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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

When Markets Fail

featuring Peter Van Doren, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 23, 2013

Peter Van Doren joins Aaron and Trevor to answer questions about market failure and the provision of public goods.

Free Thoughts

What Is Libertarianism?

featuring David Boaz, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 30, 2013

David Boaz joins us to talk generally about the libertarian philosophy.

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

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 Primitivism of Politics

featuring Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus on Jan 20, 2014

Aaron and Trevor note that when we use the political process we have to group together into warring “tribes” to accomplish our goals. That’s problematic.

Free Thoughts

Benjamin Tucker and the Individualist Anarchists

featuring David S. D’Amato, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 27, 2014

David D’Amato joins us to talk about the voluntaryist socialist political philosophy. Is the idea of voluntary socialism as odd as it sounds?

Free Thoughts

The Ethics of Dynamite

featuring Jason Kuznicki, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 3, 2014

Jason Kuznicki joins us for a meeting of Cato’s informal book club, where we discuss Auberon Herbert’s essay “The Ethics of Dynamite.”

Free Thoughts

The Synthesis of Rights and Consequences

featuring Tom G. Palmer, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 10, 2014

We discuss the two most common philosophical justifications for libertarianism: consequentialism and rights-based theories.

Free Thoughts

Democracy and Political Ignorance

featuring Ilya Somin, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 3, 2014

Ilya Somin asks, “What happens in a democracy when voters don’t know what they’re voting for or against?”

Free Thoughts

How to Fix Health Care

featuring Michael F. Cannon, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 10, 2014

Michael Cannon discusses a topic people seem to love getting into debates over: health care and the idea of government health care reform.

Free Thoughts

The Death Penalty

featuring Ben Jones, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 18, 2014

Ben Jones asks, “Does the death penalty play a legitimate role in justice?”

Free Thoughts

The Virtue of Justice

featuring Mark LeBar, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 24, 2014

Mark LeBar joins us for a discussion on justice. What does it mean to call justice a virtue? How did the ancient Greeks see the virtue of justice?

Free Thoughts

Is Bitcoin the Future of Money?

featuring Timothy B. Lee, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 7, 2014

Timothy B. Lee gives us a primer on Bitcoin and how it works.

Free Thoughts

The Three Languages of Politics

featuring Arnold Kling, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 14, 2014

Arnold Kling thinks there’s more to talking about politics than the angry yelling shows on TV and the radio.

Free Thoughts

Is Income Inequality a Problem?

featuring Brink Lindsey, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 21, 2014

Brink Linsdey joins us for a conversation about income inequality. Is there something wrong with some people earning more or less than others?

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

Equality of Capabilities, or Equality of Outcomes?

featuring Elizabeth Anderson, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on May 5, 2014

Elizabeth Anderson joins us this week to talk about egalitarianism. Should we be concerned about an equal distribution of resources in a society?