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.


  • Economic Freedom of the World 2018

    Sep 25 2018

    The long slide of the United States in economic freedom appears to have halted. Ian Vasquez comments on the new edition of Economic Freedom of the World.

  • Banned Books Week and Conflicts of Values

    Sep 25 2018

    The fight over banning books from school libraries is only worsened by the public school establishment. Neal McCluskey comments.

  • Double Game: Why Pakistan Supports Militants and Resists U.S. Pressure to Stop

    Sep 22 2018

    U.S. relations with Pakistan are strained not just by war in neighboring Afghanistan, but also by Pakistan's domestic concerns. Sahar Khan is author of "Double Game: Why Pakistan Supports Militants and Resists U.S. Pressure to Stop."

  • Brexit, Trade, and Regulatory Barriers in Great Britain

    Sep 21 2018

    How is Brexit going? What do British Conservatives think of Donald Trump's broad and punitive tariff hikes? Elizabeth Truss is a British MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

  • F.A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy and Social Philosophy

    Sep 19 2018

    The project of F. A. Hayek had its historical context, and it’s worth exploring. Peter J. Boettke is author of F.A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy and Social Philosophy.

  • 'Professional Speech': a Distinction without a Difference

    Sep 18 2018

    The NIFLA Supreme Court case could undo a substantial amount of regulation governing "professional speech" in the coming years. Robert McNamara of the Institute for Justice comments.

  • Is Public Assistance a Subsidy or Tax to Employers?

    Sep 18 2018

    Senator Bernie Sanders believes that public assistance benefits provided to workers constitute subsidies to their employers. He couldn't be more wrong, according to Ryan Bourne. Related paper: "Government and the Cost of Living: Income-Based vs. Cost-Based Approaches to Alleviating Poverty," by Ryan Bourne

  • Notions of (and Reactions to) Islam

    Sep 14 2018

    How have European countries responded to large inflows of Muslims? What makes America so special when it comes to assimilating people of different backgrounds? Mustafa Akyol comments.

  • 'Indispensable' Remedy: The Broad Scope of the Constitution's Impeachment Power

    Sep 12 2018

    Impeachment of a President is a substantial power handed to Congress. How has it been used in the past and how should it be used? Gene Healy discusses his new paper on the history and meaning of impeachment. “Indispensable Remedy: The Broad Scope of the Constitution’s Impeachment Power,” by Gene Healy, White Paper, September 12, 2018.

  • None of My Business

    Sep 11 2018

    In his new book, P.J. O'Rourke takes on money, banking, retirement, investing and all the reasons neither you nor P.J. are rich. The book is None of My Business.

  • The Elizabeth Warren Plan to Reorganize Public Companies

    Sep 10 2018

    Senator Elizabeth Warren would like to see employees of large publicly traded companies have a role in selecting some board members. What does that mean for corporate governance and competitiveness of those companies? Walter Olson comments.

  • States Push to Hobble Short-Term Health Plans

    Sep 08 2018

    Short-term health plans have been freed from many restrictions, but now states are moving to restrict or outright prohibit this kind of coverage. Michael Cannon says by outlawing the plans, states will expose their own residents to high bills, poor access, and bankruptcy.

  • Education Research and Correlation vs. Causation

    Sep 06 2018

    The dimensions along which parents choose schools for their children are never entirely captured by test scores. Corey DeAngelis examines a new piece of education research.

  • The Coddling of the American Mind

    Sep 05 2018

    Whatever the benefits of protecting kids from all manner of emotional disturbances, the costs may be among others, robbing kids of their own sense of competence. Greg Lukianoff is co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind. The Coddling of the American Mind, Book Forum, October 1, 2018

  • Government and the Cost of Living: Income-Based vs. Cost-Based Approaches to Alleviating Poverty

    Sep 04 2018

    What would market-based welfare reform look like? Embracing reforms to lower prices for many of the most basic essentials for living would have the added benefits of not further burdening taxpayers. Ryan Bourne details his new paper on the subject.

  • Two Sides of a Potential Stormy Impeachment

    Sep 03 2018

    How should we think about impeachment? Does it require a crime? What are the cases for and against a payoff to an adult film star being criminal and/or an impeachable offense? Gene Healy comments.

  • Attorney-Client Privilege and the Crime-Fraud Exception

    Sep 01 2018

    When courts demand testimony, a large exception is carved out for attorneys representing their clients. What breaks that privilege? Paul Rosenzweig of the R Street Institute comments on the case of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen.

