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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.

Building Tomorrow

The Brave New World of DNA Databases

featuring Paul Matzko, Matthew Feeney, and Aaron Ross Powell on Aug 16, 2018

This week we discuss the implications of law enforecement’s ability to access genetic information from DNA databases like Ancestry and 23&Me. 

Free Thoughts

Rights and Radicalism

featuring Grant Babcock, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Sep 1, 2017

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

Free Thoughts

The State of State Education in America

featuring Neal McCluskey, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 28, 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?

Free Thoughts

Listener Q&A: Where Are All the Libertarian Countries?

featuring David Boaz, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Sep 8, 2014

Aaron, Trevor, and David Boaz answer listener questions including the classic: “If libertarianism is so great, where are all the libertarian countries?”

Free Thoughts

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

featuring Matt Ridley, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Nov 27, 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?

Free Thoughts

The Politics of Star Wars

featuring Ilya Somin, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 18, 2015

Ilya Somin joins us to talk about the politics behind the galaxy’s most popular epic space fantasy franchise.

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

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

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

Free Thoughts

Liberaltarianism and Trump

featuring Brink Lindsey, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 27, 2017

Brink Lindsey joins us this week to talk about an alliance between liberals and libertarians in the age of Trump-style conservative populism.

Free Thoughts

The Gold Standard Won’t Be Coming Back

featuring George Selgin, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Dec 23, 2016

George Selgin joins us for a discussion about the gold standard. Is there any chance of the country returning to the gold standard?