Bob Murphy Show

By Robert Murphy

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The podcast promoting free markets, free minds, and grateful souls.

Episode Date
Ep. 8 David R. Henderson on Working in the Reagan Administration, Krugman’s Inflation Memo, and Publicly Challenging the Secretary of Defense
Economist David R. Henderson underwent a personal odyssey in his discovery of free-market economics. David tells Bob the story of his recruitment by Harold Demsetz, and how David ended up at UCLA during its glory days. The conversation turns to David's time on the Council of Economic Advisors to Ronald Reagan, as well as David's unusual position as a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School while he was a columnist for           Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest: David's archives at EconLog. David's books: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (online version), The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey (2001), and (with co-author Charles L. Hooper) Making Great Decisions in Business and Life (2006) Bob's Journal of Private Enterprise article on the 1970's price controls on crude oil (and Milton Friedman's goof in Newsweek). David's Mercatus paper on "Canada's Budget Triumph" Krugman's inflation memo, awkward in light of his victory laps over Bob's lost inflation bet to David. Bob's book Contra Krugman (which discusses the above events plus a whole lot more!). David on Paul Samuelson predicting a return of depression after WW2 budget cuts. David asks a pointed question of Leon Panetta (beginning at 43:41 in the video). Explanation of Bob's inside joke about Phil Magness and "madjuncts." The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at
Dec 12, 2018
Ep. 7 Gödel Made Easy: Explaining One of the Most Important Mathematical Demonstrations of All Time
Mathematician Kurt Gödel in 1931 published his two famous "incompleteness theorems," which showed the principled limits on the knowledge we could generate from formal axiomatic systems. Loosely speaking, Gödel showed that there exist true statements about numbers that we will never be able to prove are true. His results have been cited not just in mathematics but also computer science and philosophy. In this episode, Bob details more precisely just what Gödel demonstrated, and gives an intuitive explanation of how Gödel did it. Gödel's results are some of the most frequently-cited in the 20th century, and revolutionized how people think about truth and knowledge. Even if you have no formal mathematical background, rest assured that this episode will BLOW YOUR MIND.       Mentioned in the Episode: The Three Lads and the Lizard King, Bob's story (written for his son) that we will review in January 2019. The Wikipedia entry on Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems. "Numberphile"'s YouTube episode on Gödel's Theorems. The Paris-Harrington Theorem, the first "natural" mathematical proposition that is true but unprovable (in a well-defined sense). A conjecture on the ostensible loophole that Gödel discovered in the U.S. Constitution. BONUS (not mentioned in episode): Steve Landsburg's riddle that relies on Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems. The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at
Dec 05, 2018
Ep. 6 Steve Landsburg on Learning Economics From Friedman and Stigler
Steve Landsburg went to Chicago to do his graduate work in mathematics but was intrigued by the economics taught by Milton Friedman, George Stigler, Gary Becker, and other luminaries.  We discuss the essence of Chicago price theory, the time when Steve was picketed by campus feminists, how Steve can climb aerial silks like Batman (while Bob looked more like the Penguin), and puzzles from his new book.   Mentioned in the Episode: Can You Outsmart an Economist? Steve Landsburg's new book. The Armchair Economist, one of Steve's earlier classic books., Steve's blog. Murphy vs. Landsburg on Krugman's take on government debt burdens. Murphy vs. Landsburg on escalators. Steve gets into trouble when he blogs about Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke. Steve doing aerial silk heroics (one and two). "Carbon Taxes and the 'Tax Interaction Effect,'" EconLib article by Murphy. The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at
Nov 28, 2018
Ep. 5 Scott Horton on the Siege of Waco, the Perverse Logic of U.S. Foreign Policy, and How Trump Staved Off a Coup
Antiwar hero and all-around genius Scott Horton joins Bob for a lengthy discussion covering the siege and massacre at Waco, the motivations and perverse logic of the U.S. government's interventions in the Middle East, and how Donald Trump staved off the establishment at the Republican convention and after the general election.     Mentioned in the Episode: Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan book by Scott Horton, Scott's website and source for his podcast The Scott Horton Show. and Bill Hicks' bit on US foreign policy. The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at
Nov 21, 2018
Ep. 4 A Conversation With Jeff Deist
In this episode, Bob talks to Mises Institute president Jeff Deist. They discuss Jeff's original goal of being a professor, his time as an attorney, his work as Ron Paul's Chief of Staff, and his insider knowledge of DC politics.       Mentioned in the Episode: Website of the Mises Institute. The Denationalisation of Money, by Friedrich Hayek. "The Chicago School versus the Austrian School," essay by Murphy. "Ben Bernanke, the FDR of Central Banking," book chapter by Murphy. The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at
Nov 14, 2018
Ep. 3 Tucker Carlson Is Wrong About Amazon
In this episode Bob flies solo, taking on the popular idea--embodied in a TV clip by Tucker Carlson but also Bernie Sanders' "Stop BEZOS' Act"--that Amazon, Walmart, and other giant employers offload some of their labor costs onto the taxpayers through the food stamp and similar programs. Bob actually argues that, if anything, these federal programs probably lead Bezos et al. to pay higher hourly wages to workers, especially those in unpleasant jobs.   Mentioned in the Episode: Tucker Carlson's TV spot condemning Bezos. Amazon's deal with the CIA and potential deal with the Pentagon. Bob's article at The Beacon critiquing Tucker Carlson / Bernie Sanders' logic. Bob's new book, Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America's Most Famous Keynesian. ADDED 11/13/2018: Casey Mulligan's Mercatus paper detailing labor disincentives in Affordable Care Act (specifically the 3rd item). The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at
Nov 06, 2018
Ep. 2 A Conversation With Carlos Lara
In this episode, Bob talks to his old friend (and co-author) Carlos Lara. They discuss Carlos' move from Mexico to Texas as a young boy, Carlos' surprising relationship to the JFK assassination, suing the Marines, and how Carlos learned Austrian economics--the hard way.           Mentioned in the Episode: The joint website Bob and Carlos run, Their co-authored book, How Privatized Banking Really Works Their book with Nelson Nash, The Case for IBC Paul Cleveland's Understanding the Modern Culture Wars Bastiat's famous booklet, The Law Bob's study guide to Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State. Lara-Murphy Show Origins, Part 1 and Part 2 St. Augustine's City of God Lara-Murphy Report article, "Who Runs the World?" The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at
Nov 06, 2018
Ep. 1 A Conversation With Tom Woods
In this inaugural episode of The Bob Murphy Show, Bob talks to his old friend Tom Woods. They discuss the pros and cons of being captain of the math team, what makes a good historian, and how to give a great speech.         Mentioned in the Episode: Tom's sketch of Aquinas' proof of God. The debate on Jesus' resurrection between Gary Habermas and Antony Flew. Bob's study guide to Ludwig von Mises' Human Action. The video of Bob's talk, promoting his (then) new study guide. The podcast that Bob and Tom co-author, The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at
Nov 04, 2018