Past Shows

Past Guests


Property Rights vs. Diversity of People and Species; Can These Concepts Coexist?

Bob is joined by former San Francisco mayor Art Agnos. Mayor Agnos is a progressive to the core, and a sincere advocate for the middle class. He makes a passionate case for rent control, and subsidized, affordable housing for lower and middle-class residents of urban areas (especially, of course, San Francisco). Mayor Agnos truly speaks from the heart, as well as the mind, making it difficult for Bob to rebut his distinctly non-libertarian views, although he tries. Of particular interest will be Mayor Agnos’ successful battle against the Golden State Warriors’ attempted land grab on the San Francisco waterfront. You’ll learn how professional sports franchises often function as little more than mall developers in disguise.

At 10AM Bob addresses the issue of endangered species with investigative reporter Tawanda Kanhema of the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Kanhema has been documenting the fight to save the black rhinoceros – including efforts to crack down on ivory sales – on Bob examines whether the free market might have a role to play in bringing endangered species back from the brink.

It’s 90 minutes of Bob and the progressives!

All Powerful Federal Government – Did the Founders Blow It?


During the Constitution’s ratification process from September 1787 through mid-1788, each and every federalist (the supporters of ratification) promised America a federal government of limited (i.e. “enumerated”) powers. For about 120 years we were provided with maximum freedom to pursue our lives as we see fit. Promise kept. Then what happened?

The America we live in today is by no means the America that we were supposed to have. Were we given a flawed Constitution? One that mandated an all-controlling, all-seeing, liberty-denying Big Brother that was determined to make all of our personal decisions for us? Clark M. Neily III knows how we got from the government we were promised to the government we now have and he explains it in “Terms of Engagement; How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government.” Clark joined Bob to discuss all this and more. You need to know how we got in this mess in order to know how to get out. A must- hear show.

Worst Ten Economic Mistakes of the 20th Century


We’ve always had lists. Billboard had its “top 40.” Fortune has its “Fortune 100.” Only a free-market economist could build a list of the “The Terrible 10: A Century of Economic Folly.” That economist is Burton Abrams, Professor of Economics at the University of Delaware, Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, and Director of their Government Cost Calculator (check it out at What’s your favorite? Prohibition? Social Security? Medicare? Environment? In this episode, Bob and Burt cover them all, as well as the root causes. It is astonishing to see what all these mistakes have in common. Listen to this podcast and you’ll learn why the best pick up line of the 21st Century will soon be “What’s your favorite economic folly?”

America, The Most Sexually Hypocritical Nation on Earth


Maggie McNeill, retired madam, sex worker, and a lead
blogger at Cato Unbound, joins Bob to discuss
the legalization of “the oldest profession.” Why is America the only
non-communist country to criminalize sex work? After all, many women
expect their dates to pay for their meals and entertainment. Is that
a crime? If not, how is that not prostitution? The lines between
legal and illegal activity are impossibly blurred, leading to the
inescapable conclusion that exchanging sex for money is only illegal
if a poor woman does it. Class discrimination at its worst. These
laws infantilize and demean women, yet they remain on the books.
Maggie helps us sort this out. One small step towards the end of
hypocrisy about sex in America.

Galt Gulch is Right Around The Corner


In the America of Atlas Shrugged, many of the successful and creative members of society went on ”strike” and disappeared to Galt’s Gulch, where they live their lives free of intrusive and overbearing government. Free of takers; free of moochers. Today the truth is better than fiction. No need to find a “gulch,” when there is (or will be) an entire free state. The Free State Project is seeking the commitment of 20,000 Libertarians to move to New Hampshire and build “Galt’s State” where they will “live free or die.” That is all that will be needed for Libertarians to obtain voting control of the state and show the other 49 states how a Libertarian government looks and feels. They’ve called themselves porcupines (a creature only dangerous when disturbed) and they are far along in their goal. In this Sunday’s encore episode, you’ll hear about the FSP firsthand from Carla Gericke, the President of the Free State Foundation Board. Carla’s a corporate attorney, born in South Africa, with a brief stay in the San Francisco Bay Area and she is living the free state life in New Hampshire. Carla is walking the walk as a latter day pioneer.

