Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

By IQ2US Debates

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Wesley Morgan
 Dec 25, 2022
I love that there is a space for conversations like this.


 Dec 1, 2019


 Aug 23, 2019


 Jul 28, 2019

Brian
 May 5, 2019

Description

America feels divided. From the most salient questions about our national identity and place in the world, to fundamental concerns about technology, religion, the economy, and public policy, Intelligence Squared U.S. is here to help. A respite from polarized discussions, we bring together the smartest minds to debate and dissect issues in depth, restoring civility and bringing intelligence to the public square in the process.

Episode Date
Does the Sex Offender Registry Do More Harm Than Good?
3195
Sexual violence is arguably the most devastating kind. But the sex offender registry has come under increasing scrutiny. Some suggest that it actually encourages further criminal offenses by making it virtually impossible for offenders to reintegrate into society. Others say that reducing such a proactive approach and tool will endanger communities. In this context, we debate the following question: Does the Sex Offender Registry Do More Harm Than Good?       Arguing "YES" is Emily Horowitz, a sociologist who researches sex offense law and policy, and the author of "Protecting Our Kids? How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us" and "From Rage to Reason: Why We Need Sex Crime Laws Based on Facts, Not Fear."  Arguing "No" is Cary Federman, author of "Democracy and Deliberation: The Law and Politics of Sex Offender Legislation" and associate professor at Montclair State University who focuses law and jurisprudence, free speech, democratic theory, prisons and prisoners’ rights.   Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 03, 2023
Is Parenting Overrated?
3195
What shapes us more: our DNA, or the way we’re raised? This debate, commonly recognized as “nature versus nurture,” has drawn disagreement for thousands of years. So which one matters more? Emerging genetic research indicates that the scale may be tipping toward biology – but not all trust the research. Proponents of the “nature” camp argue it is DNA that determines who we are, as evidenced by identical twins and triplets who are separated at birth and, once reunited, show remarkable similarities despite different upbringings. Rather than trying to identify the perfect parenting style, they argue, caregivers should look to their children’s DNA to identify natural strengths and challenges to promote overall health and well-being. But others strongly disagree, saying that parenting is very important, and the individuals who rear us influence our development, growth, and, ultimately, our lives. The “nurture” camp also points to studies that show how beliefs and behaviors are not innate, as evidenced by stark differences in the expression of adolescence and other life stages across different cultures. Are they right? Or is parenting overrated? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 27, 2023
Is Elon Musk Killing Twitter?
3196
These days, the bird’s the word. Since shelling out $44 billion for Twitter, critics say Elon Musk is knocking the social media giant off its perch. Under his guidance, a slew of firings, a resurgence of unsavory Tweeters, and a bevy of on-again, off-again bans, have all raised questions about the platform’s long-term viability. Some investors have labeled Musk an albatross around Twitter’s neck, calling for him to stay focused on Tesla and SpaceX. Others say Musk is actually freeing the bird from anti-conservative censorship, which will engender more open discourse. His moves, they say, are all a part of a broader business acumen that has proven successful in the past. In that context, we ask the timely question of whether Elon Musk is killing Twitter.  Kara Swisher, Host of “On with Kara Swisher,” Co-host of “Pivot” Podcast, and Editor-at-large of New York Magazine  Anthony Scaramucci, Founder and Managing Partner of SkyBridge, Former White House Communications Director, Host of the new podcast "Open Book" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 20, 2023
Has Globalization Backfired?
3196
For a period of time, going global just seemed to make sense. But with China’s rise, Covid-19, and the war in Ukraine, words like “localnomics,” “friends-shoring,” and “decoupling” have helped codify a growing movement that calls for less interdependence between economies. Those in favor of a more “deglobalized” system of trade argue that it is not only more environmentally friendly and responsive to regional needs, but also less of a driver of income inequality. Indeed, globalization’s three-decade trend of trade growing at twice the speed of the world economy has not lifted all boats, they argue. For many, including middle income populations in the industrialized west, it has backfired. Deglobalization is a welcome a shift. Others disagree. Globalization’s virtues are unmistakable, they say, resulting in less poverty and higher incomes across the world. People once cut off from markets benefit from new connections in commerce, culture, and communications. For them, it has not backfired. In fact, in the face of political challenges and volatile markets, more regionally-focused trade constitutes a dangerous circling of the wagons. In this context, we ask the question: Has Globalization Backfired?    John Donvan, Host and Moderator, Intelligence Squared U.S.   Arguing “YES” – Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist, Financial Times; Author, “Homecoming: The Path To Prosperity In A Post-Global World”     Arguing “NO” – Parag Khanna, Founder & CEO of Climate Alpha and Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 13, 2023
Was January 6th an Existential Threat to American Democracy?
3195
By now it is clear, the Red Wave election-denying candidates had hoped to ride left most still waiting on the beach. Those who questioned the outcome of the 2020 election lost key midterm races, which seemed to calm the nerves of many of those fearful as to where the Republic itself was headed. But as the parties begin to prepare for their respective presidential runs, a bigger question looms; one that has taken its cues from President Biden himself. Shortly after the January 6th attacks on the capitol — which were prompted by unfounded messaging about the election’s illegitimacy — Biden sought to convey the severity of what had just happened. “The insurrection was an existential crisis — a test of whether our democracy could survive,” he said. Now, on the heels of the midterms, many not only openly wonder whether that democracy crisis is over, but also question if the words Biden chose were overblown in the first place. It is in that context, and as the 2024 elections come into focus, that we debate this question: Was January 6 an existential threat to American democracy?  On December 15th, Andrew Keen, Internet Entrepreneur, Author, and Host of the “How to Fix Democracy” podcast, squares off against Election Strategist, Managing Partner at CAE Strategies, and Vice President of the Fair Elections Center, Rebekah Caruthers, as part of the “No Laughing Matter” series at the Comedy Cellar at the Village Underground in New York.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 06, 2023
Changing Your Mind, with Adam Grant, Ray Dalio, and Bo Seo
3241
What does it take to admit you’re wrong? And why is it so difficult? Cognitive psychology and neuroscience studies reveal that human decision-making relies on a host of factors that don’t always lead to objective evaluations. Opinions can form as a result of fear, anger, pleasure, and other emotions that not only contribute to bias, but can also harden over time. The resulting misconception often then rattles through every aspect of our lives, from our work to our politics to the very relationships we hold dear. But what if there were a way to break out of that process? Three luminaries in the field of business, psychology, and debate sit down for a fascinating discussion on how to argue well, and how to be open to changing your mind.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 30, 2022
Bonus: Year in Review
1671
2022 has finally ended.  Some of it bad, some of it splendid.    There was Russia’s invasion.    And Ukraine’s self-defense.    The west lobbed isolation  against Moscow’s offense.    This was also the year America closed the door   despite a generation of fighting    its 20-year-war  We saw economic turmoil   And those who could not tweet   We debated inflation  And whether small investors could beat the street   We debated food, SATs, and if the Classics were overrated   Aliens, and whether Britain’s Monarchy should be abated   Affirmative action, cancel culture, and if Trump should be indicted,  Unions, public radio, and what information disorder has ignited.   Gene editing and digital dollars were fresh to the palette.   We debated adaptation, and whether your Tesla helps the planet,  And of course there was Roe, and if AI does more harm than good,  Kissinger, Covid, and just how we all withstood   midterms elections  and if globalization backfired  soft landings, and cities, and if democracy is mired   in existential threat.     OK...hold on, that’s not cheery.    We can’t end this year leaving you tired and weary.    So here’s to you listeners and watchers of debate  Who at times may have wondered what is the fate   Of a discourse that is broken   Or at least a bit hobbled.   When listening to a nation that yells and a people who squabble.   Fear not, dear listeners, we say with some hope.   We do in fact have a way you can cope.   Real debate and discussion offers intellectual cheer.   And so with that we wish you safe holidays….  … and a happy new year.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 23, 2022
Is Capitalism A Blessing?
3195
With the wealth gap widening, some Americans are starting to consider socialism as a viable economic and political model. Supporters of capitalism claim that no other system has been as effective in creating value, increasing prosperity, and producing the wealth that has lifted billions of people out of poverty. The free market, they argue, encourages competition and human ingenuity, values individual choice, and organizes society in a fair and just way. Critics of capitalism, however, paint a different picture. They argue that capitalism is inherently exploitative and that business owners seek profits above all else, leading to the distortion of human worth as one distilled to an individual’s labor power. Further, they claim that a capitalist system is inherently rigged to benefit the wealthy and powerful, and the byproducts of which have created unsustainable waste and decimated the world’s wildlife and natural resources. In light of this emerging divide, we ask this question: Is capitalism a blessing? With John Mackey, Bhaskar Sunkara, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Richard D. Wolff. John Donvan is our moderater. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 16, 2022
Does America Need A Digital Dollar?
3223
The digital currency craze started with at least one anonymous Bitcoin founder and a community of futuristic, tech-savvy investors willing to take a bet on a new form of money. But over the past decade, the world of digital currency has coined a host of new types of online cash. In fact, Central Banks in more than 80 countries have, or are in the process of gearing their monetary systems in that direction. They consider them a means of modernizing and serving as a check against the growth of crypto. In China, an estimated 140 million people have already begun using the new digital yuan, which accounts for nearly $10 billion worth of transactions. In that context, does the world's reserve currency -- the U.S. dollar -- need its own version? Those who are argue “yes” say it is a fundamental step to remain competitive; to ensure the dollar remains in its preferred global standing. A digital dollar, they argue, would also create a new ease of exchange, reduce delays in processing times, and help the underbanked Americans into the digital economy. Those who argue “no” point to the risks of failure, hackings, and privacy breaches, which includes widespread government tracking of transactions, and could allow for unprecedented federal access to personal banks accounts. Against this backdrop, we ask: Does America Need a Digital Dollar?  Arguing "Yes" is Gillian Tett, Editor-at-large, Financial Times  Arguing "No" is Dante Disparte, Head of Global Policy at Circle   Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 09, 2022
Is Affirmative Action Unfair to Asian Americans?
3236
An affirmative action battle is again playing out at the highest levels, only this time with Asian Americans at the center of the controversy. At the heart of the matter is the question of whether the Supreme Court should reconsider race in college admissions. The group, Students for Fair Admissions, has taken aim at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, alleging that Asian Americans are less likely to be admitted than comparably qualified white, Black, or Latino applicants. In two separate cases, the group claims that 1.) Harvard’s admissions policy is regressive and discriminates against Asian Americans, and 2.) UNC – which is a public institution and therefore covered by the 14th amendment’s equal protection guarantee – violates both Title VI and the Constitution with its use of race in admissions. But opponents say race-conscious decision making is a necessary tool to address longstanding racism and discrimination. As such, in this timely debate, we ask the question of whether affirmative action is indeed unfair to Asian Americans.   Arguing “yes” is Lee Cheng, co-founder of the Asian American Coalition for Education  Arguing “no is John Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 02, 2022
Should We Eat More Processed Foods?
3195
Processed food is bad for you, right? Well, there’s more to this story. As new technologies create foods that can’t be made in home kitchens, such as plant-based meats and dairy products made with plant proteins, the question of whether we should all be consuming more highly processed foods is up for debate. Advocates say a substantial increase in food processing is the best way to feed growing human populations while also reducing food waste. We should trust – and invest – in food technology that can make our global food supply healthier and more sustainable, including highly or ultra-processed foods. Opponents argue that these kinds of foods are often less nutritious, and are commonly linked to adverse health indices, particularly when it comes to ultra-processing. As this debate blooms, Intelligence Squared partners with the Institute of Food Technologists to debate this question: Should We Eat More Processed Foods?   Arguing in favor of the motion is Amy Webb and Michael Gibney. Arguing against the motion is Kevin Hall and Marion Nestle. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 25, 2022
Is Public Radio Still Relevant?
3645
Many Americans grew up with a transistor radio somewhere in the home. Out of it emanated the commentaries, stories, news, and analysis. Public radio was a key means of getting information. But between podcasts, satellite radio and on-demand streaming, some argue that signal is fading. Nimble upstarts and emerging technologies have created wildly successful new platforms, enabling a broad diversity of creators to broadcast their views. What does this mean for the future of public radio? Intelligence Squared host and moderator John Donvan moderates a debate between two media luminaries, who zero in on this existential question: Is Public Radio Still Relevant?  Arguing "No" is Kmele Foster, political commentator and Co-Founder of Freethink. Arguing "Yes" is podcast creator and Co-Founder of Magnificent Noise, Eric Nuzum.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 22, 2022
Unresolved: Information Disorder
3197
The age of “information disorder” is upon us. Deep fakes, false political narratives, and flawed COVID rumors are all rampant online, threatening America’s national security, as well as democracy itself. Though bad actors have always had the capacity to deceive, the ease, speed, and degree to which anyone can create misleading information has engendered a dangerous new world. And yet many solutions can also run directly against longstanding western principles, such as free speech and a lack of censorship. Prescriptions, some argue, can be as dangerous as the disorder itself. So, what can be done? In partnership with the Homeland Security Experts Group, Intelligence Squared U.S. debates how to combat this dangerous new phenomenon, termed “information disorder.” Our expert panel takes a look at what the private sector should do, what the public sector can do, and how political actors who spread false information should be handled.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 18, 2022
Is Taiwan Indefensible?
3194
The fate of Taiwan is uncertain. As a revanchist China builds up forces near the island, the Biden administration is warning Beijing against an invasion, bolstering its defense with the sale of military hardware. Beijing sees Taiwan as lost territory, which needs to be “reunified” with the mainland. The United States is now faced with a geopolitical quandary: Can the U.S. military defend Taiwan from Beijing, and should it? Or, is Taiwan indefensible? Arguing in favor of the motion is Lyle J. Goldstein of the Naval War College, with Charlie Glaser of George Washington University. Arguing against the motion is former deputy assistant secretary of defense Elbridge Colby, with Elizabeth Larus of the University of Mary Washington. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 11, 2022
Are Primary Elections Ruining Democracy?
3227
The U.S. Constitution has a lot to say about elections. But nowhere is there any mention of political primaries, the process by which candidates are winnowed down ahead of a general election. Though they may seem integral to the U.S. system, primaries in fact are a relatively new phenomenon, borne of the turn of the 20th century when reformers sought to wrangle power from political party bosses. Of course, quite a lot has changed since the days of Tammany Hall. Gerrymandering has greatly reduced competitive districts, while the urban-rural divide has grown exponentially. Divisions run deep, with social media capable of dramatically shifting the political landscape at unprecedented speed. Many see primary elections as a principal culprit of what they consider an undermined democracy, fueling extremism, hindering compromise, and lending too much power to partisans. Others argue that primaries are an important bulwark against political corruption and a hedge against elitism. In this context, we ask: Are Primary Elections Ruining Democracy?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 04, 2022
Is It Time to End Qualified Immunity for Cops?
3209
How does one balance two important, though at times competing, public interests? In this case, it’s the need to hold public officials accountable versus the need to shield those officials from harassment and legal liability. In 1967, the US Supreme Court lay the foundations of an answer during a case involving two police officers, sued over civil rights violations carried out at a segregated bus stop in Jackson, Mississippi. The court effectively ruled that if unconstitutional arrests were made in good faith and with probable cause, officers then enjoyed a degree of legal immunity.  That case then served as bedrock for a legal doctrine that later came to be known as “qualified immunity;” a concept that effectively provides government officials with immunity from civil suits in certain circumstances. In 1982, the court went further, codifying qualified immunity for officials and rendering subjective intent of the official immaterial. In other words, whether or not a defendant was acting in good faith was effectively considered irrelevant. Under the revised doctrine, cases could proceed to trial only when there was a clear violation of “established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.” Since then, critics have argued that this doctrine stands as a central barrier to substantive police reform, allowing officers to more easily to kill or injure with impunity. But advocates say it’s a necessary protection, shielding police officers – who are tasked with making split-second life-and-death decisions – from bankruptcy and vindictive personal lawsuits. In this context, we debate this question: Is It Time to End Qualified Immunity for Cops?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 28, 2022
Do Unions Work For The Economy?
