Biden Administration

Let's Talk About Our Relationship with the State

The Reason Roundtable tackles COVID, Cuomo, and more.


The Reason Roundtable mixes up the regular crew as Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Nick Gillespie are joined by Reason Reporter Eric Boehm, filling in for Peter Suderman.

Discussed in the show:

0:29: A debrief of Biden's coronavirus anniversary speech on March 12
4:01: Eric Boehm's expertise on the COVID bill's shortcomings
23:10: Katherine woo-hoos about vaccines
30:24: Cuomo has not resigned yet. Maybe that's a good thing?
41:33: Weekly Listener Question: I love the aesthetic of the magazine, especially in the early days. I don't know much about art and design, but I'd like to take that sort of vibe into my home decor. Is there a name of it? Are there a few artists you could tell me the name of that might give me some inspiration?
46:19: Media recommendations for the week

This week's links:

Send your questions either by email to or by voicemail to 213-973-3017. Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Assistant production by Regan Taylor.
Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve.

NEXT: Peter Suderman: The $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Has Almost Nothing To Do With Covid

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  1. wake me when arson is on the table.

    >>Cuomo has not resigned yet. Maybe that’s a good thing?

    dudes no.

    1. It’s a terrible thing.

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    2. Uh, arson has been on the table since the sixties – – – – – – – – –

      (But now you have to be black, ’cause racists)

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  2. I want my house to look like a magazine.
    How lame.

    1. After all these years, Dee finally got her question read on the podcast.

  3. Jan 6th – no guns, no arson, selfies and a few broken windows = insurrection.

    Portland – nightly riots where personal property is burned, damaged and Antifa continues to try to burn down police building and federal building = crickets from the media.


    1. The Democrats supported by the MSM is engaged in a Marxist revolution where they destroy the country to make everyone dependent on government and sell us out to the Chinese.

      1. Very succinct.

  4. Well, I may as well ask: What the fuck happens to all my federal tax dollars?

    Because, from my vantage point, the only thing I’m getting for all the taxes I am paying is an ever growing list of assholes complaining that I’m not paying enough … while calling me a terrorist and a murderer of the elderly.

    1. Shut up you terrorists, and pay your taxes!

      1. and stop killing the elderly!

    2. Racist!

    3. Fascist pig!
      Don’t you know China knows what’s best for America?

    4. Right on point. Especially this:
      while calling me a terrorist and a murderer of the elderly.
      No longer laughing.

    5. Productivity is privilege…can’t have that. You might earn a dollar that belongs to someone else because your ancestors did something to their ancestors, although if you’re like me your ancestors didn’t actually get here early enough to have done that or anything else to their ancestors. One of the dirty secrets of the progressive cause is that they don’t actually have a problem with privilege at all, they just want to grant it to the people they like. If privilege is benefitting unfairly by getting more than your share and benefits you didn’t earn, then it’s very clear that progressives want their favored groups to have privilege falling out of their assholes, which leads to another dirty secret of the progressive cause, which is that being “marginalized” is a highly desirable state, not to be avoided but to be prized because it confers status and moral significance. Productive people of any group–because “marginalized” is easy to redefine as “white adjacent”–are exploiters, and the parasites who expect to take the fruits of their labor are the exploited.

      1. Precursor: “You didn’t build that.”

      2. “. One of the dirty secrets of the progressive cause is that they don’t actually have a problem with privilege at all, they just want to grant it to the people they like.”

        Im not sure that’s right. They want to grant it to the people they feel will use it to destroy the progressives enemies. They of want to avoid discussing “uber-privilege”, that is, the people who are so far above privileged, that they are the sole arbiters of conferring “privilege” upon sub categories of the masses.

  5. “Let’s Talk About Our Relationship with the State”

    According to Koch / Reason libertarianism, the most important function of the state is to create the conditions under which billionaires — especially our benefactor Charles Koch — can get even richer. So it’s clear government is finally functioning properly again because Mr. Koch is already up over $5 billion this year.


    1. The border states’ primary function has been redefined to include a hastily opened border with the goal of providing the much needed under market labor and a new voting block for team blue.


    Matt Welch
    The Grammy Awards

    As Lewis Grizzard would say, damn, brother, don’t believe I’da told that.

    1. My favorite book – –
      Shoot Low Boys – They’re Riding Shetland Ponies

  7. The government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it away. Not quoting a libertarian there.

  8. It is a simple relationship:
    Government = master
    Citizen = slave

  9. Let’s Talk About Our Relationship with the State

    Let’s. Fuck off, slavers.

