The Political Orphanage podcast

The Political Orphanage

World's Smartest Podcast Network

Politics minus bile plus jokes. Comedian and avowed independent Andrew Heaton interviews authors and thought leaders about policy and big thinky stuff. Then on Fridays he talks with degenerate comedian friends about funny headlines.

341 Episodes

  • The Political Orphanage podcast

    John McWhorter on Victimhood and Woke Racism


    John McWhorter joins the show to discuss the mindset of victimhood, and Wokeness as a new religion. His new book is “Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America” Support the Show: Buy the book:
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    The Reproductive Life of Good and Bad Policies


    Dr. Chuck Shipan is the author of “Why Bad Policies Spread (and Good Ones Don't)”. He is joined by Dr. Andrea Jones-Rooy, a comedian and political scientist, to discuss the forces and circumstances which lead to good and bad policy proliferation from state to state.
  • The Political Orphanage podcast

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  • The Political Orphanage podcast

    The Thing No Government Can Actually Do


    Perverse Incentives! Unintended Consequences! Today we explore how governments can screw things up by confusing incentives with dictating motivation or outcomes. Support the show: Tip me! Venmo: @andrew-heaton-1
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    George Will on Synthetic Hysteria


    George F. Will is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, and the author of “American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent, 2008-2020.” He joins the show to discuss the Culture War, failings of academia, jurisprudence, politics, and economics.  Find Mr. Will’s book at Previous George Will interview:
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    Politicians Hate Big Tech


    Robby Soave is a senior editor at Reason, and the author of "Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn't Fear Facebook and the Future." He comes to discuss politicians' misplaced anger with large tech companies, and why their fears are unfounded.   Find his book at:
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    Society Once Tried to Ban Teddy Bears


    Jason Feifer is the host of "Build for Tomorrow" (formerly "The Pessimist Archives") and joins the show to discuss why we needlessly react to new technologies with fear.   Did you know that society once balked at the dangerous technologies of radios, novels, and teddy bears? We get into all of them on today's show!   SUPPORT THE SHOW:
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    Bonus: What Napoleon Teaches Us About Foreign Policy


    This week bonus episodes are going on the main feed, past the paywall! Here's a rerun from last year, about Napoleon Bonaparte, and the pitfalls of "liberating" other nations. To support the show, go to
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    How To Zero In On Reality


    The default position for politics is advocacy—promoting our team and opposing the other. Julia Galef proposes an alternate mindset, where we try to determine the reality of a situation even if it’s uncomfortable. She is the author of “The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t.” Book at
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    How To Destroy a Country In Four Years


    The Khmer Rouge was a brutal communist regime that ruled Cambodia for only four years, but in that brief period entirely destroyed its economy, wiped out its intellectual class, and horribly murdered a quarter of its population. In this history episode we investigate one of the world's worst regimes, the depths of its depravity, and how it explains a specific type of terror present in other countries today. 
  • The Political Orphanage podcast

    Are We Fixing or Ruining Welfare? (WSPN Roundtable)


    Joe Biden's Child Tax Credit sends direct money to families, no strings attached. Is it cutting down on wasteful bureaucracy and reducing hurdles to financial aid, or enabling a culture of joblessness? The World's Smartest Podcast Network rejoins to discuss, as well as: Rich People Island, the future of remote work, and Soviet Space dogs.

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