News & Politics

Free Thoughts

Cato Institute

A weekly show about politics and liberty, featuring conversations with top scholars, philosophers, historians, economists, and public policy experts. Hosted by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus.
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The True Causes of Mass Incarceration

1:05:37 | May 12th, 2017

We talk about the United States’s unusually high rate of incarceration. How many Americans are in prison or in jail? What did they do to get there?
The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

51:45 | May 3rd

WARNING this episode contains spoilers to most, if not all, Marvel movies, please listen with caution.
Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy

49:35 | Apr 26th

Christopher A. Preble joins us to discuss his new book; Peace, War, and Liberty: Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy, coming out April 30th, 2019.
Unbundling the State (with Jason Kuznicki)

53:50 | Apr 19th

Jason Kuznicki discusses how the problem of political authority has evolved over time from a classical liberal perspective.
The Birth of American Imperialism (with Stephen Kinzer)

49:54 | Apr 12th

Stephen Kinzer joins us to discuss an age-old question; What is America’s role in the world?
Quitting the Border Patrol (with Josh Childress)

49:01 | Apr 5th

Joshua Childress, a former Customs Border Patrol agent, joins us to discuss how his views conflicted with the work he was doing on the border.
How Taxation Affects Income Inequality (with Phil Magness)

46:46 | Mar 29th

Phil Magness joins us to discuss the history of taxation in America, which sheds light on how we got to the convoluted system we have today.
Happy (Belated) Birthday James Madison!

46:46 | Mar 22nd

James Madison would have turned 268 on March 16, 2019, so in honor of that, we explore his political life.
Liberty and the African American Experience (with Jonathan Blanks)

47:40 | Mar 15th

Jonathan Blanks returns to discuss how versions of liberty were promoted by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Movement.
The Collapse of the Local Community (with Tim Carney)

45:07 | Mar 8th

‘Forgotten America’ or ‘Alienated America’? Tim Carney joins us to discuss his book about the impact that strong communities have on people’s lives.
Overparenting & Bad Public Policy (with Lenore Skenazy)

47:14 | Feb 22nd

If you try to prevent every possible danger in your child’s everyday life, they will never get a chance to grow up.
Is There Any Justification for Paternalistic Policies? (with Christopher Snowdon)

42:49 | Feb 15th

Paternalism, even the art of nudging people in the right direction, does not allow human beings to make their own individual decisions.
A Duty to Resist (with Candice Delmas)

53:02 | Feb 8th

How far should we go to fight societal injustice?
The FDA Ruins Everything You Eat (with Baylen Linnekin)

44:00 | Feb 1st

If you make food that is indisputably safe, using appropriate methods, Linnekin argues that there is no need for the government to intervene.
The Unintended Consequences of Drug Prohibition (with Jeff Miron)

41:26 | Jan 25th

Drug prohibition, which drives the black market, makes it harder for rational people to take advantage of drugs they find necessary, argues Jeff Miron.
Is Trump Deregulating? (With Peter Van Doren)

49:50 | Jan 18th

Peter Van Doren joins us to discuss if Trump has actually kept his campaign promises of deregulation.
Can We Reduce the Footprint of the Fed? (with George Selgin)

55:27 | Jan 11th

George Selgin joins us to discuss the role that the Federal Reserve played before, during, and after the 2008 financial crisis.
Resisting State Injustice (with Jason Brennan)

51:31 | Jan 4th

Jason Brennan elaborates on his thesis that “you possess the same right of self defense against government agents as you do against fellow civilians”.
The World is Getting Better (with Marian Tupy)

55:29 | Dec 28th, 2018

The curve of human progress is a jagged one, explains Marian Tupy.
Is Wall Street Overregulated? (with Todd Zywicki)

50:03 | Dec 21st, 2018

Todd Zywicki explains how the American banking system is regulated to the point where there is no room or even hope for innovation.
Why Being Poor is Expensive (with Ryan Bourne)

52:58 | Dec 14th, 2018

Ryan Bourne joins us today to discuss the intricate hardships that the poor in the United States are experiencing.
Bringing Wealth to the Poor (with Michael Tanner)

47:43 | Dec 7th, 2018

Michael Tanner joins us to discuss the dimensions that affect poverty including; felony convictions, lack of education, & housing policies.
Teaching Economics (with Steve Horwitz)

49:32 | Nov 30th, 2018

Steve Horwitz joins us to debunk some global myths about economics.
Free Thoughts/Power Problem Crossover: Are Libertarians Isolationists? (with Trevor Thrall and Emma Ashford)

45:11 | Nov 23rd, 2018

Trevor Thrall & Emma Ashford discuss the nuance differences between isolationists, non-interventionists, & pragmatic realists.
What are State Constitutions Good for? (with Hon. Jeffrey Sutton)

54:23 | Nov 16th, 2018

Do you know your states’ constitution? Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton joins us to discuss state constitutions in contrast with the federal Constitution.
The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System (with Christy Ford Chapin)

54:52 | Nov 9th, 2018

Christy Ford Chapin analyzes if we are rationing or over-providing health care by discussing the history of the American Medical Association.
Understanding Impeachment (with Gene Healy)

57:56 | Oct 26th, 2018

Gene Healy joins us to discuss the concept of impeachment, from its’ origin to its’ impracticality in our polarized political climate.
Emerging Tech (with Matthew Feeney)

46:07 | Oct 19th, 2018

Free Thoughts meets Building Tomorrow with special guests Matthew Feeney & Paul Matzko as we discuss whether or not to fear emerging tech.
Regulation Magazine Fall 2018 (with Peter Van Doren)

14:22 | Oct 17th, 2018

Free Thoughts fan favorite Peter Van Doren joins us for a bonus episode to discuss the latest issue of Regulation Magazine.
Understanding Pakistan (with Sahar Khan)

47:39 | Oct 12th, 2018

Sahar Khan explains the history of Pakistan, & its’ relationship with the U.S., from its designation as independent from Great Britain in 1947.
The Coddling of the American Mind (with Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff)

48:41 | Oct 5th, 2018

Are we teaching a generation of students the habits of anxious & depressed people?
The Many Myths About Adam Smith (with Jesse Norman)

45:12 | Sep 28th, 2018

Jesse Norman leads our discussion of Adam Smith as the the father of both economics and social psychology.
Laughing about Politics (with P.J. O'Rourke)

30:51 | Sep 21st, 2018

P.J. O’Rourke offers comedic relief about the state of our politics from his unique journalistic perspective influenced by the “sunshine” of the 1960s.
How Superpowers See the World (with Christopher Fettweis)

49:38 | Sep 14th, 2018

Is the United States the most fearful country in the world?
Is Public Transportation Worth It? (with Peter Van Doren)

