Cato Daily Podcast

The Cato Daily Podcast allows Cato Institute scholars and other commenters to discuss relevant news and libertarian thought in a conversational, informal manner. Hosted by Caleb O. Brown.


  • Principles of Harm Reduction

    Jan 24 2020

    Cato’s Jeff Singer and former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders discuss harm reduction in the contexts of drug use and sex education.

  • eds Mull Restrictions on Homesharing

    Jan 23 2020

    Many states and localities are placing restrictions on home sharing. Now the feds are considering a move that would worsen the landscape for renters and rentees alike. Romina Boccia of the Heritage Foundation comments.

  • Scholarship Tax Credits in Pennsylvania

    Jan 22 2020

  • Citizens United at 10

    Jan 21 2020

    The fight over Citizens United free speech ruling has raged on years after the Supreme Court weighed in. Scott Blackburn of the Institute for Free Speech explains why the case’s detractors are so very mistaken.

  • Reasons for Concern in Two New Trade Deals

    Jan 21 2020

    Between the “starter” trade deal with China and the revamped North American trade deal just approved by the U.S. Senate, there are still reasons to be concerned that this administration will again launch trade wars. Simon Lester and Inu Manak comment.

  • Immigrants Remain Less Likely to Use Means-Tested Welfare

    Jan 20 2020

    When it comes to means‐​tested welfare programs, immigrants continue to be less likely than native‐​born Americans to take advantage. Alex Nowrasteh explains how and why.

  • Population Flows out of High-Tax States

    Jan 19 2020

    New data highlights the flow of residents from high‐​tax states to low‐​tax states. Chris Edwards provides details.

  • "Iran is burning."

    Jan 17 2020

    The unrest in Iran in recent months is indicative of more than just recent violence with the U.S. It indicates a much larger failure of the Iranian regime. So says Cato’s Mustafa Akyol.

  • Voting Rights for Former Felons and Continuing Controversy over Clemency

    Jan 16 2020

    Legal researcher Guy Hamilton‐​Smith was among the thousands of people in Kentucky whose voting rights were restored last month. We discuss his story and the continuing controversy over pardons issued by former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.

  • Zoning, Discrimination, and State Constitutions

    Jan 15 2020

    Zoning has long been used for less than public spirited purposes. Constitutional litigator Maurice Thompson of the 1851 Center details a useful case of pointless local zoning in Ohio.

  • As State Lawmakers Get Back to Work, What Happens to Excess Revenue?

    Jan 14 2020

    When state governments run surpluses, the temptation to spend is almost irresistible. Rea Hederman of the Buckeye Institute describes what should happen to those excess tax dollars.

  • Executive Power Claims and the Soleimani Strike

    Jan 13 2020

    Under what legal authority did the President order the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani? Apparently the public isn’t entitled to know. Gene Healy comments.

  • What Unions Won’t Let Employers Say

    Jan 12 2020

    How does labor law restrict communications between workers and employers? Ken Girardin of the Empire Center in New York discusses some of the “Dos and Don’ts” in public sector labor law.

  • How Long Does the Third Party Doctrine Have Left?

    Jan 11 2020

    Courts routinely have trouble keeping up with technology, so how long before the Third Party Doctrine is radically altered or eliminated? Billy Easley analyzes tech policy at Americans for Prosperity.

  • Is the Cato Institute under Deep State Surveillance?

    Jan 10 2020

    Cato’s Patrick Eddington wants Congress to make clear if domestic policy groups are among those currently targeted for federal surveillance.

  • Are Big Banks Bad Banks?

    Jan 09 2020

    What are the costs and risks associated with banking consolidation? Should it be concerning that the biggest banks decades ago are still the biggest? Diego Zuluaga comments.

  • Rounds of U.S./Iranian Attacks on Pause

    Jan 09 2020

    What ought to follow hostilities between Iran and the United States after Iran’s military response to the death of a high ranking general? Chris Preble and John Glaser comment.

  • Trump's Major Escalation against Iran

    Jan 06 2020

    By killing Iranian leader Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, the Trump Administration has undertaken a major escalation of hostilities in the region. Cato’s Emma Ashford and John Glaser comment.

  • Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act

    Jan 03 2020

    Some proposed reforms to the Community Reinvestment Act come directly from research conducted by Cato’s Diego Zuluaga. He describes why, short of getting rid of the law, reform is so essential.

  • The Antiquities Act, Protecting Land, and Executive Authority

    Jan 01 2020

    What is the proper balance to protecting natural resources while respecting the value of those lands for alternative uses? Jonathan Wood with the Pacific Legal Foundation comments.

  • Sphere: Should Drug Prohibition Be Ended Nationwide?

    Dec 31 2019

    In the first episode of Sphere we ask the simple question: Should drug prohibition be ended nationwide? Our commenters are Trevor Burrus of Cato, Paul Larkin of the Heritage Foundation, and Jonathan Rauch of Brookings.

  • Getting Honest on Bail Reform

    Dec 30 2019

    What is bail for? What is pretrial detention for? How do we fix bail for the benefit of society and defendants? Josh Crawford with the Pegasus Institute comments.

  • Understanding Models of Legal Sex Work

    Dec 28 2019

    Sex work is only legal in parts of Nevada, and there it is highly restricted. What are some of the other models for legal sex work, and which models best respect the individuals involved? Kaytlin Bailey is with Decriminalize Sex Work.

  • Local Governments and Basic Checkbook Transparency

    Dec 27 2019

    What do local governments owe the people in terms of transparency? Patrick Ishmael directs government accountability at the Show‐​Me Institute.

  • The Big Numbers Behind Economic Development Freebies

    Dec 26 2019

    The staggering sums that states and localities spend on economic development subsidies rarely deliver the benefits promised. John Mozena directs the Center for Economic Accountability.

  • Civil Forfeiture Disenfranchises the Poor

    Dec 25 2019

    No one suffers more from civil forfeiture than people too poor to fight it. Alan Clemmons is a Republican lawmaker in South Carolina working to impose the most basic level of oversight on the process.

  • Poverty Eradication vs. Reducing Income Inequality

    Dec 24 2019

    The confusion between policies designed for poverty eradication versus reducing income inequality is widespread and mistaken. Orphe Divounguy of the Illinois Policy Institute comments.

  • Trump's Decent Record on Regulation (So Far)

    Dec 23 2019

    For those concerned about the size of the administrative state, there are reasons to be cheerful about the regulatory record of the Trump Administration. Will Yeatman comments.

  • A Highly Restrictive North American Trade Pact

    Dec 22 2019

    The USMCA trade agreement among the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is moving forward, but forward into what? Simon Lester and Dan Ikenson discuss the deal’s terms.

  • When the Fed Runs out of Moves

    Dec 21 2019

    There are good reasons to be concerned about monetary stability in our current economic good times. Economist Eric Sims makes the case.

  • “A Secretive Court’s Rebuke of the FBI over Foreign Intelligence Warrants

    Dec 20 2019

    Julian Sanchez details some of the structural problems in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court after a rare rebuke of the FBI’s mishandling of warrant applications.

  • From Impeachment to Senate Trial

    Dec 19 2019

    The House has impeached President Trump, but there are still sticking points about the terms of a Senate trial. What new information might be produced in the trial? Gene Healy looks ahead at the likely outcomes.

  • Copyright and Georgia v. PublicResource.org

    Dec 18 2019

    A case argued recently before the U.S. Supreme Court takes aim at a state that allows a private company to hold and enforce the copyright on the state’s “annotated code.” Trevor Burrus describes what’s at issue.

  • Parsing the Articles on #ImpeachmentEve

    Dec 17 2019

    A day ahead of an impeachment vote in the U.S. House, why these particular articles of impeachment? Gene Healy comments.

  • States Nudge NCAA to Give Student Athletes a Break

    Dec 16 2019

    First California did it, and now Florida is looking at ways to give student athletes a way to profit from their own likenesses and names, rejecting NCAA rules. Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute details the idea.

  • Elizabeth Warren, Trust Buster

    Dec 15 2019

    Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants to break up big tech firms and impose new regulation on firms with high revenues. Walter Olson discusses what that might look like in practice.