    1. Lets talk about Reasonoids promoting rabid anti-Libertarians over quasi-Libertarians because the quasi-Libertarians arent pure enough

  10. The masses relationship with The State is a simple one:
    Do as you’re told, when you’re told and like it, and we’ll all get along just fine, and while you’re at it, give up your guns, any notion of free speech, making money for yourself and/or family, make sure you send your kids to the swell indoctrination centers called public education, do not contradict Dear Leaders wise diktats and most of all be grateful you’re gradually losing all your rights, freedoms and independence.

  11. Eric Boehm

    “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories,” by Sarah Pinsker

    #129 in LGBTQ+ Science Fiction (Kindle Store)

    Well below this in Amazon’s LGBTQ+ SF chart

    Paid to Kneel: A steamy gay BDSM romance…
    Romilly King

  12. You guys pushed for a relationship with no mean tweets and forgot about everything else. You got the relationship you were advocating for. Next time don’t be so extremely shallow.

    1. Shallow is far too kind. Blatantly corrupt supporters of tyranny while smearing the working class is more like it

  13. “Let’s Talk About Our Relationship with the State”

    “The state remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.”
    ~ H. L. Mencken

    1. Much more charitable, than from cranky old Mencken, put from one of those old Conservatives about whom KMW spoke:

      “[T]he sprawl of government into every conceivable realm of life has caused the withering of traditional institutions. Fathers become unnecessary if the government provides Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Church charities lose their mission when the government provides food, shelter and income to the poor. And the non-poor no longer feel pressed to provide aid to those in need, be they aged parents or their unfortunate neighbors—“compassion” having become the province of the state.”
      ~ Mona Charen

      1. That last part, about compassion being the province of the state, does seem to be a major part of the draw for many progressives. “Virtue” is easy when you can simply advocate that the state take care of everything and anything else is “selfish” or even “evil.” Progressives I know often seem positively offended by the idea that they should personally have to foot the bill for anything they want. As long as they envision the money coming out of someone else’s pocket, they’re cool with it. So you see progressives who are dicks to waitstaff and other working people, but it’s cool because they support raising the minimum wage. You see progressives who think poor, unemployed, and/or homeless white people have privilege and who wouldn’t be caught dead handing a buck to any of them (or, for that matter, anyone else), but it’s cool because if we had the fully automated luxury communism they advocate, we’d all be the Jetsons and there’d be no homeless people and no one would need employment.

        1. I believe this accurately sums up the progressive attitude toward charity:

          I do not wish this redistribution of wealth to cease. Instead, I want it to be conducted by government. Rather than have the wealthy donate to charities, income and other taxes should generate the revenue to fund the services in question.

          Neil Levy, Against Philanthropy, 2002

          1. Unfortunately, Levy got it much his way; and the trend is accelerating in his favor. Charity has been and continues to be nationalized in an alarming and saddening way.

      2. “Fathers become unnecessary if the government provides Aid to Families with Dependent Children”

        Fathers become unwanted when the government provides more benefits to families with no fathers.

        Fathers become unwanted when the government punishes lower class families with two income generating parents.

  14. Come on Nick, stop buying the Trumpocrat con about the great Trump economy:

    “Here’s a look at average GDP growth rates under the last six U.S. presidents:

    Jimmy Carter (D): 3.25%
    Ronald Reagan (R): 3.48%
    George H.W. Bush (R): 2.25%
    Bill Clinton (D): 3.88%
    George W. Bush (R): 2.2%
    Barack Obama (D): 1.62%
    Donald Trump (R): 0.95%

    In his first four years in office, Trump has had by far the lowest average U.S. GDP growth rate of any of the last seven U.S. presidents.”

    1. it’s so funny to watch you sorry lib losers kick and scream. Blatantly ignoring that the entire establishment shut down the country to get trump out and create those numbers.

      Fucking pathetic. I hope you at least got paid to pump propaganda like these editors.

      1. Every one of those past Prezs would love to cut their worst year from their record. W would look great if he could cut his last year as the Debt Crises / Great Recession hit. Even if you limit the comparison to one term losers like Trump, Jimmy “Malaise” Carter could brag about his great economy, if allowed to ignore his worst year – as is “Malaise” beat “Trumpy the Clown” by very nearly 3 1/2 times the economic growth.

        1. How many times do I have to paste the study showing lockdowns were the cause of the drop pedo?

      2. “I am the most fabulous whiner … I keep whining and whining until I win,” ~ Donald J. Trump

        Yeah, everyone understands Trump’s sissified and childish nature and tactic, adopted by his followers; but each of those past Presidents could but do not whine, like Trump, about the “unfair” challenges they faced in office.