47:52 | Sep 7th, 2018

Do enough people benefit from public transit considering the amount of money poured into these politically-driven transportation endeavors?
Was the Buddha a Libertarian? (with Matthew J. Moore)

51:32 | Aug 31st, 2018

Matthew J. Moore discusses how Buddhism may align with libertarian tendencies; most importantly the need to think for yourself.
Can we ever downsize government? (with Chris Edwards)

43:28 | Aug 24th, 2018

Chris Edwards joins us to discuss the politics that goes into attempting to streamline the federal budget to minimize the federal deficit.
The Moral Collapse of Evangelical America (with Rob Schenck)

47:55 | Aug 17th, 2018

Rob Schenck joins us to discuss how his career in the evangelical world morphed into continued political engagement.
Should We Fear 3D Printed Guns? (with Matthew Larosiere)

49:13 | Aug 10th, 2018

Matthew Larosiere joins us to discuss how his interest in the design and development of weapons is controversial.
Helping Refugees in an Era of Nationalism (with Adam Bates)

45:00 | Aug 2nd, 2018

Adam Bates joins us this week to talk about how the Muslim ban inspired him to change his work focus from criminal justice to refugee relief.
Cato, Congress, and the Realities of Governing (with Jeff Vanderslice and Matt Weibel)

53:26 | Jul 27th, 2018

Jeff Vanderslice & Matt Weibel join us today to discuss the inner workings of Congress.
The Sad History of the FCC (with Thomas Hazlett)

46:14 | Jul 20th, 2018

Thomas Hazlett joins us for a discussion on the history of the U.S. government’s regulation of the airways.
When FDR Took Americans’ Gold (with Sebastian Edwards)

57:59 | Jul 13th, 2018

Sebastian Edwards joins us today to discuss why we abandoned the gold standard.
Regulation Magazine, Summer 2018 (with Peter Van Doren)

13:18 | Jul 9th, 2018

Free Thoughts fan favorite Peter Van Doren joins us for special bonus episode of Free Thoughts to discuss the latest issue of Regulation Magazine.
Trump’s Immigration Crackdown (with Alex Nowrasteh)

44:10 | Jul 6th, 2018

Alex Nowrasteh joins us today to discuss the state of immigration in President Trump’s America.
Introducing Building Tomorrow!

00:01 | Jul 5th, 2018

Today, Free Thoughts host Aaron Powell interviews the Paul Matzko, the host of’s new podcast Building Tomorrow.
An Ecological Theory of Free Expression (with Gary Chartier)

48:00 | Jun 29th, 2018

Gary Chartier joins us for a conversation on freedom of expression.
Beyond the Sea: The Possibilities of Seasteading

50:12 | Jun 22nd, 2018

Joe Quirk joins us to discuss the possibilities of seasteading for the future of civilization.
Our Fragile National Ego: Foreign Policy and the Struggle for Prestige

45:20 | Jun 15th, 2018

John Glaser joins us to discuss our fragile national ego and his new paper on the illusion of American decline.
Pharmaceutical Freedom (with Jessica Flanigan)

58:22 | Jun 8th, 2018

We discuss the rights of self-medication; rights to purchase and use unapproved treatments, prohibited drugs, and pharmaceuticals without a prescription.
Hamilton v. Madison (with Jay Cost)

58:14 | Jun 1st, 2018

In the history of American politics there are few stories as enigmatic as that of Hamilton and Madison’s personal feud.
Tomorrow 3.0: Uberizing The Economy (with Mike Munger)

52:20 | May 25th, 2018

Mike Munger joins us to discuss his new book and the future of the sharing economy.
The Future of Money (with Diego Zuluaga)

48:22 | May 18th, 2018

Diego Zuluaga joins us for a discussion on cryptocurrencies.
Trade War! (with Dan Ikenson)

45:52 | May 11th, 2018

Dan Ikenson joins us to answer one important question: is the United States in a trade war?
What’s Facebook Done With My Data? (with Will Duffield)

51:52 | May 4th, 2018

Will Duffield joins us again to discuss Cambridge Analytica and the future of social media.
Peter Van Doren Vs. MS-13

55:44 | Apr 27th, 2018

Peter Van Doren joins us again to discuss his time on jury duty.
Ayn Rand: An Introduction (with Eamonn Butler)

50:46 | Apr 20th, 2018

Eamonn Butler joins us to discuss his new book Ayn Rand: An Introduction.
Speak Freely (with Keith E. Whittington)

46:50 | Apr 13th, 2018

Keith E. Whittington joins us to discuss his book Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech.
WTF?! Economics (with Peter T. Leeson)

48:35 | Apr 6th, 2018

Peter T. Leeson joins us to talk about his new book WTF?!: An Economic Tour of the Weird.
Understanding Common Law (with John Hasnas)

47:27 | Mar 30th, 2018

John Hasnas joins us this week to discuss the evolutionary process of common law.
Forensics, Pseudoscience and Criminal Injustice (with Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington)

38:15 | Mar 23rd, 2018

Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington join us to discuss forensic science and the criminal justice system.
Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man (with Timothy Sandefur)

49:09 | Mar 16th, 2018

Timothy Sandefur joins us for a conversation on Frederick Douglass.
Why Are Cops Unaccountable? (with Jay Schweikert and Clark Neily)

54:21 | Mar 9th, 2018

Jay Schweikert and Clark Neily join us for a conversation on law enforcement and accountability.
Is the DEA Trippin'? (with Rick Doblin)

57:00 | Mar 2nd, 2018

Rick Doblin joins us to give a primer on the medical uses of psychedelics.
The Pope’s Politics

43:22 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Robert Whaples joins us for a conversation on the Pope’s earnest call to build a caring society.
The Case Against Education

52:00 | Feb 16th, 2018

Bryan Caplan gives us the case against traditional education.
Contracts and Cryptography

53:12 | Feb 9th, 2018

Kate Sills joins us for a conversation on smart contracts and the future of blockchain technology.
How the Media Really Works

48:37 | Feb 2nd, 2018

Cato Institute Vice President of Communications Khristine Brookes joins us to discuss the ever-changing world of news and media.
Choose Your Own Government

1:01:40 | Jan 26th, 2018

Tom W. Bell joins us for a Live Free Thoughts to talk about the emerging trend of private start up governments.
Trump’s Assault on America’s Institutions

48:35 | Jan 19th, 2018

John Samples joins us to discuss how the Trump presidency is challenging America’s institutions.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

44:49 | Jan 12th, 2018

Emma Ashford gives us a primer on Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich Middle Eastern nation that is one of the last remaining absolute monarchies in the world.
Guns and Mass Shootings