  • Protecting Liberty with State Constitutions

    Dec 14 2019

    State constitutions continue to serve as powerful and underappreciated protectors against overweening government. Rick Esenberg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty comments.

  • The Jones Act and Hawaii

    Dec 13 2019

    The shipping regulation known as the Jones Act turns 100 next year. It’s long past time for it to go according to Keli’i Akina of Hawaii’s Grasroot Institute.

  • The Bernie Plan to Regulate Labor Markets

    Dec 12 2019

    Bernie Sanders has a series of labor market interventions he’d like to see, including ending at‐​will employment. Ryan Bourne says it’s a terrible idea.

  • The Long Lie about Afghanistan

    Dec 11 2019

    Newly revealed interviews show the misrepresentations and frustrations over a U.S.-led war in Afghanistan that went badly awry. John Glaser argues that one clear lesson is to stay skeptical of government justifications for war.

  • Politics, Fed Independence, and Paul Volcker

    Dec 10 2019

    The Federal Reserve is nominally independent, but the enormous pressure often aimed at Fed chairs past indicates that it’s not that simple. Sir Paul Tucker is author of Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State.

  • The Allure of Profits and Forest Restoration

    Dec 09 2019

    Forest restoration bonds issued by some self‐​interested private firms are delivering benefits for forests, communities, and investors. Holly Fretwell comments.

  • Is the Best Inflation Target Zero?

    Dec 07 2019

    What does the Constitution say about money? And how should that inform the work of the Federal Reserve? Economist Judy Shelton comments.

  • Sports Betting Regulation and State Revenues

    Dec 06 2019

    What are some best practices as states begin to more broadly adopt legal sports betting? Doug Kellogg is with Americans for Tax Reform.

  • The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve

    Dec 05 2019

    How do markets evaluate the interplay between Congress and the Federal Reserve? Mark Spindel is coauthor of The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve.

  • The Unsung Scourge of Home Equity Theft

    Dec 04 2019

    When the government takes your home to pay a fine, they should at least give you back the rest of the value of your home. In many states, that’s not how it works. Christina Martin with the Pacific Legal Foundation comments.

  • The Fed’s Dual Mandate Is a Gift to Congress

    Dec 02 2019

    It’s not clear that the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate (concern for both inflation and unemployment) helps workers. It definitely helps Congress, though. So says economist Peter Ireland.

  • Natural Language Processing versus FedSpeak

    Nov 30 2019

    How can natural language processing keep the Fed from using obfuscating language? Charles Calomiris comments

  • Tuttle Twins, Free Market Rules, and Teaching Families Economics

    Nov 29 2019

    How can families engage with basic economic concepts in ways that give young people a solid footing in how markets work? Connor Boyack, author of the Tuttle Twins books, has a few ideas.

  • Disagreeing Productively

    Nov 28 2019

    What’s the audience for libertarian ideas? Do libertarians know how to communicate them? Jennifer Thompson directs the Center for the Study of Liberty in Indianapolis.

  • Doing Business North America

    Nov 27 2019

    A new data‐​driven project aims to help researchers find out how easy it is to do business in American cities, and why some cities outperform others. Stephen Slivinski directs the Doing Business North America project.

  • Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian

    Nov 27 2019

    James Grant is author of Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian. Cato Book Forum: Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian

  • The Politics of Making Cities Work

    Nov 25 2019

    Is the partisan divide between cities and everywhere else simply intractable? Patrick Tuohey directs policy at the Better Cities Project.

  • Are Government Workers Aware of Their Rights?

    Nov 23 2019

    Since the Janus ruling freed millions of state and local government workers from the fees associated with public sector unions, are those workers aware of their rights? Joe Lehman of the Mackinac Center comments.

  • A Week of Impeachment Hearings

    Nov 22 2019

    What have we learned after presidential impeachment testimony of Donald Trump’s ambassador to the European Union? Do any of the claims rise to the level of maladministration or violation of public trust? How have the President’s Republican defenders performed? Gene Healy comments.

  • Do We Need Hate Speech?