3227
Unions may be on the verge of a resurgence. After decades of decline, workers are organizing at well-known companies, like Starbucks, Amazon, and Google, at a pace not seen since the 1930s. Decades of stagnant wages, recent labor shortages, and the most vocally pro-union President in recent memory have all stoked key wins for American labor, including successful strikes at John Deere and Kellogg. In fact, recent polling shows public support for labor unions has climbed to 71%, its highest level since 1965. During the old industrial days, unions had broad influence over the American economy. But their power waned. In 1983, one in 5 employees belonged to a union. Last year, that number had dwindled to one in 10, with most of the declines occurring in the private sector. Some say good riddance. They argue that unions actually hurt workers and the economy under the guise of supporting both. Union dues sap salaries, they say, and can actually increase unemployment. They also make the economy more rigid to change, raise consumer prices, and ultimately render unionized companies less competitive. Advocates, however, argue that in light of yawning income inequality, organized labor is desperately needed. Unions increase workers’ pay and benefits, they say, and can also settle disputes more equitably, improve wages, and encourage a more robust middle class. Of course, not all unions are created equal. And the difference between private and public-sector unions needs to be explored. Yet as public support for organized labor has grown as more workers push to join unions, an overarching question looms large: Do Unions Work For The Economy?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 21, 2022
Should Paying Hacker Ransoms Be Illegal?
3195
With cyber threats and ransomware on the rise globally, the Biden administration has enlisted America’s tech titans to help blunt their effects. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, are all in discussions with Washington over how to strengthen the nation’s critical infrastructure defenses against a growing array of both private and state-sponsored attacks. Skeptics question just how much can be achieved, given how connected U.S. society has become. But solutions are emerging, from lifting the veil of cryptocurrencies, a favored transaction among hackers, to making the paying of ransoms illegal. In this special edition of Intelligence Squared’s Agree-to-Disagree series, John Donvan sits down with David Sanger of The New York Times for a closer examination of these attacks before launching into a much more specific debate with two cyber security experts. The debate: Should paying hacker ransoms be illegal? Cyber Threat Alliance president and chief executive Michael Daniel and Rapid7 vice-president Jen Ellis square off in light of recent high-profile hackings.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 14, 2022
Should We Use Gene Editing to Make Better Babies?
3199
A genetic disease runs in your family. Your doctor tells you that, should you wish to have a child, that child is likely to also carry the disease. But a new gene-editing technology could change your fate. It could ensure that your baby is -- and remains -- healthy. What do you do? It’s is not without its perils. Critics say the technology will exacerbate inequality, pressure all parents (and nations) into editing their children to stay competitive, and meddle with the most basic aspect of our humanity. So, should we use gene editing to make better babies?   Arguing in favor of the motion is geneticist George Church and futurist Amy Webb. Arguing against the motion is policy advocate Marcy Darnovsky and philosopher Françoise Baylis. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 07, 2022
Should We Separate the Art From the Artist?
3246
It turns out your favorite artist is a monster. Say they committed murder, advocated genocide, or engaged in some other act so outside the scope of a dignified, respectable society that it cannot be redeemed. What now? Must you throw the art out with the artists? It's a question at the heart of both pop culture and high art critique. For some, a work of art is an entity in itself. It should be appreciated and revered without regard to the life of its creator. If we disregard all great art for the sins of the artists, we risk losing many of the world's greatest cultural touchstones and masterpieces. But for others, the act of supporting a work of art translates directly affirming its creator's evil acts. In this timeless debate, we ask: Should we separate the art from the artist?     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 30, 2022
Is Amazon Good for Small Business?
3196
Amazon has come a long way since online book sales. In fact, when it comes to revenue, Jeff Bezos’ creation is the world’s biggest internet-based company. But what makes the "everything store" so ubiquitous? In large part, it’s the small and medium-sized businesses that use the platform to sell their goods. This year, more than 1.9 million of these businesses participated in its marketplace, which accounted for some 60 percent of Amazon's retail sales. But was it ultimately good for them? In the midst of this historic transition in shopping, that's our debate: Is Amazon good for small business?  Debating in favor of the motion is Mark Jamison, economist at the American Enterprise Institute, with Kunal Chopra, tech executive and former Amazon GM. Arguing against the motion is Rana Foroohar, global business columnist at the Financial Times and author of “Don’t Be Evil”, with co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Stacy Mitchell. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 23, 2022
Long Live The British Monarchy?
3196
For nearly three-quarters of a century, Queen Elizabeth II sat on high as Britain’s monarch. With her death, however, new momentum is building that questions the future of the British Crown. Several former British colonies, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Jamaica, have debated severing ties, while Republican campaigners in Britain now see opportunity to reassess what it means to have a monarchy, without offending a popular queen. Against that backdrop, we debate the longevity of the British monarchy.  Arguing "NO" is Graham Smith, who heads the British anti-monarchy pressure group Republic. Arguing "YES," is Phillip Blond, English political philosopher and director of the ResPublica think tank. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 16, 2022
Should We Search for Extraterrestrial Life?
3242
For decades, scientists around the world have dedicated their lives — and research dollars — to one question: Is there anyone else out there? In the early 1970s, NASA joined the hunt with its own program to search for extraterrestrial life, or SETI for short. When that was defunded by Congress, private efforts took hold. But just what have decades of SETI brought us? And how should we approach the search in those to come? For SETI’s supporters, finding other intelligent life in the cosmos is a fundamentally human endeavor. It probes our understanding of the cosmos, what it means to live and survive on Earth and beyond, and just where our species fits into the greater universe. But others warn that SETI is a distraction from other scientific endeavors that, at best, diverts critical resources and, at worst, will open a can of worms humanity isn’t ready to deal with. Just what would happen if we actually find other beings? Are we mature enough as a society to respond? In this episode, we ask the essential extraterrestrial question: to search or not to search?   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 09, 2022
Will AI Do More Harm Than Good?
3247
Is it true that artificial intelligence will do more harm than good? Proponents say it will help us solve problems like climate change and world hunger, while eliminating dangerous and mundane jobs. But critics warn that A.I.’s current trajectory is a dangerous one, which will likely concentrate power, reduce jobs, surveil consumers and voters alike, and threaten democracy. What’s more, some people say these conditions are not based on science fiction, but are already in the process of afflicting us, given the number of algorithms we engage with on a daily basis. So, could artificial intelligence be used to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges and level the playing field, or will it present perils that far outweigh any good it might do?      Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 02, 2022
Should The SAT Be Erased?
3196
Last year, only 1.5 million high school students took the SAT, down from 2.2 million in the class of 2020. Covid-19 played a big role in the decision among many schools not to move forward with at-home testing. But the move sparked even wider discussion about the test itself. Currently, at least 75% of colleges actually don’t require the SAT or ACT. That’s an all-time high, with many schools pledging not to return to it. But is that the right move? Proponents call into question the efficacy and inequity of standardized tests, pointing to high-profile college admission scandals, as well as those leveraging access to resources to net higher scores. They argue a more expansive approach to admissions is better suited in selecting students. Those who defend the SAT, however, say the test presents opportunities for smart under resourced students to get into top schools. Removing such tests could actually make present inequities worse. Additionally, the focus should be on addressing the achievement gap, rather than merely changing the way students are evaluated. Personal essays, GPA, extra curricula, they say, are just as easy to game with financial privilege. So in this context, we ask: Should the SAT be erased?    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 26, 2022
Is Cancel Culture Toxic?
3196
You know the drill. Someone does, or says, something offensive. A public backlash -- typically on Twitter -- ensues. Then come the calls to "cancel" that person, brand, or institution. That usually means the loss of cultural cache, political clout, and often a job or career. While the term "cancelling" has roots in a misogynistic joke, it has come to be one of the most prominent tools of progressive activists. Many see "cancelling" as a modern-day means of holding people to account, calling out injustice, and breaking down ingrained systems of prejudice and exploitation, particularly for the historically marginalized. But others see it differently. They are sounding alarms about the emergence of a new cancel culture where digital mobs police our speech, invade our rights, and even put our physical safety at risk. They argue that cancel culture has created a society ruled by online censorship and eroded our public discourse. Against this backdrop, we ask: Is cancel culture toxic? Featuring Kmele Foster, Garry Kasparov, Erich Hatala Matthes and Karen Attiah. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 19, 2022
Should Trump Be Indicted?
3196
After a series of prime-time hearings from the January 6th Committee and hundreds of charges against individuals who a participated in the events of that day, the Department of Justice faces a complex political and legal question: Should it charge Donald Trump with federal crimes? Arguing "yes" is Barbara Comstock. Arguing "no" Tom Ginsburg. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 12, 2022
Should We Eat More Processed Foods?
3197
Processed food is bad for you, right? Well, there’s more to this story. As new technologies create foods that can’t be made in home kitchens, such as plant-based meats and dairy products made with plant proteins, the question of whether we should all be consuming more highly processed foods is up for debate. Advocates say a substantial increase in food processing is the best way to feed growing human populations while also reducing food waste. We should trust – and invest – in food technology that can make our global food supply healthier and more sustainable, including highly or ultra-processed foods. Opponents argue that these kinds of foods are often less nutritious, and are commonly linked to adverse health indices, particularly when it comes to ultra-processing. As this debate blooms, Intelligence Squared partners with the Institute of Food Technologists to debate this question: Should We Eat More Processed Foods?   Arguing in favor of the motion is Amy Webb and Michael Gibney. Arguing against the motion is Kevin Hall and Marion Nestle. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 05, 2022
Should We Forgive Student Debt?
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Facing growing discontent over the rising cost of higher education, many prominent Democrats – and some Republicans – are calling on Washington to cancel the approximately $1.6 trillion Americans currently owe in student loan debt. Supporters see debt forgiveness as a necessary step to safeguarding the nation’s financial future and combating inequality in the education system. But others argue that this blanket policy would balloon the federal deficit, reward irresponsible borrowers, and waste taxpayer money on those who are not actually in need. Is it time for a student loan bailout?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 29, 2022
Should We Isolate Russia?
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As punishment for the war, most of Russia’s energy imports to Europe will be banned by the end of the year. But is that smart policy? Those who argue “yes” say Russia must be punished for its actions. Those who argue “no” say isolating the Kremlin  to this extent is a dangerous gamble, which could undermine Europe’s economies, push Russia further toward China, and lay the groundwork for an escalation. In this context, we debate this question, "Should we isolate Russia?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 22, 2022
Agree to Disagree: Can the Fed Manage a Soft Landing?
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The Fed recently announced aggressive interest rate hikes and is signaling more to come. Its goal? To stabilize the economy amid surging inflation (reaching rates not seen in some 40 years) and lingering supply chain disruptions and shortages. But can the Fed actually manage a so-called "soft landing"?     Arguing "yes" is Dean Baker. Arguing "no" is Yeva Nersisyan. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 15, 2022
We Should Expand the Supreme Court
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Nine justices hold tremendous power. Advocates on the left see a Supreme Court out of touch with the electorate, obstructed by partisan interests, and rendered illegitimate by years of controversial appointments. But those opposed believe dramatically changing one of the three core pillars of American government would undermine the court’s legitimacy.  Intelligence Squared U.S. in partnership with The Newt and Jo Minow Debate Series at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law asks: Should we expand the Supreme Court?   This debate was initially released on September 30th, 2021. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 08, 2022
Humans Can Adapt to Climate Change
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The dangers of climate change are “no longer over the horizon.” Humanity may soon pass the “point of no return.” These are the phrases U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres used to describe what he called an “utterly inadequate” global response to rising temperatures. But if we were to decisively act, and restructure our global economy with the climate in mind, who would shoulder the burden? Or should our collective focus orient more toward humans’ capacity for adaptation?     Podcast: Arguing in favor of the motion are Bjorn Lomberg and Michael Shellenberger. Arguing against the motion is Kaveh Madani and Michele Wucker. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 01, 2022
Debate Like a World Champion: A Conversation with Bo Seo, Harvard Debate Coach & Global Debate Champion
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What's it take to debate like a champion? How can you engage so that people will listen? How can you listen actively, and respond in good faith?  A mission critical program for listeners of Intelligence Squared, we sit down with Bo to examine debate through the lens of education, politics, and the future of democracy. Considered one of the most recognized figures in the global debate community, he has won both the World Schools Debating Championship and the World Universities Debating Championship, and has since been writing for The New York Times and The Atlantic. In this wide ranging interviews, Bo discusses his new book, “Good Arguments,” in which he argues how good-faith debate can enrich our lives and fortify our society.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 17, 2022
Should Society Legalize Psychedelics?
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Psychedelics, in medical terms, is an inexact category of drugs that affect perceptions and cognition. Their proponents say 1960s-era associations have undermined exciting research in the field of neuroscience. Psychedelics should be made much more widely available, they contend, to treat a range of mental and emotional issues, as well as to ascertain a more profound sense of ourselves. People should also be empowered to make their own decisions in its use. Not so fast, say opponents. These are powerful substances. And society does not know enough about the broader consequences of greatly increasing access. Cautionary tales should be heeded. Either way, like cannabis, the movement for wider use is growing. So… here’s our debate: should society legalize psychedelics? This debate originally aired in April, 2021. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 03, 2022
Agree to Disagree: Does Your Electric Vehicle Help The Planet?
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Tesla vehicle sales are, well … electric. The company posted $5.5 billion in 2021 profits, roughly six times its previous year earnings. Globally, the electric car industry is anything but static, soaring to 7 million units in 2021. EV advocates argue that while the technology and resources aren’t perfect, they are ultimately better for the environment long term as the tech improves. Opponents say the kinds of infrastructure EVs require still require huge investments that would be better suited for more ecologically-friendly mass transit systems. So, does your electric vehicle help the planet?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 20, 2022
Agree to Disagree: Can Small Investors Beat The Street?
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In a modern-day battle of David and Goliath on Wall Street, thousands of amateur retail investors banded together to bid up stocks in a handful of failing companies, most notably the nostalgic video game hub known as GameStop. Within days, the renegade traders sent stocks soaring and dealt heavy blows to hedge funds and other traditional professional investors who had bet against the companies. The "meme stock" phenomenon was born. But where does "revolution" stand a year later? Did the amateurs—trading mostly on the Robinhood platform—change the world of finance? Should more "ordinary" investors get into the game? Or will that benefit Wall Street at the little guy's expense?     In this "Agree to Disagree," the Wall Street Journal's Spencer Jakab and Tastytrade co-founder Tom Sosnoff take on the meme stock debate head-to-head.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 13, 2022
Agree to Disagree: Is It Right to End Roe?
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The Supreme Court is poised to make a decision so controversial that even a leaked draft majority opinion can send shockwaves across the nation. In 98-pages, Justice Alito decried Roe v. Wade as “egregiously wrong from the start," declared no right to abortion can be found in the Constitution, and sent abortion laws back to the states — about half of which have "trigger laws" that will ban abortion almost immediately upon Roe's demise. Exactly how likely is this draft opinion to become the law of the land? What would overturning such a landmark ruling mean for the Court as an institution? And are the Justices ultimately correct in holding that Roe was simply wrong?  Against the backdrop of divisive media coverage and partisan sensationalism one of the nation's most polarizing topics, we're doing what we do best: In this Intelligence Squared "pop-up" debate, we bring two of the nation's most esteemed legal scholars to the table for a civil, thoughtful debate on the merits of whether it’s right to end Roe.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 10, 2022
It's Time to Expand Nuclear Power
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The calls for nuclear are growing louder. The Biden administration recently announced that it was putting $6 billion toward saving distressed nuclear power plants from closure, considering them carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels. Elon Musk doubled down, not only calling for an expansion of nuclear energy, but even offering to eat food grown near reactors live on TV.  But its critics argue that expanding nuclear energy is dangerous, costly, and ill-advised.  So, we unearthed from the archives this highly-relevant debate: Should nuclear energy fuel our future?    Arguing in favor of the motion is Kirsty Gogan and Daniel Poneman. Arguing against the motion is Gregory B. Jaczko and Arjun Makhijani. The keynote address comes from Bill Nye. And Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 22, 2022
Thinking Again with Adam Grant: The Power of Debate, and Knowing What You Don’t Know
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The hallmark of a productive debate is not persuasion, but insight. So says Adam Grant in this wide-ranging conversation with John Donvan and Intelligence Squared CEO Clea Conner. A good argument is not only about convincing, Grant explains, but also to learn. In his new book, Think Again, Grant explores a set of cognitive skills that might matter more than pure aptitude: The ability to rethink and unlearn. That is the focus of this conversation; the capacity to change your mind, and why it matters more than ever.  Guest: Adam Grant, host of the podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant from the TED Audio Collective  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 08, 2022
#200 - Are Big Cities Past Their Prime?
