Reason Podcast


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Founded in 1968, Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Hosted by Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and other Reason journalists, our podcast explores “free minds and free markets.” It features provocative, in-depth interviews with authors, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, economists, scientists, business leaders, and elected officials. Keep up to date on the latest happenings in our increasingly libertarian world from a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and boring old left-right, liberal-conservative publications. You can also find video versions at

Episode Date
What Will Post-Prohibition Drug Culture Look Like?
With the rise of legal recreational marijuana across the country and an unwinding of the drug war on the horizon,<a href="">...</a>
Apr 19, 2019
Surprise: Virtually All Presidential Candidates (Including Trump) Are Good on Pot Legalization
One of the most amazing aspects of the 2020 presidential race is that virtually all candidates, including President Donald Trump,<a href="">...</a>
Apr 17, 2019
Happy Taxation-Is-Theft Day!
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) is engaging in some mildly awkward conversations about being a millionaire while constantly seeking to soak<a href="">...</a>
Apr 15, 2019
What Game of Thrones Can Teach Us About Political Power
In a special episode of the <em>Reason Podcast</em>, we drink and we know things.
Apr 12, 2019
John McWhorter: America Has Never Been Less Racist
The Columbia University linguist discusses the Jussie Smollett hoax, Donald Trump, and "antiracism" as a new secular religion.
Apr 11, 2019
Is the Phrase ‘Open Borders’ a Libertarian Mistake?
As Trump cracks down yet again, <em>Reason</em>'s editors disagree over labeling in immigration policy.
Apr 08, 2019
The Yale Professor Attacked by Angry Students Over Halloween Costumes Believes Evolution Wants Us To Get Along
In <em>Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society</em>, Nicholas Christakis says our common humanity outweighs divisive tribalism.
Apr 05, 2019
What Brothels Can Teach All of Us About Risk
Allison Schrager's <em>An Economist Walks Into a Brothel</em> demystifies sex work, big-wave surfing, horse-breeding, and other high-risk professions.
Apr 03, 2019
Hair-Sniffer Joe Biden Should Apologize for His Whole Career: Podcast
A real American genius Joe is not.
Apr 01, 2019
Does Middle East Peace Require a Two-State Solution or a Palestinian Defeat? A Debate
Should Israel negotiate with Hamas and Fatah, or are they unwavering enemies in a protracted struggle?
Mar 29, 2019
Arthur Brooks Wants You To Love Your Enemies: Podcast
The president of the American Enterprise Institute says we need to reboot politics and that libertarians may hold the key.
Mar 27, 2019
The Mueller Media Hall of Shame: Podcast
Whose hysteria looks silliest in retrospect?
Mar 25, 2019
How Capitalism Will Get Us to Mars and Beyond: Podcast
A conversation with Mike Solana, a vice president at Peter Thiel's venture capital firm
Mar 22, 2019
Lies About Vietnam Inspired Brian Lamb To Start C-SPAN: Podcast
Forty years ago, one of the most momentous events in the history of politics and television took place: C-SPAN started<a href="">...</a>
Mar 19, 2019
Is There a Libertarian Argument for Breaking up Big Tech?: Podcast
Elizabeth Warren, Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, and most of the 2020 presidential field agree that tech companies have too power. But maybe they don't like the competition.
Mar 18, 2019
A Tattooed Libertarian on the Arizona Supreme Court: Clint Bolick’s Long Fight for Freedom
Q&A with the co-founder of Institute for Justice about immigration, his legal philosophy, his battles with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and <em>that</em> tattoo.
Mar 15, 2019
Elizabeth Warren Wants To Run Your Business for You: Podcast
George Mason's Todd Zywicki says the senator and presidential hopeful has inherited the ideas of Louis Brandeis without learning the lessons of overregulation.
Mar 13, 2019
The Socialists Are Coming! Or Are They?: Podcast
Democratic mega-proposals, GOP budgetary fictions, prostitution decriminalization surprises, and <em>Zardoz</em> moments galore
Mar 11, 2019
23-Year-Old Coleman Hughes Is Reframing the Discussion on Race: Podcast
Meet the undergrad who is recovering the legacy of gay, socialist civil-rights activist Bayard Rustin while explicating Kanye West's conservatism.
