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.


  • Creativity in Advancing Liberty

    Dec 15 2018

    Data, numbers, charts, and white papers are fine, but advancing liberty in the future will require humor, creativity, and art in crafting compelling stories. John Papola comments on art as a tool to advance freedom.

  • Human Freedom Index 2018

    Dec 14 2018

    The Human Freedom Index continues to show the strong relationship between economic freedom and political and social freedom. Ian Vasquez discusses the latest edition of the report.

  • The New York Response to Janus

    Dec 14 2018

    The Janus ruling curtailing union power is not self-executing. Ken Girardin of The Empire Center discusses how New York has reacted to the ruling.

  • FDA's Overcaution Carries Deadly Consequences

    Dec 11 2018

    When the FDA sets out to evaluate a potential new drug, the agency's overcaution makes the exercise more expensive and potentially deadly from patients who might benefit. Mark Flatten of the Goldwater Institute comments.

  • The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America's Poor

    Dec 07 2018

    The Inclusive Economy, the new book by Cato’s Michael Tanner, examines welfare from the perspective of how government keeps many Americans poor. The book is available now.   You can support the Cato Daily Podcast and the Cato Institute by becoming a Podcast Sponsor.

  • The Simon Abundance Index

    Dec 07 2018

    Are we measuring resource availability properly? The Simon Abundance Index is an attempt to give the world a clearer picture of the abundance that surrounds us. Marian Tupy comments.   You can support the Cato Daily Podcast and the Cato Institute by becoming a Podcast Sponsor.

  • Bank Stability Ten Years after the Financial Crisis

    Dec 06 2018

    How has the banking system performed a decade after the financial crisis? Are there still reasons to worry? Tobias Adrian is Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the International Monetary Fund.

  • Open Police Complaints

    Dec 05 2018

    It's difficult to file a complaint with many police departments. In some cases, it's hard to know even how to file one. Steve Silverman of Flex Your Rights discusses the group's new project, Open Police Complaints, which aims to smooth the process and bring transparency to the process of registering a complaint against cops. You can support the Cato Daily Podcast and the Cato Institute by becoming a Podcast Sponsor.

  • What Is Classical Liberal History?

    Nov 30 2018

    History isn't merely a set of facts and events, and history doesn't emerge from a singular perspective. Michael J. Douma is co-editor of What is Classical Liberty History?

  • New Mexico Begins Innovative Fix to Occupational Licensing

    Nov 29 2018

    It outgoing New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has her way, New Mexicans will soon have a much bigger say in which businesses are allowed to serve them. Paul Gessing of the Rio Grande Foundation discusses the beginnings of a new and substantial occupational licensing reform.

  • A Daunting Brexit Sales Pitch

    Nov 29 2018

    A Brexit deal is on the table. How ugly could it be? Ryan Bourne discusses the challenging sales pitch and complicated politics of Britain leaving the European Union.

  • In Weyerhaeuser, the Frog Never Had a Chance

    Nov 28 2018

    The Weyerhaeuser decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court was nominally about protecting a frog's (potential) habitat. Holly Fretwell of the Property and Environment Research Center says protecting endangered species requires a deeper dive into the workings of the Endangered Species Act. We spoke in October before the decision was handed down.

  • Understanding the Real Rate of Interest

    Nov 27 2018

    How should we think about the real rate of interest? What changes can alter or obfuscate it? Claudio Borio of BIS comments.

  • Teacher Outrage, Teacher Compensation

    Nov 23 2018

    Do the claims that drove teacher protests in 2018 bear scrutiny? Victor Riches is President of the Goldwater Institute. He discusses some of the data on teacher compensation.

  • Dental Therapy and Health Care Monopolies

    Nov 22 2018

    Dental therapy offers a way to extend dental care to more Americans. Why isn't it more available? Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute comments.

  • In the Pursuit of Self Government, Does Quality News Matter?

    Nov 21 2018

    How much does quality newsgathering matter if the goal is self government? Anthony Comegna says it's not as important as we might hope.

  • Wild Horses, Property Rights, and Public Lands

    Nov 21 2018

    Wild horses don't care who owns the land under their hooves, but the apparent conflict between horses and property owners isn't as intractable as you might think. Hannah Downey of the Property and Environment Research Center explains.

  • Bail Reform and Public Safety

    Nov 20 2018

    Criminal defendants sometimes pose a risk to the public and should not be released, but that risk often doesn't correlate with bail that a judge might set. Daniel Dew of the Buckeye Institute comments on how bail works in courtrooms and how it might be reformed.