  • Trump vs. Google Searches

    Aug 31 2018

    The President says he is unhappy with the manner in which Google searches present information about him. John Samples comments on how the comments ought to be considered.

  • U.S. Citizens Targeted by ICE

    Aug 29 2018

    New data shows that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does a poor job making sure that U.S. citizens aren't caught up in harsh detention and deportation policies aimed at undocumented immigrants. David Bier has examined data from Texas.

  • How Should Young People Learn History?

    Aug 29 2018

    How young people learn history today raises issues over what should be presented, but any history text privileges some information over others. Anthony Comegna discusses how and if young people should grapple with history.

  • Let Conservationists Lease Federal Lands

    Aug 28 2018

    Conservationists usually have one lever to pull to alter federal land use: lobbying. Why shouldn't those who want to conserve species be able to lease federal lands for that purpose? Holly Fretwell of the Property and Environment Research Center comments.

  • Off the Grid

    Aug 25 2018

    Productive ideological sparring should be rooted in honest disagreement. In Matt Kibbe's new film, he explores the values and unconventional life of Republican Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie.

  • Bootleggers, Baptists, and Retrograde Booze Laws

    Aug 24 2018

    Economist Jeremy Horpendahl discusses just how far some states lag behind in regulating alcohol, and why some of those arrangements are very difficult to fix.

  • Tom Cotton Picking Fights over Sentencing Reform

    Aug 22 2018

    Federal sentencing reform is overdue, and many leading Republicans are now on board for change. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, however, wants to stop it. Kevin Ring, President of FAMM, comments.

  • Freedom in the 50 States 2018

    Aug 21 2018

    How free is your state? The Cato Institute's new Freedom in the 50 States report details how states fair when it comes to fiscal, regulatory, and personal freedom. William Ruger and Jason Sorens are the report's authors.

  • Tomorrow 3.0: Transaction Costs and the Sharing Economy

    Aug 21 2018

    The sharing economy has the potential to create massive disruption. How we handle that disruption is of critical importance. Michael Munger is author of Tomorrow 3.0: Transaction Costs and the Sharing Economy.

  • Faith, Libertarianism, and the Common Good

    Aug 17 2018

    How best to reconcile faith with the common good and libertarian thinking poses challenges. Stephanie Slade of Reason argues that those challenges are often merely in how other people perceive libertarian approaches to maximize human flourishing.

  • Big Private Platforms for Speech and Alex Jones

    Aug 16 2018

    Several big internet platforms removed or hobbled conspiracy slinger Alex Jones, but any concerns that raises do not implicate the Constitution. John Samples comments.

  • The Feds Dial Back on Regulating Higher Ed

    Aug 15 2018

    Changing the way the feds oversee higher education may be helpful, but it's not clearly a win for liberty. Neal McCluskey comments.

  • 3-D Printed Guns and Freedom of Speech

    Aug 14 2018

    Distributing plans for 3-D printed guns and the attempt to restrain that distribution is a clear First Amendment issue. Josh Blackman is an attorney for Defense Distributed, the company currently mired in legal wrangling over gun blueprints.

  • As Jones Act Hampers Puerto Rico Recovery, Congress Remains Confused

    Aug 13 2018

    Some in Congress seem mystified that the Jones Act, a law to stifle competition in shipping, is making recovery more difficult for Puerto Rico. Colin Grabow explains.

  • Al Qaeda, Yemen, and the U.S./Saudi Relationship

    Aug 10 2018

    If the United States has cut deals with Al Qaeda in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, what does that say about the corrosive nature of the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia? Sahar Khan and John Glaser comment.

  • The New Target for Paid Family Leave Boosters: Social Security

    Aug 09 2018

    Proposals to turn Social Security into a bank for families wishing to take time off to care for new kids are flawed along a number of dimensions. Charles Blahous and Vanessa Brown Calder comment.

  • Is Obamacare Now Truly Optional?

    Aug 08 2018

    Several changes to the terms of the Affordable Care Act have enabled more substantial health care choices for millions of Americans. Michael F. Cannon explains.

  • Should Investors Pay an Inflation Tax?

    Aug 07 2018

    Congress can protect investors from bad fiscal and monetary policy changes by indexing capital gains taxes to inflation. Why won't they do it? Mattie Duppler of the National Taxpayers Union comments.

  • If You Want to End Mass Incarceration, End the Drug War

    Aug 07 2018

    How do states take their cues from the feds when it comes to drug laws? And how has that driven the massive increase in prison population in the United States? Economist Daniel J. D'Amico comments.

