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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 Implications of Behavioral Economics

featuring Peter Van Doren, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Nov 3, 2017

Peter Van Doren joins us for a discussion on Richard Thaler’s work in behavioral economics.

Free Thoughts

Washington’s Five Tricks

featuring David Schoenbrod, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Oct 20, 2017

David Schoenbrod shares five specific tricks that politicians from both parties use to avoid public accountability.

Free Thoughts

The Real James Buchanan

featuring Richard E. Wagner, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Oct 6, 2017

Richard E. Wagner joins us for a discussion on life and thought of James M. Buchanan, who was one of the founders of public choice theory.

Free Thoughts

North Korea 101

featuring Michael Malice, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Sep 29, 2017

Michael Malice joins us to give a primer on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. What’s North Korea like?

Free Thoughts

Lessons from the Anti-Federalists

featuring William J. Watkins, Jr., Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Sep 15, 2017

William J. Watkins, Jr. joins us for a discussion on the Articles of Confederation and the ideas of the Anti-Federalists.

Free Thoughts

What’s the Right Number of Koala Bears?

featuring Ryan M. Yonk, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Sep 8, 2017

Ryan M. Yonk joins us this week for a discussion about how we think about ecology and the environment.

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

Arguments for Liberty: Utilitarianism

featuring Chris Freiman, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 25, 2017

Christopher Freiman joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on utilitarianism. What’s the utilitarian argument for libertarianism?

Free Thoughts

Free Thoughts on Free Thoughts: 200 Episodes and Counting

featuring Tess Terrible, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 18, 2017

Our producer, Tess Terrible, interviews Aaron and Trevor for Free Thoughts’s 200th episode. How did Free Thoughts get started, and what have we learned along the way?

Free Thoughts

Close America’s Overseas Bases

featuring John Glaser, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 11, 2017

John Glaser proposes a policy shift that would save money and make the United States safer: closing some or all of America’s 800 overseas military bases.

Free Thoughts

The Fate of the West

featuring Bill Emmott, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Aug 4, 2017

Bill Emmott joins us to talk about his new book, The Fate of the West: The Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea (2017).

Free Thoughts

We Broke the First Rule of Fight Club

featuring William Irwin, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 21, 2017

William Irwin joins us for a discussion about the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and the movie it inspired. Are consumer choices authentic choices?

Free Thoughts

Who Elected Donald Trump?

featuring Emily Ekins, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Jul 14, 2017

Emily Ekins has identified five different types of voters that elected Donald Trump as president. Do these groups represent a big shift in American politics?

Free Thoughts

Arguments for Liberty: Rawlsianism

featuring Kevin Vallier, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 7, 2017

Kevin Vallier joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on the ethical system of John Rawls. Does Rawls have value for libertarians?

Free Thoughts

Liberalism 1.0

featuring Deirdre McCloskey, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jun 30, 2017

Deirdre McCloskey has a few suggestions that she hopes will make libertarians more humane and empathetic. What sort of rhetorical tactics should libertarians use?

Free Thoughts

Markets in Everything?

featuring Jason Brennan, Peter Jaworski, Aaron Ross Powell, & Trevor Burrus on Jun 23, 2017

Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski think that anything you’re allowed to do for free, you should be able to do for money. That means things like buying and selling kidneys, children, sex, grades; even waiting in line. Are they right?

Free Thoughts

Lessons from a Bank-Robbing Law Professor

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

Shon Hopwood joins us this week to tell about his journey from bank robber to federal prisoner to U.S. Supreme Court practitioner and Georgetown law professor.