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Meet Rachel Goldsmith, the Woman Running the Free State Project

Earlier this year, Rachel Goldsmith became executive director of the Free State Project, which describes itself as "a mass migration of more than 20,000 people who have pledged to move to New Hampshire." By concentrating themselves in one state, the Free Staters plan to become a bloc pushing New Hampshire toward more libertarian policies. In the latest Reason Podcast, Goldsmith, an MBA originally from Albany, New York, tells Reason's Nick Gillespie that the number of year-over-year "movers"...


The Brett Kavanaugh Sex Assault Controversy Will Only Get Worse

Should a late-breaking, single-source accusation about a drunken teenaged assault from 35 years ago be enough to scuttle a Supreme Court nomination? Reason editors Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch debate. Audio production by Ian Keyser. 'Geometric Dreams' by Asthmatic Astronaut is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0


America Should be More Like Sweden. But Not for the Reasons You Think

Should America be more like Sweden? Have the Swedes figured out how to combine a cradle-to-grave welfare state with a prosperous, modern economy? Swedish author Johan Norberg stars in a new documentary that debunks outdated utopian myths, making a case that the nation that gave us Ingmar Bergman and IKEA has a lot to teach the U.S.—though not for the reasons that most people think. Norberg's grand tour of his homeland reveals a country steeped in classical liberalism. Americans will be...


Can the Free Market End Global Poverty? Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz vs. NYU's William Easterly

There has been a staggering reduction in global poverty over the last four decades. In China, sustained rates of economic growth have lifted 800 million people out of extreme poverty. Ethiopia, a country once synonymous with famine, has grown faster than China while nearly halving its poverty rate over the last 15 years. Across the planet, developing countries large and small, from India to Ghana, have seen astonishing successes in alleviating poverty, exceeding even the most optimistic...


Who's Ready for an Obama Lecture About Trump?

When Barack Obama got back in the ring against Donald Trump, @reason editors had a lot of conflicting feelings. Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch discuss. Audio production by Ian Keyser. 'Government Funded Weed' by Black Ant is licensed under CC BY 3.0


Brett Kavanaugh Is a Done Deal. Will He Be Good for Libertarians?

"It's been a circus," says Reason Senior Editor Damon Root of the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Even before the hearings officially commenced, Democratic senators called for a halt to the proceedings. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) released confidential documents and likened himself to Spartacus, a self-promoting act of "civil disobedience" that mostly earned the likely 2020 presidential candidate tons of Twitter abuse. In the latest Reason Podcast, Root,...


The Coddling of the American Mind: How Overprotective Parenting Led to Fragility on Campus

In 2015, psychology professor Jonathan Haidt and free-speech activist Greg Lukianoff published "The Coddling of the American Mind" in The Atlantic. It argued that speech codes, trigger warnings, and safe spaces on college campuses are "disastrous for education—and mental health." It quickly became the most-read article in the history of the magazine. Now they've expanded it into a new book with the same title. Lukianoff, a lawyer by training, heads FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights...


Maybe Social Media 'Outrage' Is Just a Lazy Partisan Ritual

Maybe the people acting all outraged on social media are doing exactly that--*acting* all outraged. So discuss Reason editors Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and Peter Suderman. Audio production by Ian Keyser. 'The Insider Theme' by The Insider is licensed under CC BY 3.0


The Importance of Uncomfortable Conversations

Zachary R. Wood came to national attention when, as a undergraduate at ultra-liberal Williams College, the student group that he helped lead was pressured to cancel its invitation to Suzanne Venker, a conservative author and critic of feminism. Activists accused him of "causing actual mental, social, psychological, and physical harm" to his fellow students, and "paying for...the continued dispersal of violent ideologies that kill our black and brown (trans) femme sisters." After he invited...


Defense Distributed Lawyer Josh Blackman on 3D-Printed Guns and Free Speech

“There’s been a massive effort by both the federal government and now the state governments to stop Cody from putting information on the internet,” says Josh Blackman, attorney for Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson, the self-described “anarchist” fighting for the right to post downloadable instructions for 3D-printed guns online. “The efforts to silence people always fall on those who are outside the mainstream, those pushing the boundaries. And that’s precisely what the First...


