Don Watkins

Ayn Rand Institute


  • Laissez-faire capitalism
  • Social Security
  • Entitlements
  • Income inequality
  • Poverty
  • Morality of business
  • Morality of capitalism
  • Executive compensation
  • Government regulations
  • Government & Business
  • Science & Industrialization
  • Culture & Society

Don Watkins is coauthor, with Yaron Brook, of the national best-seller Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government, and a fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute, where he studies Social Security reform, poverty and the moral foundations of capitalism.


As one of today’s most vocal champions of laissez-faire capitalism, Mr. Watkins has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and TV programs, and speaks regularly at conferences and university campuses, including Stanford, Brown, the University of Virginia, and the University of Chicago. He has briefed congressional staffers on Capitol Hill. His writings have appeared in The Guardian, USA Today, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, Investor’s Business Daily, Daily Caller and, among many others. He is coauthor of a regular column at, along with Yaron Brook.


Mr. Watkins is an alumnus of ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center. He is completing work on his second book, a moral critique of Social Security.

Career Roles

Writer and Editor

Rand's ideas; Policy issues
Ayn Rand Institute
2006 – present


Capitalism; Entitlements; Social Security
Ayn Rand Institute
2006 – present

Selected Work

Talks & Lectures

"America Before the Entitlement State"

"The Three Stories of Capitalism"

"Who Is Ayn Rand?"

"Not Your Brother’s Keeper: The Moral Bankruptcy of the Entitlement State"

"Ayn Rand’s Free Market Revolution"

"Why Business Should Not “Give Something Back”

"What’s Really Wrong With Entitlements"

"Changing the Debate: How to Move from an Entitlement State to a Free Market"

"What Ayn Rand Can Teach Us About Selling Capitalism"

Articles & Essays

"Bernie Madoff, Steve Jobs, and Wall Street Greed" September 26, 2013

“The Corrupt Critics of CEO Pay” (with Yaron Brook) May 2009

Media Interviews

"Is Income Inequality to Blame for Economic Problems?" December 19, 2012

"Profile of Don Watkins" November 06, 2012

"Life Before the Nanny State Front Page" January 11, 2012

"Don Watkins on the Welfare State" July 16, 2013

"Wealthy Face Minimum Millionaires Tax" April 13, 2012