Elizabeth Nolan Brown is a senior editor at Reason and the main author of Reason's morning newsletter, the Reason Roundup – an essential part of my daily reading.
She is also co-founder of the libertarian feminist group Feminists for Liberty, and a professional affiliate of the journalism program at the University of Cincinnati. Last time she joined my show, Elizabeth and I discussed her work on the War on Sex Work:
Elizabeth Nolan Brown on the War on Sex Workers
It seems like a rule that whenever government declares war on something, the problem gets worse. Elizabeth Nolan Brown is an award-winning journalist and Reason editor who writes about how hysteria around human trafficking has created a "War on Sex Workers" to complement the failed Wars on Drugs, Poverty, and Terror.
This week we take up the news of Biden’s unilateral action cancelling billions of dollars of student loan debt. Elizabeth calls it a fiasco, and she’s hardly alone in this sentiment. Even President Obama’s former economic adviser Jason Furman has called the plan “reckless.”
If we have time, we will also take up the question of whether Walgreens should be prosecuted as an illicit drug dealer for fulfilling opioid prescriptions (hint: no).
Brown has covered a broad range of political and cultural topics since starting at Reason in 2014, with special emphasis on the politics, policy, and legal issues surrounding sex, speech, tech, justice, reproductive freedom, and women's rights. She can be found frequently reporting and opining on topics such as sex work, social media, antitrust law, abortion, feminism, the First Amendment, policing, and Section 230. A few of her more memorable Reason features include a trio of cover stories on the federal government's war on sex ("The War on Sex Trafficking Is the New War on Drugs," "American Sex Police," and "Massage Parlor Panic"), a political profile of Kamala Harris ("Kamala Harris Is a Cop Who Wants to Be President"), a deep dive into the prosecution of the founders of Backpage.com, and a look at "The Bipartisan Antitrust Crusade Against Big Tech."
Brown's work has also been published by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, Politico, Playboy, Persuasion, Fox News, Newsweek, TIME, The Dish, The Week, Spectator World, Libertarianism.org (where she wrote the Encyclopedia of Libertarianism entry on sex work), and numerous other outlets.
She is the winner of the Western Publishing Association's 2016 award for best feature article and has been a finalist for six awards from the Los Angeles Press Club, taking one second place and three third place awards for articles including Hot Girls Wanted: Exploiting Sex Workers in the Name of Exposing Porn Exploitation?" and "The Truth About the Biggest U.S. Sex Trafficking Story of the Year".
Brown is a frequent commenter on panels, podcasts, radio, and television. She has debated sex work decriminalization at New York University and the Soho Forum; spoken before audiences at SXSW, the First Amendment Lawyer's Association meeting, the Sexual Freedom Summit, the Knight Foundation, the Mont Pelerin Society, George Mason University's Law & Economics Center, the 2022 Libertarian Party convention, FreedomFest, and numerous other places; and appeared on programs on NPR, C-SPAN, the BBC, Fox News, ESPN, and North Carolina Public Radio, among others.
Prior to coming to Reason, Brown covered legal issues for the Daily Reporter in Columbus, Ohio; wrote about health and nutrition for Bustle and other women's websites; and served as an editor for AARP publications. She is a graduate of American University, where she earned a master's degree in public communication, and Ohio University, where she studied playwriting, English, and film. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, son, and two cats.
Student Loan Debt
Why everyone is mad about Biden's student loan forgiveness fiasco
Student Loans President Joe Biden declared yesterday that COVID-19 provides a legal basis for wiping out millions of people's student loan debt, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. Anyone making under $125,000 per year will be eligible for the student loan forgiveness program, which will allow for the erasure of up to $10,000 to $20,000 in debt per person.
Forgiving student debt without abolishing the federal loan program is morally wrong
Student Loans President Biden formally unveiled his student loan debt forgiveness plan on Wednesday, and will use his executive authority to cancel up to $20,000 of debt for borrowers who make less than $125,000 per year. "When I campaigned for president, I made a commitment that I would provide student debt relief," said Biden.
Ex-Obama adviser blasts Biden's 'reckless' student loan forgiveness
The Biden administration's long-awaited plan to forgive $10,000 in student loan debt for each federal borrower earning under $125,000 is now a reality, as the president works towards fulfilling a campaign promise to provide relief to the country's $1.75 trillion student loan behemoth.
FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Student Loan Relief for Borrowers Who Need It Most - The White House
President Biden believes that a post-high school education should be a ticket to a middle-class life, but for too many, the cost of borrowing for college is a lifelong burden that deprives them of that opportunity. During the campaign, he promised to provide student debt relief.
Biden's new student loan forgiveness plan helps mostly people who don't need it
Student Loans Today, Biden announced a plan to forgive nearly $300 billion in student loan debt. The benefit will be available to individuals earning up to $125,000 per year and couples earning up to $250,000, and will forgive up to $10,000 per borrower, rising to $20,000 for Pell grant recipients.
Student debt forgiveness will worsen inflation
When President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats were pushing the passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill in early 2021, economist Larry Summers warned that the American Rescue Plan would likely trigger runaway inflation. He was ignored, but he was ultimately proven right.
Opioids and Walgreens
Walgreens found guilty of fueling opioid crisis in San Francisco
Reason Roundup Is Walgreens an illicit drug dealer? That's essentially what a federal court has ruled, suggesting the pharmacy should have stopped "suspicious orders" for opioids from being filled. In failing to do so, the retailer "substantially contributed" to the opioid epidemic in San Francisco, Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S.