Free Minds & Free Markets

How We Became a 'Nation of Narcs' and How To Fix It: Podcast

Reason's Mike Riggs discusses how class anxiety, busybodyism, and a lack of empathy are making America a less-great country.

Reason reporter Mike Riggs talks with Nick Gillespie about his story "A Nation of Narcs," which argues that Americans have developed "a nasty habit of inviting the state into people's lives for tiny offenses." Riggs discusses how class, race, and ethnicity often play out when it comes to the "hassle factor" imposed on individuals who are just trying to get on with their lives. And he lays out some ways to turn back the tide.

Riggs and Gillespie also talk about the legacy of Tom Wolfe, the journalist who more than any other went out and explored the real lives of Americans and all the crazy, wonderful things they were up to.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Photo credit: Dustin Oakley.

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Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This post offends me. I demand government action, forthwith!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No one ever calls the cops on illegal behavior which he thinks should be legal, with an exception being if that person simply wants to use the tool that is the state against a rival. That tool is too great and too powerful for many Americans to resist picking up and swinging at each other.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Then the tools should be taken away.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Or, to change metaphores, be made even more powerful like a tiger to ride so people get the message that no matter how fun the ride is, getting off is a bitch. Yes, more powerful is the answer.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Nobody demanded smoking bans to keep themselves from smoking.
    Support for the bans was easier, by far, then refusing to put up with friends or colleagues who smoked. Especially because it was, if not anonymous, then insulated from personal confrontation.

  • BruceMajors||

    Remember - the BTK (bind, torture, kill) serial killer was a municipal "compliance officer" who was in charge of fining people for letting their grass get too high.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I'm offended by your use of the old timey word "forthwith." It reminds me that history didn't begin at the moment of my birth. I demand at least 8 cops taser you, beat you within and inch of your life, and then lock you in a rape cage.

  • Pro Libertate||


  • Árboles de la Barranca||

    Henceforth and heretofore...thereby and erstwhile...had enough? There's more from whence they came if you don't forswear your denunciation.

    On second thought, I probably deserve the comeuppance of a good tasering...

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Goddamnit, Riggs is a sexy bastard.

  • Citizen X||

    He's got the look in his eyes of a man who's seen some shit.

  • gormadoc||

    I'm still reading it as "Nation of Narcos." It confuses me.

  • Citizen X||

    It's always nice to see Pedro Pascal kicking around after what happened to him in Game of Thrones.

  • SoCal Deathmarch||

    I'm more interested in what Murtaugh has to say about the subject.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    which argues that Americans have developed "a nasty habit of inviting the state into people's lives for tiny offenses."

    It sure makes it easy when everything everyone is doing is potentially illegal, at least by some broad interpretation.

  • crufus||

    It's a matter of getting the most value for your tax dollar.

    Why ask your neighbor to stop mowing his lawn at 7 am on Saturday when you can make sure he never does it again by "SWATing" him with a story about MS13 members next door shooting at passing cars with AK47s.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen||

    Would it kill you folks at Reason to include transcripts of podcasts so we don't have to sit through an hour of yakking when we can read it in a couple minutes?

  • BruceMajors||

    Just because you young libertarian ladies out there on the internet - all 7 of you - may not know it, Mike Riggs is a very presentable young man in person, for a heterosexual.

  • angka main togel||


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