  • The Impeachment of Andrew "Tennessee" Johnson

    Nov 17 2018

    The impeachment of Andrew Johnson might offer a few lessons for today. Gene Healy is author of "Indispensable Remedy: The Broad Scope of the Constitution’s Impeachment Power.”

  • Disciplining China's Trade Practices at the WTO

    Nov 15 2018

    China's trade practices are questionable, but are tariffs the proper response? Simon Lester is author of the new Cato paper, "Disciplining China's Trade Practices at the WTO: How WTO Complaints Can Help Make China More Market-Oriented."

  • Trump Endorses Serious Sentencing Reform

    Nov 15 2018

    President Trump has endorsed legislation that would make some federal drug sentencing reform retroactive. Molly Gill of Families Against Mandatory Minimums discusses the proposal and what a new Congress should focus on in the next term.

  • Debt, Credit, and Consumer Protection

    Nov 13 2018

    Some of the large drivers of financial problems facing consumers are the regulators who are trying to protect us. New Cato senior fellow Todd Zywicki comments.

  • Social Media and the Pipe Bomber

    Nov 13 2018

    Before Cesar Sayoc sent pipe bombs to prominent Democrats, he threatened Cato adjunct scholar Ilya Somin.

  • Sex Worker Freedom in Nevada Holds Steady

    Nov 09 2018

    Voters in Lyon County, Nevada rejected a proposal to ban brothels there. Meanwhile, brothel owner Dennis Hof won election to state office despite his death weeks earlier. Alice Little, a sex worker in Nevada, describes what's next for defending and advancing sex worker freedom.

  • The 'Protectionist Moment' That Wasn’t

    Nov 08 2018

    Donald Trump's protectionist tendencies may have reached their natural limit. Scott Lincicome discusses his new trade bulletin on the subject.

  • Jeff Sessions "Fired for Doing the Right Thing"

    Nov 08 2018

    Jeff Sessions has resigned as Attorney General, a move that opens up many questions about the future of investigations into the White House and harsh federal law enforcement. Trevor Burrus and Alex Nowrasteh comment.

  • Divided Government Won in 2018

    Nov 07 2018

    Democrats will run the U.S. House and Republicans will hang onto the Senate. What does that mean for limited government? What were the bright spots for liberty at the state level? Michael Tanner comments.

  • New Polling on Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage Costs and Benefits

    Nov 07 2018

    Democrats have pinned some of their hopes on protecting Americans from pre-existing conditions from losing certain coverage mandates. What does polling have to say about it? Emily Ekins comments.

  • What Does the U.S. Get out of New Sanctions on Iran?

    Nov 05 2018

    What benefits does the U.S. derive from new sanctions on Iran? Iranian leaders have long said they are willing to negotiate, and the U.S. has already poked holes in its own hard line toward the regime. John Glaser and Emma Ashford comment.

  • The Threat of Creeping Overcriminalization

    Nov 03 2018

    Shon Hopwood is both a former felon and a professor of law at Georgetown. At Cato Club 200, he detailed his case for sweeping criminal justice reform.

  • Walling Off Liberty

    Nov 02 2018

    Federal tactics aimed at enforcing immigration law should be very concerning to law-abiding American citizens. Matthew Feeney discusses the findings of his new paper.

  • What Do Parents Think of Private School Choice?

    Nov 01 2018

    A large survey of parents who make use of private school choice in Florida reveals that, yes, parents really do like school choice. Jason Bedrick of EdChoice comments.

  • Trump Claims Power to End Birthright Citizenship

    Oct 31 2018

    The President may not understand the substantive requirements to alter the Constitution, but his desire to end birthright citizenship with a mere executive order is wrongheaded for a number of other reasons, as well. Alex Nowrasteh comments.

  • Regressive Regulation and Economic Opportunity

    Oct 29 2018

    Regulations that disproportionately harm the poor should get special scrutiny. Cato's Ryan Bourne and Vanessa Brown Calder joined Diane Katz of the Heritage Foundation for a live Cato Daily Podcast at Cato Club 200.

  • U.S. Plans to Abandon Nuclear Treaties

    Oct 26 2018

    Nuclear nonproliferation has long been viewed as an admirable goal. Is there a security benefit to casting aside agreements that limited the U.S. nuclear arsenal? Caroline Dorminey and Eric Gomez discuss the likely end of some longstanding limits on nuclear weapons.

  • Impeach Kavanaugh?

    Oct 25 2018

    What's the history of impeachment of judges, specifically justices of the Supreme Court? And what are the specific claims people would use to impeach Brett Kavanaugh? Gene Healy comments.

  • Does Trump Have a Trade Strategy?