51:14 | Jan 5th, 2018

David Kopel joins us again to discuss firearms, gun violence, mass shootings, and whether a gun-free America is possible or desirable.
How the Federal Reserve Works

57:55 | Dec 29th, 2017

George Selgin joins us again on Free Thoughts for a conversation about the origins and role of the Federal Reserve.
Free Speech Online

52:46 | Dec 22nd, 2017

We talk about the freedom of speech in the internet era. How has the shift to digital communication changed interpretations of the 1st Amendment?
How Conscious Capitalism Can Solve Global Poverty

57:29 | Dec 15th, 2017

Michael Strong joins us this week to talk about the role that capitalism and social entrepreneurship play in alleviating global poverty.
How the Powerful Captured the Economy

49:07 | Dec 8th, 2017

We discuss 4 pathological policy regimes that are responsible for the slow growth & inequality that’s plagued the US economy.
Punk Rock Politics

55:40 | Dec 1st, 2017

Dr. Frank of The Mr. T Experience joins us to talk about the politics of punk rock. What is punk rebelling against? Is it inherently political?
How the Right Lost Its Mind

48:10 | Nov 24th, 2017

Charles J. Sykes joins us this week for a discussion on the origins of the populist, pro-Trump Right.
Do Employers Rule Our Lives?

53:38 | Nov 17th, 2017

Elizabeth Anderson joins us to talk about her new book, Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It).
Your World on the Blockchain

56:11 | Nov 10th, 2017

Brock Cusick joins us this week to talk about bitcoin and the decentralized blockchain technology that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies run on.
The Implications of Behavioral Economics

57:49 | Nov 3rd, 2017

Peter Van Doren joins us for a discussion on Richard Thaler’s work in behavioral economics.
How Drug Prohibition Caused the Opioid Crisis

49:10 | Oct 27th, 2017

Jeffrey A. Singer joins us to talk about the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic in the United States. Why are there so many opioid users in the US?
Washington's Five Tricks

41:33 | Oct 20th, 2017

David Schoenbrod shares five specific tricks that politicians from both parties use to avoid public accountability.
Is the Iran Deal a Good Deal?

52:56 | Oct 13th, 2017

John Glaser and Emma Ashford join us this week to discuss the “Iran nuclear deal.” What is this deal—what did the US and Iran agree to?
The Real James Buchanan

1:02:45 | Oct 6th, 2017

Richard E. Wagner joins us for a discussion on life and thought of James M. Buchanan, who was one of the founders of public choice theory.
North Korea 101

47:00 | Sep 29th, 2017

Michael Malice joins us to give a primer on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. What’s North Korea like?
Ten Things Political Scientists Know that You Don’t

56:01 | Sep 22nd, 2017

Hans Noel joins us this week to share ten insights into how politics, campaigns, and political parties work.
Lessons from the Anti-Federalists

46:53 | Sep 15th, 2017

William J. Watkins, Jr. joins us for a discussion on the Articles of Confederation and the ideas of the Anti-Federalists.
What's the Right Number of Koala Bears?

52:46 | Sep 8th, 2017

Ryan M. Yonk joins us this week for a discussion about how we think about ecology and the environment.
Rights and Radicalism

56:47 | Sep 1st, 2017

Grant Babcock joins us this week to talk about an essay he wrote in defense of natural rights-based libertarianism.
Arguments for Liberty: Utilitarianism

46:08 | Aug 25th, 2017

Christopher Freiman joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on utilitarianism. What’s the utilitarian argument for libertarianism?
Free Thoughts on Free Thoughts: 200 Episodes and Counting

45:12 | Aug 18th, 2017

Our producer, Tess Terrible, interviews Aaron and Trevor for Free Thoughts’s 200th episode. How did Free Thoughts get started, and what have we learned along the way?
Close America's Overseas Bases

50:34 | Aug 11th, 2017

John Glaser proposes a policy shift that would save money and make the United States safer: closing some or all of America’s 800 overseas military bases.
The Fate of the West

46:03 | Aug 4th, 2017

Bill Emmott joins us to talk about his new book, The Fate of the West: The Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea (2017).
Neoliberalism in the U.K.

47:47 | Jul 28th, 2017

Sam Bowman joins us this week to talk about political trends in the United Kingdom and in Europe more broadly. What’s a neoliberal?
We Broke the First Rule of Fight Club

49:45 | Jul 21st, 2017

William Irwin joins us for a discussion about the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and the movie it inspired. Are consumer choices authentic choices?
Who Elected Donald Trump?

45:27 | Jul 14th, 2017

Emily Ekins has identified five different types of voters that elected Donald Trump as president. Do these groups represent a big shift in American politics?
Arguments for Liberty: Rawlsianism

55:34 | Jul 7th, 2017

Kevin Vallier joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on the ethical system of John Rawls. Does Rawls have value for libertarians?
Liberalism 1.0

51:30 | Jun 30th, 2017

Deirdre McCloskey has a few suggestions that she hopes will make libertarians more humane and empathetic. What sort of rhetorical tactics should libertarians use?
Markets in Everything?

1:08:30 | Jun 23rd, 2017

Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski think that anything you’re allowed to do for free, you should be able to do for money.
Lessons from a Bank-Robbing Law Professor

46:21 | Jun 16th, 2017

Shon Hopwood joins us this week to tell about his journey from bank robber to federal prisoner to U.S. Supreme Court practitioner and Georgetown law professor.
Private Schooling for Everyone

46:54 | Jun 9th, 2017

Robert Luddy joins us this week to talk about his ventures as the founder of several successful private schools in and around Raleigh, North Carolina. Could private education supplant public schooling?
Is Liberalism in Danger?

49:16 | Jun 2nd, 2017

Jacob T. Levy says that the collapse of trust in institutional norms is responsible for a new era of Trump-style authoritarian, populist politics.
Stories from Putin's Economist

1:16:35 | May 26th, 2017

Andrei Illarionov joins us this week to tell us about growing up and studying economics in the Soviet Union, and about the years he spent as an economic policy advisor to Vladimir Putin.
Nothing Is Secure

1:03:05 | May 19th, 2017

Julian Sanchez joins us to talk about online privacy in the era of mass data collection. What kind of data are we creating, and who’s watching us?
Why We're Too Complacent

49:09 | May 5th, 2017

This week, we talk about the slowing pace of innovation and growth in the US over the past few decades. Has American society become too complacent?
The War on Sex Work

46:29 | Apr 28th, 2017

Elizabeth Nolan Brown joins us this week for a discussion about sex work. What’s the difference between sex trafficking and prostitution?
Guantanamo Bay Is Still Open

50:57 | Apr 21st, 2017

Andrew Turner joins us to talk about his experience being stationed at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in 2009 and 2010.
How Much Should We Worry About ISIS?