Mar 08, 2019
Peter Bagge on Underground Comics, Immigration, and Being a Libertarian Artist: Podcast
The cartoonist talks about being libertarian, why Marvel is OK with "serums" but not drugs, and how comic books have evolved over the past 30 years.
Mar 06, 2019
Strange New Respect for…Nancy Pelosi?: Podcast
We live in desperate times when the brake on both Democratic socialism and Republican executive-branch abuse is a 78-year-old San Francisco Democrat.
Mar 04, 2019
Why Parents Shouldn’t Flip Out Over Too Much Screen Time: Podcast
Jordan Shapiro's <em>The New Childhood</em> boldly embraces technological innovation and the interconnected world it's creating.
Mar 01, 2019
What Caused the 2008 Financial Crisis: Market Distortions or Market Failure? A Debate
Former BB&T Bank CEO John Allison vs. Moody's Mark Zandi
Feb 27, 2019
Is Hollywood Overthinking Representation?: Podcast
The perils—and profits—of being identity-focused in business, content, and audience
Feb 25, 2019
Kurt Loder Wants Lady Gaga to Win an Oscar: Podcast
<em>Reason</em>'s movie reviewer handicaps the Academy Awards and explains why this is the best and worst time to be a consumer of popular culture.
Feb 22, 2019
Let’s Talk About Sex Differences with Christina Hoff Sommers and Debra Soh: Podcast
Frank talk about evolution, feminism, politics, and why we don't want to acknowledge social progress.
Feb 20, 2019
Are Libertarians Feeling the Bern?: Podcast
How an independent helped shape the Democratic policy agenda.
Feb 19, 2019
Report from ‘Alienated America’: Podcast
For his new book, Timothy Carney toured parts of the country that are working and parts that are not. What he found is deeply disturbing.
Feb 15, 2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal: A Bizarre Grab-Bag of Terrible Ideas
Q&A with economist Veronique de Rugy.
Feb 14, 2019
Donald Trump and Social Justice Warriors Are ‘Unmaking America’: Podcast
Noah Rothman says the right and the left are using appeals to victimization and identity politics to gain political power.
Feb 13, 2019
Green New WTF?: Podcast
Untethered from real-world constraints, progressive Democratic policy goes utopian.
Feb 11, 2019
Sex-Trafficking Hysteria Is Eroding Privacy in Hotels, Airplanes, and More: Podcast
Elizabeth Nolan Brown talks about DHS's "Blue Campaign," which is pushing hotel and airline workers to call the feds if they suspect human trafficking.
Feb 08, 2019
Don’t Fear Independents Like Howard Schultz! Politics Should Be More Like a Starbucks Menu
There are more forms of hepatitis than there are major parties in America.
Feb 07, 2019
The State of the Union Is Rockets, Socialism, Alliteration, and Nazis: Podcast
"The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda. It is the agenda of the American People."
Feb 06, 2019
What Fresh Horror Will the State of the Union Address Bring?: Podcast
What comes next in the Virginia governor scandal, why "Medicare for All" ain't happening, and how Baby Boomers are a fatberg clogging America's cultural sewers
Feb 04, 2019
Donald Trump Wants To Fire Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela. Is That a Good Idea?: Podcast
José Ignacio Guédez, a member of the oppostion party La Causa R, says economic sanctions and political pressure will help restore democracy.
Feb 02, 2019
The Secret History of Super Bowl LIII: Podcast
Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch talk about the deep and ever-changing political and cultural meaning of football's biggest game.
Jan 30, 2019
Are Billionaires a Policy Failure?: Podcast
Assessing Elizabeth Warren's "tippy-top" tax, Howard Schultz's presidential candidacy, Donald Trump's shutdown-shutdown, and more
Jan 28, 2019
Why School Choice Is Growing Everywhere: Podcast
Q&A with the president of National School Choice Week, Andrew Campanella
Jan 25, 2019
Government Caused Housing Segregation. Do We Need More Government to Fix the Problem?
The Manhattan Institute's Howard Husock debates Economic Policy Institute's Richard Rothstein at the Soho Forum.
Jan 23, 2019
Can We Just Light Twitter on Fire After This Past Weekend?: Podcast
Covingtongate, <em>Buzzfeed</em>'s bomb, Baby Hitler, Kamalamentum…maybe it's time to pull the plug.
