Don Watkins

Former Fellow (2006-2017)
Ayn Rand Institute

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  • Entitlements
  • Executive Compensation
  • Income Inequality
  • Laissez Faire Capitalism
  • Morality Of Business
  • Morality Of Capitalism
  • Poverty
  • Regulations
  • Social Security

Don Watkins was a writer and fellow at ARI between 2006-2017. This archived page showcases some of his work while he was on our staff.

Don Watkins is one of today’s most vocal opponents of the welfare state and coauthor, with Yaron Brook, of the national best-seller Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government and Equal is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality. He is also the author of RooseveltCare: How Social Security Is Sabotaging the Land of Self-Reliance.

A fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, Mr. Watkins studies inequality, Social Security reform, the welfare state and the moral foundations of capitalism. He has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and TV programs, and speaks and debates regularly at conferences and university campuses, including Stanford, Brown, the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago. Mr. Watkins is the host of a podcast on inequality and the welfare state, The Debt Dialogues, which has featured guests such as George Will, Walter Williams and Charles Murray.

A columnist from 2010 to 2013, his writings have also appeared in The GuardianClaremont Review of Books, USA TodayForbesChristian Science MonitorInvestor’s Business DailyThe Daily Caller and, among many others.

Career Roles


  • Rand’s ideas; Policy issues
    Ayn Rand Institute
    2006 – present


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

Selected Works


“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”


“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