47:56 | Apr 14th, 2017

How is ISIS different from Al Qaeda and other terror groups? Does it pose an existential threat to the Western world?
Stuck in Political Nostalgia

48:21 | Apr 7th, 2017

Yuval Levin joins us to talk about political nostalgia and American individualism. Why do the political right and left both seem to be stuck yearning for the 1950s and early 60s?
Can Anarchy Work?

48:19 | Mar 31st, 2017

Peter T. Leeson joins us this week to discuss rational choice theory as it applies to self-governance. What happens in the absence of government?
The CIA Listens to Free Thoughts

58:37 | Mar 25th, 2017

Patrick G. Eddington joins us this week to tell us about the history of the Central Intelligence Agency, how the CIA operates, and what the new Wikileaks revelations mean for our privacy online.
Must You Obey Government?

1:01:13 | Mar 17th, 2017

Aaron and Trevor have a discussion about the political authority of the state. Should one obey the government? Is there a compelling reason to?
The Cato Institute at 40

51:06 | Mar 10th, 2017

Peter Goettler joins us this week to talk about his role at the Cato Institute, Cato’s history of 40 years of advancing liberty, and what’s next for public policy organizations more generally and for Cato specifically.
How Economists Think About Health Care

59:36 | Mar 3rd, 2017

Peter Van Doren joins us this week to talk about health care economics. How much should we spend on health care, and how would we know the answer to that question?
A Muslim Case for Liberty

46:06 | Feb 24th, 2017

Mustafa Akyol discusses Islam. Is there a Muslim case for liberty? How has Islam traditionally treated the principles of political liberalism?
The Libertarian Student Movement

53:47 | Feb 17th, 2017

Wolf von Laer joins us this week to talk about the movement for liberty on college campuses around the world.
Taking Government Un-Seriously

49:14 | Feb 10th, 2017

Jeremy McLellan joins us this week to talk about his brand of politics and comedy. Does humor have a place in changing people’s political beliefs?
The Truth About Immigration

55:32 | Feb 3rd, 2017

Alex Nowrasteh joins us this week to talk about immigration in the wake of Donald Trump’s contentious executive order. Is immigration always good for a country?
Liberaltarianism and Trump

48:21 | Jan 27th, 2017

Brink Lindsey joins us this week to talk about his idea for an alliance between liberals and libertarians in the age of Trump-style conservative populism.
King Obama, King Trump: The Dangers of an Imperial Presidency

54:46 | Jan 20th, 2017

Gene Healy joins us for a special Inauguration Day episode of Free Thoughts wherein we assess Barack Obama’s legacy as President of the United States.
Wages and Workers

50:29 | Jan 13th, 2017

Peter Van Doren joins us this week for a discussion on how wages are determined in a market economy.
Arguments for Liberty: Kantianism

51:11 | Jan 6th, 2017

Jason Kuznicki joins us to discuss the chapter he wrote on Immanuel Kant for our new book, Arguments for Liberty.
Harambe to Trump: 2016 Was the Worst

52:04 | Dec 30th, 2016

David Boaz joins us to recap 2016. Did we just have the worst year ever in American politics?
The Gold Standard Won't Be Coming Back

52:49 | Dec 23rd, 2016

George Selgin joins us for a discussion about the gold standard. How did America get off the gold standard, and is there any chance of the country returning to it?
The Permission Society: How the Ruling Class Turns Our Freedoms into Privileges and What We Can Do About It

49:02 | Dec 16th, 2016

Timothy Sandefur joins us this week to talk about his new book, The Permission Society. When you should you need a permit to do certain things?
Why Schools Haven't Changed in Hundreds of Years

53:10 | Dec 9th, 2016

Kevin Currie-Knight joins us this week to discuss why we can’t seem to change the way we educate schoolchildren. Is there one best way to educate kids?
Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future

53:10 | Dec 2nd, 2016

Johan Norberg joins Trevor this week to talk about the notion of progress and gives us all a few reasons to look forward to the future.
College: Too Costly, Too Little Learning, Too Much Underemployment

52:28 | Nov 25th, 2016

Richard Vedder joins us this week to discuss what he’s identified as three major problems with the way today’s American higher education system works.
Why Can't You Email Your Doctor?

52:57 | Nov 18th, 2016

Dr. Ryan Neuhofel joins us this week to talk about his practice, NeuCare, which is a very different way to approach primary care medicine.
The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians

36:10 | Nov 11th, 2016

Naomi Schaefer Riley joins us for a discussion about how poorly the US government treats Native Americans, and what can be done about it.
Bonus Election Day Episode: Should Libertarians Vote?

1:07:34 | Nov 8th, 2016

Aaron and Trevor debate Jim Harper and Michael F. Cannon on the merits of voting on this special Election Day bonus episode of Free Thoughts.
Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective

40:34 | Nov 4th, 2016

Thomas Sowell joins us for a discussion about disparities of income and wealth between and within nations, as part of Equality Month at
People, Not Ratios: Why the Debate Over Income Inequality Asks the Wrong Questions

45:51 | Oct 28th, 2016

Ryan Young joins us for a discussion about income inequality today, as part of Equality Month at Has inequality gone up?
Communicating Liberty Through Film and the Making Of "Freedom on Trial"

49:13 | Oct 21st, 2016

John Papola joins us to talk about the conception and production of’s newest video series, Freedom on Trial.
Explaining the Rise of Donald Trump

44:22 | Oct 14th, 2016

Ben Domenech joins us this week to discuss Donald J. Trump’s candidacy. What is Trump doing differently?
Rituals of Freedom: Libertarian Themes in Early Confucianism

42:50 | Oct 7th, 2016

Roderick T. Long joins us to talk about libertarian themes in Chinese philosophy. How much do libertarianism and early Confucianism have in common?
Politics As a Peculiar Business: Insights from a Theory of Entangled Political Economy

50:46 | Sep 30th, 2016

Richard Wagner provides an overview of public choice economics and considers how limited governments are incentivized to morph into destructive regulatory systems.
Thin Blue Lies: How Pretextual Stops Undermine Police Legitimacy

48:47 | Sep 23rd, 2016

Jonathan Blanks joins us for a discussion about police stops and the Fourth Amendment. Is there a war on cops?
Against Democracy

57:49 | Sep 16th, 2016

Jason Brennan joins us to talk about his new book, Against Democracy. What separates good voters from bad voters?
Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson’s Image in His Own Time

58:59 | Sep 9th, 2016

Robert McDonald joins us for a discussion about the life of author, musician, inventor, architect, philosopher and statesman Thomas Jefferson.
The World According to Star Wars