Jan 22, 2019
Meet Two Feminist Journalists Who Are Saying #MeNeither: Podcast
Nancy Rommelmann and Leah McSweeney on the "toxic femininity" of Asia Argento, anti-Semitism at the Women's March, and 21st-century sexual liberation.
Jan 18, 2019
Try Common Sense and Dump Old Right-Left Ideologies, Says Philip K. Howard in New Book: Podcast
He also offers up concrete proposals not just to reform government but to route around it and get on with our lives already.
Jan 16, 2019
Are Government Shutdowns Good for Libertarians?: Podcast
Rebutting Krugman, cracking on Graham, and searching in vain for "freedom" in a caucus.
Jan 14, 2019
When it Comes To Trump, the Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes Is ‘All Out of Fucks To Give’: Podcast
Q&A about the rise of right-wing "grifters" such as Charlie Kirk, the death of <em>The Weekly Standard</em>, and the future of the American right.
Jan 11, 2019
Assault Weapon Bans Are All About Appearance
Sen. Dianne Feinstein's latest bill classifies firearms not by what they do but based on how they look.
Jan 11, 2019
‘We Are Fighting for Free Speech Every Single Day,’ Says Students for Liberty’s Wolf von Laer: Podcast
What to expect at LibertyCon, the annual meeting of the largest libertarian student group on the planet (plus how to get 40 percent off registration).
Jan 09, 2019
Does Tucker Carlson Get Anything Right About Libertarians?: Podcast
What conservatives against "market fundamentalism" can tell you about libertarians without power
Jan 07, 2019
‘America Really Was the First Country Founded on Individualism’: Podcast
Jonathan Hoenig, a devotee of Ayn Rand, founder of Capitalist Pig investments, and editor of <em>The New Textbook of Americanism</em>, isn't pulling any punches.
Jan 04, 2019
Mitt Romney Is Both Right and Wrong: Podcast
The #Resistance GOP mixes tonal civility with foreign-policy hawkishness and immigration amnesia.
Jan 02, 2019
The Future of Science: Podcast
Michael Shermer, Ron Bailey, and Jim Epstein talk poverty-eradication, genomics, and blockchain at Reason's 50th anniversary celebration
Dec 28, 2018
Democratizing Gun Production, Education, and Media: Podcast
J.D. Tuccille, Lisa Snell, and Rob Long discuss the democratization of everything at Reason's 50th anniversary celebration.
Dec 26, 2018
Donald Trump’s Libertarian Christmas?: Podcast
<em>Reason</em> editors' best and worst moments of 2018, including the president's welcome and long-overdue drawdown from Afghanistan
Dec 21, 2018
Finding a Cure for Our Fiscal Insanity: Podcast
Peter Suderman, Len Gilroy, and C. Boyden Gray diagnose the country's many fiscal woes, and offer some solutions, at Reason's 50th anniversary celebration.
Dec 19, 2018
Everybody Wants to Regulate the Internet Except Ajit Pai: Podcast
One year after Net Neutrality, connection speed is up, the discrimination critics feared is non-existent, and the debate about Internet regulation is abysmal.
Dec 17, 2018
A Crackdown on Cash and Bitcoin? Curbing Crime vs. Empowering the Surveillance State
Economists Kenneth Rogoff and Lawrence H. White face off over what the impact would be of a ban on cryptocurrency and phaseout of the $100 bill.
Dec 14, 2018
With Reason on “Freedom’s Ramparts, America’s Tomorrow’s Will Always Dawn Brightly”: Podcast
Listen to former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' keynote at our 50th anniversary dinner.
Dec 12, 2018
How Psychedelics Changed the Life of One of America’s Leading Novelists: Podcast
Tao Lin's <em>Trip</em> details how the author's experience with LSD, DMT, psilocybin, and more blew his mind while making him more human.
Dec 11, 2018
Is Rand Paul Right About Special Prosecutors Being Wrong?: Podcast
Also: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez owns the cons while spouting policy B.S.
Dec 10, 2018
Beyond Pot Legalization: 21st Century Drug Policy Is about Wellness and Happiness: Podcast
Jacob Sullum, Dana Rohrabacher, and Adrian Moore talk about the next steps in ending the war on drugs at Reason's 50th anniversary celebration.