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New York. Los Angeles. Boston. San Francisco. With mega populations, these urban hubs have long reigned as the nation's economic, social, and cultural capitals. But big cities have also been the hardest hit by the pandemic. Even more, the pandemic has brought economic and social inequality into sharp focus for the nation's lawmakers. Will megacities keep their magnetism in the wake of Covid-19? Or are their best days behind them?  Arguing in favor of the motion is Joel Kotkin and Jennifer Hernandez. Arguing against the motion is Edward Glaeser and Margaret O'Mara. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 25, 2022
Agree to Disagree: Is It Time to End the Covid Emergency?
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Is it time to end Covid emergency measures? With President Biden's plan to transition to a new normal, more than 70% of Americans recently polled agree that “we just need to get on with our lives.” Some advocates of the plan say it's long overdue, pointing to the long term consequences of isolation and broader effects lock downs have had on society. Critics argue that both hospitalization and Covid death rates are still high, and that the nature of this virus and its variants is far from endemic. In that context, Intelligence Squared debate a defining question of this pandemic: Is it time to end the Covid Emergency?      Arguing in favor of the motion is John Tierney, a contributing editor to City Journal, the Manhattan Institute's quarterly publication and former columnist at The New York Times. Arguing against the motion is Enbal Shacham, Professor and Chair of Behavioral Science and Health Education at Saint Louis University. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 18, 2022
Agree to Disagree: Ukraine
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As escalation ratchets higher between Russia and the west over Ukraine, Intelligence Squared U.S. examines a core question: Is a confrontation with Russia worth it? And what effects have sanctions really wrought? Kurt Volker, a former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and former Special Representative for Ukraine, argues that defending Ukraine is very much in the west’s security interest. Emma Ashford of the Atlantic Council argues that it is not. And yet both acknowledge that for Russia, the stakes may be considerably higher.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 11, 2022
#199 - Should We Use Gene Editing to Make Better Babies?
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A genetic disease runs in your family. Your doctor tells you that, should you wish to have a child, that child is likely to also carry the disease. But a new gene-editing technology could change your fate. It could ensure that your baby is -- and remains -- healthy. What do you do? It’s is not without its perils. Critics say the technology will exacerbate inequality, pressure all parents (and nations) into editing their children to stay competitive, and meddle with the most basic aspect of our humanity. So, should we use gene editing to make better babies?   Arguing in favor of the motion is geneticist George Church and futurist Amy Webb. Arguing against the motion is policy advocate Marcy Darnovsky and philosopher Françoise Baylis. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 18, 2022
Agree to Disagree: Is True Love a Myth?
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If you are an old-fashioned romantic, true love has a nice ring to it. Our films, novels, poems, and music are all steeped in the notion, with characteristics that include unwavering fondness and even selfless devotion. But does it actually exist, driven by our biological underpinnings? Or is it a myth that harms what could be a more realistic, and thus healthy, expectation of relationships? As American marriages teeter at historic lows, and attitudes shift, it is a growing question among both the single and the attached.      Arguing “No” is Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. Arguing “Yes” is Renae Franiuk, professor of Psychology at Aurora University, whose research focuses on social psychology, including romantic relationships. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates. Following this Agree to Disagree conversation, John sits down with Daniel Jones, Editor of Modern Love at The New York Times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 04, 2022
#198 - Is America Retreating from Global Leadership?
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It’s been a year of the Biden administration. And for many around the world, the question is simple: Can America still lead like it used to? President Biden, following his predecessor's “America First” policy, promised to “restore the soul of America.” Many took that to mean Washington was looking to reassert itself as the pre-eminent global leader. But some say that ship has sailed, and question whether the tables are decidedly turning. In light of this emerging divide, we debate this question: Is America retreating from global leadership?     Arguing in favor of the motion is Bill Kristol, Founder and Editor-at-Large of The Weekly Standard, and Mary Beth Long, Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs   Arguing against the motion is Kori Schake, Director of Foreign and Defense Policy of the American Enterprise Institute, and Vikram Singh, a Senior Advisor for the U.S. Institute of Peace and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.    Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 28, 2022
IQ2 Conversation: A New University Offers "Forbidden" Courses
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They say that colleges have become too censorious. That our most prestigious institutions have abandoned their mission of fostering critical minds and sparking thoughtful dissent. And that a generation of American students is missing out. So, this group of scholars and activists are founding something new: a university – they say – dedicated primarily to free speech. The University of Austin will get its start with a series of noncredit "Forbidden Courses." In this Intelligence Squared conversation, John Donovan sits down with the university's inaugural president Pano Kanelos and co-founder Niall Ferguson to discuss.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 07, 2022
The Pandemic: Year-In-Review
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Two years ago in January, the Covid-19 virus made its way to American shores. And so … as we wrap up 2021, we thought we’d bring you an amalgam of our best Covid content. Our host John Donvan guide you through the depths of what to this day remain highly contentious policies and decisions that continue to affect virtually all of us. And so … from all of us at Intelligence Squared, we hope you enjoy it. Happy holidays. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 22, 2021
#197 - Is Amazon Good for Small Business?
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Amazon has come a long way since online book sales. In fact, when it comes to revenue, Jeff Bezos’ creation is the world’s biggest internet-based company. But what makes the "everything store" so ubiquitous? In large part, it’s the small and medium-sized businesses that use the platform to sell their goods. This year, more than 1.9 million of these businesses participated in its marketplace, which accounted for some 60 percent of Amazon's retail sales. But was it ultimately good for them? In the midst of this historic transition in shopping, that's our debate: Is Amazon good for small business?  Debating in favor of the motion is Mark Jamison, economist at the American Enterprise Institute, with Kunal Chopra, tech executive and former Amazon GM. Arguing against the motion is Rana Foroohar, global business columnist at the Financial Times and author of “Don’t Be Evil”, with co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Stacy Mitchell. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 10, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Meritocracy
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The hereditary lottery, in many democracies, has effectively been replaced by a system in which talent, grit, and ability are meant to determine success. Yet, amidst income inequality and legacy of racism, many wonder whether meritocracy works. Critics point to generational wealth and networks that lead to lucrative jobs and fancy educations. Those who defend meritocracy argue that talent ultimately wins out, and despite its flaws, meritocracy remains the most effective way of lifting disenfranchised groups.     Arguing “yes” is Daniel Markovits, professor at Yale Law School and author of "The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite."   Arguing “no” is Adrian Wooldridge, political editor and "Bagehot" columnist for The Economist and author of "The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World."  Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 26, 2021
#196 - Is Cancel Culture Toxic?
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You know the drill. Someone does, or says, something offensive. A public backlash -- typically on Twitter -- ensues. Then come the calls to "cancel" that person, brand, or institution. That usually means the loss of cultural cache, political clout, and often a job or career. Some see "cancelling" as a modern-day means of holding people to account, while others express concerns about digital mobs policing speech. So, we ask: Is cancel culture toxic?  Arguing in favor of the motion is Kmele Foster of FreeThink with chess grandmaster and political activist Garry Kasparov. Arguing against the motion is Erich Hatala Matthes of Wellesley College with Karen Attiah of the Washington Post. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 12, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Booster Shots
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The boosters are rolling out. In places likes the U.S., Britain, and Israel, authorities are providing additional Covid-19 vaccines with the goal of bolstering immune systems and shoring up their economies. Though vaccines such as Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have proven highly effective against the virus, efficacy wanes after six months, rendering older adults and those with weakened immune systems more vulnerable. Yet a debate about fairness, when much of the planet is unvaccinated, is growing.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 29, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Cyber War and Hacker Ransoms
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With cyber threats and ransomware on the rise globally, the Biden administration has enlisted America’s tech titans to help blunt their effects. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, are all in discussions with Washington over how to strengthen the nation’s critical infrastructure defenses against a growing array of both private and state-sponsored attacks. Skeptics question just how much can be achieved, given how connected U.S. society has become. But solutions are emerging, from lifting the veil of cryptocurrencies, a favored transaction among hackers, to making the paying of ransoms illegal. In this special edition of Intelligence Squared’s Agree-to-Disagree series, John Donvan sits down with David Sanger of The New York Times for a closer examination of these attacks before launching into a much more specific debate with two cyber security experts. The debate: Should paying hacker ransoms be made illegal? Cyber Threat Alliance president and chief executive Michael Daniel and Rapid7 vice-president Jen Ellis square off in light of recent high-profile hackings.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 15, 2021
#195 - Should We Expand the Supreme Court?
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Nine justices hold tremendous power. Advocates on the left see a Supreme Court out of touch with the electorate, obstructed by partisan interests, and rendered illegitimate by years of controversial appointments. But those opposed believe dramatically changing one of the three core pillars of American government would undermine the court’s legitimacy.  Intelligence Squared U.S. in partnership with The Newt and Jo Minow Debate Series at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law asks: Should we expand the Supreme Court?   Arguing in favor of the motion is Dhalia Lithwick, legal commentator and Slate's Amicus podcast host with Tamara Brummer of advocacy group Demand Justice. Arguing against the motion is Carter Phillips, a Supreme Court and appellate litigator with Akhil Reed Amar, a constitutional law scholar and professor at Yale University. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 01, 2021
#194 - Is the United Nations Obsolete?
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As world attention descends on the United Nations General Assembly, Intelligence Squared U.S. casts a critical lens on this nearly 76-year-old global organization. In light of recent controversies in places like Haiti, and its recent absence in places such as Afghanistan -- where the Taliban has regained control -- questions are mounting as to whether the United Nations itself is both ineffective and outdated. In light of these emerging questions, we ask an especially timely question: Is the United Nations is Obsolete?   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 18, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Build Back Better
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The Biden administration wants to spend big. Its $4.5 trillion "Build Back Better" plan includes hefty investments in infrastructure, unprecedented spending on the labor force, and funding for a host of Democratic policy priorities. But just what would this mean for the American economy?  As Washington takes up this historic plan, we ask: Should Congress spend trillions to “Build Back Better”?      Arguing in favor of the motion is Mark Zandi . Arguing against the motion is Michael Strain. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 03, 2021
Agree to Disagree COVID Series: Vaccine Mandates (Updated)
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As more and more Americans become vaccinated, schools, employers, and health care facilities are facing a tough decision: Will they require students, employees, and care givers to get the jab? Those who say “yes” cite safety concerns – particularly when dealing with vulnerable populations – and call it a necessary step to return to normal. Those who say “no” argue these sorts of mandates violate individual rights, could expose recipients to potential dangers from the vaccines themselves, and set dangerous broader precedents when it comes to government overreach in public health. It is an especially timely question that pits health concerns up against ideals of personal liberty. And it has practical implications as societies emerge from lockdown. Having it out in the public square, Intelligence Squared host John Donvan presides over a spirited debate between Michael J. Anderson, a Wisconsin attorney who has represented employees resisting vaccine mandates, and Lawrence Gostin, a professor of law at Georgetown University, which is enforcing a vaccine mandate. Originally released on July 2, 2021. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 27, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Leaving Afghanistan
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The Taliban have won. Twenty years after the 2001 invasion, the U.S.-backed government in Kabul has fallen. The Afghan president has fled. Taliban leadership, which ran the country in the late 1990s, is now firmly in place within the presidential palace. But after two decades of war, tens of billions spent, hundreds of thousands of lives lost – including more than 2,300 U.S. military personnel – bigger questions have emerged: Is the cost of leaving greater than the cost of staying? And was pulling out the right decision? Intelligence Squared and its host John Donvan examine these competing perspectives in this special timely edition of Agree-to-Disagree: Leaving Afghanistan.   First, a conversation with Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist and best-selling author, who is one of the world’s leading experts on the social and political situations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His first book, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, explores the shadowy world of the Taliban and quickly became a #1 New York Times bestseller.  Rashid has been called “Pakistan’s best and bravest reporter” (Christopher Hitchens).  Then, a competition of ideas: Arguing in favor of leaving is Daniel Markey, Senior Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Arguing against leaving is Kori Schake is a senior fellow and the director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan is the moderator.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 21, 2021
Debate Roundup: America's Guns
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Gun violence is surging. Despite lockdowns and social distancing, 2020 ended up as one of America’s most violent years in decades. 2021 is following a similar path. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has laid out his strategy. In this special debate, we review three gun debates that still have relevance today.    1.) The Constitutional Right To Bear Arms Has Outlived Its Usefulness (Sanford Levinson of  University of Texas Law School and David Kopel of Cato Institute)  2. Guns Reduce Crime (John Lott, economist, and former Seattle Police Chief Gil  Kerlikowske)  3. Unresolved American Policing (Paul Butler, Jason Johnson, Rafael Mangual, Sue  Rahr, Vikrant Reddy)  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 13, 2021
#193 - Has the New York Times Lost Its Way?
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What's happening at The New York Times? The paper of record is under fire. Critics argue it has sacrificed journalistic and intellectual balance in favor of correcting historic inequalities. In the process, they say, that effort has stifled dissent and promoted social justice above all else. Not so, say its defenders. The paper has indeed evolved, they argue. Yet that evolution has been proven a particular strength in such tumultuous times. Subscriptions are up, while both casting a critically important lens on historically disenfranchised groups and maintaining its core commitment to high editorial standards and a wide breadth of reporting. So here's the debate: "Has the New York Times Lost Its Way?"  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 30, 2021
Is It Time to Redistribute the Wealth?
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Economic inequality has become a linchpin of modern politics. As nations around the world face a reckoning on racial and social justice and work to combat the economic impacts of the pandemic, we ask: Is it time to redistribute the wealth? Should we address growing inequality by overhauling our tax system, expanding our social safety nets, and investing more in public initiatives like universal health care, education, and infrastructure? Or would a wealth transfer unduly punish the economic elite, destroy the promise of a meritocracy, and inevitably lead to excessive government intervention in our social and economic lives? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 16, 2021
Agree to Disagree COVID Series: Vaccine Mandates
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As more and more Americans become vaccinated, schools, employers, and health care facilities are facing a tough decision: Will they require students, employees, and care givers to get the jab? Those who say “yes” cite safety concerns – particularly when dealing with vulnerable populations – and call it a necessary step to return to normal. Those who say “no” argue these sorts of mandates violate individual rights, could expose recipients to potential dangers from the vaccines themselves, and set dangerous broader precedents when it comes to government overreach in public health. It is an especially timely question that pits health concerns up against ideals of personal liberty. And it has practical implications as societies emerge from lockdown. Having it out in the public square, Intelligence Squared host John Donvan presides over a spirited debate between Michael J. Anderson, a Wisconsin attorney who has represented employees resisting vaccine mandates, and Lawrence Gostin, a professor of law at Georgetown University, which is enforcing a vaccine mandate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 02, 2021
The State of Debate: An Intelligence Squared Roundtable
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Generally, it is good practice for any individual or organization to occasionally step back and evaluate a few big picture items. But when that review is sparked by a pandemic and real uncertainties about the state of western democracy, that little exercise often becomes existential. In that spirit, and in this special season review, Intelligence Squared casts a critical lens on itself; its mission to serve as a beacon for civil discourse, its examination of opposing perspectives; and the transformation the organization itself has experienced in light of such seismic events. In this especially candid discussion, John Donvan sits down with Intelligence Squared CEO Clea Conner, editor-at-large of Reason magazine, Nick Gillespie, and Robert Litan, an economist and attorney, whose recent book “Resolved: Debate Can Revolutionize Education and Help Save Our Democracy” bears particular relevance to this conversation. Collectively, this group asks the hard questions about the role of debate in society, but also of how IQ2 pivoted as the virtual world opened up. Finally, it is a look at the precious few places left for genuine discussion, and why, perhaps, it is needed now more than ever.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 25, 2021
Ray Dalio on How To Change Your Mind
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How do you know that you’re right? Modern business, politics, and even culture, tend to favor strident opinions and decisive action. To “flip flop” may then be construed as ineptitude, or even weakness. So it behooves us to “stick to our guns, “stay the course,” and adhere to other well-trodden idioms of the English language. Of course that approach may be limiting. And what if you are actually wrong? How will you know? What means testing can be involved in your thinking when to waver or even change your mind might undermine what you are ultimately trying to accomplish? Ray Dalio, an American investor, billionaire and the founder of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, has spent a lot of time thinking about this quandary. Countering its pitfalls is something he actively encourages, not only in business, but also in his personal life. In this wide ranging interview, Dalio sat down for a conversation with Intelligence Squared host John Donvan to examine what it means to being open to changing your mind, precisely how to do it, and what’s at stake if you don’t. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 18, 2021
Is Bitcoin More Than a Bubble and Here to Stay?