The Funeral Etiquette of Empire

It only took hours before the national remembrance of John McCain turned into a battle over imperial etiquette. Are we elevating Beltway manners over real-world policy impacts? Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch discuss. Audio production by Ian Keyser. 'Aspirato' by Kai Engel is licensed under CC BY NC 4.0


Greg Gutfeld on Trump's Genius, Fox News After Sex Scandals, and the Power of Punk

As the eponymous host of The Greg Gutfeld Show, which airs Saturday evenings on Fox News, co-host of the network's hugely popular afternoon talk show, The Five, and creator of the defunct, path-breaking late night show, Red Eye, Greg Gutfeld is one of the most ubiquitous presences on cable news. He's also one of the sharpest and funniest. A prolific writer and former editor of Maxim and Stuff magazines, Gutfeld has a new book out, The Gutfeld Monologues: Classic Rants from The Five, which...


Why the Press Conflates Prostitution with Sex Trafficking—and Why That's a Threat To Free Speech

In the early 1970s, Michael Lacey and James Larkin helped reshape the media landscape by making Phoenix New Times one of the scrappiest alt-weeklies of all time. Along the way, they built an underground media empire based on their "desert libertarianism"; over time they came to control a slugger's row of legendary outlets, ranging from SF Weekly to Cleveland Scene to the granddaddy of all alternative papers, The Village Voice. In 2004, they founded Backpage, an online advertising site that...


Bret Easton Ellis on American Psycho, Hollywood Hypocrisy, and the Excesses of #MeToo

In the 1980s and '90s, novelist Bret Easton Ellis captured more fully than anyone the excitement and ennui of a wealthy and smug America that was stumbling without knowing it into a century filled with terror, disruption, and generalized hostility. In the book and movie versions of Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, and American Psycho, Ellis dissected what happens to a society in which depth of feeling is synonymous with failure to thrive. In this century, Ellis is back in his...


Elizabeth Warren's Corporate Buttinskyism Is the Future Liberals Want

Is the new corporate-charter bill unveiled by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) last week a plot to "To Destroy Capitalism By Pretending To 'Save' It," as the Scott Shackford headline put it? Or is it another "clear" example (in the words of Vox's Matthew Yglesias) that "the people working on this subject so far don't actually know anything about it"? We put that question to the test on today's editor-roundtable version of the Reason Podcast, first by running the details through Peter...


George Gilder Is Excited about Life After Google and You Should Be Too

Google's dominance in so many aspects of our digital lives is "creating a walled garden that's basically controlled by two nerds in Silicon Valley," says George Gilder, the author who more than anyone else predicted today's imperfect online utopia in books such as Life After Television: The Coming Transformation of Media and American Life and Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World. Of course it's not just Google (which owns YouTube), Gilder says in a Reason Podcast...


Can 'Conscious Capitalism' Make Business a Heroic Enterprise? John Mackey Is Betting Yes

In 2013, Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey co-authored a business history-cum-manifesto titled Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business. Drawing on his experiences with Whole Foods, Mackey outlined an unapologetically free market approach to commerce that also stressed far more than simply maximizing returns to shareholders. "We believe that business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can...


The Great Deplatforming War Rages On

"It's implausible," David Harsanyi recently wrote in this space, "to imagine a future in which liberal activists don't demand that Republican groups be de-platformed." Conservative activists, too, will happily whip out the ban-hammer, in the name either of fair play or righteous indignation/responding to market signals. So where does that leave libertarians? Arguing amongst themselves, as usual. At least that was the case in today's editor-roundtable version of the Reason Podcast, featuring...


Why Would a Mother Throw Her Kids Off a Bridge?

In 2009, Amanda Stott-Smith dropped her children off a bridge in Portland, Oregon. Her 7-year-old daughter lived, screaming until she was fished out of the freezing river by a good Samaritan. Her 4-year-old son drowned. Writer (and occasional Reason contributor) Nancy Rommelmann read about the story the next morning over a cup of coffee, and spent the next seven years chasing down every detail. The result is To The Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder, a reported work of non-fiction...


Chapman U. President Doesn't Want His Campus 'UnKoched'

"The demand that research funding be declined because of its origin poses a grave threat to academic freedom," wrote Daniele Struppa, the president of Chapman University, a private school about 90 minutes south of Los Angeles, earlier this year in The Wall Street Journal. "I am being asked to turn down donations from the dreaded Koch brothers, even when...the proposal for funding was inspired, developed and fully fleshed out by my faculty, in the most important exercise of their own academic...