by promoting government increases in everything. He will clearly go against ideas he had just a short while ago, but now its against the republicans. Not a good guy and should never be trusted.

  • https://2vnews.com 2VNews

    We have a tribrid: Cronyism – Socialism – Capitalism.
    The first two are a cancer on the third.
    The cause of first two is government.

  • https://2vnews.com 2VNews

    Public lands, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, Student Loans, FDIC, government education system, federal flood insurance, unemployment insurance, Federal Reserve and the US Post Office, to name a few, are socialist.

  • davegrille

    Where did Krugman get the idea that public education is fantastically better than private.

    • Bob_Robert

      It astounds me every time I hear it, and I hear it often.

      Private education being better than government is so common it’s a cliché.

  • jorgeborlandelli

    The authorities of the Uruguayan Ministries of Education and Culture, Transport and Tourism spent about USD1.5 million in private schools fees for children of their employees when there were free public schools offering the same service. The government is run by a coalition of leftist parties called Frente Amplio.

  • Silly Sailor

    Why did you guys stop putting the podcast on YouTube? I assumed for the last 6 months you stopped making it

    • http://www.TomWoods.com Tom Woods

      We never put it on YouTube. That was somebody else. I’ve referred to Contra Krugman many, many times on the Tom Woods Show over the past six months, and I’ve linked to the episodes in my newsletter and on social media, so we we haven’t really done anything to hide the existence of the podcast.

      • https://2vnews.com 2VNews

        Any reason it is not on YouTube?

        • http://www.TomWoods.com Tom Woods

          To teach people how to use podcasting apps.

          • https://2vnews.com 2VNews


          • https://2vnews.com 2VNews

            Would you mind if someone upload all your episodes to YouTube?