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Ep. 62 Tough Questions for Progressives

Bob asks a series of tough (but fair, he hopes) questions for progressives, ranging from abortion to the minimum wage to climate change.
Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. Michael on 09/25/2019 at 2:42 AM

    This is your best episode yet, great job Bob! All killer, no filler and your final question has a great and compelling punchline that should leave the typical vocal prestige at least a little sore, provided they have the capacity for humility.

    • Robert Murphy on 09/25/2019 at 1:44 PM

      Thanks Michael.

  2. Tough Questions for Progressives on 09/25/2019 at 3:09 PM

    […] latest Bob Murphy Show. If any of you share this with your chums, I would be interested in feedback. I truly didn’t […]

  3. Matt on 09/25/2019 at 5:21 PM

    That bit at the end about healthcare and British imperialism was savage.

  4. Thundaga on 09/25/2019 at 10:13 PM

    Great questions.

  5. Tony White on 09/26/2019 at 4:45 PM

    Wow great episode Bob. One of your best yet. I’m going to have to listen to this one several times and maybe take notes!

    • Robert Murphy on 09/27/2019 at 1:50 AM


  6. chris on 09/28/2019 at 3:47 PM

    absolutely excellent !!!

  7. Bob Wooldridge on 09/30/2019 at 7:46 PM

    A tough question for a libertarian (from a libertarian): If the government can run a huge and dangerous program like nuclear power successfully, why can’t it run anything else? You seem to be advocating nuclear power. And, from the beginning, nuclear energy was developed and paid for via government programs and tax revenue. So if this is such a great solution, why won’t government work on other things?

    • Robert Murphy on 09/30/2019 at 9:02 PM

      Government may have accelerated the development of our understanding of nuclear energy but it doesn’t take government to have more nuclear power plants. Also, I am not worried about catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. My question for progressives though is that many of them are, and yet at the same time they also want the government to outlaw building more nuclear plants.

      • Bob on 09/30/2019 at 11:59 PM

        The development of nuclear energy was and continues to be very expensive. It is also regulated by the NRC, a government agency. Nuclear power as private enterprise is completely unproven (as far as I know). It would take tremendous capital to do nuclear energy privately. Also, what kind of insurance costs would a nuclear plant incur under a Rothbardian free market type system? I think it would be incredibly expensive.

        From what I have encountered, Progressives are against nuclear power because of environmental concerns. Not climate change but pollution. I actually think this is a valid concern.

        • Robert Murphy on 10/01/2019 at 11:54 AM

          Bob wrote: “From what I have encountered, Progressives are against nuclear power because of environmental concerns. Not climate change but pollution. I actually think this is a valid concern.”

          Hang on. It is reasonable to worry about nuclear for the reasons you cite. But if you also (as many progressives do) think we have ~decade to act, or our grandchildren face an existential crisis, then the possible problems with nuclear are chump change. So no, it doesn’t make sense for progressives to worry about nuclear if they think it might save billions of lives, which their rhetoric suggests is the case. (Obviously for any particular person, the stances might be compatible. I’m talking about the typical progressive position on climate change vis-a-vis the typical progressive position on nuclear.)

          • Bob on 10/01/2019 at 2:01 PM

            Ok, I think I understand better the point you are making. Nuclear power would appear to be a substantially lesser evil compared to what the eminent climate change disaster crowd is saying.

            But I’m still surprised at how often I hear some form of nuclear power advocacy among Libertarians (like Tom Woods for example). I’d like to hear a more fair analysis of nuclear power implemented by private enterprise. I really think a case can be made that it would be exceedingly difficult. Maybe you can file this away for a future episode?

          • Robert Murphy on 10/02/2019 at 11:06 AM

            I will file it away in the list, thanks.

        • Casey Carlisle on 10/13/2019 at 6:49 PM

          Hi, Bob. I thought you’d be interested in reading about the companies linked below.

        • Chad Wilson on 11/01/2019 at 1:15 PM

          Well in a Libertarian society private individuals and firms would be much richer so they could more easily afford investing in nuclear plants, but even today there some individuals, and many more firms or potential consortiums, that could invest in nuclear power plants.

  8. T. D. on 10/01/2019 at 7:25 AM

    Glad to see you have your own podcast now.

    Would love to see you on Bitchute(.com), Stefan Molyneux, The Mises Institute, The TAC (Tenth Amendment Center), and Ron Paul (Liberty Report) are already there, alongside many other libertarian thinkers and listeners. Indeed I found your show through a reupload there –

    Would love to see Tom Woods and Contra Krugman there too, as well as any guests you might have on with a youtube presence. No good reason not to, especially with Big Tech censorship ramping up as it is. Bitchute has programs to auto-upload from associated youtube channels, and a program also exists ( to auto-upload ones catalogue quickly and easily.

    Good Luck, and thanks for your past (and present/future) work.

  9. Tel on 10/01/2019 at 8:41 AM
  10. Ileana Zayas on 10/23/2019 at 7:47 PM

    LOL! I like the part when you challenge UBI supporters to do their own UBI wealth redistribution amongst themselves if Andrew Yang doesn’t impose it on all Americans. 😂

  11. robbi on 12/24/2019 at 5:36 AM

    Hi Bob
    Great show.
    Yang thing wouldn’t work in an isolated group of people because they would be paying double the “taxes” i.e into the Yang plan, and still be paying taxes into….etc – If we understand how Yang is going to pay for this it’s probably got to do with cutting money that goes to funding endless wars etc – and re directing some of that back into the taxpayers benefits. We send Billions of dollars to Israel, so they can afford to have national basic healthcare, and we can’t. etc. Something has to give somewhere – – it’s just smarter economics that’s needed. If we didn’t have to pay money for parking meters, or sci fi xray machines at airports or to bomb civilians we never met, – then maybe we can all agree to put our money in a place that is healthier for the whole?
    i dont know …
    you inspire me to think out side the box
    keep it up man

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