We Are Not Sardines. We Are People

Be careful, America. The “One Worlders” are on the attack, armed with stealth statutes and regulatory powers, seeking to wrest local control of our quality of life from cities and towns to unelected regulators. Bob knows this. He is living it. High rise multi-family residences are being imposed on small towns in order to save the planet and stop climate change (can you imagine anything more absurd than trying to stop the climate from changing?). California has been the forerunner of many public policy issues, from “right on red” (hooray) to a ban on plastic bags (boo). Now the usurpation of local zoning control is being tested. If it succeeds here, America will be doomed. In this episode, Bob is joined by Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing ordinary citizens in a litigation to stop this planning monster in its tracks. Learn what is at stake, so you can be prepared to fight it. If you lose, your city council will be controlled by the UN!

Remember the A&P? It’s the True Story of Capitalism in America


Marc Levinson’s book “The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America” has it all: rugged capitalism, crony capitalism, big time rent seekers using political power to kill competition, and the defense of the “little guy” against the feared chain stores. It also outlines the destruction of the free market by the New Deal, gives details of the precursor to Walmart (Sam Walton did not invent the business model) and exemplifies some very nasty politics. A history of this iconic brand is a history of American business from the middle of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century. In this Sunday’s encore episode, Marc joins Bob to put the attack on free enterprise in a fascinating historical perspective. The mistakes of history keep on repeating themselves and resilient businesses overcome these obstacles. This topic, this book, is simply great stuff. You’ll love it.

The People Vs. Washington Insiders – The Ultimate RICO Case


Many philosophers have opined that “taxation is theft,” and arguably it is. However, it’s far worse when government legally extorts massive sums from us through abusive statutes and no oversight. “Extortion” is the precise word to describe how the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives operative with the ruthless efficiency of organized crime without fear. “Extortion” is the title of Peter Schweizer’s best seller, subtitled (and this tells it all) “How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes and Line Their Own Pockets.” Peter has exhaustively researched this subject he shares his findings with Bob in this Sunday’s encore episode. What you hear will not make you very happy, but it will inform you, and that is the first step towards reform. If it seems that extortion is too strong a word, just listen to Peter in this non-partisan indictment of Washington and decide for yourself.

Have Professional Sports Made Us More Socialist Than Europe?


Why do cities and states fall all over each other to force billions of dollars of subsidies into the pockets of billionaire professional sports team owners? Is it merely that they want to qualify as “major league cities?” Does it make economic sense (answer – of course not) or is it just to enhance the egos of local politicians and enrich local real estate interests? And aren’t the professional sports teams a monopoly, subject to anti-trust regulation? You’d think so. Imagine a retailer having to obtain the permission of Macy’s before opening a store near a Macy’s? In America professional sports leagues have been exempt from anti-trust laws since a 1922 US Supreme Court case held that baseball was not “interstate commerce.” Robbing from the poor (and middle class) to give to the rich. Robin Hood, where are you when we need you? Skip Sauer, Professor of Economics and Chair of The John E. Walker Department of Economics at Clemson University has studied this issue extensively and joined Bob to discuss the of subsidizing professional sports teams by local governments. The politics, the economics, the insanity. It ain’t pretty.

At 1PM, Bob was joined by Mitch Jeserich, host of Pacifica Radio’s Letters & Politics (KPFA in the Bay Area), to discuss the contentious (to say the least) issue of gun control. Are libertarians closer to progressives or to conservatives on this complex issue? The 2nd amendment is only 27 words long, and its three commas have been parsed and parsed for 200 years. What does the Amendment mean? Does it matter? Bob and Mitch will try to sort it out. Callers welcome. 800-345-5639.

Aren’t Men Entitled to Due Process on Campus?


Early this year, Cathy Young, author of two books and a columnist for The Boston Globe, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal (to name merely a few news outlets) caught Bob’s attention with “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” Her thoroughly researched article, which appeared in Reason Magazine, tells the story of how the government encourages kangaroo courts for sex crimes on campus. Young men are tried (if you can call it that) in quasi-judicial proceedings, with none of the safeguards Americans would expect. If found “guilty,” the damage to the accused is often greater than it would be in a criminal proceeding. This a feminism gone wild, or as Cathy identifies it, an uncontrolled and abusive “rape culture” crusade which damages both young women and young men. College should be an environment where the rules of civil society are taught and reinforced, not abused and ignored. Even worse, this loss of civil liberties takes place with the express encouragement of Washington, with none other than Joe Biden leading the charge. Who would have thought that sex could become an issue to be exploited for political gain? Will we become a nation of geldings (look it up)?

By popular demand, John Rothmann joins Bob once again to cross rhetorical swords on the issue of school vouchers which has become particularly timely in light of the House Republican bill to fund vouchers. The teachers unions are up in arms. This is a wedge issue that separates parents of minority kids from the Democrats. Interesting, and fun.