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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

The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski (with Timothy Sandefur)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, and Timothy Sandefur on Sep 27, 2019

Timothy Sandefur returns to the show to talk about his new book, The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski: The Life and Ideas of a Popular Science Icon. 

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

Private Schooling for Everyone

featuring Robert Luddy, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Jun 9, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

Free Thoughts

Explaining the Rise of Donald Trump

featuring Ben Domenech, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Oct 14, 2016

Ben Domenech joins us this week to discuss Donald J. Trump’s candidacy. What is Trump doing differently?