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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

Welcome to the Sharing Economy

featuring Matthew Feeney, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 8, 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.

Free Thoughts

Taking Government Un-Seriously

featuring Jeremy McLellan, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 10, 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?

Free Thoughts

The Politics of Star Trek

featuring Timothy Sandefur, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Nov 13, 2015

Timothy Sandefur joins us for a discussion on political philosophy in the Star Trek science fiction franchise.

Free Thoughts

In Defense of Big Business (with Tyler Cowen)

featuring Trevor Burrus, Aaron Ross Powell, and Tyler Cowen on May 17, 2019

Tyler Cowen joins us to discuss the value of work and how big businesses give people opportunities to feel fulfilled in their lives. 

Free Thoughts

The Ideas of Friedrich Hayek

featuring Steven Horwitz, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jun 8, 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.

Free Thoughts

Discrimination Law in an Overlawyered America

featuring Walter Olson, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 7, 2014

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

Free Thoughts

The Second Amendment at the Supreme Court

featuring Alan Gura, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Feb 16, 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?

Free Thoughts

The Fight for Free Speech in the Courts

featuring Paul Sherman, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Mar 18, 2016

Paul Sherman joins us for a discussion on free speech issues, particularly the right to political and occupational speech.

Free Thoughts

How Well Does the Constitution Protect Liberty?

featuring Sheldon Richman, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 12, 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?

Free Thoughts

Lessons from a Bank-Robbing Law Professor

featuring Shon Hopwood, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Jun 16, 2017

Shon Hopwood tells about his journey from bank robber to federal prisoner to U.S. Supreme Court practitioner and Georgetown law professor.

Free Thoughts

Rothbard’s Ethics of Liberty, Part 1

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Jason Kuznicki, and Grant Babcock on Oct 16, 2015

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

Free Thoughts

Government-Created Segregation (with Richard Rothstein)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, and Richard Rothstein on Dec 13, 2019

Richard Rothstein joins the episode to discuss how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation. 

Free Thoughts

Is There a Purpose to History?

featuring Jason Kuznicki, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 6, 2014

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

Free Thoughts

The Moral Arc of Science and Reason

featuring Michael Shermer, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 2, 2015

Michael Shermer joins us to discuss his newest book, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom.

Free Thoughts

Bias in Scientific Research

featuring Patrick Michaels, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 13, 2014

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

Free Thoughts

The Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

featuring Martin Gurri, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 11, 2014

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