52:42 | Sep 2nd, 2016

Cass R. Sunstein joins us this week to talk about his new book, The World According to Star Wars. How did the Star Wars franchise become a cultural touchstone?
Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People

53:40 | Aug 26th, 2016

Randy E. Barnett discusses his new book, Our Republican Constitution. What’s the difference between a constitutional democracy and a constitutional republic?
Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present

1:03:26 | Aug 19th, 2016

Gary Gerstle discusses his book on American history and governance, Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present.
The Free Market Existentialist: Capitalism without Consumerism

46:01 | Aug 12th, 2016

William Irwin joins us to talk about existentialism and libertarianism. What did thinkers like Sartre and Neitzsche have to say about capitalism and human freedom?
Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions

57:06 | Aug 5th, 2016

Steven Horwitz joins us for a discussion on family and how it has changed over the years. Where does classical liberalism fit into the conception of a family?
John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, Part 1

1:02:37 | Jul 29th, 2016

This week Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, John Samples, and Matthew Feeney discuss 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill’s idea of “civil liberty.”
How American Politics Went Insane

46:54 | Jul 22nd, 2016

Jonathan Rauch joins us for a discussion on the current political landscape in America. Why are we seeing so many renegade political actors these days?
Campus Freedom

52:32 | Jul 15th, 2016

Robby Soave joins us this week to discuss a disturbing new kind of censorship on American college campuses.
Specialization and Trade: A Re-introduction to Economics

48:18 | Jul 8th, 2016

Arnold Kling joins us to talk about his new book, Specialization and Trade, which was recently published by
How New Technology Is Changing Law Enforcement

53:49 | Jul 1st, 2016

Matthew Feeney and Adam Bates discuss new technologies that are changing law enforcement. Can we balance police effectiveness and respect for privacy?
The Constitution in Practice: From Liberty to Leviathan

1:11:26 | Jun 24th, 2016

Roger Pilon joins us again to give an outline of Constitutional jurisprudence from its signing in 1787 through the New Deal era and into modernity.
The Philosophical Foundations of the Constitution

52:21 | Jun 17th, 2016

Roger Pilon joins us to discuss the United States’s founding documents and the philosophy of the men that drafted them.
The Statrix: How Government Warps Our Perception of the World

56:10 | Jun 10th, 2016

Trevor Burrus shares his theory of how government reorganizes the world around its own policies and programs.
Teaching School Choice to the American Education System

52:41 | Jun 3rd, 2016

Jason Bedrick joins us to talk about school choice in the United States. What’s wrong with our current public schooling model and how will more choice fix it?
The Bourgeois Era

53:13 | May 27th, 2016

Deirdre N. McCloskey joins us to discuss her Bourgeois Era book series. Why are we so much wealthier now than at any other point in human history?
Socrates on Trial, Part 2: Crito

47:27 | May 20th, 2016

Brian Wilson from Combat and Classics joins us for a discussion about the last days of Socrates, as told by Plato in Crito.
The Skeptical Libertarian

47:02 | May 13th, 2016

Daniel Bier joins us for a discussion about conspiracy theories and skepticism’s place in libertarianism.
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

1:01:58 | May 6th, 2016

Johann Hari joins us this week to discuss his recent New York Times best-selling book about the past, present, and future of drug prohibition.
The Ideas of Adam Smith

56:31 | Apr 29th, 2016

Paul D. Mueller joins us for a discussion on the life and ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher and pioneer of economic theory, Adam Smith.
Why Liberty Takes Character

43:55 | Apr 22nd, 2016

Lawrence W. Reed joins us for a discussion on how to effectively communicate the ideas of liberty through storytelling.
Rothbard's Ethics of Liberty, Part 2

1:05:15 | Apr 15th, 2016

Aaron Powell, Trevor Burrus, Grant Babcock, and Jason Kuznicki discuss the second part of Murray Rothbard’s book The Ethics of Liberty.
Hume and the Politics of Enlightenment

50:07 | Apr 8th, 2016

Thomas W. Merrill joins us to talk about the philosophy and political thought of David Hume.
The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America

46:18 | Apr 1st, 2016

Frank H. Buckley joins us to discuss America’s dangerous tendency to gravitate towards an overwhelmingly powerful executive branch.
The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory

54:16 | Mar 25th, 2016

Jesse Walker joins us to talk about his book, The United States of Paranoia. What do the conspiracy theories we embrace say about us a society?
The Fight for Free Speech in the Courts

55:16 | Mar 18th, 2016

Paul Sherman joins us for a discussion on free speech issues, particularly the right to political and occupational speech.
Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era

1:00:35 | Mar 11th, 2016

Thomas C. Leonard joins us to discuss the rise of the Progressive Era around the turn of the twentieth century. What ideas did these early progressives hold?
What's Wrong With Labor Unions?

42:45 | Mar 4th, 2016

Richard A. Epstein joins us for a discussion on labor unions. Did they really help to create a thriving middle class and the modern working life we enjoy today?
Transportation, Land Use, and Freedom

47:16 | Feb 26th, 2016

Randal O’Toole joins us for a discussion on land usage, urban planning, public transit, transportation, and driverless cars.
Why Property Rights Matter

56:11 | Feb 19th, 2016

Timothy and Christina Sandefur join us to talk about the importance of establishing and maintaining governments and societies that respect property rights.
How Well Does the Constitution Protect Liberty?

48:45 | Feb 12th, 2016

Sheldon Richman joins us to talk about the origins of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Why are these documents venerated by many libertarians?
Socrates on Trial, Part 1: Apology

59:35 | Feb 5th, 2016

Brian Wilson from Combat and Classics joins us to discuss the trial of Socrates, as told by his student Plato in the Apology.
What Role Should Science Play in Public Policy?

51:36 | Jan 29th, 2016

Peter Van Doren joins us for a discussion about why environmental policy questions so often result in dueling scientific studies.
Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy

44:24 | Jan 22nd, 2016

Benjamin Powell joins us this week to discuss the economics of sweatshops and the wages of workers in the third world.
Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System

58:03 | Jan 15th, 2016

Tara A. Smith joins us for a conversation on the importance of objectivity in legal systems.
The Tyranny of Silence

57:42 | Jan 8th, 2016

Flemming Rose talks about the decision to publish 12 cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005.
Intellectual Influences on Our 2015 Guests

1:16:03 | Jan 1st, 2016

The podcast guests we had in 2015 share some of their greatest intellectual influences and give book recommendations.
Politics and Principle in New Zealand

50:50 | Dec 25th, 2015

Jamie Whyte joins us this week to share his experience working in politics in New Zealand as the former leader of ACT New Zealand, a free market political party.
The Politics of Star Wars

53:46 | Dec 18th, 2015

Ilya Somin joins us to talk about the politics behind the galaxy’s most popular epic space fantasy franchise.
What Are the Risks of Terrorism?

