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Free Thoughts Podcast

A show about libertarianism and the ideas that influence it. Hosted by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus.

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Aaron Ross Powell

Aaron Ross Powell is Director and Editor of Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute. Libertarianism.org presents introductory material as well as new scholarship related to libertarian philosophy, theory, and history. He is also co-host of Libertarianism.org’s popular podcast, Free Thoughts. His writing has appeared in Liberty and The Cato Journal. He earned a JD from the University of Denver.

Free Thoughts

Your World on the Blockchain

featuring Brock Cusick, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Nov 10, 2017

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

Free Thoughts

Washington’s Five Tricks

featuring David Schoenbrod, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Oct 20, 2017

David Schoenbrod shares five specific tricks that politicians from both parties use to avoid public accountability.

Free Thoughts

North Korea 101

featuring Michael Malice, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Sep 29, 2017

Michael Malice joins us to give a primer on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. What’s North Korea like?

Free Thoughts

We Broke the First Rule of Fight Club

featuring William Irwin, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 21, 2017

William Irwin joins us for a discussion about the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and the movie it inspired.

Free Thoughts

Who Elected Donald Trump?

featuring Emily Ekins, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Jul 14, 2017

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

Free Thoughts

How American Politics Went Insane

featuring Jonathan Rauch, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Jul 22, 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?

Free Thoughts

King Obama, King Trump: The Dangers of an Imperial Presidency

featuring Gene Healy, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 20, 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.

Free Thoughts

Stuck in Political Nostalgia

featuring Yuval Levin, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Apr 7, 2017

Yuval Levin joins us to talk about political nostalgia and American individualism. 

Free Thoughts

Harambe to Trump: 2016 Was the Worst

featuring David Boaz, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 30, 2016

David Boaz joins us to recap 2016. Did we just have the worst year ever in American politics?

Free Thoughts

Capitalism Can Save the Environment

featuring Jerry Taylor, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 28, 2014

Jerry Taylor joins us for a discussion on environmental protection and energy use.

Free Thoughts

Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century

featuring Scott Winship, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on May 19, 2014

Scott Winship joins us to discuss Thomas Piketty’s newest book,Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Free Thoughts

Why Not Capitalism?

featuring Jason Brennan, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jun 23, 2014

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

Free Thoughts

The Up Side of Down

featuring Megan McArdle, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 14, 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.

Free Thoughts

Remaining Grateful with Steve Horwitz

featuring Trevor Burrus, Aaron Ross Powell, and Steven Horwitz on Aug 9, 2019

Steve Horwitz returns to the show to discuss how we should be grateful for how much better the world has gotten in the last 1000 years. 

Free Thoughts

The Limits of Utilitarianism

featuring Adam Gurri, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 1, 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.

Free Thoughts

The Right to Earn a Living

featuring Timothy Sandefur, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 5, 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?