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

27 May 2017     |     Tom Woods     |     13

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.

Krugman Column

The Unfreeing of American Workers” (May 22, 2017)

Podcast Mentioned

Bob on the VOICES podcast

Free eBook Mentioned

Your Facebook Friends Are Wrong About Health Care

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.

Share this post:Digg thisShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter
  • Bro Methylene

    Tom’s pause was too short. He needs practice.

  • Bro Methylene

    Some people actually go to Orlando voluntarily. Amazing.

    • http://www.lukeavedon.blogspot.com Luke Avedon


  • https://www.facebook.com/david.rogers.hunt David_Rogers_Hunt

    As Whittaker Chambers and Paul Krugman both agree,… to even consider people of greater demonstrated merit as having, at least, the same moral regard as people of lesser merit, is to be telling lesser beings,… “To a gas chamber–go!”

    A world were no one oppresses anyone else is regard as impossible so long as there are people in the world of greater and lesser merit and ability.

  • Nathan Titus

    Id never heard of noncompete agreements before. The concept filled me with revultion at first. Bob made it a little more understandable but evento so…

    A great and common libertarian arguement is that a free market with lots of employers is the best thing for workers. That way if one boss doesnt treat you right you can just go across the street. But if you are prevented vía noncompete agreements from going anywhere else that would seem to cancel it. Where can i find out more?

    • http://www.lukeavedon.blogspot.com Luke Avedon

      I was going to take a low pay job a couple of years ago and they had a non-compete agreement. I asked the employer to take it out and they didn’t care. The courts don’t enforce them on low skilled workers much. (Anecdote that means nothing).

      When people sell companies non-compete agreements are a big deal. Especially in California.

  • http://2vnews.com 2VNews

    Sounds like it is time for a nice white padded room for Krugman.

  • oblivionpool

    Was “Sandwich shops” in the article? It was probably a reference to the Jimmy Johns PR nightmare on their low wage employee non-compete debacle. These are basically non-enforceable and a few state AGs went after the company for it. It is disingenuous for Krugman to mention… courts are reluctant to uphold non-competes without meeting a bunch of criteria. In the sandwich case, they got bad PR and annoyed attorney generals. Not to say that bad companies don’t try to bully employees, but there is a marketplace for workers.. California law wont enforce them period, for example. I don’t know the stats, but companies don’t always go after employees that have non-competes – it takes legal time and money to do it, and threatens their reputation as being possibly vindictive.

    In my experience, these are big in M&A. For M&A, the buyer doesn’t want the owner walking out the backdoor at close and starting the same business the next day. The Seller wants maximum value for selling, so accepts restrictions for starting the same business (or working for a competitor) based upon things like time, industry, geography. Typically people are getting something for signing enforceable agreements.

  • davegrille

    Only the worker and his boss should be involved.

  • Viruzab Sebastian

    7:03 ” Proletariat of the world unite ! ”
    ” All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. ”
    ” We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system! And with my inclination to practical action it seems obvious to me that we have to put a better, more just, more moral system in its place, one which, as it were, has arms and legs and better arms and legs than the present one! ”
    Krugman reminds of those guys for some reason, IDK.

  • Viruzab Sebastian

    14:10 I guess getting married is literally slavery. Krugman is fucking nuts

  • Rod Peet

    Bob and Tom do a good job of pointing out that a person’s freedom my be limited by the physics of the real world and so the government cannot always be expected to provide for one’s “freedom”. I think a better argument is that, while government may provided someone with health insurance and thus increasing their freedom, the only way they can do that is by taking something from someone else thereby decreasing that person’s freedom. As with wealth government cannot give anyone freedom. It can only shuffle it around.

  • BrotherDave

    Krugman is ignorant of HIPAA, which provides portability between group plans without exposure to pre-ex condition waiting periods. HIPAA became law in 1997 and remains in effect. We do not need the ACA for portability. HIPAA also provided portability from group to individual market plans, but left out portability within the individual market. A simple amendment to HIPAA will fix the one missing feature. Employers and plans are required already to notify you of your HIPAA rights. However, HIPAA does require accountability on your part, i.e. you have 63-days to transfer to new coverage.