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Is Bitcoin here to stay? Cryptocurrencies hold the promise of revolutionizing global finance by placing control in the hands of users, not nations, and making financial exchanges more transparent, efficient, and democratic. But given the yet-another-round of boom and bust cycles seen recently, questions remain: Could cypto ever be considered a safe bet? Proponents say the hype is warranted, with naysayers increasingly jumping on the Bitcoin (block) train. Yet skeptics and critics – like Elon Musk – suggest this highly volatile digital currency offers a platform for illicit activity, including money laundering and trafficking of humans and drugs, free from government oversight and regulation. They argue Bitcoin has no intrinsic value – the price is based on market enthusiasm rather than actual utility. So… in light of renewed attention, Intelligence Squared U.S. sought to resurrect this highly relevant debate: Is Bitcoin More Than a Bubble and Here to Stay? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 04, 2021
Is Anti-Zionism the New Anti-Semitism?
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In light of the recent Israel-Hamas war, an old debate is gaining new relevance. The nature of the current conflict has again unleashed a wave of antisemitic threats and violence in the U.S., with synagogues and Jewish-owned business having been vandalized and attacked. But as society surveys the damage, it also asks whether the condemnation of Israeli actions can truly be divorced from antisemitic hostilities? In other words, is being an anti-zionist tantamount to being antisemitic? Or is arguing against a state of-and-for the Jewish people just a thinly veiled way of harboring prejudice? In this debate, which first aired in February 2020, and accordingly has a few dated references which we felt were necessary to keep, Intelligence Squared looks to four expert panelists to debate this question: Is Anti-Zionism the New Anti-Semitism? For the Motion: Bret Stephens - Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times Einat Wilf - Former Member, Israeli Parliament Against the Motion: Peter Beinart - Journalist & Author, "The Crisis of Zionism" Yousef Munayyer - Executive Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 28, 2021
#192 - Is Taiwan Indefensible?
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The fate of Taiwan is uncertain. As a revanchist China builds up forces near the island, the Biden administration is warning Beijing against an invasion, bolstering its defense with the sale of military hardware. Beijing sees Taiwan as lost territory, which needs to be “reunified” with the mainland. The United States is now faced with a geopolitical quandary: Can the U.S. military defend Taiwan from Beijing, and should it? Or, is Taiwan indefensible? Arguing in favor of the motion is Lyle J. Goldstein of the Naval War College, with Charlie Glaser of George Washington University. Arguing against the motion is former deputy assistant secretary of defense Elbridge Colby, with Elizabeth Larus of the University of Mary Washington. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 21, 2021
Agree to Disagree COVID Series: Vaccine Passports
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Will you need a digital passport to prove you’ve been vaccinated the next time you try to board a flight or get into a concert? The idea is already being tested in Israel and governments around the world – including the Biden administration – are exploring what vaccine credentials might look like. For some, these digital tools are a golden ticket back to “normal” life. But for others, these tools raise dire concerns about privacy, civil rights, and equitable access.  In this episode of Agree to Disagree, John Donvan sits with Peter Baldwin, history professor from UCLA, and Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at ACLU, to debate the future of vaccine passports. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 12, 2021
#191 - Should We Legalize Psychedelics?
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Psychedelics, in medical terms, is an inexact category of drugs that affect perceptions and cognition. Their proponents say 1960s-era associations have undermined exciting research in the field of neuroscience. Psychedelics should be made much more widely available, they contend, to treat a range of mental and emotional issues, as well as to ascertain a more profound sense of ourselves. People should also be empowered to make their own decisions in its use. Not so fast, say opponents. These are powerful substances. And society does not know enough about the broader consequences of greatly increasing access. Cautionary tales should be heeded. Either way, like cannabis, the movement for wider use is growing. So... here’s our debate: Should society legalize psychedelics? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 23, 2021
Agree to Disagree COVID Series: Vaccine Patents
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India and South Africa have petitioned the World Trade Organization to suspend intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines. These nations – along with a coalition of scholars, activists, and nonprofit organizations – argue that developing nations are at risk of waiting years to get full access to the vaccines unless these protections are lifted. But their opponents say suspending patent protections will do little to speed up the manufacturing process. Instead, undermining these protections will ensure that the next time the world needs an emergency vaccine, governments and pharmaceuticals will be unable to act as swiftly. It’s a debate emblematic of the uneven vaccine rollout, and strikes at the core of society’s ability to act quickly.  In this episode of Agree to Disagree, John Donvan sits with Thomas Cueni, director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations and Brook Baker, law professor at Northeastern University and senior policy analyst at Health GAP, to debate the future of vaccine patents. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 09, 2021
#190 - Should We Forgive Student Debt?
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In the year since the pandemic forced us to cancel, the federal student loan debt has grown $100 billion. The stakes have risen for student borrowers, making it high time we rescheduled our debate on the motion: Forgive Student Loans. Facing growing discontent over the rising cost of higher education, many prominent Democrats – and some Republicans – are calling on Washington to cancel the approximately $1.7 trillion Americans currently owe in student loan debt. Supporters see debt forgiveness as a necessary step to safeguarding the nation’s financial future and combating inequality in the education system. But others argue that this blanket policy would balloon the federal deficit, reward irresponsible borrowers, and waste taxpayer money on those who are not actually in need. Is it time for a student loan bailout?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 26, 2021
Agree to Disagree: The Filibuster
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Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 19, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Slavery Reparations
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Between 1525 and 1866, more than 12 million Africans were shipped to the New World as slaves. After some 200 years, slavery was abolished, and yet another century of Jim Crow, coupled with discriminatory housing and lending policies, contributed to its legacy. Dealing with the relics of that stain on American history is part of the national dilemma. But exactly how to do it is our question; something lawmakers in Washington are also now debating. A top aide to President Joe Biden recently said that the White House will ‘start acting now’ on reparations for African Americans. Some say it’s long over-due. Reparations, they say, are important to start to address the moral injury slavery inflicted. Others say direct payments to African Americans will divide the black community, exaggerate racial tensions and prove impossible to administer.   Arguing that reparations are the way to go is Cornell William Brooks, former president and CEO of the NAACP. Arguing that direct payments to African Americans are not the most effective means of addressing the legacy of slavery, and that they could have unintended consequences is Randall LeRoy Kennedy is an American law professor and author at Harvard University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 12, 2021
#189 - Has the GOP Lost Its Way?
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What should the Republican party look like after Donald Trump? For many prominent establishment figures, including those behind The Lincoln Project, the GOP has lost its way. The only way back, they say, is to purge the forces that brought Trump to power. But others warn that rejecting the millions of voters who supported the former president is the wrong call for the American right. Rather, the GOP should instead double down, focus on bridging the establishment and grassroots factions of their party, and find a way to move forward together. In light of shifting political sands, we ask: Has the GOP lost its way? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 26, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Sex with Robots (Valentine's Day Special)
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As robots and artificial intelligence reached new heights, the relationship between humans and machines is getting closer. The sex tech industry is worth $30 billion annually and growing, as sex with synthetic companions is becoming far more widespread. But should it be? What are the social consequences? Some argue that sex robots will encourage bad behavior, perpetuate misogyny, and reinforce pornographic depictions of the opposite sex. Others say it can serve as a societal good for those who struggle with traditional relationships, and be employed as a safe outlet for otherwise toxic behavior. So in this episode of Agree to Disagree, we debate sex robots and their place in society.  Arguing “YES” is Kate Devlin, computer scientist specializing in AI and human-computer interaction, author of "Turned On: Science, Sex, and Robots."  Arguing "NO" is Joanna Bryson, PhD, professor at the Hertie School in Berlin, scholar of AI and ethics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 12, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Identity Politics
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The public and pundits alike are still processing the recent election, but this much we know: 2020 marks the most diverse Congress in American history, and President Trump garnered record numbers of minority voters. The takeaway is split. Were identity politics a way to prevail? Two experts on race and identity in America sit with Intelligence Squared host and moderator John Donvan to debate. Arguing “YES” is Michael Eric Dyson, an author, New York Times contributing opinion writer, contributing editor of The New Republic, and professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. Arguing "NO" is John McWhorter, an author, host of Lexicon Valley, contributing writer at The Atlantic, and professor of Linguistics at Columbia University. Taped on November 23, 2020, originally released on December 11, 2020. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 05, 2021
#188 - For the Last Four Years, Did America Got the Middle East Right?
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Joe Biden’s approach to the Middle East will likely be very different than Donald Trump’s. But should it be? For some, the Trump legacy was the right approach: A transactional style that resulted in a host of political and diplomatic victories, including normalizing relations between Israel and several Arab states. But others, including many prominent members of Biden's transition team, see the last four years as a failure of strategy and leadership. So, as the Biden team gets going, we debate whether Trump got the Middle East right.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 29, 2021
Is America Still A Model for the World?
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When Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and halted the Electoral College certification, European leaders decried the violence and called on the president to allow the peaceful transfer of power. Meanwhile, China, Russia, Venezuela, and Iran issued swift condemnations with not-so-subtle jabs at the legitimacy of Western democratic values. In the wake of this, can America remain the world's model for democracy?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 16, 2021
Helen Fisher on How Genes Affect Your Politics
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Were you an adventurous baby? Or were you risk averse? According to Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist who studies genopolitics, your answers to those questions might also inform your politics. Host, John Donvan digs into the debate surrounding genes and early nurturing, and examines how they both might inspire a natural predilection to skew left or right. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 08, 2021
Intelligence Squared Year-Ender
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Looking back at 2020, it’s been interesting. Intelligence Squared, like the rest of the world, went virtual as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that upended business models and accelerated trends far beyond what most experts could envision. (“To zoom” no longer just means “to move quickly.”) And so, as the world waits this thing out, we decided an appropriate holiday gift would be a compilation of our favorite debates of 2020. From Iran, China and the Electoral College, to policing and whether society should redistribute the wealth, we hope you enjoy this special year-ender from Intelligence Squared. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 26, 2020
Essential Workers or Elderly? Larry Brilliant on the Vaccine Debate
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As the first rounds of the Covid-19 vaccines become available, a growing debate has emerged as to who should get it first. CDC guidance prioritizes essential workers and those in long-term care, but a growing chorus of voices say authorities should instead focus on the elderly. It’s a profound debate with broad ethical implications that dig into the question of preserving first-responders and society’s first line of defense versus rising morbidity and mortality rates among at-risk populations. Host and moderator John Donvan examines it all in a wide ranging interview with Dr. Larry Brilliant, physician, epidemiologist, and CEO of the Pandefense Advisory, who was also a part of the World Health Organization team that eradicated smallpox. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 18, 2020
Agree to Disagree: Are Identity Politics a Way to Win?
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The public and pundits alike are still processing the most recent election, but this much we know: 2020 marks the most diverse Congress in American history, and President Trump garnered more minority voters in 2020 than in 2016. As Georgia faces two runoff elections, which will determine which party controls the Senate, gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and other voting-rights advocates have focused on identity politics as a way to prevail in the electoral process. Is it a winning strategy? Two experts on race and identity in America sit with Intelligence Squared host and moderator John Donvan to debate.   Arguing “YES” is Michael Eric Dyson, an author, New York Times contributing opinion writer, contributing editor of The New Republic, and professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. Arguing "NO" is John McWhorter, an author, host of Lexicon Valley, contributing writer at The Atlantic, and professor of Linguistics at Columbia University Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 11, 2020
#187 - Should We Stop Worrying About National Deficits?
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Governments around the world have spent unprecedented sums — trillions of dollars — to combat the economic impacts of coronavirus. But just what does rising government debt mean for our future? A new crop of economists – adherents to Modern Monetary Theory – have a bold proposition: Don't worry about it. Stephanie Kelton, James Galbraith, Todd Buchholz, and Otmar Issing join us for a debate on national debt in our third episode of "That's Debatable," our new series presented in partnership with Bloomberg Media and sponsored by IBM.   A note from our sponsor: There’s nothing to lose from gaining a fresh perspective. IBM Watson® was built to help us look at an issue from all sides—from cultural debates to customer reviews. Using advanced natural language processing, Watson is making sense of data from a range of topics to help give us more informed perspectives, so we can make more informed decisions. See how Watson informs a human debate at ibm.com/debatable Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 05, 2020
Agree to Disagree: Are Election Lawsuits Good For Democracy?
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Joe Biden delivered a victory speech. His team is planning to take power. But rather than concede, President Trump has instead turned to the courts, with election lawsuits in states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona. It's a historic moment, and for many an unsettling one. But could these lawsuits actually be good for democracy? Two competing legal minds weigh in, with Intelligence Squared host and moderator John Donvan at the helm.      Arguing "YES," is Rebecca Roiphe, a Manhattan prosecutor and law professor who focuses on ethics and the history of the legal profession.  Arguing “NO” is Ian Bassin, a former attorney in the Obama White House and the co-founder of Protect Democracy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 13, 2020
#186 - Is a U.S.-China Space Race Good for Humanity?
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China is ramping up its national space industry with huge investments in next-generation technologies that promise to transform military, economic, and political realities. Against this backdrop, we ask: Would a new U.S.-China space race be good for humanity? Michio Kaku, Avi, Loeb, Raji Pillai, and Bidushi Bhattacharya join us for a debate on the potential U.S.-China space race in our second episode of “That’s Debatable," our new series presented in partnership with Bloomberg Media and sponsored by IBM. A note from our sponsor: There’s nothing to lose from gaining a fresh perspective. IBM Watson® was built to help us look at an issue from all sides—from cultural debates to customer reviews. Using advanced natural language processing, Watson is making sense of data from a range of topics to help give us more informed perspectives, so we can make more informed decisions. See how Watson informs a human debate at ibm.com/debatable Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 07, 2020
Election Special: A Historian and Futurist Debate 2020
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In this special post-election podcast – amidst record mail-in voting, lawsuits, social unrest, and partisan polarization – we’re asking a simple question: Was the 2020 run for the White House as unprecedented as we might think? Those in favor of the motion often point to the tech influence, and Silicon Valley’s hand in everything from echo chambers to political advertising to conspiracy theories. Those against often nod to America’s track record of polarization. In 1860, after Abraham Lincoln’s electoral win, for instance, seven states decided to secede. It would be hard, some say, for even 2020 to compete with that. And so in this podcast, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings you those two perspectives: One focused on the past, and one focused on today’s tech, and its future.  Amy Webb, CEO, Future Today Institute  Amy Webb is among the nation’s leading futurists and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute. She is an adjunct assistant professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, a nonresident senior fellow at Atlantic Council, and author of “The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity.”   Michael F. Holt, History Professor, University of Virginia  Michael F. Holt is a professor of American History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of six books, including the award-winning “The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party and By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 05, 2020
Discourse Disruptors: A Divided Nation – One Perspective
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In these final days of the race for the White House, some nations are paying especially close attention. Two men with competing visions of America’s place in the world are vying for the nation’s top job, and the balance of global power is in play.  In this episode of Discourse Disrupters, John Donvan sits down with Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, to examine the U.S. elections from a foreign policy perspective, the politics of the process itself, and what it all means for a global audience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 30, 2020
A Supreme Special Episode: Amy Coney Barrett & The State of SCOTUS
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What would a Justice Amy Coney Barrett mean for American law and politics? Should Democrats try to reform the Court? Two of the nation's top constitutional minds weigh-in, with John Donvan as your intellectual referee in this special episode of Intelligence Squared.  Erwin Chemerinsky - Dean, University of California Berkeley School of Law Saikrishna Prakash - Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia Love to argue? We want to hear from you. Submit your opinion on national deficits to IBM Watson now, and you may be featured in our next Bloomberg television show. More here: ibm.com/debatable Consider making a donation: iq2us.org/support Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 23, 2020
#185 - Is It Time to Redistribute the Wealth?
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Robert Reich, Yanis Varoufakis, Lawrence Summers and Allison Schrager join us for a debate on economic inequality in the premiere episode of “That’s Debatable," our new series presented in partnership with Bloomberg Media and sponsored by IBM. As nations around the world grapple with the financial impacts of the pandemic, we ask: Is it time to redistribute the wealth? A note from our sponsor: There’s nothing to lose from gaining a fresh perspective. IBM Watson® was built to help us look at an issue from all sides—from cultural debates to customer reviews. Using advanced natural language processing, Watson is making sense of data from a range of topics to help give us more informed perspectives, so we can make more informed decisions. See how Watson informs a human debate at ibm.com/debatable Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2020
#184 - Unresolved: American Policing
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Historic protests calling for police reform have erupted across the nation. But just what could these reforms mean? And how should we see the criminal justice system today? Staged in our “Unresolved” format, this debate brings together five experts to tackle pressing questions on the history and future of policing in the U.S. including: Should we defund the police? Do police unions do more harm than good? And has policing become too militarized?  Cast your vote: https://smarturl.it/AmericanPolicing A Message from Our Sponsor Subscribe to The Jordan Harbinger Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you listen or at jordanharbinger.com/subscribe Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 02, 2020
#154 - Has Globalization Undermined the American Working Class?
