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

12 May 2017     |     Tom Woods     |     15

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.

Krugman Column

What’s the Matter With Europe?” (May 5, 2017)

Krugman’s Textbook


Data Mentioned

Young Employment in France vs US

Contra Column

Canada’s Budget Triumph,” by David R. Henderson

Mises Institute Event in Seattle

Be there for a live taping of Contra Krugman! Plus great speakers. Click here for more information about the Mises Institute’s May 20 (2017) event in Seattle.

Join Us Aboard the Contra Cruise!

Bob and Tom are hosting the second annual Contra Cruise for fans of Contra Krugman! October 15-22 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, and departing from Port Canaveral. It’s an absolute blast, as you’ll see in the video. Check it out by clicking here.

Need More Episodes?

Tom and Bob have their own podcasts! Check out the Tom Woods Show and the Lara-Murphy Report.

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  • mh

    Meanwhile in France:
    A bunch of union workers are threatening to burn down their employer’s factory, should it be shut down.

  • Bro Methylene

    I hope Dr. Murphy can put up with Dr. Woods until they’ve recorded at least 100 episodes. I think Murphy is reaching his limit.

  • davegrille

    Krugman is amazingly dishonest.

    • mary

      Yes, he’s a lying bag of dog excrement, no doubt part of project mockingbird. must be nice to make so much $$$ lying for a living.

  • batymahn

    What no one EVER mention is the health benefits of work. It helps build self-esteem, social skills and moving around prevents the build-up of nasty fluids in your body.

  • Stratos

    I applaud Krugman for standing up to the Insanity masquerading as “White House Administration” . Not that many people with his courage in mainstream media exist today. The great irony is , it’s elitists like him (free traders, globalists) that created the monstrosity fostered on us. So it’s only fitting he spearheads the remedy

    • Joshua Crosby

      Where was this courage before Jan 21st?

    • Intersnooze

      krugman is a footsoldier in the creation of eurabia

  • Jim Bob 1028

    At 29:00, Tom Wood suggests that a marginal income tax rate of 99% would be an “exaggerated case”.

    99% is not even close to an “exaggerated case”. Self-employed and subject to ObamaCare, my marginal rate is approximately 800,000%.

    No exaggeration. If I were to allow my income to exceed four times the official poverty line by a single dollar, my federal income taxes would go up by about $8000.

    I’m fortunate that, being self-employed, I can turn down work and make individual 401(k) and HSA contributions to avoid crossing the 400% of poverty line threshold.

    The welfare system also has numerous income thresholds in welfare programs that create effective marginal rates greater than 100% at low levels of income.

    • mary

      Correct Jim. the earned income tax credit is one such example. See here: http://www.frugalprofessor.com/page/2/

      Ignore the typos, scroll down to figure 1.

    • KH

      Not technically true. At the 400% poverty line threshold you would lose eligibility to receive the premium tax credit on an insurance policy purchased through the exchange. So yes, marginally a $1 change in income would represent an $8,000 increase in tax.

      But, the $8,000 reflects the amount of subsidies on your health insurance plan over the course of the year that you received as discounts on your coverage. True, the economic effect discourages work near these “hard” levels.

      But you would be in the same spot if you had purchased an $8,000 policy outside of the exchange, receiving no subsidies.


  • FrenchHoneyBadger

    Thank you for this episode. I finally have an argument against my father’s “the french are the most productive people in the west”… Simple answer: the unproductive French workers can’t find work!

  • maninthewilderness

    It would be fun to hear a discussion between Krugman and James Petras about the French election. Petras, a retired sociology professor who is very much on the political left, recently wrote that Le Pen was the candidate of the left, and Macron was a rightwing extremist.

    “Macron’s pro-war, anti-working class and ’supply-side’ economic policies leave us with only one conclusion: Marine Le Pen is the only candidate of the left. Her program and commitments are pro-labor, not ‘hard’ or ‘far’ right – and certainly not ‘fascist’.

    Macron, on the other hand is a committed rightwing extremist, certainly no ‘centrist’, as the media and the political elite claim! One has only to look at his background in banking, his current supporters among the oligarchs and his ministerial policies when he served Francois Holland.”:

    Petras is actually pretty perusasive: see http://www.unz.com/jpetras/twenty-truths-about-marine-le-pen/

  • maninthewilderness

    For the sake of completeness, this great quote from Krugman’s 1997 Slate article, which Gene Epstein found, (and which Tom Woods published elsewhere after this episode of ContraKrugman went out) needs to be on the show notes page:

    “To an Anglo-Saxon economist, France’s current problems do not seem particularly mysterious. Jobs in France are like apartments in New York City: Those who provide them are subject to detailed regulation by a government that is very solicitous of their occupants. A French employer must pay his workers well and provide generous benefits, and it is almost as hard to fire those workers as it is to evict a New York tenant. New York’s pro-tenant policies have produced very good deals for some people, but they have also made it very hard for newcomers to find a place to live. France’s policies have produced nice work if you can get it. But many people, especially the young, can’t get it. And, given the generosity of unemployment benefits, many don’t even try.”


  • The NAPster

    One point that I’m surprised Bob and Tom didn’t make is that in France a much larger percentage of the workforce is employed by the state than in the U.S. If we assume that state workers are not as prosperity-enhancing as private sector workers, that’s another reason to doubt that the French economy is in as good a shape as the U.S. economy. I’m sure the unemployment rate in the Soviet Union was, and that this rate in Cuba is, very low.