    Nov 21 2019

    “Hate speech” is not a legal category, and banning it wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny. Lou Perez is the producer of a new short film, Five Reasons We Need Hate Speech.

  • State Occupational Licensing Reform in 2020

    Nov 20 2019

    Even as some presidential candidates are talking about occupational licensing, state governments must take the lead in driving reform. Erica Jedynak of Stand Together provides reasons to be optimistic about reform in 2020.

  • The Evolution of School Choice in North Carolina

    Nov 19 2019

    How does the public school establishment view the innovative choice options for parents in North Carolina? Bob Luebke of the Civitas Institute comments.

  • How State Lawmakers Can Curb Overreaching Local Regulators

    Nov 18 2019

    Few people pay much attention to local regulation, but it’s where some of the most substantial infringements on liberty occur. Christina Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute comments.

  • The Impeachment Inquiry Begins

    Nov 16 2019

    Julian Sanchez addresses some common objections raised during the first week of presidential impeachment proceedings.

  • The New Push to Ban "Hate Speech"

    Nov 15 2019

    Is a ban on hate speech a solution to any actual problem? Matthew Feeney comments.

  • Sharing the "Freedom Philosophy" with Young People

    Nov 14 2019

    What works and what doesn’t in trying to show young people the superiority of Leonard Read’s “Freedom Philosophy” for organizing society? Zilvinas Silenas, the new president of the Foundation for Economic Education, explains.

  • Easy State-Level Immigration Fixes

    Nov 13 2019

    There’s no reason states have to abide all of the federal restrictions on immigration. In fact, there are many policies states and localities can adopt to make immigrants welcome. Josh Smith with the Center for Growth and Opportunity comments.

  • Rust Buckets: How the Jones Act Undermines U.S. Shipbuilding and National Security

    Nov 12 2019

    The Jones Act prevents U.S. territories from buying U.S. products, and does almost nothing to protect the industries that advocates claim the law supports. Colin Grabow explains the implications in his new paper, “Rust Buckets.”

  • Exploring Wealth Inequality

    Nov 11 2019

    What evidence is there that disparities between rich and poor harm the poor, the economy, and our political system? Chris Edwards and Ryan Bourne are authors of the new paper, “Exploring Wealth Inequality.”

  • Kentucky Puts the Kibosh on Entrepreneurial Freedom

    Nov 09 2019

    Kentucky wants a would‐​be entrepreneur to get permission from his would‐​be competitors to operate in the commonwealth. Larry Salzman of the Pacific Legal Foundation details the case of Phillip Truesdell and Legacy Medical Transport.

  • Citizen Activism vs. Missouri Regulators

    Nov 08 2019

    Ron Calzone wins a round in court. A federal appeals court says the independent Missouri activist doesn’t have to register as a lobbyist to talk to lawmakers. Zac Morgan of the Institute for Free Speech details the case.

  • Innovation and Choice Remain Critical to Environmental Improvement

    Nov 07 2019

    The innovations that markets deliver also create efficiencies that clean the environment. Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center comments.

  • Reforming Parole and Probation

    Nov 06 2019

    What are some steps to save taxpayers money and achieve better outcomes for people on parole and probation? Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation comments.

  • Celebrating the New Nobel Laureates with One Caveat

    Nov 05 2019

    The new Nobel laureates in economics deserve the prize, but it’s important to understand the limits of some findings. So says Swami Aiyar.

  • Road Diets and Pedestrian Deaths

    Nov 04 2019

    What’s a “road diet”? Randal O’Toole comments.

  • How to Be a Dictator

    Nov 02 2019

    How to be a Dictator tells the stories of unique individuals who gained power and held it with typically disastrous results. Frank Dikötter is the book’s author.

  • The Jones Act, Liquid Natural Gas, and Russia

    Nov 01 2019

    When Puerto Rico wants to buy liquified natural gas, it’s pointless to buy from America. Thank the Jones Act. Colin Grabow comments.

  • Poverty and Freedom: Case Studies on Global Economic Development

    Oct 30 2019

    What are the alternatives to foreign aid? Matt Warner is editor of Poverty and Freedom: Case Studies on Global Economic Development. Warner is president of the Atlas Network.