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This Episode Originally Aired on August 3rd, 2018 MOTION: Globalization Has Undermined America's Working Class Globalization ushered in an era of free trade, fluid borders, and unparalleled corporate profits. For its proponents, the global integration of states and their economies was a political and economic win that created a wealth of opportunities for workers and consumers around the world. But in the United States, jobs are disappearing. From construction zones to clerical offices to coal mines, the American working class is losing ground. Is globalization to blame? Did the push toward global integration leave our most vulnerable populations behind, making them the losers of this grand experiment? Or is globalization being used as a scapegoat for a wider range of failed public policies and unprecedented advances in technology?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 04, 2020
Newt Minow on the Presidential Debates
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What does the father of American presidential debate think about modern electoral politics? In this episode, Newt Minow offers a first-hand account of some of the nation’s biggest political moments and just what role debate should play in our future.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 21, 2020
Agree to Disagree: Should Washington Break Up Big Tech?
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Is Big Tech having its own "big tobacco moment"? As Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon face antitrust probes from state and federal investigators alike, we dive into the debate that will shape the tech industry for generations. Join John Donvan and two esteemed debaters for this special episode of our new series, "Agree to Disagree." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 07, 2020
Agree to Disagree: Broadband for All?
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Introducing "Agree to Disagree," a new series from Intelligence Squared U.S. In this episode, two guests join John Donvan to debate Broadband for All, the internet as a public utility, and just who should make sure you have the connection you need. A message from our sponsor: Get an extra 3 months Free on a one year package. Expressvpn.com/debate Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 25, 2020
#183 - Is Nationalism a Force for Good?
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From Brexit to “America First,” Modi in India, Erdoğan in Turkey, and Bolsonaro in Brazil, nationalism – or allegiance to a nation-state over other group affiliations – has been on the rise. Now, borders around the world are closed and the coronavirus pandemic is sparking staunch debate about the future of global governance and political identity. The nation-state has been praised for securing the needs of its citizens and serving as the most efficient form of political organization, while also criticized for being insular and inciting anti-immigration policies. Nationalism has been credited for both uniting disparate communities under a common culture and identity, as well as promoting violence based on race and ethnicity. As global problems continue to mount, does the 21st century require international leadership, or is nationalism a force for good? A message from our sponsor: Get an extra 3 months Free on a one year package. Expressvpn.com/debate Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 10, 2020
#164 - Should Social Media Companies Honor the First Amendment?
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MOTION: Constitutional Free Speech Principles Can Save Social Media Companies from Themselves President Trump posted similar content on Facebook and Twitter. Twitter flagged it. Facebook did not. Both have come under fire for those decisions. Just how should social media companies police user content? Revisit our debate on social media content moderation policies and whether the U.S. Constitution should be the guiding light in a new era of political speech.  FOR THE MOTION: David French - Senior Writer, National Review Corynne McSherry - Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation AGAINST THE MOTION: Nathaniel Persily - Professor, Stanford Law Marietje Schaake - International Policy Director, Stanford's Cyber Policy Center & Fmr. Member, European Parliament We're funded by our listeners. To support our debates, donate online at iq2us.org/support A message from our sponsor: Get an extra 3 months Free on a one year package. Expressvpn.com/debate Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 26, 2020
#182 - Will Coronavirus Reshape the World Order in China's Favor?
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How might coronavirus reshape geopolitics? For some, the answer is clear: China is on the rise. While Washington embraces “America First” and abdicates its global leadership role, they argue, Beijing is stepping up to fill the void. But others see a global future where Beijing’s standing is diminished, not bolstered. Panelists Kurt M. Campbell, Kishore Mahbubani, Minxin Pei, and Susan Thornton.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 12, 2020
#181 - Has The Electoral College Outlived Its Usefulness?
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DEBATE: Has The Electoral College Outlived Its Usefulness? Five American presidents — two in the last 20 years — have assumed office without winning the popular vote. As the nation gears up for another contentious presidential election, some are calling for an end to the Electoral College. They argue that the college subverts the will of the American people by unfairly prioritizing rural and swing states over the nation’s majority. But others say the Electoral College, which the Founders established in the Constitution, is necessary to ensure voters in less populous states have a voice in picking our president. Has the Electoral College outlived its usefulness? This debate is presented in partnership with the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law as part of the Newt and Jo Minow Debate Series.   Motion: The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness For the Motion: Jamelle Bouie - Columnist, New York Times Kate Shaw - Law Professor & Supreme Court Contributor, ABC News Against the Motion: Tara Ross - Author, "Why We Need the Electoral College" Bradley A. Smith - Law Professor & Former Chairman, Federal Election Commission A note from our sponsor: Get an extra 3 months Free on a one year package. Expressvpn.com/debate Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 29, 2020
#180 - Was the Global Financial System Better Prepared for the Pandemic Than 2008?
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More than a decade ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the world witnessed one of the worst financial crises in global history. In January 2019, Intelligence Squared U.S. hosted a debate on the motion “Ten Years After the Global Financial Crisis, the System Is Safer,” to assess how resilient markets would be in the future. With the emergence of a global pandemic, this has put the debater’s arguments to the ultimate test – whose claims have been vindicated by this unprecedented event? Cast Your Vote: www.iq2us.org/vote Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 15, 2020
#179 - Is the Defense Production Act Being Underutilized?
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As health professionals and leaders around the nation rush to procure the supplies Americans need to combat coronavirus, we ask: Is the Defense Production Act being underutilized? This little-known law, which dates back to the Korean War, gives the president vast authority to compel private companies to act in the interest of national defense. While President Trump has invoked the act in recent weeks, many across the nation are calling on his administration to use its powers much more broadly. Cast Your Vote: https://smarturl.it/DefenseProdAct Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 24, 2020
How to Fight an Infodemic
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As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, the World Health Organization is warning of the spread of something else – an information epidemic or “infodemic.” And while diligent consumers of the news are inundated with stats, graphs, press conferences, and think-pieces, so too are they exposed to dubious data, miscredited quotations, and outright harmful claims. In this episode, John Donvan sits down with two leading experts in the spread of information, journalist and editor-in-chief of PolitiFact Angie Drobnic Holan and computer scientist and associate professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington Kate Starbird, for a discussion on how to be discerning communicators during a time of crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 03, 2020
#178 - Does Maximum Pressure Against Iran Work?
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The targeted killing of General Qassim Suleimani sent shockwaves around the world and sparked staunch debate about the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign. Supporters argue that this strategy, which includes leaving the JCPOA and imposing harsh economic sanctions, will safeguard American interests, quell Tehran's human rights abuses, and halt the state's support of terrorist networks. But opponents see "maximum pressure" as dangerously misguided. They argue that abandoning the hard-fought JCPOA and undermining the Iranian economy has promoted violence, isolated allies, and fueled anti-American sentiment. Is the maximum pressure campaign against Iran working?  Presented in partnership with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University Motion: The Maximum Pressure Campaign Against Iran Is Working For the Motion: Victor Davis Hanson - Military Historian & Author, “The Case for Trump” H. R. McMaster - Retired Lieutenant General, U.S. Army & Former National Security Advisor Against the Motion: Martha Crenshaw - Terrorism Studies Expert & Author, “Explaining Terrorism” Abbas Milani - Iranian Studies Program Director, Stanford University Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 20, 2020
#177 - Is Anti-Zionism the New Anti-Semitism?
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Zionism, or the belief in the Jewish right to self-determination in the land of Israel, has been the topic of contentious global debate for decades. And while the United States government is making moves to strengthen its special relationship with Israel, such as relocating the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, scrutiny of Israel and its government looms large in American politics. Is it possible to distinguish anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism? For the Motion: Bret Stephens - Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times Einat Wilf - Former Member, Israeli Parliament Against the Motion: Peter Beinart - Journalist & Author, “The Crisis of Zionism” Yousef Munayyer - Executive Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 06, 2020
#176 - Is the Two-Party System Good for Democracy?
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As the nation gears up for the 2020 presidential election, we ask: Is the two-party system good for democracy? Does relying on two hugely powerful political bodies drive division and push voters to the extremes? Or does the two-party system moderate the electorate and make the nation governable?  Keynote Conversation: Joanne Freeman - Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University For the Motion: Yascha Mounk - Author, "The People vs. Democracy" Norman Ornstein - Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute Against the Motion: Lee Drutman - Author, "Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop" Katherine Gehl - Entrepreneur & Political Reformer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 21, 2020
#175 - Is it Time to Expand Nuclear Power?
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For decades, the development of nuclear power has sparked staunch debate among scientists, politicians, and activists alike. Proponents claim that nuclear energy is the most effective way to combat climate change while still meeting the world's growing demand for energy. But its critics argue that expanding nuclear energy is dangerous, costly, and ill-advised. Should nuclear energy fuel our future? Keynote Conversation: Bill Nye - Scientist and CEO of the Planetary Society For the Motion: Kirsty Gogan - Co-founder and Executive Director of Energy for Humanity Daniel Poneman - Former Deputy Secretary of Energy Against the Motion: Gregory B. Jaczko - Former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Arjun Makhijani - President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research A message from our sponsor: Get started and master topics with  thegreatcoursesplus.com/DEBATE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 07, 2020
Ezra Klein on Why We're Polarized
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Is the American political system broken? In his new book, Ezra Klein argues that the system isn't malfunctioning, it's doing exactly what it was designed to accomplish. In this special episode of Discourse Disrupters, John Donvan sits down with one of the nation's most prominent political journalists to ask one critical question: Why are we polarized? A message from our sponsors: Watch or listen to Argumentation – and any of The Great Courses Plus’ thousands of lectures - Free for an Entire Month! Get started now thegreatcoursesplus.com/DEBATE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 31, 2020
Bonus Episode: Can Progressives Save Capitalism?
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Does capitalism need saving? In this special episode, Intelligence Squared partners with Foreign Affairs to take a nuanced look at the state of the capitalism debate in America, and the potential problems facing our economic system. Joining host John Donvan is Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz with recent Intelligence Squared alum and Reason editor-in-chief Katherine Mangu-Ward. A message from our sponsors: Watch or listen to Argumentation – and any of The Great Courses Plus’ thousands of lectures - Free for an Entire Month! Get started now thegreatcoursesplus.com/DEBATE A message from our partner: Go to www.ForeignAffairs.com/faiq2 and enter the promo code faiq2 for a discounted issue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 10, 2020
#97 - Should We Legalize Assisted Suicide?
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Now legal in nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia, physician-assisted suicide has a growing contingency that want to legalize the practice. Will these laws lead to a slippery slope, where the vulnerable are pressured to choose death and human life is devalued? Or do we need to recognize everyone’s basic right to autonomy, the right to end pain and suffering, and the right to choose to die with dignity? FOR THE MOTION: Peter Singer - Philosopher & Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University Andrew Solomon - Author, "Far From the Tree" & Prof. of Clinical Psychology, Columbia University AGAINST THE MOTION: Baroness Ilora Finlay - President, British Medical Association & Member, House of Lords Dr. Daniel Sulmasy - Prof. of Medicine and Ethics, University of Chicago & Member, Presidential Bioethics Commission Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 27, 2019
Bonus Episode: How Do We Make Our Debates Happen?
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In this special episode of Intelligence Squared U.S., host and moderator John Donvan sits down with our newly appointed CEO Clea Conner to pull back the curtain on how we make our debates, choose debaters, and talk about what happens off the stage. A message from our sponsor: Get 20% off your first purchase by going to nativedeodorant.com and entering promo code DEBATE. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 13, 2019
#174 - Is Capitalism a Blessing?
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Capitalism has always had its critics. But now, a new generation of political leaders, scholars, and activists are calling the free-market system into question. Has capitalism been a force for good? And should it be the economic model of the future? FOR THE MOTION: John Mackey - Co-Founder & CEO, Whole Foods Market Katherine Mangu-Ward - Editor-in-Chief, Reason AGAINST THE MOTION: Bhaskar Sunkara - Founding Editor, Jacobin Richard D. Wolff - Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst GETQUIP.COM/debate for your first refill free! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 29, 2019
#173 - Is Parenting Overrated?
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How much does our DNA shape who we become? Four experts in science and psychology debate the classic "nature versus nurture" question with a eye toward recent breakthroughs in genetic science and DNA testing. FOR THE MOTION: Robert Plomin - Professor of Behavioral Genetics, King’s College London Nancy Segal - Professor of Psychology, California State University, Fullerton & Director, Twin Studies Center AGAINST THE MOTION: Paige Harden - Psychology Professor, University of Texas Ann Pleshette Murphy - Author & Parenting Expert Cast your vote at www.iq2us.org Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2019
#172 - Has Europe Declared War on American Tech Companies?
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Should we look to Europe for the future of big tech regulations? Four leading thinkers in tech, governance, and law debate the state and future of big tech, and whether it's time to impose greater regulations on companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter. FOR THE MOTION: Roslyn Layton - Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute Berin Szóka - Founder and President, TechFreedom AGAINST THE MOTION: Marietje Schaake - International Policy Director, Stanford's Cyber Policy Center & Fmr. Member, European Parliament Ramesh Srinivasan - Director, UC Digital Cultures Lab & Professor, UCLA Cast your vote at www.iq2us.org Get 20% off your first order at nativedeodorant.com and entering promo code DEBATE during checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2019
#115 - Is Affirmative Action in College Admissions Constitutional?
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Students for Fair Admissions just challenged Harvard's affirmative action guidelines in federal court, and lost. But the advocacy group is gearing up to make their case again – this time, in the Supreme Court. In this episode, we revisit this timely and contentious debate: Does the Constitution allow racial preferences in university admissions? Use code Friends30 for 30% off tickets to upcoming live debates: https://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/buy-tickets Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 18, 2019
#171 - Should We Replace Private Insurance With Medicare For All?
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As the nation gears up for the 2020 election, Democrats are promising bold new changes to the American health care system, including scrapping private health insurance and adopting “Medicare for All.” Is this a bold and effective way to repair health care in America? Or will it inflate the already swelled federal deficit? Learn more about upcoming debates at www.iq2us.org/buy-tickets  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 04, 2019
#170 - Unresolved: Shifting Power in the Middle East
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Saudi Arabia and Iran are vying for regional dominance. Turkey is cozying up to Russia and China. And instability, conflict, and proxy wars have engulfed Syria, Yemen, and beyond. How should the United States respond to shifting power in the Middle East? Five leading national security experts debate. Learn more about the upcoming season and buy tickets to a live debate at www.iq2us.org/buy-tickets Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 20, 2019
Bonus Episode: Are We In a New Authoritarian Era?
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In this special episode, host John Donvan sits down with two of America's leading thinkers on politics and foreign policy: Susan Glasser and Yascha Mounk. They discuss the rise of authoritarian leaders around the world and their featured articles in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. Go to www.ForeignAffairs.com/faiq2 and enter the promo code faiq2 for a discounted issue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 06, 2019
Chris Anderson on Ideas & Inspiration
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How do good ideas and persuasive arguments change the world? In this episode, host John Donvan speaks with TED curator Chris Anderson about how bringing people together to share new and innovative ideas will shape our collective future.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 30, 2019
#169 - Is U.S. Policy Toward China Productive?
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Are recent U.S. policies toward China tough and focused enough to achieve key economic and strategic objectives? Or will U.S. policy escalate tensions too much, ultimately reducing the chances that the world’s two major powers can achieve a sensible accommodation? Join four leading experts for a debate on the motion, “The Recent U.S. Policy Toward China Is Productive.” Learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. and cast your vote to decide the winner at IQ2US.org. Charles Duhigg's "How To" podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 23, 2019
Simon Johnson on Science & the Economy
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Can focusing on science and technology transform how Americans think about the economy and the future of the nation's working class? In this episode of Discourse Disrupters, former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson joins host John Donvan for a conversation about his new book, "Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 16, 2019
Allison Schrager on Risk and Reason In Everyday Life
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What happens when an economist walks into a brothel? In this episode, economist and author Allison Schrager talks with host John Donvan about her new book, “An Economist Walks Into a Brothel,” and how you can use reason to assess risk in your everyday life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 09, 2019
Nadine Strossen & Thane Rosenbaum on Hate Speech in America
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In this episode of Discourse Disrupters, two of America’s top legal minds tackles one of the most pressing questions of the day: what should we do about "hate speech." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 26, 2019
#168 - Has the Transatlantic Relationship Been Irreparably Damaged?