        Jimmy Carter: Malaise, Stagflation, Iran Hostage Crises
        Ronald Reagan: Iran-Contra, 1/3″ From being assassinated
        George H.W. Bush: “Read my lips…”
        Bill Clinton: Intern Sex Scandal, Dot Com Bubble, Y2K
        George W. Bush: 9/11, Debt Crises, Great Recession
        Barack Obama: Debt Crises, Great Recession, Obamacare Roll-out
        Donald Trump: Covid

        1. I didnt think it was possible to be this dumb

    2. Trump’s fabled economy was in fact 3 1/2 times worse than Carter’s, which required the coining and application to him of two new terms for the economic disaster “stagflation” and “malaise.”

      The ultimate punchline to the decades long running business school joke about the serial bankrupt carnival clown that played a businessman on TV for the rubes that is Donald J. Trump.

  15. It’s so funny you fucking clowns make Robby write all the based stories. You’re so afraid of your beltway lib commie friends none of you dare open your mouths about your blatant support of woke imperialism.

    Keep the clown show rolling. Hope the past four years of orange man bad paid well enough to cover the cost of your souls.

  16. I think it’s been sadly forgotten. By God, just the amount of talent that came out of The State: Michael Ian Black, David Wain, Thomas Lennon, Ken Marino. Almost every member of the show went on to some excellent future work.

    I believe, if anything, we need to rekindle our relationship.

    1. I loved the state when I was teen. It was pretty cringey upon a recent attempt to rewatch. Reno 911 is still fantastic.

      Barry and Levon was genius.
      Doug was a great character too.

      1. I liked Old Fashioned Guy a lot as well. I agree, it’s rough, but the I still like it, it has some well above averages sketches buried in it, and the talent that came out of it is impressive. If you’ve never seen the TV show Stella, it was great.

        But TReason magazine is too chicken to ever admit that David Wain is a national treasure.

  17. It occurred to me, staying up late for a fun home project, that what really burns me about the (few?) Reason staffers voting for Biden is not the vote for Biden so much as the vote against Trump. I understand principled non-voters, or those who always vote for the Libertarian, or never vote for an R or D … but if you are going to vote for an R or D, why the dickens would you cut off your nose to spite your face and vote for Biden?

    Biden offered nothing better than Trump for any Libertarian. Ilya Somin, I think, said he would vote for Biden because Trump spent too much, another nonsensical rationalization for just not liking his mean tweets. Sollum, hell, who knows, but he sure had, and still has, a boner for anybody-but-Trump, no matter the harm to his nose or anybody’s baby. Trump had lots of bad policies, but Biden’s are exactly the same for all the ones anti-Trumpers care about — immigration, tariffs — and much worse for other policies — he’s going to stop withdrawing the few Troops Trump started withdrawing from Afghanistan and Germany, he’s going to spend more and tax more, he’s going full retard with wokism, undoing Title IX.

    Everybody here knows this. It’s not anything new. I just had some spare cycles and a late night loose brain, and figured I may as well rant about it.

  18. Being dictated to is not a relationship.

  19. KMW….You might want to examine Unreason’s relationship with Readership. You betrayed libertarian principles for what? A few pieces of silver and invites to cocktail parties with utterly pretentious and useless drones.

    1. “You betrayed libertarian principles for what? A few pieces of silver and invites to cocktail parties with utterly pretentious and useless drones.”

      XY, because the guy who signs their paychecks, wanted them to espouse those views. I didn’t realize at the time, why so many Libertarian writers were butthurt at the idea of the Kochs winning the leadership fights at Reason and Cato. I get it now.

      You write what you’re told to write, or you find another job. This gig likely pays a lot better than many of the other opportunities out there for these writers. Plus, they get to live and work in D.C., and be a happy drone in the courtier hive. Beats the fuck out of some windowless hole, working for some NGO, or (shudder) being a GS-11 in one of those ugly buildings, and living Parks and Rec for real, but with ugly people, and being broke.

  20. Poor commies at unreason. They think el presidente biden is in charge of the USA. Democrats declared war on americans and started civil war 2.0. Trump is the last and best president of the USA u til this civil war is resolved.

  21. I like to bitch about it as much as anyone [why else do we come here, other than to pick fights and react to trolls picking fights?]; but beyond that what do we do about it?

    I have become familiar with the grassroots movement called The Convention of States; they have made some substantial progress toward having 34 State Legislatures submit resolutions to call a constitutional convention. Their restricted* items for consideration [to them be remanded to the States, with requirement that it be ratified by 38 States in order to become a bona fide amendment] includes 1. term limits 2. balanced budget and 3. limits on federal power, especially as it concerns the Commerce Clause.