  • TSA Is Spying on Americans with "Quiet Skies" Program

    Aug 03 2018

    "Quiet Skies" monitors American travelers who are on a secret watchlist. Are you on the list? Matthew Feeney discusses the problems with this unwarranted surveillance.

  • How to #AbolishICE

    Aug 02 2018

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement is an agency that ought to go, but doing so would require removing the authorities granted to the agency by Congress. Alex Nowrasteh explains how best to #AbolishICE.

  • Even with a $32-Trillion Price Tag, Would 'Medicare for All' Save Money?

    Aug 01 2018

    A new estimate puts the cost of "Medicare for All" at more than $32-trillion over ten years. Charles Blahous says that estimate assumes that the program works according to plan. He and Michael Cannon discuss how it probably wouldn’t go according to plan.

  • An EU/US Ceasefire in the Trade War? Not Really.

    Jul 31 2018

    An agreement struck between the European Union and the United States over trade is less substantive than fans of free trade would hope. Simon Lester comments.

  • POTUS Threatens Security Clearances & Misconstrues FISA Surveillance

    Jul 30 2018

    The President's threatened removal of security clearances for his public critics is a message to future whistleblowers, according to Patrick Eddington. He also discusses a recently released FISA warrant application.

  • The Continuing Crackdown on Sex Work

    Jul 28 2018

    New federal laws are aimed at making communication more difficult for sex workers. Alice Little is a legal sex worker and sex educator in Nevada. She discusses the worlds of legal and illegal sex work.

  • New Leadership in Pakistan

    Jul 28 2018

    How will Pakistan's new leadership impact relations with the United States and security in the region? Sahar Khan comments.

  • The Problem Is What They Know

    Jul 26 2018

    The private sector collects a lot of data about you. What are the implications for liberty when that data inevitably leaks? Charles Fain Lehman is author of a new essay at libertarianism.org, "The Problem Is What They Know."

  • NAACP v. Alabama and Associational Privacy

    Jul 25 2018

    What does a decades-old ruling on the First Amendment tell us about the right of associational privacy today. Bradley Smith of the Institute for Free Speech comments on the ongoing relevance on the 60th anniversary of NAACP v. Alabama.

  • Academic Renegades for Radical Free Speech

    Jul 24 2018

    At the Voice and Exit Conference in Austin, Thaddeus Russell and Bret Weinstein discussed free speech on campus, why most universities are basically the same, and how those schools must adapt to changing circumstances.

  • The Enduring Allure of College Debt

    Jul 19 2018

    Despite the dramatic rise in college costs relative to the benefits, college debt remains an attractive option for students and their parents. Isaac Morehouse and T.K. Coleman of Praxis discuss why they believe parents and young people still make that big bet on student loans.

  • Kavanaugh and NSA Surveillance

    Jul 18 2018

    Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's record with respect to warrantless government surveillance of Americans is worthy of scrutiny. Matthew Feeney discusses Klayman v. Obama.

  • Losing Count: The Empty Case for 'High-Capacity' Magazine Restrictions.

    Jul 17 2018

    Bans or restrictions on so-called "high-capacity" magazines are at best ineffective, and at worst counterproductive. That's according to Matthew LaRosiere, author of "Losing Count: The Empty Case for 'High-Capacity' Magazine Restrictions."

  • TrumPutin in Helsinki

    Jul 16 2018

    On a scale of "Tremendous" to "Treasonous," how did the Trump/Putin summit in Helsinki go? Chris Preble comments.

  • The Next Round of Destructive Trump Tariffs

    Jul 13 2018

    The President is now considering levying additional tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, amping up trade-related antagonism. Dan Ikenson discusses the likely fallout for workers, consumers, and downstream producers in the United States.

  • Kavanaugh’s Record on Executive Power and Surveillance

    Jul 13 2018

    Brett Kavanaugh has extensive experience in federal executive branch matters, either as an investigator or staffer. What does his record show about how he might rule on executive power and federal surveillance if he is elevated to the Supreme Court? Gene Healy comments.

  • What Brett Kavanaugh’s Court Record Doesn’t Show

    Jul 11 2018

    Brett Kavanaugh, the new nominee to the Supreme Court, doesn't have a deep record when it comes to many areas libertarians care about. Walter Olson comments.

  • Brett Kavanaugh Nominated to Supreme Court

    Jul 10 2018

    Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump's pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Cato adjunct scholar Andrew Grossman comments on Kavanaugh's record on the DC Circuit.

  • Why Does the Federal Government Issue Damaging Dietary Guidelines?