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Populism is on the rise. Relations between American and European leaders are often tense. Is the transatlantic relationship beyond repair? Four of the brightest foreign policy minds gather in Brussels for this timely and thoughtful debate. This debate is presented in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 12, 2019
Bonus Episode: How Europe Is Answering to "America First"
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Team IQ2US is busy in Brussels, getting ready to bring you our next debate, “The Transatlantic Relationship Has Been Irreparably Damaged.” This one will be presented in partnership with the German Marshall Fund. In this episode, get ready for the debate with a special episode of “Out of Order,” created by our partners. In this podcast, the German Marshall Fund's president Karen Donfried sits down with senior fellow Peter Sparding to discuss the future of the transatlantic relationship.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 28, 2019
#153 - Is Social Media Good for Democracy?
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A decade ago, Facebook and Twitter promised a digital revolution that would bolster democratic values and empower users around the world. Did that work out? In this episode, we take a look back at one of our most important debates to date. Join four leading thinkers in tech, policy, and media for spirited and timely debate on the motion, "Social Media Is Good For Democracy." Cast your vote on the motion at iq2us.org Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2019
#126 - Should the U.S. Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship?
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There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States today. In a divided and contentious political climate where immigration is a key issue for voters across the ideological spectrum, what should happen to these individuals? This episode, we take a look back at our debate on the motion, "Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship."  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 31, 2019
#134 - Is Universal Basic Income the Safety Net of the Future?
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Presidential contender Andrew Yang wants to give every American a monthly check from the government, just to cover the basics. And he's not alone. Business leaders, particularly those in Silicon Valley, and some Democratic politicians are warming up to the idea of a universal basic income as a means to offset the impacts of automation in the workforce. In this episode, we take a look back at our debate on the motion, "The Universal Basic Income Is the Safety Net of the Future." Receive your free 7-day trial at blinkist.com/debate Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 17, 2019
#167 - Should Scientists Dim the Sun?
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Right now, climate engineers are working on new technologies that would reflect the sun’s rays away from earth. For some, it’s a bold new plan to combat climate change. For others, it's a dangerous attempt to meddle with Mother Nature. Join four leading climate scientists for a debate on the motion, “Engineering Solar Radiation Is a Crazy Idea.”  Learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. and cast your vote to decide the winner at IQ2US.org.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 03, 2019
#166 - All Hail the Driverless Car?
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What if the next car you buy or taxi you hail drives itself? Join four leaders in autonomous vehicles for a timely debate on whether society should embrace driverless cars or approach these new, controversial vehicles with caution.  Learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. and cast your vote to decide the winner at IQ2US.org.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 19, 2019
#165 - Should the Republican Party Re-Nominate Trump?
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Former Senator Jeff Flake and the New York Times’ Bret Stephens team up to argue the motion, “The Republican Party Should Not Re-Nominate Trump.” They face Kris Kobach, a former Trump advisor and former Kansas Secretary of State, and Fox New’s Liz Peek, who are rooting for Trump 2020. Learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. and cast your vote to decide the winner at IQ2US.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 05, 2019
IQ2 Interview: Should You Love Your Enemies?
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In this special episode of Intelligence Squared U.S., John Donvan sits down with one of America's leading political thinkers to discuss a bold premise: loving your enemies. Arthur Brooks is a best-selling author and the outgoing president of the American Enterprise Institute. His new book, "Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt", builds on his decades in politics and challenges Americans to love each other despite partisan differences.  Learn more about membership and our upcoming debates at iq2us.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 29, 2019
#164 - Can Constitutional Free Speech Principles Save Social Media Companies From Themselves?
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With David French, Corynne McSherry, Nathaniel Persily, and Marietje Schaake How should the world's largest social media companies respond to a pernicious online climate, including hate speech and false content posted by users? For some, the answer is clear: Take the fake and offensive content down. But for others, censorship - even by a private company - is dangerous in a time when digital platforms have become the new public square and many Americans cite Facebook and Twitter as their primary news sources. Rather than embracing European hate speech laws or developing platform-specific community standards that are sometimes seen as partisan, they argue, social media companies should voluntarily adopt the First Amendment and block content only if it violates American law. Should First Amendment doctrine govern free speech online? Or are new, more internationally focused speech policies better equipped to handle the modern challenges of regulating content and speech in the digital era?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 22, 2019
#163 - Unresolved: The Techonomic Cold War With China
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With Ian Bremmer, Michèle Flournoy, Yasheng Huang, Parag Khanna, and Susan Thornton President Xi Jinping has made it clear: When it comes to big data, advanced weaponry, and other innovations in tech and AI, China has plans to surpass the United States as the world’s next techonomic superpower. But between the trade war with the U.S., the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, and an array of domestic challenges, are China’s goals outpacing its capacity? Or is China building and investing in strategic partnerships that will push the country toward global dominance? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 08, 2019
Special Release: Can AI Change Your Mind?
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In this special episode of Intelligence Squared U.S., we partner with IBM for a historic debate that brings AI to the stage. IBM Project Debater is the first AI system designed to debate humans on complex topics using a combination of pioneering research developed by IBM researchers. In this debate, Project Debater faces world-class debater Harish Natarajan on the motion, "We Should Subsidize Preschool". Still curious about AI? Dive into more debates: Past Debate - Don’t Trust the Promise of AI: http://smarturl.it/ArtificialIntellMain Upcoming Debate - All Hail Driverless Cars: http://smarturl.it/DriverlessCar Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2019
#161 - Should We Bring Extinct Creatures Back To Life?
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Motion: Don't Bring Extinct Creatures back to Life Once a sci-fi fantasy explored in films like “Jurassic Park,” recent biological and technological breakthroughs indicate that reviving extinct creatures could become a reality. Proponents argue that the benefits include correcting mistakes of the past by bringing back extinct ecosystems and organisms. Others argue it's not ethical, or even feasible. Should humans bring extinct creatures back to life?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 08, 2019
#160 - Ten Years After the Global Financial Crisis, Is the System Safer?
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Motion: Ten Years After the Global Financial Crisis, the System Is Safer More than 10 years ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the world witnessed one of the worst financial crises in global history. Has the world learned its lesson and created a more resilient global financial system? Or are we ill-prepared for next time?   Join Us Live In New York on January 31st for "Don't Bring Extinct Creatures Back to Life" - http://smarturl.it/De-ExtinctionTix Foreign Affairs Exclusive Discount - www.ForeignAffairs.com/faiq2  Enter the promo code faiq2 at checkout Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 25, 2019
Season Preview: New Year, New Debates
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Announcing our new season! This winter, we’re taking on new issues, including the state of the global financial system, whether we should try to bring extinct creatures back to life, and whether we’re in a techonomic cold war with China. Our debates will feature leading thinkers like Michele Flournoy, Neel Kashkari, Parag Khanna, Stewart Brand, George Church, Jason Furman, Gillian Tett, Ian Bremmer, and more.  To get your tickets, visit IQ2US.org/buy-tickets or text “IQ2” to 79-79-79.  To join our Friends Program, visit IQ2US.org/support-us.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 11, 2019
#83 - Should We Avoid Eating Anything With A Face?
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MOTION: Don't Eat Anything with a Face From the Archive: Are humans meant to be carnivores? Revisit our debate featuring “21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart” author Neal Barnard, Farm Sanctuary co-founder Gene Baur, nutritional scientist Chris Masterjohn, and farmer and author Joel Salatin.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 28, 2018
#105 - Is Smart Technology Making Us Dumb?
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MOTION: Smart Technology is Making us Dumb. Smart technology grants us unprecedented, immediate access to knowledge and to each other -- a ubiquitous and seamless presence in everyday life. But is there a downside to all of this connectivity? It’s been said that smart technology creates dependency on devices, narrows our world to echo chambers, and impairs cognitive skills through shortcuts and distraction. Are these concerns an overstatement of the negative effects of high-tech consumption? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2018
#159 - Has Silicon Valley Lost Its Soul?
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Motion: Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul. Silicon Valley once promised to solve many of the world's problems with a technological revolution. But now, the tech hub is the center of much scrutiny, and for many, that scrutiny is warranted. From privacy violations to flawed business models to a lack of diversity and representation, Silicon Valley has seemingly betrayed its idealism. And though technological progress has notably enriched a few, Silicon Valley has failed to deliver its promise to all. Has the prioritization of profits and conformity of thought corrupted its original "do good" agenda? Proponents argue no: Silicon Valley's critics are simply overreacting. After all, it is still the center of innovation, and the tech giants have revolutionized the way we think, shop, communicate, and experience our lives for the better. Do big tech's detractors simply expect too much from lucrative corporations? Or has Silicon Valley lost its soul? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2018
An IQ2US Thanksgiving Tradition
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Last year, our host John Donvan sat down with Ken Stern, the former National Public Radio CEO, to discuss his book "Republican Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right, " which chronicles this lifelong liberal's journey through conservative communities and ideas. Ken sat in on Steve Bannon’s radio show, rallied with the Tea Party, spent Sundays in evangelical churches, and went boar hunting in Texas. The result? A new respect for the conservatives he once demonized and optimism for the state of American partisan politics.  Join our host and moderator in revisiting this conversation a year later.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2018
#158 - Is Trump Bad for Comedy?
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Motion: Trump is Bad for Comedy From the opening skit on “Saturday Night Live” to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to the pages of The Onion, President Trump has become the face of comedy. Some comedians and writers argue that in the Trump era, satire has become more challenging and jokes have become cheap.  Trump, according to his critics, has normalized the absurd and the nature of political satire in a post-truth world. But others disagree; they argue that the president serves up comedy-gold every day, making their jobs – and the laughs they seek to elicit – easier than ever before. And, they argue, comedy is much more “woke” than it used to be, with late-night hosts and comedians playing a pivotal role in the fight for social justice. Is the president killing comedy? Or is he making the funny business ever more relevant? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2018
#157 - Will Progressive Populism Save The Democratic Party?
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Motion: Progressive Populism Will Save The Democratic Party As Democratic leaders and strategists gear up for the 2018 and 2020 elections, the party stands at a crossroads. For progressive populists, the path forward is clear: Democrats must get back in touch with the party’s working-class roots by championing a specific set of policies, including Medicare for all, free public college tuition, a guaranteed federal jobs program, and housing as a human right. They say this strategy is key to winning back disillusioned working-class voters and to regaining power in Washington and beyond. But others view this as a dangerous path. They argue that a handful of high-profile progressive wins have been overhyped by the media and, rather than make promises that may be impossible to execute in this political climate, Democrats should champion centrist, economically viable policies that will win elections and solidify the base. How can the Democratic Party, out of power and outnumbered in Washington D.C. and state capitals across the nation, bring itself out of the political wilderness? Cast your vote on the motion: http://smarturl.it/DemDebateVote Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 19, 2018
#156 - Will Retail Alliances Fix the U.S. Health Care System?
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Motion: Retail Alliances – Not Washington – Will Save the U.S. Health Care System Last year, Intelligence Squared U.S. and the Mayo Clinic brought to the stage a bold inquiry about whether health care in the United States is terminally broken. And this year, we’re picking up where that discussion left off, against the backdrop of corporate behemoths announcing mergers that, they say, are sure to shake up health care – from the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase venture, to the CVS-Aetna deal, to the Humana-Walgreens partnership, and more. But while these superpower alliances are making a splash in the headlines, will they actually be able to disrupt, and save, U.S. health care? Proponents argue that the bargaining power and data competencies of these retailers will squeeze middlemen out of an inefficient supply chain and bring more transparency to health care pricing. But others argue that the promise of these novel efforts is overstated or misguided, particularly because U.S. health care is so complex and deeply rooted. Will consumer-focused models and employer-led initiatives lead to better and less expensive outcomes? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 05, 2018
#155 - Unresolved: U.S. National Security
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The Three Motions: Is NATO No Longer Fit for Purpose? Is the Russia Threat Overblown? Is It Time to Take a Hard Line on Iran? For the United States, tensions are rising with both allies and adversaries. Rogue states are racing to master new technologies and create weapons of mass destruction. And faith in international institutions is seemingly deteriorating. What does this all mean for U.S. national security? Staged in our "unresolved" format, five esteemed foreign policy thought leaders will argue for or against a number of motions revolving around some of America’s most pressing national security issues, including: Is NATO no longer fit for purpose? Is the Russia threat overblown? And is it time to take a hard line on Iran? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 28, 2018
Join IQ2US Live in New York
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This Thursday, September 20th, we’re launching our fall series with an evening of debate on the state and future of American national security.  Set in our “unresolved” format, five debaters will fly solo on the following resolutions:    It’s Time to Take a Hard Line on Iran.  NATO Is No Longer Fit for Purpose.  The Russia Threat Is Overblown. _____ Tickets available here: http://smarturl.it/NationalSecurityTix  Use code FRIENDS30 for 30% off Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 18, 2018
#154 - Has Globalization Undermined the American Working Class?
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MOTION: Globalization Has Undermined America's Working Class Globalization ushered in an era of free trade, fluid borders, and unparalleled corporate profits. For its proponents, the global integration of states and their economies was a political and economic win that created a wealth of opportunities for workers and consumers around the world. But in the United States, jobs are disappearing. From construction zones to clerical offices to coal mines, the American working class is losing ground. Is globalization to blame? Did the push toward global integration leave our most vulnerable populations behind, making them the losers of this grand experiment? Or is globalization being used as a scapegoat for a wider range of failed public policies and unprecedented advances in technology?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 03, 2018
#153 - Is Social Media Good For Democracy?
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MOTION: Social Media Is Good for Democracy By connecting people across the world for free, platforms like Twitter and Facebook set the stage for a promising digital revolution, providing tools that helped foster global friendships, break down long-standing barriers that kept people and ideas from being heard, and served as the ultimate democratizing force for information. Now, lawmakers in the U.S. and beyond are reeling with questions of how to prevent the spread of digital political propaganda and protect citizens' personal privacy online. Critics argue that rather than uniting and informing, social media deepens social and political divisions and erodes trust in the democratic process. Will the power of social media yet be harnessed and used as an unprecedented force for good in the world? Or do systemic platform flaws pose an irreversible threat to the world's democratic institutions?   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2018
#152 - Trigger Warning: Are Safe Spaces Dangerous?
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Debate: Trigger Warning: Safe Spaces are Dangerous Long hailed as bastions of intellectual development and ground zero for the free and spirited exchange of ideas, today's universities have come under attack by those who argue that a new generation of students and administrators are trading in academia's most cherished values for political correctness and inclusion. At the heart of this debate is the question of safe spaces, how we define them, and whether they aid or hinder intellectual inquiry. Deeply rooted in social justice movements of the past, these spaces promise a reprieve from bigotry and oppression by allowing today's students - the most culturally and racially diverse in history - the opportunity to express themselves in an empathetic environment. But to their critics, safe spaces pose a dire threat to free speech and undermine the resilience of a generation. Are safe spaces dangerously coddling young minds? Or are they a legitimate and necessary component of modern education?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 06, 2018
#151 - Will Automation Crash Democracy?
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MOTION: Automation Will Crash Democracy Around the world, technology is disrupting the workforce, with automation poised to displace humans in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and beyond. Will the rise of robots fuel a new wave of “us versus them” populism capable of undermining democracy? For some, the answer is yes. They argue that as people lose jobs to robots, the gap between the rich and poor widens, distrust in government and democratic institutions grows, and populist ideas become more attractive to those who feel left behind. The importance of work trumps the importance of democracy, leaving a clear path for authoritarians to rise under nationalist messages that pit groups of people against one another. But others paint a different picture: They argue that humans have adapted to – and benefited from – new innovations for centuries. From the advent of water and steam power to computers, work has changed, but never disappeared. And as automation drives higher productivity growth, humans can reach their full potential and pursue societal innovation, allowing more citizens to feel fulfilled and strengthening democracy on the whole. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 25, 2018
#150 - Can Negotiations Denuclearize North Korea?