    Thoughts? Sure, there are risks to calling a Constitutional Convention, but there are probably a lot more risks from doing nothing.

    1. * supposedly the items to be considered can be limited, but of course it has never been done like this before [all other amendments emanated from Congress]

    2. You’re not going to like the next Constitution that comes out of a Second Convention of States. It’ll look a lot like the Soviet Union’s, for one thing, chock-full of positive rights.

      Honestly, I think things get a ton worse here, and then it ends in blood. It took five years of Republican rule in Spain before Franco showed up, and then the killing began in earnest. The Spanish didn’t have as far to fall as we do, either.

      We’ve seen our last fair election for a very long time. What replaces them will be awful.

      1. That is hopeless; you may be right, but it’s still hopeless.

        I am not convinced that s COS would end that way; perhaps I see is as the only viable option short of a descent into a totalitarian state, and violence.

        1. Despair is a sin, and we need to not succumb to it. But we damned sure need to stop fooling ourselves that what started from, say January 2020, picked up speed in March, and culminated in November…is normal. Or within reasonably normal bounds of American political governance. It is not.

          You might’ve heard of the “four boxes” metaphor: soap, jury, ballot, and cartridge. We are down to the last box. It remains to be seen who opens it first: a military that increasingly is being conditioned to see other Americans as the enemy, particularly those characterized as “white supremacists,” or any other buzz phrase du jour. Or the people of this country who have had their businesses arbitrarily wrecked, their wealth confiscated, and their representation stolen from them.

          It is a really frightening fucking time, and we’re really close—as historians mark time—to going down that first big hill on the societal chaos roller coaster.

        2. On the Convention of States, I’ll turn it around back to you. You’ve heard of the quote from John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

          Does that sound like the American people as a whole, in 2021? (Hell, looking at what Adams did, the second he got a whiff of real power, he wasn’t up to it either.)

          1. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

            I have a lot of respect for that particular curmudgeon, as I do for all of those founders who risked everything to form “a more perfect union.” There were no guarantees it would work out, that the British wouldn’t quash the rebellion, and that they would not quite literally end up on the end of a rope.

            And the country was far from perfect then; about 20% of the population were avowed loyalists to the crown, around 45% supported the Revolution, and the rest fell somewhere in between [I expect they mostly wanted to keep their heads down and get along]. Not the greatest of odds upon which to wage a war against the most powerful military in the world and found a new republic.

            If things are as bad as you say [and I am not disputing that at all] then what choices do we have? Do nothing as the self serving politicians and autocrats literally run the country into the ground, and hope for the best by staying as much off the radar we can? Or do we opt for a positive action? The last thing I ever want to see for myself, my family, or my descendants to any degree is for our nation to dissolve into conflict and or become a third world shithole. I’ll opt for standing up to it any day, through means that are clearly legal and constitutional, even if you costs me my freedom in the process. If those means fail, then what will happen will happen. I will not live like a worm.

  22. In a stateless society there is no possibility that socialism can be imposed, there is no possibility that mass migration can be imposed, there is no possibility that national debts can be imposed, there is no possibility that the “war on drugs” can be imposed, there is no possibility that invasive and destructive foreign wars can be imposed, there is no possibility that nation building or empire building can be imposed, there is no possibility that government “education” can be imposed. A free society is a society without a state. A state is the violation of the non-aggression principle. When you universalize the non-aggression principle it’s the greatest quantum leap forward in human society, flourishing, and morality that could possibly be conceived of. It would be even greater than the end of slavery which would be the closest equivalent that happened in history. As long as you have a government, the government will buy votes by promising the “citizenry” security in exchange for liberty. So people will get liberty and security at the same time by passing the debt for their security on to the next generation, in the same way that the first woman to get an old age “pension” paid around 45 cents in taxes and got 10s of thousands of dollars in return. She didn’t pay for that, illustrating the government’s promise of security and liberty while not raising taxes enough to fund the security. That’s where the national debt comes from. The national debt is there to create the illusion that you can have security and liberty at the same time. By security I mean the government paying for accidents or mistakes that you didn’t plan for, get insurance for, or deal with. Unfortunately mankind hasn’t learned the lesson of a quarter billion people slaughtered by governments outside of war in the 20th century. Now it looks like we’re going to have to learn that lesson the hard way

  23. That is hopeless; you may be right, but it remains so.

    I’m not sure that a COS will end that way; in fact, I believe it is the only realistic alternative to an authoritarian state and aggression.
    best regards: MyArticles

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