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We Are So Unprepared for the Coming Budgepocalypse

If you think politics is bad now, just wait until the economy goes south, and states come to debt-strapped Washington looking for a bailout, argue Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch on the latest Reason Podcast. Audio production by Ian Keyser. 'Fifteen Street' by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0


Why Can't Psychedelics (and Other Drugs) Just Be for Fun?

In a career spanning 30 years, Reason Senior Editor Jacob Sullum has been one of the most insistent voices in favor of "pharmacological freedom," the right of individuals to use whatever substances they want to control, modulate, and change their mind, emotions, and moods. In the latest issue of Reason, Sullum reviews Michael Pollan's popular new book on psychedelic drugs and boldly asks the question, "Who Controls Your Cortex?" The answer, he says, is the individual. In a wide-ranging and...


Will There Ever Be a Morning After the Midterms?

What are the libertarian takeaways from Tuesday's election? Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward discuss on the Reason Podcast. Audio production by Ian Keyser.


How Much Don't We Know About the Midterms?

There will be a lot of confident predictions and tortured exit-polling analysis over these next 30 hours. Don't believe it, says Stephanie Slade on the latest Reason podcast, also featuring Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward and Matt Welch. Audio production by Ian Keyser. 'Three Stories' by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0


How Blockchain Can Build Trust—and Reduce Government's Power

Blockchain, the decentralized, incorruptible ledger system that undergirds bitcoin, "gives you an actual power to affect change in the world," says hacker Lauri Love. "It's gonna scare the shit out of some very powerful people." Love is one of the people featured in actor and filmmaker Alex Winter's new documentary, Trust Machine, which explains how blockchain works and how businesses are using it to reinvent power grids, music distribution, and even grocery stores. For today's Reason...


Are We in a New Era of Political Violence?

Are we in a new era of political violence? Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch debate on the latest Reason Podcast. Audio production by Ian Keyser.


Socialism vs. Capitalism: Jacobin's Bhaskar Sunkara and Economist Gene Epstein Debate

Is socialism more effective than capitalism in bringing freedom to the masses? That was the resolution at a recent public debated hosted by the Soho Forum on October 15, 2018. It featured Bhaskar Sunkara, the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin magazine, and Gene Epstein, the Soho Forum's director and former economics and books editor of Barron's. Naomi Brockwell moderated. It was an Oxford-style debate in which the audience votes on the resolution at the beginning and end of the event,...


Tyler Cowen's Stubborn Attachments To Freedom and Prosperity

Over the past 20 years, arguably no libertarian thinker has cut a broader or deeper swath than Tyler Cowen, who holds the Holbert L. Harris Chair in economics at George Mason University and acts as chairman and general director of the Mercatus Center. Co-founder of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution, the 56-year-old New Jersey native is a regular contributor at Bloomberg and for years wrote an "economic scene" column for The New York Times. He is the host of Conversations with...


Who Do You Want to Lose the Midterms Most?

Politics in 2018 is the organization of political hatreds, so Reason editors Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Nick Gillespie & Matt Welch start their midterms discussion with a look at who'd they'd most like to see lose. Audio production by Ian Keyser. 'realest year 9' by Black Ant is licensed under BY NC SA 3.0


Why 'Gun Culture' Is Every Bit a Part of America as 'Speech Culture'

"We often hear the term 'gun culture' being thrown around as invective, says David Harsanyi in his new book, First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History with the Gun. But "'gun culture' is no less part of American life than 'religious culture' or 'speech culture.' As our history unambiguously illustrates, gun culture is inextricably tied to American culture. One cannot exist without the other." Harsanyi's meticulously documented and fluidly written history tells the story of how...


Should We Sell Weapons to Saudi Arabia?