58:16 | Dec 11th, 2015

John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart join us to discuss their new book, Chasing Ghosts: The Policing of Terrorism (2015).
Building a Better Government

1:05:25 | Dec 4th, 2015

Richard A. Epstein joins us to discuss the core principles of classical liberalism. Is there a way to build a government that remains limited?
The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

41:45 | Nov 27th, 2015

Matt Ridley joins us to talk about his new book, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge. How are new ideas adopted from the bottom up?
Taking a Stand

1:03:25 | Nov 20th, 2015

Robert Higgs joins us this week to share a few of his reflections on individual liberty, economics, war and peace, and the role of the state in human affairs.
The Politics of Star Trek

58:27 | Nov 13th, 2015

Timothy Sandefur joins us for a discussion on political philosophy in the Star Trek science fiction franchise.
The Legacy of Roy A. Childs, Jr.

58:52 | Nov 6th, 2015

George H. Smith joins us for a discussion on the life of his friend and colleague, Roy A. Childs, Jr.
The Distinction Between Governance and Government

1:04:30 | Oct 30th, 2015

Edward Peter Stringham joins us for a discussion on his new book, Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life.
America's Authoritarian Alliances

40:34 | Oct 23rd, 2015

Ted Galen Carpenter and Malou Innocent join us for a discussion on America’s history of making foreign policy alliances with repressive or corrupt regimes.
Rothbard's Ethics of Liberty, Part 1

50:13 | Oct 16th, 2015

Jason Kuznicki, Grant Babcock, and Aaron Powell discuss the first part of Murray Rothbard’s book The Ethics of Liberty.
"Ideological Dorks"

57:47 | Oct 9th, 2015

Jonah Goldberg joins us for a discussion on what unites intellectual conservatives and libertarians and the history of the political left.
The End of Doom

59:15 | Oct 2nd, 2015

Ronald Bailey talks about environmental “doomsayers.” Their apocalyptic predictions change, but their solutions remain the same: more government control.
"Net Neutrality" vs. Internet Freedom

1:03:24 | Sep 25th, 2015

Berin Szoka joins us to discuss what the “net neutrality” movement stands for and why the online community is so angry about the state of the Internet.
Why Young People Aren't Interested in Running for Office

50:51 | Sep 18th, 2015

Jennifer L. Lawless joins us for a discussion about why young people in America seem to be almost wholly uninterested in running for electoral office.

56:22 | Sep 11th, 2015

Andrew Jason Cohen joins us for a discussion on toleration—what does it mean to be tolerant? What should be tolerated? Are we becoming less tolerant?
The Libertarian Moment?

51:37 | Sep 3rd, 2015

Katherine Mangu-Ward joins us to talk about the “libertarian moment” and the past and future of libertarianism more broadly.
War Is the Health of the State

53:57 | Aug 28th, 2015

Christopher A. Preble joins us for a discussion on American foreign policy. We examine ways in which an aggressive foreign policy aids the growth of government.
Lysander Spooner's Letter to Grover Cleveland

59:01 | Aug 21st, 2015

Matt Zwolinski joins us for a discussion on Lysander Spooner’s “Letter to Grover Cleveland,” which Spooner wrote in the last year of his life.
Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?

50:03 | Aug 14th, 2015

Jason Kuznicki joins us to discuss the left-leaning tendencies of public intellectuals. We examine an essay by Robert Nozick that proposes a cause for this trend.
A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America

48:57 | Aug 7th, 2015

John C. Goodman, the “Father of Health Savings Accounts,” joins us for a discussion on the American health care system.
Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis

51:57 | Jul 31st, 2015

Michael D. Tanner joins us for a discussion on the national debt and America’s various entitlement programs and their implications on the country’s future.
When Is Voluntary Choice Really Voluntary?

47:45 | Jul 24th, 2015

Michael C. Munger joins us for a discussion on the nature of voluntary choice in economics. What counts as voluntary? Is it possible to be coerced by circumstance?
What Does It Mean to Think Philosophically?

1:07:07 | Jul 20th, 2015

Matthew Feeney joins us for a general discussion on the value of philosophy. Why is philosophy important? How do you learn to think philosophically?
How Much Should Philosophy Influence Public Policy?

54:34 | Jul 13th, 2015

Andrew I. Cohen joins us to talk about his book, Philosophy, Ethics, and Public Policy. Can practical commitments undercut a philosophical argument?
Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom

56:40 | Jul 6th, 2015

Jacob T. Levy says a tension exists in liberal political thought between a rationalist suspicion of localized power and a pluralism favoring intermediate groups.
The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State

1:01:37 | Jun 29th, 2015

Bruce L. Benson joins us for a discussion on the idea of law without a government. How would such a system work? How did the law as we know it today come about?
The Education Apocalypse: How It Happened and How to Survive It

50:18 | Jun 22nd, 2015

Glenn Harlan Reynolds joins us to discuss the current state of America’s education system. What’s broken in schools and colleges today, and how can we fix it?
Taxation: How the Government Funds Itself

46:43 | Jun 15th, 2015

Daniel J. Mitchell joins us for a discussion on taxation in America. What’s the best way to run a government on taxes? Is it anything like the system we have now?
The Ideas of Friedrich Hayek

53:10 | Jun 8th, 2015

Steven G. Horwitz joins us for a discussion on the life and ideas of one of the 20th century’s greatest intellectuals, Friedrich Hayek.
The Austrian Tradition in Economics

57:59 | Jun 1st, 2015

Peter J. Boettke joins us to explain the origins and methodology of the Austrian tradition in economics.
From Jailer to Jailed: Bernard Kerik's Story

52:11 | May 25th, 2015

Bernard Kerik joins us to share his experience on both sides of the criminal justice system as former New York City Police Commissioner and as Inmate #84888-054.
End the IRS Before It Ends Us

58:37 | May 18th, 2015

Grover Norquist joins us to tell us about his Taxpayer Protection Pledge and his plan to eliminate the IRS as we know it.
How Free Trade Creates Wealth

57:56 | May 11th, 2015

Daniel J. Ikenson joins us to explain how trade between countries increases wealth all around—and why restricting that trade is harmful to economic growth.
The Cato Institute and the Libertarian Movement

51:52 | May 4th, 2015

Edward H. Crane joins us to talk about the early days of the Libertarian Party and the Cato Institute, which he founded almost 40 years ago in 1977.
The Radical Notion of Individualism

54:05 | Apr 27th, 2015

George H. Smith joins us to talk about’s first book, which is a reader on the topic of individualism.
Big Business Loves Big Government: Cronyism in American Politics

50:32 | Apr 20th, 2015

Timothy P. Carney joins us to talk about cronyism and the revolving door in Washington politics. Are big business and big government as opposed as they seem?
The End of Socialism

59:07 | Apr 13th, 2015

James Otteson joins us this week to talk about the socio-economic system known as socialism. Is an idealized form of socialism possible, and if not, why not?
Why Transparency Matters in Local Politics

47:17 | Apr 6th, 2015

Kevin Glass joins us to talk about transparency in local politics. How can state and local governments do more harm than the federal government?
How Does Libertarianism Deal with the Problem of Pollution?

