Ep. 176 Trump vs. Socialism?

14 February 2019     |     Tom Woods     |     8

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.


Krugman Column

Trump Versus the Socialist Menace” (February 7, 2019)

Speech Mentioned

Ronald Reagan’s speech against socialized medicine

Related Episodes, Tom Woods Show

Ep. 983 Can We Really Measure the “Happiest” Countries? (Gene Epstein)
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

Need More Episodes?

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  • Tyrel O’Bray

    Hey Tom it was really cool to hear you as this weeks guest on Bob’s contra krugman podcast! (Joking about the audio if thats not obvious)

    • Matt Hartley

      It was very nice of Bob to humour Tom by letting him sum up the column before providing all of the interesting content

  • Matt Hartley

    Can we all just appreciate how desperate Krugman is to get a chief economist position in a democratic administration? He went against the predictions of his own model in order to support everything that Hillary Clinton proposes and oppose everything Bernie Sanders supports. Then once it is clear that whoever the democratic nominee is will support some form of socialism, he suddenly starts talking about how good socialism is.

  • Cynthiacurran

    Trump got into trouble by supporting the manufacturing industry which depends a lot on the state. The largest industry in manufacturing is the aerospace industry which is tied by the military-industrial complex. Also, manufacturing depends upon the overtime rules that were forced on companies during FDR. Factory work would barely pay more than service work if the overtime rules were eliminated. In fact before FDR, few factories pay overtime work over 40 hours. Trump should support more contract blue collar work instead of the state supported manufacturing industry. Take carpenters, electricals, and plumbers that worked more on their own and tend to command higher salaries.

  • Justin Huff

    “15% gender pay gap? Largely due to vacations.” Lol

  • MDBurk2754

    That some state social/”safety net” programs are- via polls- popular w/the American public should immediately, if not sooner, prompt the question: since when are property rights decided via majority rule (aka “mob rule”)? That a given percentage of an entire populace is in favor of doing- essentially- anything in no way, shape or form justifies forcing any one individual, much less the entire citizenry, to comply.

  • Augusto Mendoza-Rey

    Krugman says:

    “What Americans who support “socialism” actually want is what the rest of the world calls social democracy: A market economy, but with extreme hardship limited by a strong social safety net and extreme inequality limited by progressive taxation. They want us to look like Denmark or Norway, not Venezuela.”

    Then he goes:

    “Venezuela was a corrupt petrostate long before Hugo Chávez came along”.

    in an attempt to exclude Venezuela from any valid and comparable example of what one can expect.

    True, Venezuela became a corrupt petrostate way before Chavez, but Krugman conveniently forgets to mention that Venezuela was also a social democracy in the same timeframe, that is from 1959 in the pre-Chavez era.


    Krugman then adds:

    If there’s a road to serfdom, I can’t think of any nation that took it.

    Surprise, surprise, Krugman is being dishonest. Venezuela took that very road to serfdom. It only took 40 years of social democracy to become the “Socialism of the 21st Century” of today that Krugman claims he and his like-minded americans don’t really mean.

    I submit that precisely Venezuela’s social democracy with all its “light socialist” features was the conduit that allowed and stimulated the corrupt petrostate it became.

    So when comparing with Venezuela, before dismissing it so easily don’t just start with Chavez or the more recent Maduro, look and study carefully the significant social democracy period that proceeded them as well.

  • John the Economist

    With regard to Reagan’s speech about government choosing one’s occupation, one should consider occupational licensing. Cato says that about 25% of jobs require licensing.

    In addition, how many dairy farmers can sell raw milk in the country? Is that the government deciding one’s profession? And, if so, one can extend this to many occupations that are illegal in this country, some of which involve people only potentially harming themselves–such as meth.

    Finally, all those folks with food trucks and kids with their lemonade stands would assert that the government decides IF one can work in an area.