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Motion: Negotiations Can Denuclearize North Korea Will all of the recent goodwill gestures between North and South Korea lead to the one thing Washington wants most? Can a deal be struck that denuclearizes North Korea? And what will they want in exchange for giving up that leverage? Presented in partnership with Georgetown University, LIVE at the first Georgetown University Women’s Forum. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 11, 2018
#149 - Is Bitcoin More Than A Bubble?
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Motion: Bitcoin is More Than a Bubble and Here to Stay. Is Bitcoin here to stay, or is it a bubble waiting to pop? Less than a decade old, Bitcoin is worth billions. The cryptocurrency promises to revolutionize global finance by placing control of currency in the hands of users, not nations, and make financial exchanges more transparent, efficient, and democratic. And it seems to be taking hold: Earlier this year both the Cboe and CME debuted Bitcoin futures. But is Bitcoin really a safe bet? Proponents say the hype around the cryptocurrency is warranted, and previous critics – including executives at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs – are increasingly jumping on the Bitcoin (block)train. On the other hand, skeptics suggest this highly volatile digital currency offers a platform for illicit activity, including money laundering and trafficking of humans and drugs, free from government oversight and regulation. And, they argue, Bitcoin has no intrinsic value – the price is based on market enthusiasm rather than actual utility. This debate is presented in partnership with the Adam Smith Society. The Adam Smith Society — a project of the Manhattan Institute — is an expansive, chapter-based network of MBA students, professionals, and business leaders who work to foster debate about the moral, social, and economic benefits of capitalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 04, 2018
#148 - Should Net Neutrality Be Saved?
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Motion: Preserve Net Neutrality: All Data is Created Equal. What if a single policy could impact American democracy, culture, and competitiveness?  What if that policy might either empower citizens and consumers, or burden them?  And what if the decision on that policy sparked a frenzy of legislative proposals, judicial challenges, and citizen outrage, all across the country? The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to end net neutrality regulations has fueled a national debate about the future of the internet.  Adopted in 2015, net neutrality promised to preserve the democratic spirit of the web by ensuring that all data would be treated equally, regardless of where it originated. Under these regulations, internet service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, the corporate giants who deliver the internet into our homes, could supply web infrastructure, but could not preference how data passed through it.  Denying them that power, supporters argue, remains critical to ensuring that users and content-creators can discover ideas and information without censorship, or charges, from these prospective gatekeepers.  After all, no person should have to pay for every video streamed on YouTube; no startup should be hobbled against established companies who buy faster access to consumers; and no minority voice should have its ideas throttled by wealthier interests. On the other hand, net neutrality opponents argue that the genius of the Internet has been its individually driven, organic development, free from the heavy hand of so-called net neutrality.  These burdensome regulations constitute dangerous governmental overreach, stifle innovation, and spike costs for both consumers and providers.  The result, they maintain, will be a less interesting, less democratic, less innovative web.  Moreover, Americans will enjoy uninterrupted access to their favorite sites – without net neutrality – because ISPs make more money from an open, rather than closed, internet.  Consequently, the backlash against the FCC’s decision is overblown, and ending net neutrality is the right policy for the future of America’s internet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 27, 2018
#147 - As We Evolve, Do We Need God Less?
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Motion: The More We Evolve The Less We Need God. Does God have a place in 21st century human affairs? Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, and cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin team up to argue for the motion, "The More We Evolve, The Less We Need God." On the other side is integrative medicine advocate Dr. Deepak Chopra and ER physician Dr. Anoop Kumar. To buy tickets to our live show in Chicago on April 17th, visit IQ2US.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 06, 2018
#146 - Does Humanitarian Intervention Do More Harm Than Good?
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Motion: Humanitarian Intervention Does More Harm than Good. The international community currently faces a global refugee crisis and mass atrocities in Iraq, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, and beyond. How should the West respond? Proponents of humanitarian intervention – the use of force to halt human rights abuses – argue that the world’s most powerful militaries have a responsibility to protect innocent civilians around the world. Beyond saving lives, they argue, intervention deters would-be abusers and ensures global stability, thereby strengthening the liberal world order. But opponents argue that military intervention is thinly veiled Western imperialism, and subsequently, an assault on state sovereignty. And, it’s ineffective: the West, with its military might, increases the death toll and worsens the conflicts it sets out to solve. Further, given recent waves of populism in the U.S., France, and U.K., they suggest that Western nations should spend their time looking inward rather than policing activity around the world.  This debate is presented in partnership with The German Marshall Fund's Brussels Forum, broadcast live from Brussels, Belgium. The More We Evolve, The Less We Need God: http://smarturl.it/ReligionDebateTix Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 23, 2018
#145 - Have Dating Apps Killed Romance?
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Motion: Swipe Left: Dating Apps Have Killed Romance Every day millions of people turn to dating apps to find love. To date, more than 49 million Americans have given digital dating a try and the companies facilitating these matches are raking in billions. But are dating apps really designed to promote long-lasting romance? Apps like Tinder and Bumble make finding a date as easy as swiping right, while digital platforms like Match.com and OkCupid use specialized algorithms to help users find the perfect partner, regardless of age or personal preferences. Further, a range of niche sites connect people with highly specific interests, whether it’s single parenthood, a gluten-free lifestyle, or a devotion to Ayn Rand. But some argue that online dating is rife with sexism, racism, and misogyny, and that dating apps ultimately create a culture that prioritizes sex over committed and lasting love. After all, why settle on one match when there may be someone better just a swipe away?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 14, 2018
#144 - Unresolved: America's Economic Outlook
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The Three Motions: Is deregulation driving the booming economy? Can the Republican tax bill spur economic growth? And is the stock market too high? By most accounts, the American economy is booming — manufacturing is at a 13-year high, unemployment is at a 16-year low, and both the stock market and consumer confidence are soaring. But just what is driving this upturn? And can Americans trust that current economic conditions will hold up in the months ahead? In our season premiere, five esteemed economic thinkers debate the state of the American economy, from tax cuts to trade policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 24, 2018
#143 - Do Liberals Hold the Moral High Ground?
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Motion: Liberals hold the moral high ground. Do conservative or liberal philosophies lead to more just outcomes? Opposing moral philosophies have long fueled debate about America’s policy goals and national identity. For conservatives, morality is grounded in ideals such as patriotism, including a respect for order and authority; fairness and liberty in the sense that an individual’s actions yield just rewards, or consequences; and reverence for the sanctity of religious and moral tradition. Liberals place moral emphasis on caring: for the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized; on fairness in the sense of redressing both historic wrongs and current inequalities of outcome; and on generosity extending beyond the bounds of nations or cultures. In today’s divisive political arena, which side best embodies the nation’s most cherished virtues? Morally speaking, is the left right? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 13, 2017
Guns, Bibles, & Breaking Bread: A Thanksgiving Podcast
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John Donvan sits down with Ken Stern, the former CEO of NPR, to discuss America's partisan politics and how to talk across the aisle -- and your Thanksgiving table. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 22, 2017
#142 - Should College Athletes Be Paid?
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Motion: Pay College Athletes College sports is a big-money business, with football and basketball programs generating millions of dollars in revenue every year. While coaches and athletic directors in Division I programs routinely score seven-figure contracts, student-athletes are currently prohibited from sharing in the profits. Is it time to rewrite the rules in college sports and allow athletes their fair share of the profits? Or would providing monetary incentives -- above and beyond existing scholarships and career supports -- spoil the sport? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 01, 2017
#141 - Is Western Democracy In Danger?
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Motion: Western Democracy is Threatening Suicide Do populist and nationalist uprisings signal Western democracy’s certain decline? Or can recent events be seen as part of a healthy and regenerative antidote to policies that have challenged liberal institutions and marginalized the middle class? Some predict that a resilient liberal world order will rally to triumph over fear, xenophobia and fractured political parties – others say that support for autocratic alternatives is on the rise. Four leading thinkers debate the future of Western democracy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 11, 2017
#140 - Is the U.S. Healthcare System Terminally Broken?
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MOTION: The U.S. Healthcare System is Terminally Broken Criticized by patients, providers, and politicians alike, the United States healthcare system is hardly a crowd-pleaser. Is the most expensive health care system in the world beyond repair? FOR Dr. Robert Pearl, former CEO of the Permanente Medical Group Shannon Brownless, author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer AGAINST Dr. Ezekiel Amanuel, a bioethicist and an architect of the Affordable Care Act Dr. David T. Feinberg, CEO of Geisinger Health System Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 04, 2017
#139 - Face-Off with China: Foreign Policy in the Trump Era
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Special: "Unresolved" Debate Format Against the backdrop of North Korea's nuclear advances and escalating regional tensions, we ask: How should the U.S. respond to its most urgent national security threats? In a wide-ranging evening of debate, General David Petraeus joins military historian Max Boot for a keynote conversation and broad look into the most pressing global challenges of the Trump era. Then, four of the world's most prominent foreign policy voices zero in on the most important strategic relationship of the twenty-first century: the United States and China. Staged with our new "Unresolved" debate format, these debaters argue for or against a number of motions including: Is Donald Trump making China great again? Is China destined for regional dominance?  And can we strike a deal with Beijing to contain North Korea’s nuclear program?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 20, 2017
How to Debate... Yourself.
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Think about your most strongly held political belief. How did you arrive at your position?  What experiences, information, or opinions influenced you? In the final installment of our summer podcast series on the state of political discourse today, we dive into an increasingly important skill: the ability to debate yourself. Our host John Donvan sits down with Yale Law professor Peter Schuck to discuss his new book, One Nation Undecided: Clear Thinking About Five Hard Issues That Divide Us, which takes on five hot-button topics — poverty, immigration, campaign finance, affirmative action, and religion in public life — and shows us why there’s a legitimate case to be made for differing opinions. After all, thinking about hard issues shouldn't be easy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 30, 2017
A Summer Challenge: Radical Rethinking
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Here at Intelligence Squared U.S., we love a good argument – almost as much as we love an audience willing to change its mind. So when the New York Times’ David Leonhardt challenged Americans to do just that this summer, we took notice.  In an op-ed entitled, “A Summer Project to Nourish Your Political Soul,” David asked readers to, "pick an issue that you find complicated, and grapple with it." But he didn’t stop there: David then advised readers to, “consider changing your mind, at least partially." In this episode, David joins our host John Donvan to discuss the urgency of engaging with people and ideas that challenge closely held orthodoxies. He cites immigration, abortion, and education as examples of contemporary issues that defy easy answers, and says it’s ultimately the right and responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to wrestle with nuances and complexities.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 09, 2017
The State of Debate on Capitol Hill: The American Health Care Act
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Mickey Edwards, former member of Congress for 16 years, and vice president and program director at the Aspen Institute, recalls a more civil time in American politics, when both Democrats and Republicans were more likely to engage in debate on Capitol Hill. In this episode, he speaks with Intelligence Squared U.S. host John Donvan about the ways in which Congressional deliberation has changed over the past 40 years, and paths to restoring open discourse in Washington. To support the show, visit http://smarturl.it/IQ2 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 27, 2017
#138 - Your Private Data: Can Tech Companies Keep it from the Law?
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Motion: Tech Companies Should Be Required To Help Law Enforcement Execute Search Warrants To Access Customer Data Do you have a secret that no one else knows?  What about Apple, Google, Facebook, Verizon, or Uber?  Are you sure they don’t know your secret?  Digital data – emails, text messages, phone records, location records, web searches – contain traces of almost every secret.  They also contain traces of almost every crime.  Tech companies may promise to protect our data from prying eyes.  But should that promise yield to law enforcement and national security?  To support the show, visit http://smarturl.it/IQ2 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2017
#137 - Will Video Games Make Us Smarter?
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MOTION: Video Games Will Make Us Smarter.As video games gain prominence, some game creators are turning to global issues, such as poverty alleviation, international diplomacy, and combating climate change, for inspiration. Playing these socially minded games, they argue, allows users to build tangible skills in combating crisis and solving critical problems. But others see the multibillion-dollar gaming industry, dominated by portrayals of crime and war, as a threat that desensitizes its users to violence and encourages anti-social behavior. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 17, 2017
#136 - Unresolved: Trump's First 100 Days
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The first 100 days of the Trump administration have been filled with a whirlwind of new policies and challenges to Washington orthodoxies, and the country is sharply divided.  But if we are open to it, we might find that there are reasonable arguments being made by both sides on many issues.  And those conversations can start by considering: President Trump’s “America First” policy, and what it means to different people; the administration’s impact on the health of the stock market and our economy; the team that the president has assembled; and whether it’s the media, or the president, that’s under attack. In one night we embark on a radical departure from our Oxford-style format, asking five debaters, from across the political spectrum, for their views on four key issues under the new Trump presidency. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 01, 2017
#135 - Has Walmart Been Good For America?
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Walmart has long been a target for critics of corporate expansion, but does the company really deserve the scrutiny?  Some say that the big-box retailer devastates small communities by pushing out locally-owned businesses, mistreats its workers through low pay and restrictive work hours, and forces American companies  to use cheap foreign labor to produce goods at low cost.  Others point to the fact that Walmart provides countless jobs to low-skilled American workers, sells affordable goods, has increasingly become a leader in sustainability, and attracts new consumers and businesses to its neighborhoods.  Has Walmart been good for America? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 12, 2017
#134 - Is Universal Basic Income the Safety Net of the Future?
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Imagine getting a check from the government every month. $600 guaranteed. It's happening in Finland, where a pilot program is being launched to test what's known as a "universal basic income". As technology transforms the workplace, jobs and income will be less reliable. The idea is that a universal basic income could serve as a tool to combat poverty and uncertainly in a changing society, and provide a cushion that empowers workers, giving them latitude to take risks in the job market. But some argue a guaranteed income would take away the incentive to work, waste money on those who don't need it, and come at the expense of effective programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Is the universal income the safety net of the future? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 29, 2017
#133 - Are Charter Schools Overrated?
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Motion: Charter Schools Are Overrated In the 25 years since Minnesota passed the first charter school law, these publicly funded but privately operated schools have become a highly sought-after alternative to traditional public education, particularly for underserved students in urban areas. Between 2004 and 2014 alone, charter school enrollment increased from less than 1 million to 2.5 million students. Many charter schools boast of high test scores, strict academic expectations, and high graduation rates, and for some, their growth is evidence of their success. But have these schools lived up to their promise? Opponents argue that charters, which are subject to fewer regulations and less oversight, lack accountability, take much-needed resources from public schools, and pick and choose their student body.  Are charter schools overrated?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 08, 2017
#132 - Has the U.S.-Saudi "Special Relationship" Outlived its Usefulness?
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Motion: The Special U.S.-Saudi Relationship Has Outlived Its Usefulness In 1945, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia met onboard the USS Quincy.  A close relationship between the two countries has been maintained ever since, with oil and military and intelligence cooperation at its foundation.  But the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. shale revolution, human rights concerns, and diverging interests in the Middle East, have all put strains on this relationship.  Has this special relationship outlived its usefulness, or is it too important to walk away from?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2017
#131 - Should We Give Trump a Chance?
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Motion: Give Trump a Chance Donald Trump assumes office having won the Electoral College, but having lost the popular vote. His opponents argue that he gave voice and legitimacy to extremists, and that his unpredictable, autocratic style is a threat to both democratic ideals at home. But others argue that Trump’s election represents the will of the American people, who--hungry for change--repudiated the status quo. In their view, we must find areas of common ground to work together. Should we give President Trump a chance? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 07, 2017
#130 - Is Policing Racially Biased?
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MOTION: Policing Is Racially Biased In 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, set off a wave of protests and sparked a movement targeting racial disparities in criminal justice.  Since then, there have been other controversial deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement that have captured the public’s attention, from Tamir Rice, to Philando Castile.  But there are some who say that these encounters, many of them recorded, have fed a narrative of biased policing that the data does not back up, vilifying people who are trying to do good in a difficult job that often puts them in harm’s way.  What are the statistics, and how should we interpret them?  How have recent incidents shaped our view of policing?  Does crime drive law enforcement’s use of force, or is there racial bias? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 18, 2017
#129 - Should States Call a Convention to Amend the Constitution?
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Motion; Call a Convention to Amend the Constitution Almost everyone can think of something they would like to change in the U.S. Constitution. Some would like to update it to fit new technologies and evolving social mores. Others think the Supreme Court has illegitimately “updated” it too much already, and would like to restore its original meaning. Either way, it is always tempting to invoke Article V to amend the Constitution—to “fix" it, or “restore" it, or “improve" it...  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2016
#128 - Is Obama's Foreign Policy a Failure?