Dec 07, 2018
On Repeal Day, Remember That Prohibition May Be Over, But Its Ripple Effects Are Still Making Drinking Worse: Podcast
Drinks Reform editor Jarrett Dieterle talks about how Prohibition came about, and his new report on America's dumbest booze restrictions.
Dec 05, 2018
Darts and Laurels for the Late George H.W. Bush: Podcast
Also: How much should we care that Trump & co. lied in 2016 about a Putin-proximate real estate deal in Russia?
Dec 03, 2018
Has Anti-Racism Become as Harmful as Racism? John McWhorter vs. Nikhil Singh
Watch the Oxford-style debate hosted by the Soho Forum.
Nov 30, 2018
Live Webathon Edition of the Reason Podcast!
Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch take your questions.
Nov 28, 2018
Adam Conover of Adam Ruins Everything on Seeking Truth in the Post-Truth Era
The host of TruTV's hit show has lost some faith in the power of rational discourse. And he has some ideas for how to fix the problem.
Nov 26, 2018
Does Trump Have a Point About Asylum?: Podcast
<em>Reason</em> editors check their premises on immigration.
Nov 26, 2018
Is the First Amendment Flourishing or Floundering in the 21st Century?: Podcast
Nadine Strossen, Eugene Volokh, and Stephanie Slade discuss freedom of speech, assembly, and religion at <em>Reason</em>'s 50th anniversary.
Nov 23, 2018
That Time Ayn Rand Threatened Reason with Legal Action: Podcast
One of <em>Reason</em>'s founding editors, attorney Manny Klausner, tells tales from the early days of the magazine of "Free Minds and Free Markets."
Nov 21, 2018
Is Trump vs. Acosta the Iran-Iraq War of 2018?: Podcast
Assessing the import of presidential tantrums, media hyperbole, military complaints, and the near-arrival of federal sentencing reform
Nov 19, 2018
Should Facebook and Twitter Censor Themselves? A Debate.
What should the culture of free speech, free expression, and ownership look like on our social media platforms?
Nov 16, 2018
Airbnb Made D.C. Affordable for Tourists. The City Council Just Voted to Rein It In.
Hosts will be required to get a license, report their activities, and only rent properties where they reside.
Nov 14, 2018
Libertarian Filmmaker, Podcaster Kmele Foster Wants To Change the World: Podcast
So far, the world is kind of listening. Q&A with the co-host of The Fifth Column and co-founder of Freethink Media.
Nov 14, 2018
We Are So Unprepared for the Coming Budgepocalypse: Podcast
You have come to the right place for CBO death porn.
Nov 12, 2018
Why Can’t Psychedelics (and Other Drugs) Just Be for Fun?: Podcast
LSD, psilocybin, and other hallucinogenics are gaining new acceptance as serious medicine. But what if you want to do them just for <em>fun</em>, asks Jacob Sullum.
Nov 09, 2018
Will There Ever Be a Morning After the Midterms?: Podcast
Before the news cycle spins forever into crazy-land, Reason editors pause to assess the deep meanings, and lack thereof, of this week's elections
Nov 08, 2018
How Much Don’t We Know About the Midterms?: Podcast
Polling uncertainty and a surge in voter enthusiasm could make tomorrow an embarrassing day for many in the political class.
Nov 05, 2018
How Blockchain Can Build Trust—and Reduce Government’s Power: Podcast
Q&A with Alex Winter, whose new documentary, Trust Machine, explores the radical potential of blockchain to decentralize just about everything.
Oct 31, 2018
Are We in a New Era of Political Violence?: Podcast
Are we all just living through Elon Musk's dystopian simulation?
Oct 29, 2018
Socialism vs. Capitalism: Jacobin’s Bhaskar Sunkara and Economist Gene Epstein Debate
Which economic system is most effective at bringing freedom to the masses?
Oct 25, 2018
Tyler Cowen’s Stubborn Attachments To Freedom and Prosperity: Podcast
The prolific George Mason University economist outlines his unabashedly libertarian argument for a government that does less and individuals who do more.
Oct 24, 2018
Who Do You Want to Lose the Midterms Most?: Podcast
If hatred is the country's main political motivator these days, you might as well lean into it.
