The Reason Roundtable

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Musk? And Yes, Taxation Is Still Theft.

Plus: A short debate on intellectual property


On this Monday's Reason Roundtable, Katherine Mangu-Ward is back with Matt Welch, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie. The editors each describe a tax they would like repealed and unpack Elon Musk's attempt to purchase Twitter.

1:52: Taxes worth repealing

17:43: Commonly held notions about taxation that should be refuted

25:30: Elon Musk's ongoing attempt to purchase Twitter

41:52: Weekly Listener Question: Mickey Mouse is set to enter the public domain in 2024 unless Congress acts to amend copyright law (as they did to avoid this same scenario in the past). I read Joe Lancaster's very informative recent piece on this topic for Reason, and of course, I agree that denying or granting such an extension on the basis of what ideology Disney does or doesn't promote is ridiculous. But I was surprised to see it presented as an obvious libertarian position that the copyright should be allowed to expire. It seems to me that putting Mickey Mouse—a piece of intellectual property actively being used by its creator to generate further original work—into the public domain would contrast with the typical libertarian support of strong property rights. Is intellectual property so different from physical property? And wouldn't it likely reduce net creativity if other creators could make easier money by just copying Mickey than by creating their own original characters? How does the panel feel about the state of copyright law? Does Suderman think other studios should be able to start making cheap filler movies with Marvel characters a few decades from now? Do we need a new form of intellectual property protection in an era when corporate creative enterprises can thrive for so many decades? Please share your thoughts; if I need money 75 years from now, I can sell copies of them.

51:36: Media recommendations for the week

This week's links: 

"Tax Day Is Here, Because Government Bungling Won't Pay for Itself," by J.D. Tuccille

"Americans Will Spend 6.5 Billion Hours on Income Taxes this Year," by Eric Boehm

"Gatekeepers Very Afraid that Elon Musk Will Remove the Gates From Twitter," by Matt Welch

"Musk bid for Twitter underscores the risks of social media ownership," by Joseph Menn, Cat Zakrzewski, and Craig Timberg

"Elon Musk Demonstrates How Little He Understands About Content Moderation," by Mike Masnick

"Abolish Copyrights and Patents? A Soho Forum Debate," by Gene Epstein

"Too Much Copyright," by Zach Weissmueller

Send your questions to 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 Hunt Beaty

Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve

What are we consuming this week?

Peter Suderman

Katherine Mangu-Ward

Matt Welch

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