58:21 | Mar 30th, 2015

Matt Zwolinski joins us to talk about libertarianism and pollution. What does it mean for libertarians to treat pollution as a violation of property rights?
Did Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal Really Save America?

55:16 | Mar 23rd, 2015

Jim Powell joins us for a discussion on the New Deal policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Did the New Deal really pull America out of the Great Depression?
The Problem of Police Misconduct

48:46 | Mar 16th, 2015

Jonathan Blanks joins us to discuss civil liberties and police misconduct in America.
Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption

1:08:39 | Mar 9th, 2015

Jay Cost joins us for a discussion on the history of interest groups and political factions in America from James Madison’s time to the modern era.
How Obamacare Really Works...and How It Doesn't

1:00:00 | Mar 2nd, 2015

Peter Suderman helps us make sense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. How does it work, and why did we have to “pass it to find out what’s in it?”
What Makes a Fair Election?

54:16 | Feb 23rd, 2015

Allen Dickerson joins us to talk about First Amendment rights when it comes to funding campaigns. What does it mean to have an undue influence on an election?
The Second Amendment at the Supreme Court

1:01:39 | Feb 16th, 2015

Alan Gura joins us for a discussion on gun rights. The 2nd Amendment has been upheld as an individual right - what’s next for gun laws in America?
When the Government Takes Things

1:03:33 | Feb 9th, 2015

Scott Bullock explains eminent domain and civil asset forfeiture. How can we stop government from abusing the power to take away its citizens’ private property?
The Moral Arc of Science and Reason

43:29 | Feb 2nd, 2015

Michael Shermer joins us to discuss his newest book, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom.
How Government Housing Policy Distorts the American Dream

1:02:36 | Jan 26th, 2015

We discuss the federal housing policy and homeownership in America. What political forces helped create our modern housing policy?
What Does Libertarian Feminism Look Like?

41:28 | Jan 19th, 2015

Elizabeth Nolan Brown joins us for a discussion on libertarianism and women.
An Introduction to Public Choice

58:15 | Jan 12th, 2015

Peter Van Doren returns to Free Thoughts for a discussion on public choice economics and how it affects political decision making.
The Right to Earn a Living

56:34 | Jan 5th, 2015

Timothy Sandefur joins us for a discussion on economic liberty. Is there a right to earn a living? How is this right being violated today?
The Inhumanity of Torture

48:34 | Dec 29th, 2014

Patrick Eddington joins us this week for a discussion on the recently-released Senate report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs.
Science Doesn't Need Public Funding

50:59 | Dec 22nd, 2014

Terence Kealey joins us for a discussion about publicly funding scientific research. Should science be funded by the government?
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

53:39 | Dec 15th, 2014

Alex Epstein joins us for a discussion on fossil fuel use. How much have fossil fuels benefited humanity? Is there a moral case for their use?
Welcome to the Sharing Economy

49:22 | Dec 8th, 2014

Matthew Feeney joins us for a discussion on how the so-called “sharing economy” undermines the regulatory establishment and makes people’s lives better.
The Limits of Utilitarianism

52:03 | Dec 1st, 2014

Adam Gurri joins us for a discussion on utilitarianism and why it may not be a satisfactory moral theory in which to ground libertarianism.
Liberty and the American Experience

56:15 | Nov 24th, 2014

Jim Powell joins us for a discussion on how the tradition of liberty in the United States was established and how it subsequently flourished.
What Influences Elections?

57:00 | Nov 17th, 2014

John Samples joins us this week for a midterm election recap and a talk about factors—including campaign contributions—that influence elections.
The Cost of Earning More Money

46:49 | Nov 10th, 2014

Daniel C. Russell joins us this week to talk about income and happiness. What do we give up by taking opportunities to earn more money?
The Internet Doesn't Need to Be Saved

53:56 | Nov 3rd, 2014

Peter Van Doren joins us this week for a discussion on net neutrality. What is net neutrality, and why do people seem to get so upset about it?
When Is It Appropriate to Go to War?

53:10 | Oct 27th, 2014

Justin Logan joins us for a conversation about American foreign policy. What’s the libertarian solution for military overspending and overreach?
"Libertarian" Paternalism?

48:14 | Oct 20th, 2014

Bill Glod joins us on this week’s episode of Free Thoughts for a discussion on so-called libertarian paternalism.
How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

52:00 | Oct 13th, 2014

Russ Roberts joins us on this week’s episode of Free Thoughts to talk about his new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life.
The Changing Role of Criminal Law

52:56 | Oct 6th, 2014

Tim Lynch joins Trevor Burrus this week for a discussion on the role of criminal law in America.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

57:14 | Sep 29th, 2014

David Kopel joins us this week for a discussion on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: the right to keep and bear arms.
Deconstructing the Surveillance State

1:03:32 | Sep 22nd, 2014

Julian Sanchez joins us for a discussion on privacy, the NSA, and domestic surveillance.
The Problem of Political Authority

52:54 | Sep 15th, 2014

Michael Huemer joins us this week for a discussion on political authority, political obligation, and political legitimacy.
Listener Q&A: Where Are All the Libertarian Countries?

50:55 | Sep 8th, 2014

Aaron, Trevor, and David Boaz answer listener questions including the classic: “If libertarianism is so great, where are all the libertarian countries?”
The Story of Money in the United States

1:02:44 | Sep 1st, 2014

George Selgin tells the story of how the American government became so deeply ingrained in the production and supply of our money, and why.
The Libertarian Supreme Court

52:17 | Aug 25th, 2014

Aaron Powell and Trevor Burrus sum up the Supreme Court’s most recent term and discuss the meaning and impact of each of the court’s big cases.
Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate

48:35 | Aug 18th, 2014

Greg Lukianoff joins us for a discussion about the state of free speech on college campuses in the United States.
The Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

44:06 | Aug 11th, 2014

Martin Gurri says that a new wave of media in the 21st-century has eroded the legitimacy of political authority around the world.
The Problem of Judicial Abdication

52:11 | Aug 4th, 2014

Clark Neily joins us for a discussion on judicial engagement and judicial abdication.
The State of State Education in America

1:06:55 | Jul 28th, 2014

Neal McCluskey joins us for a conversation about public education in America. How did it begin? And why doesn’t it work as well as we want it to?
Libertarianism and Christianity

52:09 | Jul 21st, 2014

Doug Bandow joins us to talk about the relationship between libertarianism and Chrisitanity.
The Up Side of Down

59:20 | Jul 14th, 2014

Megan McArdle says that recognizing failure—and in some cases embracing it—is a crucial part of what makes American markets and society successful.
Discrimination Law in an Overlawyered America

1:03:01 | Jul 7th, 2014

Walter Olson joins Aaron and Trevor to discuss the evolution of discrimination law in the American legal system.
The Specter of Wall Street

58:20 | Jun 30th, 2014

Mark A. Calabria explains the incentives built into the regulatory system that governs investments here in America.
Why Not Capitalism?