    Jul 10 2018

    Even when the federal government began issuing dietary guidance to Americans, it wasn't clear if the advice was sound. Terence Kealey's new Cato paper is "Why Does the Federal Government Issue Damaging Dietary Guidelines?"

  • The Feds' Demonization of Dietary Fat

    Jul 09 2018

    Why have the feds strongly encouraged Americans to avoid dietary fat for more than 40 years? Terence Kealey is author of the forthcoming Cato paper, "Why Does the Federal Government Issue Damaging Dietary Guidelines?"

  • 'Professional Speech’ before SCOTUS

    Jul 07 2018

    Freedom of speech came before the Supreme Court in multiple ways this term. In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, the court's opportunity was to address what crisis pregnancy centers are required to say by law.

  • Trump Administration Aims to Reduce Legal Immigration

    Jul 06 2018

    Dramatically reducing legal immigration appears to be one of the primary ends of anything the Trump Administration calls reform. David Bier comments.

  • Vital Economics Lessons for Kids

    Jul 04 2018

    What are the essential lessons of economics that stick with kids? Connor Boyack has written several books detailing these lessons for children. We spoke at FEECon in Atlanta in June.

  • Leftist Populism Wins for Mexico's Next President

    Jul 03 2018

    How will the victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador change relations with the U.S. or Mexico's approach to trade, the drug war, and other issues? Ian Vásquez comments.

  • Surveillance after Carpenter

    Jul 02 2018

    Since the Supreme Court found recently that cops generally need a warrant to access certain data that gives away your location, how does surveillance change? Patrick Eddington and Matthew Feeney comment.

  • Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech

    Jun 30 2018

    In his new book, Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech, Cyrus Farivar details how courts have failed to update privacy protections for the digital age.

  • Greatest Hits (and Misses) of Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court

    Jun 29 2018

    Anthony Kennedy has a decidedly mixed record on the Supreme Court. Walter Olson and Roger Pilon discuss Kennedy's record as he steps down from the bench.

  • The Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear

    Jun 28 2018

    The Jones Act was passed in response to worries about U.S. reliance on foreign shipping during World War I. Why is it still on the books, raising prices and damaging U.S. economic performance? Dan Ikenson discusses his new Cato paper on the subject.

  • Janus Case Affirms First Amendment Rights

    Jun 27 2018

    The Supreme Court holds that government "extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment" in the case of Janus v. AFSCME. Trevor Burrus comments on the case.

  • Should Cryptocurrencies Be Regulated like Securities?

    Jun 27 2018

    The rise of ICOs has raised the question of whether cryptocurrencies are securities. Is the nascent, but valuable technology deserving of that kind of treatment? Diego Zuluaga is author of a new Cato paper on the subject.

  • Supreme Court Finds Rational Basis in Trump Travel Ban

    Jun 27 2018

    The Supreme Court upholds the original Trump travel ban imposing restrictions on would-be immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries. Ilya Shapiro discusses the case.

  • A Massive Increase in Military Spending

    Jun 26 2018

    How much security are we getting for a more-than $80 billion increase in military spending? Caroline Dorminey examines the new Pentagon budget.

  • Trade War with China Escalates

    Jun 25 2018

    China and the United States continue to trade threats of tariffs. Where does this end? Colin Grabow and Simon Lester comment.

  • Cops Need a Warrant (Usually) for Your Cell Data

    Jun 22 2018

    If the police want your cell-based location, they'll need to first get a warrant, at least most of the time. Cato's Ilya Shapiro and Julian Sanchez comment on the Supreme Court's decision in Carpenter v. United States.

  • SCOTUS and Lucia v. SEC

    Jun 22 2018

    The newly clarified role and status of administrative law judges will drive litigation for years, now that the Supreme Court has weighed in. Walter Olson and Trevor Burrus comment on Lucia v. SEC.

  • Patriotism’s Nonexistent Heyday

    Jun 21 2018

    American patriotism now seems synonymous with fealty to the state and its military. But did patriotism ever have a moment that wasn't marred by ugly history? Historian Anthony Comegna comments.

  • Trump Administration Policy Puts Kids in Cages

    Jun 20 2018

    Various new policies adopted by the Trump Administration have resulted in parents and children being separated at the U.S. border. Alex Nowrasteh discusses the problems created by the changes.

  • War State, Trauma State (Part Two)

    Jun 19 2018

    If the U.S. military had understood insights from psychology in 2001, the mission in Afghanistan might have been substantially smaller. Erik Goepner is author of the new Cato paper, "War State, Trauma State."