475 episodes

A weekly show about politics and liberty, featuring conversations with top scholars, philosophers, historians, economists, and public policy experts. Hosted by Trevor Burrus.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Free Thoughts Libertarianism.org

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 302 Ratings

A weekly show about politics and liberty, featuring conversations with top scholars, philosophers, historians, economists, and public policy experts. Hosted by Trevor Burrus.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Fighting Government Secrecy (with Patrick Eddington)

    Fighting Government Secrecy (with Patrick Eddington)

    The Jones Act biases American shippers and shipbuilders at the expense of international competition, passing higher prices onto consumers and kneecapping free trade. The Cato Institute (and others) have been urging the government to reform this protectionist policy for several years now. But new findings prompt us to ask; how could such an ordinary task for a think tank constitute treason?
    Cato Institute Senior Fellow Patrick Eddington joins Trevor today to explain how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) sheds light onto the dark and hidden memos, documents, and recommendations shuffled between bureaucrats behind closed doors—when it can. But how did FOIA come about? What is the process involved? And how do agencies avoid complying with requests?

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 52 min
    When Is Democracy Undemocratic? (with Emily B. Finley)

    When Is Democracy Undemocratic? (with Emily B. Finley)

    The rise of global populism reveals a tension in Western thinking about democracy. Warnings about the "populist threat" to democracy and "authoritarian" populism are now commonplace. However, as Emily B. Finley argues in The Ideology of Democratism, dismissing "populism" as anti-democratic is highly problematic. In effect, such arguments essentially reject the actual popular will in favor of a purely theoretical and abstract "will of the people."
    On today’s episode, Emily Finley and Trevor sit down to trace a line from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Jefferson to Woodrow Wilson and John Rawls, point out the flaws in deliberative democratic practices, and try to find a way to conceive of a better democratism—one without mob rule.

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    • 46 min
    Floods, Nuclear Power, and Wages (with Peter Van Doren)

    Floods, Nuclear Power, and Wages (with Peter Van Doren)

    The illustrious, ingenious, notorious PVD is back with us once again. Today, he and Trevor sit down to discuss dilemmas of flood damages following Hurricane Ian, the viability of subsidies for nuclear energy, and minimum wage increase’s effects on workers’ wages.
    Peter references the following:
    The National Flood Insurance Program: Solving Congress’s Samaritan’s Dilemma by Peter Van Doren
    Hurricane Ian’s Toll Is Severe. Lack of Insurance Will Make It Worse.
    Subsidies to Nuclear Power in the Inflation Reduction Act by David Kemp and Peter Van Doren
    How Important are Minimum Wage Increases in Increasing the Wages of Minimum Wage Workers? by Jeffrey Clemens and Michael R. Strain

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    • 49 min
    How the 14th Amendment Changed America (with Randy Barnett and Evan Bernick)

    How the 14th Amendment Changed America (with Randy Barnett and Evan Bernick)

    Adopted in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment profoundly changed the Constitution, giving the federal judiciary and Congress new powers to protect the fundamental rights of individuals from being violated by the states. Yet, according to Randy Barnett and Evan Bernick in their new book The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment: Its Letter and Spirit, the Supreme Court has long misunderstood or ignored the original meaning of the amendment’s key clauses, covering the privileges and immunities of citizenship, due process of law, and the equal protection of the laws.
    On today’s episode, they join us to answer questions as simple as; what is the fourteenth amendment, and why is it possibly one of our most important? As well as more complex ones, including; does the equal protection clause guarantee positive rights? And what can libertarians learn from the anti-slavery Republicans who wrote the 14th Amendment?

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    • 52 min
    Free Market: The History of an Idea (with Jacob Soll)

    Free Market: The History of an Idea (with Jacob Soll)

    After two government bailouts of the US economy in less than twenty years, free market ideology is due for serious reappraisal. In his new book Free Market: The History of an Idea, MacArthur Fellow and USC professor Jacob Soll details how we got to this current crisis, and how we can find our way out by looking to earlier iterations of free market thought. He helps us answer questions such as; what role did early market theorists believe that states had in building and maintaining free markets? How do many get John Stuart Mill, John Locke, and Adam Smith wrong? And what do stoicism, Christianity, friendship, and love have to do with free markets?
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    • 55 min
    Can Public Schools Work? (with Neal McCluskey)

    Can Public Schools Work? (with Neal McCluskey)

    American public schooling was established to unify diverse people and prepare citizens for democracy. Intuitively, it would teach diverse people the same values, preferably in the same buildings, with the goal that they will learn to get along and uphold government by the people. But intuition can be wrong; significant evidence suggests that public schools have not brought diverse people together, whether from legally mandated racial segregation, espousing values many people could not accept, or human beings simply tending to associate with others like themselves.
    Neal McCluskey, Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom and author of the forthcoming book The Fractured Schoolhouse: Reexamining Education for a Free, Equal, and Harmonious Society, joins the show today to explain how the fear of community balkanization, the panic over critical race theory and “gender ideology”, and reactions to the COVID-19 crisis have only further driven rifts between the right and left on the topic of education. But how many of these are new problems, and how many are simply old ones in new forms? In the end, we may be forced to ask; is the intractable problem of not agreeing on what “our” children should learn solvable? And if not, is funding public education even worth it?

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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
302 Ratings

302 Ratings

Michael D. McAuley ,

Always Informative

The content and tone of this libertarian broadcast are always excellent. Each podcast covers the full range of pros and cons about the topic as Trevor is bright and well informed. The podcasts before roughly May 2022 also have Aaron Powell as co-host. His questions are really great in getting thoughtful responses from their guests.

Salyado ,

Most intellectually honest podcast

The sheer intellectual honesty, and pluralism of vantage points makes this podcast the best podcast around.

Classicrocklover238 ,

I love this podcast

Especially the constitutional ones 🔥

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