46:12 | Jun 23rd, 2014

Is there anything to the argument that “socialism would work if we were just better people” and had perfect information?
The Structure of Liberty

54:07 | Jun 16th, 2014

Randy Barnett describes five rights—informed by natural law—that are crucial for properly structuring a society.
Regulations Gone Wrong

59:29 | Jun 9th, 2014

Peter Van Doren talks about regulatory failure in markets, specifically phone service, banking, electricity, internet, and health care.
Why Aren't There More Black Libertarians?

42:10 | Jun 2nd, 2014

Jonathan Blanks joins Aaron and Trevor to talk about the relationship between African-Americans and the state.
Intellectual Privilege

50:18 | May 26th, 2014

Tom W. Bell joins Aaron and Trevor for a discussion on intellectual property, specifically copyright law in the United States.
Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century

51:41 | May 19th, 2014

Scott Winship joins us to discuss Thomas Piketty’s newest book,Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power

59:23 | May 12th, 2014

Gene Healy joins us to talk about the growing power of the Executive Branch. What are the President’s actual duties according to the U.S. Constitution?
Equality of Capabilities, or Equality of Outcomes?

1:01:11 | May 5th, 2014

Elizabeth Anderson joins us this week to talk about egalitarianism. Should we be concerned about an equal distribution of resources in a society?
Capitalism Can Save the Environment

56:18 | Apr 28th, 2014

Jerry Taylor joins us for a discussion on environmental protection and energy use.
Is Income Inequality a Problem?

52:11 | Apr 21st, 2014

Brink Linsdey joins us for a conversation about income inequality. Is there something wrong with some people earning more or less than others?
The Three Languages of Politics

59:36 | Apr 14th, 2014

Arnold Kling thinks there’s more to talking about politics than the angry yelling shows on TV and the radio.
Is Bitcoin the Future of Money?

52:36 | Apr 7th, 2014

Timothy B. Lee gives us a primer on Bitcoin and how it works.
Millennials and Immigration (at the 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference)

33:18 | Mar 31st, 2014

Alex Nowrasteh joins us at the International Students for Liberty Conference, where an audience of students asks questions about immigration.
The Virtue of Justice

58:02 | Mar 24th, 2014

Mark LeBar joins us for a discussion on justice. What does it mean to call justice a virtue? How did the ancient Greeks see the virtue of justice?
The Death Penalty

47:06 | Mar 18th, 2014

Ben Jones asks, “Does the death penalty play a legitimate role in justice?”
How to Fix Health Care

1:02:25 | Mar 10th, 2014

Michael Cannon discusses a topic people seem to love getting into debates over: health care and the idea of government health care reform.
Democracy and Political Ignorance

1:01:53 | Mar 3rd, 2014

Ilya Somin asks, “What happens in a democracy when voters don’t know what they’re voting for or against?”
The Conscience of the Constitution

58:20 | Feb 24th, 2014

Timothy Sandefur joins us to talk about the U.S. Constitution. Which is the Constitution’s primary value: preserving liberty or promoting democracy?
The Rise of the Independents

1:00:32 | Feb 17th, 2014

Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie join Trevor Burrus and Jason Kuznicki for a freewheeling discussion about the modern political scene in America.
The Synthesis of Rights and Consequences

1:01:02 | Feb 10th, 2014

We discuss the two most common philosophical justifications for libertarianism: consequentialism and rights-based theories.
The Ethics of Dynamite

49:59 | Feb 3rd, 2014

Jason Kuznicki joins us for a meeting of Cato’s informal book club, where we discuss Auberon Herbert’s essay “The Ethics of Dynamite.”
Benjamin Tucker and the Individualist Anarchists

42:04 | Jan 27th, 2014

David D’Amato joins us to talk about the voluntaryist socialist political philosophy. Is the idea of voluntary socialism as odd as it sounds?
The Primitivism of Politics

58:11 | Jan 20th, 2014

Aaron and Trevor note that when we use the political process we have to group together into warring “tribes” to accomplish our goals. That’s problematic.
Bias in Scientific Research

52:29 | Jan 13th, 2014

Patrick J. Michaels joins us this week. When objective science and the need to generate headlines clash, who wins?
Is There a Purpose to History?

53:46 | Jan 6th, 2014

Jason Kuznicki joins us this week. What is the subject matter of history? How was it chosen?
What Is Libertarianism?

56:57 | Dec 30th, 2013

David Boaz joins us to talk generally about the libertarian philosophy.
When Markets Fail

59:48 | Dec 23rd, 2013

Peter Van Doren joins Aaron and Trevor to answer questions about market failure and the provision of public goods.
You Are Now Free to Move About the Planet

1:06:12 | Dec 16th, 2013

Alex Nowrasteh joins us to talk about immigration. Should we have limits on who can enter the United States?
Listener Q&A: But Who Will Build the Roads?

47:58 | Dec 9th, 2013

Aaron and Trevor take listener questions from: Who will build roads and keep corporations honest? To: What’s the libertarian position on abortion?
Do We Have a Duty to Obey the Government?

58:01 | Dec 2nd, 2013

Jason Brennan joins us for a discussion on political obligation. Are we ethically obligated to obey the government? If so, why? If not, why not?
What's Okay to Buy and Sell?

44:20 | Nov 25th, 2013

James Stacey Taylor asks why it is that we seem to be comfortable with the idea of buying and selling some things, but not others.
Libertarians and the Poor

59:48 | Nov 18th, 2013

Matt Zwolinski joins Aaron and Trevor to discuss how libertarianism can help the least well-off.
Robert Nozick's "Anarchy, State, and Utopia"

1:27:19 | Nov 11th, 2013

Julian Sanchez joins us for a discussion on the political philsophy of Robert Nozick.
Can Money Buy Elections?

59:24 | Oct 28th, 2013

John Samples joins us on the show for a discussion on the relationship between money and political speech.