Oct 22, 2018
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Why Civility Can’t Return To Politics
When <em>everything</em> is politicized, everything becomes a death match. That ain't good.
Oct 19, 2018
Why ‘Gun Culture’ Is Every Bit a Part of America as ‘Speech Culture’: Podcast
David Harsanyi's <em>First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History with the Gun</em> documents the unique presence of firearms in U.S. life.
Oct 17, 2018
Should We Sell Weapons to Saudi Arabia?: Podcast
It's bad when U.S. presidents think of weapons sales to dictatorships as jobs programs, but should we remove political constraints on arms dealing altogether?
Oct 15, 2018
Most Libertarians Don’t Understand Friedrich Hayek, Says Peter Boettke: Podcast
In a bold new book about Hayek, the George Mason economist says "too much time and effort has been put into repackaging and marketing a fixed doctrine of eternal truths."
Oct 12, 2018
Tom Woods: The Making of an Anti-War Libertarian
<em>Reason</em>'s Matt Welch sat down with the popular libertarian writer and podcaster to discuss his ideological journey, his LP plans, and controversial past associations.
Oct 10, 2018
What Did We Learn from the Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation?: Podcast
On the market for political combat and the lack of interest in the Afghanistan War
Oct 08, 2018
Median Household Income Is at an All-Time High. Are You Happy Yet?: Podcast
Economist Mark J. Perry talks about rising incomes, flattening inequality, low unemployment, and why none of it seems to make us feel better.
Oct 03, 2018
Texas Says ‘Pickles’ Only Come From Cucumbers. So This Couple’s Farm Went Out of Business.
Anita and Jim McHaney are suing to overturn "preposterous" regulations on cottage food production.
Oct 02, 2018
Kavanaugh Brawl Shows It’s Time for a Controlled Burn of the State: Podcast
Lying about the Devil's Triangle may or may not be disqualifying for the Supreme Court, but this whole process is a reminder that the federal government's power makes politics too important.
Oct 01, 2018
‘We Are Always on the Verge of Chaos:’ The PJ O’Rourke Interview
The libertarian humorist talks about his new book, how to drink in war zones, and why the Chinese are more American than most U.S. citizens.
Sep 28, 2018
Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz, Hugo Chavez, and the Return of Socialism: Podcast
Journalist and Soho Forum co-founder Gene Epstein on economists' romance with strongmen and his upcoming debate with <em>Jacobin</em>'s Bhaskar Sunkara.
Sep 27, 2018
Francis Fukuyama Says Identity Politics Are Killing America and Empowering Donald Trump: Podcast
Since the publication of his 1989 essay "The End of History?," no political scientist has been more influential in discussions<a href="">...</a>
Sep 26, 2018
Would More Gun Control Lead to More Crime? A Debate
Criminologist Gary Kleck debated Paul Helmke, the former president and CEO of the Brady Center, at the Soho Forum.
Sep 24, 2018
Will Public Discourse Ever Recover from the Kavanaugh Hearings?: Podcast
<em>Reason</em>'s editors discuss the latest Brett Kavanaugh revelations, Rod Rosentein's fate, and how to recover basic norms of political discourse.
Sep 24, 2018
Faisal Al Mutar Fights Radical Islam with Western Bestsellers
The head of Ideas Beyond Borders is translating books by Steven Pinker, Sam Harris, and others into Arabic and distributing them for free.
Sep 21, 2018
Meet Rachel Goldsmith, the Woman Running the Free State Project: Podcast
Members are moving to New Hampshire and running for office in record numbers. Will they bring "liberty in our lifetime"?
Sep 18, 2018
The Brett Kavanaugh Sex Assault Controversy Will Only Get Worse: Podcast
<em>Reason</em>'s editors debate whether a single-source allegation from 35 years ago should be enough to derail a Supreme Court pick.
Sep 17, 2018
America Should be More Like Sweden. But Not for the Reasons You Think: Podcast
Johan Norberg's new documentary shows how the Nordic nation traded stagnant socialism for a modern mixed economy
Sep 14, 2018
Can the Free Market End Global Poverty? Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz vs. NYU’s William Easterly
Watch two leading development economists debate at the Soho Forum.
Sep 13, 2018