The alleged Saudi Arabia state murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi raises a thousand questions, beginning with: Should we sell arms to Saudi Arabia? Reason editors Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch discuss. Audio production by Ian Keyser. '18 - Ghosts II' by Nine Inch Nails is licensed under CC BY NC SA 3.0


Most Libertarians Don't Understand Friedrich Hayek, Says Peter Boettke

With populism on the rise, capitalism under attack, and socialism back in vogue, the work of Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek (1899–1992) is more relevant than ever. Hayek started his career as a wunderkind professor, joining the faculty of the London School of Economics in his early thirties, and was a central figure in the debates that consumed the profession during the Great Depression. He would go on to spend most of his seven-decade long career as an outsider, his work diverging from...


Tom Woods: The Making of an Anti-War Libertarian

Tom Woods stands accused of many things, but laziness is not one of them. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods is the author of a dozen books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. He's written curricula for the Ron Paul homeschool program; he co-hosts, along with economist Robert Murphy, the weekly Contra-Krugman podcast, which dissects columns by New York Times Nobel laureate Paul Krugman; and he posts a new episode of the popular Tom Woods Show...


What Did We Learn from the Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation?

Is Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation really Michael Avenatti's fault? Is the best response really restructuring the way the U.S. government is put together? Was the fiasco really the product of Americans' thirst for political combat? Reason editors discuss. Audio production by Ian Keyser. 'Two in The Back' by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under CC BY NC 4.0


Median Household Income Is at an All-Time High. Are You Happy Yet?

Here's some really good news: Median household income in the United States is at a record-high, inflation-adjusted $61,372. When you factor in that today's households contain fewer people, the news is even better. In 1975, for instance, average income per person per household was just $19,500. Now it's $34,000 (all figures in 2017 dollars). And get a load of this: Since the 1990s, there is no evidence that income inequality is growing or the ability to move up and down the income ladder is...


Kavanaugh Brawl Shows It’s Time for a Controlled Burn of the State

Is Brett Kavanaugh lying about boofing, the Ralph Club, and the Devil's Triangle? And if so, should that be disqualifying for the Supreme Court, even if the process that led to such cross-examination was grotesquely cynical and partisan? Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Nick Gillespie, and Matt Welch are split on these and other questions in this moment of national anger and anguish, as you can hear on the Monday editor-roundtable version of the Reason Podcast, but they do agree on one...


‘We Are Always on the Verge of Chaos:’ The PJ O’Rourke Interview

For the last 45 years, no writer has taken a bigger blowtorch to the sacred cows of American life than libertarian humorist P.J. O'Rourke. As a writer at National Lampoon in the 1970s, he co-authored best-selling parodies of high school yearbooks and Sunday newspapers. For Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and other publications, O'Rourke traveled to war zones and other disaster areas, chronicling the folly of military and economic intervention. In 1991, he came out with Parliament of Whores,...


Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz, Hugo Chavez, and the Return of Socialism

For a quarter of a century, Gene Epstein was the economics editor and a columnist at the business magazine Barron's. Before that, he served as an economist for the New York Stock Exchange. Now, he runs The Soho Forum, a monthly Oxford-style debate series held in New York that covers topics of special interests to libertarians. (As a co-sponsor, Reason records and releases audio and video versions of each debate. Go here for a full archive). Epstein has just published a major essay in City...


Francis Fukuyama Says Identity Politics Are Killing America and Empowering Donald Trump

Since the publication of his 1989 essay "The End of History?," no political scientist has been more influential in discussions of global democracy than Francis Fukuyama. In the years since then, the Stanford professor has authored a shelf full of prescient and commanding texts, including The End of History and the Last Man, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creaton of Prosperity, and Our Post-Human Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Once a neoconservative who staunchly...


Would More Gun Control Lead to More Crime? A Debate

Does defensive gun use stop crime? Would more gun control save lives? Those were the topics of a public debate recently hosted by the Soho Forum, featuring Gary Kleck, a criminologist from Florida State University, and Paul Helmke, the former president and CEO of the Brady Center/Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence as well as the former mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Kleck argued that there are at least four times as many defensive gun uses by potential victims as there are by criminals,...