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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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Free Thoughts

Is Liberalism in Danger?

featuring Jacob T. Levy, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jun 2, 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.

Free Thoughts

Stories from Putin’s Economist

featuring Andrei Illarionov, Trevor Burrus, and Matthew Feeney on May 26, 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.

Free Thoughts

Nothing Is Secure

featuring Julian Sanchez, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on May 19, 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?

Free Thoughts

The True Causes of Mass Incarceration

featuring John Pfaff, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on May 12, 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?

Free Thoughts

Why We’re Too Complacent

featuring Tyler Cowen, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on May 5, 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?

Free Thoughts

The War on Sex Work

featuring Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Apr 28, 2017

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

Free Thoughts

Guantanamo Bay Is Still Open

featuring Andrew Turner, Aaron Ross Powell, and Adam Bates on Apr 21, 2017

Andrew Turner joins us to talk about his experience being stationed at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in 2009 and 2010.

Free Thoughts

How Much Should We Worry About ISIS?

featuring Emma Ashford, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 14, 2017

Emma Ashford joins us this week to discuss the rise of the Islamic State. How is ISIS different from Al Qaeda and other terror groups? Does it pose an existential threat to the Western world?

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. Why do the political right and left both seem to be stuck yearning for the 1950s and early 60s?

Free Thoughts

Can Anarchy Work?

featuring Peter T. Leeson, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Mar 31, 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?

Free Thoughts

The CIA Listens to Free Thoughts

featuring Patrick G. Eddington, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 25, 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.

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Must You Obey Government?

featuring Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus on Mar 17, 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?

Free Thoughts

The Cato Institute at 40

featuring Peter Goettler, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 10, 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.

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How Economists Think About Health Care

featuring Peter Van Doren, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 3, 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?

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A Muslim Case for Liberty

featuring Mustafa Akyol, Aaron Ross Powell, and Adam Bates on Feb 24, 2017

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

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The Libertarian Student Movement

featuring Wolf von Laer, Aaron Ross Powell, and Caleb O. Brown on Feb 17, 2017

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

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 Truth About Immigration

featuring Alex Nowrasteh, Trevor Burrus, and Matthew Feeney on Feb 3, 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?