    Oct 25 2018

    It's hard to figure just what the White House believes are the long-term benefits of trade protectionism and stunted trade deals? Simon Lester comments.

  • Have Republicans Given Up on Limited Government?

    Oct 23 2018

    Given Congressional Republicans' abdication on the nuts and bolts of limited government, does the GOP deserve an electoral beat-down in November? Republican U.S. Representative Mark Sanford comments.

  • Defending Free Speech in the 21st Century

    Oct 23 2018

    Big internet platforms for speech are privately owned, but those who would pressure private firms to restrict speech are often the same people who would substantially restrict the rights of people to speak. John Samples and Emily Ekins discuss how Americans think about free speech today and ways to defend it in the modern age. We spoke at Cato Club 200 in Middleburg, Virginia.

  • A Libertarian Case for Class-Action Lawsuits

    Oct 19 2018

    The class-action lawsuit should become a tool for people who have been wronged by their governments, according to Maurice Thompson of the 1851 Center in Ohio. We spoke last week in Salt Lake City.

  • FDA’s Roadblocks to Self-Driven Health Care

    Oct 19 2018

    If you want to try an unapproved drug in the United States, you must be wealthy or lucky. Naomi Lopez Bauman of the Goldwater Institute discusses some promising reforms. We spoke at the State Policy Network Annual Meeting.

  • Jamal Khashoggi and the Necessary U.S. Divorce from Saudi Arabia

    Oct 17 2018

    The U.S./Saudi relationship should be under the microscope like never before following the probable death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Emma Ashford comments.

  • Union Fees after Janus

    Oct 17 2018

    Unions will not go gently following the Janus Supreme Court decision. Robert Alt of the Buckeye Institute discusses a few cases that follow on the Janus ruling.

  • Cannabis Reform Comes to Utah

    Oct 15 2018

    Utah is a conservative state, but the legislature is poised to begin the process of loosening restrictions on medical cannabis, a response to a medical marijuana ballot initiative voters will face this November. Connor Boyack of the Libertas Institute comments.

  • The False Promise of Native American Tribal Sovereignty

    Oct 13 2018

    Just how sovereign are Native American tribal lands? Terry L. Anderson is a cofounder of the Alliance for Renewing Indigenous Economies and the author of Free Market Environmentalism.

  • Adam Smith: Father of Economics

    Oct 12 2018

    Is it proper to consider Adam Smith the father of social psychology as well as economics? Jesse Norman MP discusses his new book, Adam Smith: Father of Economics.

  • Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

    Oct 10 2018

    Our ability to reason should guide our decisions, but too often our emotions get the better of our ability to make good choices. Annie Duke explains how to empower our reason in Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts.

  • Missing Property Rights on Native American Lands

    Oct 09 2018

    On tribal lands, Native Americans are lacking key property rights. It's hindering development on those so-called sovereign lands. Adam Crepelle comments.

  • Romance of the Rails

    Oct 08 2018

    In Romance of the Rails, author Randal O'Toole details the rise and fall of trains as a mode of transportation why it's quite likely we can never go back to it.

  • The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age

    Oct 05 2018

    The U.S. could perform better at protecting the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. For a live recording of the Cato Daily Podcast at Cato Club 200 event in Middleburg, Virginia, Matthew Feeney and Julian Sanchez explain how courts think about those rights in the digital age.

  • The Fading Relevance of Mass Transit

    Oct 05 2018

    American mass transit systems face challenges from demographics, how people work, and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Randal O'Toole discusses what agencies should do to respond.

  • Challenging the FAA’s Speed Limit in the Sky

    Oct 04 2018

    The FAA's longstanding ban on supersonic commercial air travel needs to go. Alan McQuinn of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation discusses the promise of high-speed commercial flight.

  • Canada Mulls Banning (Domestic) Paid Blood Plasma

    Oct 03 2018

    Why are Canadians considering prohibiting other Canadians from being paid for providing blood plasma? Peter Jaworski comments.

  • Will the Feds Make Occupational Licensing Worse?

    Oct 01 2018

    While some states are leading the way in reforming occupational licensing that affects many millions of workers and would-be workers, the feds may get involved. Lee McGrath of the Institute for Justice says it's fraught with risk.

  • Philadelphia's 'Forfeiture Machine' Winds Down

    Sep 27 2018

    If a judge accepts the agreement, Philadelphia's process of seizing many millions of dollars in property from innocent owners will be dismantled. Darpana Sheth of the Institute for Justice explains why.

  • How the Feds Spy on Reporters

    Sep 26 2018

    New information provides more context surrounding the circumstances and legal rationales for government spying on journalists. Julian Sanchez comments.

  • 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.