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MOTION: Obama's Foreign Policy is a Failure For many, Obama’s presidency will be defined by its accomplishments. Taking out Osama bin Laden, disengaging from fights in the Middle East that America cannot win, defusing the threat of a nuclear Iran, and refocusing our attention and resources to Asia, where our greatest opportunities and biggest long-term challenges are located. But for others, it has been marked by missteps and retreat—pulling back where action and leadership was needed, and presiding over policies that strengthened our adversaries and disheartened our friends. Has Obama’s foreign policy been a success?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 07, 2016
#127 - Has Gerrymandering Destroyed the Political Center?
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MOTION: Gerrymandering is destroying the political center. It is alleged that the practice of gerrymandering—dividing election districts into units to favor a particular group—subverts democracy by making congressional districts “safe” for one party or the other. As a result, only those voting in primaries are in effect choosing our representatives. Are primary voters more extreme in their views, and therefore pulling democrats to the left and republicans to the right? Or is the impact of gerrymandering actually overblown, while other more divisive contributing factors like the emergence of ideologically charged TV and radio outlets, the role of the Internet and social network “echo chambers,” and campaign finance practices are in fact the real drivers of increasing partisanship? If gerrymandering is a major problem, is there policy or constitutional principles that might be part of the solution? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 23, 2016
#126 - Should We Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship?
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Motion: Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and the question of what to do with them has sparked years of fierce debate, but no significant action.  In 2013, the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” managed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate, only to get it dropped by the House.  And in 2016, a deadlocked Supreme Court decision stalled President Obama’s executive actions, DACA and DAPA, which would have saved 5 million from deportation.  For voters, on this issue, the choice between presidential candidates could not be clearer.  Should we give these immigrants a chance to earn citizenship through a process that would include paying a penalty, passing a security check, and getting in the back of the line? Or are we rewarding them for breaking the rules, and encouraging more of the same?  Do they make positive contributions to the economy and complement our workforce, or do they burden taxpayers and create unwanted competition for jobs?  Should we give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2016
#125 - Is "Big Pharma" to Blame for Rising Health Care Costs?
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Motion: Blame Big Pharma for Out-of-Control Health Care Costs. Health care costs in the U.S. are some 18 percent of GNP, nearly double what other rich countries spend. We read of drug therapies that cost $100,000 a year or more, and of drug price increases that are 6 times the rate of inflation, on average, and often much more when mergers reduce competition in the industry. Is this a major driver of excessive health care costs? Or is it a by-product of the huge costs of getting new drugs approved? Has big pharma delivered drugs that reduce the need for costly surgeries, which extend life and improve its quality? Or do they deserve the blame that has been leveled against them? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 19, 2016
#124 - Are the Elites to Blame for the Trump Phenomenon?
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Motion: Blame the Elites for the Trump Phenomenon. The elites of both parties have expressed contempt for Donald Trump, and Trump has succeeded in part by channeling his voters’ contempt for the elites. Does support for Trump reflect an uninformed populism and misplaced anger by a large swath of the American electorate? Or have the elites failed to empathize with their struggles, and failed to craft effective policies to help them cope? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 21, 2016
#123 - Climate Change: Has the EPA Gone Overboard?
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Reducing carbon emissions is clearly good for the environment but often imposes substantial costs. The costs are most obvious when coal companies go bankrupt, but can affect everyone indirectly through higher energy costs, slower economic growth, reduced employment, and lower business profits. Has the Environmental Protection Agency considered the costs and benefits of its regulatory mandates fairly and appropriately? Is its Clean Power Plan a bold initiative to reduce carbon pollution at power plants, or an unconstitutional usurpation of power? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 14, 2016
Bonus Podcast: The GOP Must Seize The Center Or Die
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In April of 2013 we held a debate on the motion: The GOP Must Seize the Center or Die. At the time, the debaters could not have predicted Donald Trump’s candidacy or imagined the force of its impact on the 2016 election cycle. In this special podcast, we listen to excerpts of this 2013 debate and consider how times have changed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2016
Bonus Podcast: The Supreme Court Considers Racial Preferences In State University Admissions
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With the Supreme Court ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas being handed down on Thursday, June 23, 2016, We consider both sides of the issue of race-conscious university admissions. We listen back to our debate from December 2015: The Equal Protection Clause Forbids Racial Preferences in State University Admissions.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 24, 2016
#122 - Has The President Usurped The Constitutional Power Of Congress?
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Motion: The president has usurped the constitutional power of congress. The Supreme Court is currently poised to decide whether President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions usurped Congress’s power and flouted his duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” But some argue that the President is not exercising legislative power; he is simply exercising his well-established executive discretion. Has the President usurped Congress’s legislative power? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 15, 2016
#121 - Do Hunters Conserve Wildlife?
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Do Hunters Conserve Wildlife? In 2014, a permit to hunt a single endangered black rhino was sold for $350,000 as part of a program to support its conservation in Namibia. Counter intuitive? Through funds raised from legal hunting—the purchase of permits in Africa, licenses and taxes here in the U.S.—, hunters contribute significantly to wildlife conservation efforts. Hunting has also become an important tool in the effort to control animal populations, to the benefit of humans and wildlife alike. But are big-game revenues really benefiting conservation and local communities? And is hunting a humane way to maintain equilibrium and habitats, or are there better alternatives?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 18, 2016
#120 - Eliminate Corporate Subsidies
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The auto industry, agriculture, the energy sector. What do they have in common? These industries benefit from government subsidies in the form of loans, tax breaks, regulation, and other preferences. Critics from the left and right say that not only do these subsidies transfer wealth from taxpayers to corporations, they distort the markets and our economy. Proponents say that government has an important role to play in launching innovation via strategic investment, and its support helps American companies thrive. Do we need subsidies, or is this corporate welfare? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 13, 2016
#119 - Should We Trust The Promise Of Artificial Intelligence?
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As technology rapidly progresses, some proponents of artificial intelligence believe that it will help solve complex social challenges and offer immortality via virtual humans. But AI’s critics say that we should proceed with caution. That its rewards may be overpromised, and that the pursuit of superintelligence and autonomous machines may result in unintended consequences. Is this the stuff of science fiction? Should we fear AI, or will these fears prevent the next technological revolution? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 23, 2016
#118 - Is Free Speech Threatened On Campus?
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Protests have erupted on university campuses across the country. To many, these students are speaking out against racial injustice that has long been manifested in unwelcoming, sometimes hostile environments. But to critics, their demands have gone too far, creating an atmosphere of intolerance for opposing or unpopular points of view. Are the protesters silencing free speech, or are they just trying to be heard? And are the universities responding by defending free speech, or by suppressing it? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 08, 2016
#117 - Are Lifespans Long Enough?
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What if we didn’t have to grow old and die? The average American can expect to live for 78.8 years, an improvement over the days before clean water and vaccines, but it's still not long enough for most of us. So researchers around the world have been working on arresting the process of aging through biotechnology. What are the ethical and social consequences of radically increasing lifespans? Should we accept a “natural” end, or should we find a cure to aging? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 10, 2016
#116 - Should The U.S. Let In 100,000 Syrian Refugees?
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Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, more than 4 million Syrians have fled the country, creating the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. The United States has taken in just over 2,000 Syrian refugees since the war’s start, and the Obama administration has pledged to take another 10,000 in 2016. What are our moral obligations, and what are the cultural, economic, and security issues that must be taken into account? Should the U.S. let in 100,000 Syrian refugees? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 20, 2016
#115 - Does The Equal Protection Clause Forbid Racial Preferences In State University Admissions?
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The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that: "No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Yet many state universities give substantial preferences to certain races in their admissions decisions. In Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), the Supreme Court approved such preferences, but the case was close, and controversial, and the question will be back before the Supreme Court this term. One side may argue that these preferences level the playing field, remedy prior discrimination, and enhance diversity within the classroom, thus redeeming the true promise of equal protection. But the other may say that these preferences – in favor of some races, at the expense of others – are racial discrimination pure and simple, the precise evil that the Equal Protection Clause was intended to forbid. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 09, 2015
#114 - Can Central Banks Print Prosperity?
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Central banks all around the world have been printing money. This policy, known as quantitative easing in banker jargon, has driven up the price of stocks and bonds. But will it lead to real and sustainable increases in global growth, or is it sowing the seeds of future inflation? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 25, 2015
#113 - Do U.S. Prosecutors Have Too Much Power?
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Autonomy and secrecy, complex criminal code and mandatory minimums -- in combination, these factors have given prosecutors enormous leverage, and the opportunity to wield it relentlessly and selectively. Do prosecutors have too much power? Would changes reducing the leverage of prosecutors in the criminal justice system weaken their critical responsibility to prosecute crimes and secure equal justice for all? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 17, 2015
#112 - Should College Students Be Allowed To Take Smart Drugs?
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If you could take a pill that would help you study and get better grades, would you? Off-label use of “smart drugs” – pharmaceuticals meant to treat disorders like ADHD, narcolepsy, and Alzheimer’s – are becoming increasingly popular among college students hoping to get ahead. But is this cheating? Should their use as cognitive enhancers be approved by the FDA, the medical community, and society at large? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2015
#111 - Should We Raise The Federal Gas Tax To Fund Infrastructure?
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The Highway Trust Fund provides funding for road, bridge, and mass transit projects across the country – and it’s running out of money. Its revenue source, the federal gas tax, has not been raised in over two decades. There are many arguments for a leaner fund, but proponents of the tax say that it still plays a vital role in supporting infrastructure. Should Congress raise the federal gas tax? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 04, 2015
Bonus Podcast: Is Death Final?
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If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? By some accounts, about 3% of the U.S. population has had one: an out-of-body experience often characterized by remarkable visions and feelings of peace and joy, all while the physical body is close to death. To skeptics, there are more plausible, natural explanations, like oxygen deprivation. Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 29, 2015
#110 - Are China And The U.S. Long-Term Enemies?
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Is China’s ascendancy a threat to the U.S.? China’s rise as an economic and military power, coupled with its aggression in the South China Sea, have led some to call for a major re-balancing of U.S. policy and strategy. Can China be trusted to act as a responsible global stakeholder? And will they be a long-term ally, or adversary? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 21, 2015
#109 - Should Courts Or Campuses Decide Sexual Assault Cases?
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High-profile cases have recently put campus sexual assault in the spotlight. One question that has repeatedly come up: why are these cases being handled by campuses at all? Campus investigations may serve a real need, forcing schools to respond to violence and protecting the interests of victims in ways that the criminal justice system may fail. Can schools provide due process for defendants and adequate justice for victims? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 23, 2015
Bonus Podcast: Should We Abolish the Minimum Wage?
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This is a special podcast for Labor Day. The first attempt at establishing a national minimum wage, a part of 1933’s sweeping National Industrial Recovery Act, was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935. But in 1938, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a minimum hourly wage of 25 cents—$4.07 in today’s dollars. Three-quarters of a century later, we are still debating the merits of this cornerstone of the New Deal. Do we need government to ensure a decent paycheck, or would low-wage workers and the economy be better off without its intervention? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 04, 2015
#108 - Does The U.S. Need To Defeat ISIS, Or Is Containment Enough?
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The region under the control of ISIS continues to expand, despite airstrikes and the deployment of U.S. military advisers. Should the U.S. goal be containment, or can ISIS be defeated? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 18, 2015
Bonus Podcast: Israel Can Live With A Nuclear Iran
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The U.S., Iran, and other world powers have reached a final deal to limit Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon.  According to President Obama, "every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off." But to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, this deal will go down as "a historic mistake". In 2013, Intelligence Squared U.S. debated whether "Israel can live with a nuclear Iran." Would a nuclear Iran pose an existential threat to Israel? What role does it play in Israel's condemnation of this historic pact? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2015
Bonus Podcast: Obamacare Is Now Beyond Rescue
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With the recent Supreme Court ruling that upholds the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama seems to have secured the legislative cornerstone of his Presidential legacy. But is Obamacare now finally on the road to permanence or is the recent Supreme Court ruling just a setback for a still steady opposition to repeal the law? We'd like to take a moment to look back at a debate we held in January, 2014 just four years after Obamacare was signed into law in 2010. The motion being debated that night was: OBAMACARE IS NOW BEYOND RESCUE. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 14, 2015
Bonus Podcast: Men Are Finished
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More women than men are enrolling and graduating from college and their participation in the labor force has grown. So on this Father's Day, alongside the many deserving gestures of love and appreciation, we'd like to take a moment to reflect on what could lie ahead for dear old Dad. The central question arising, are we now at a place where women will achieve in the futurethe same sort of dominane that men have held in the past, or will it always be a man's world?   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 19, 2015
#107 - Should States Be Required To License Same-Sex Marriages?
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The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides: “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” And now, the Supreme Court is poised to answer the question of whether this clause requires States to license marriages between two people of the same sex. Does the Equal Protection Clause require States to license same-sex marriages, or will marriage be defined as between a man and a woman? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 09, 2015
#106 - Is Obama's Iran Deal Good For America?
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In April 2015, the P5+1, the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, negotiated an interim nuclear accord with Iran. Among the key parameters: Iran’s enrichment capacity, enrichment levels, and stockpile would be limited; its Fordow site converted into a research center; and the Arak heavy water reactor redesigned. In return, the IAEA would gain greater access for inspections, and U.S. and EU sanctions would be lifted. Many in the U.S. fear that a deal as outlined would not go far enough and, instead of being a benefit, would strengthen Iran’s hand in the Middle East. Not to mention the important question of trust. Is this agreement a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to halt nuclear proliferation, or does President Obama have this wrong? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 02, 2015
Bonus Podcast: Too Many Kids Go To College
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It's graduation season, a time for high school seniors to look backand celebrate their formative years before embarking on the next stepon their academic journey: college. But not every graduating senior attends college and perhapsnot every student should. With enemployment for those with bachelor's degrees still at an all-time high and student loan debt surpassing credit card debt, it begs the question whether its really worth it? And calls to mind a debate we had on October 12th, 2011 where the motion being debated was: Too Many Kids Go To College Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 29, 2015
#105 - Is Smart Technology Making Us Dumb?
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Smart technology grants us unprecedented, immediate access to knowledge and to each other -- a ubiquitous and seamless presence in everyday life. But is there a downside to all of this connectivity? It’s been said that smart technology creates dependency on devices, narrows our world to echo chambers, and impairs cognitive skills through shortcuts and distraction. Are these concerns an overstatement of the negative effects of high-tech consumption? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 20, 2015
#104 - Should We Abolish the Death Penalty?
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A recent Gallup poll found that Americans are still largely supportive of the death penalty, with 6 in 10 in favor as punishment for murder. At the heart of the debate are many complicated questions. Within a flawed criminal justice system, is it possible to know every person’s guilt with a sufficient degree of certainty? Does the fear of death reduce crime? Are there race and class biases in sentencing? Are some crimes so heinous in nature that punishment by death is the only appropriate measure, or is capital punishment always immoral? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 22, 2015
#103 - Has The President Exceeded His Authority By Waging War Without Congress?
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The President has launched a sustained, long-term military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But did he have constitutional power to do so? The Constitution carefully divides the war powers of the United States between Congress and the President. Article II provides that “The President shall be Commander in Chief.” But Article I provides that “The Congress shall have Power … To Declare War.” Did the President exceed his authority and violate the Constitution? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 07, 2015
#102 - Should The U.S. Adopt The Right To Be Forgotten Online?
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In 2014, the European Union’s Court of Justice determined that individuals have a right to be forgotten, “the right—under certain conditions—to ask search engines to remove links with personal information about them.” It is not absolute, but meant to be balanced against other fundamental rights, like freedom of expression. In a half year following the Court’s decision, Google received over 180,000 removal requests. Of those reviewed and processed, 40.5% were granted. Largely seen as a victory in Europe, in the U.S., the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative. Was this ruling a blow to free speech and public information, or a win for privacy and human dignity? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 18, 2015
#101 - Are Liberals Stifling Intellectual Diversity?
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What is college for? For many, it’s a time for personal and intellectual growth, to meet new people, and to explore ideas and philosophies that challenge their beliefs. Or is it? Recent cancellations of conservative speakers, rescinded honorary degrees, and scrutiny of certain campus groups have heightened perceptions that there is pervasive liberal intolerance on campuses. Are liberals shutting down speech and debate on campus? Or is this theory a myth, based on the preponderance of liberals at universities rather than intentionally discriminatory actions? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 03, 2015
#100 - Should The World Bet On America?
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America owes $6 trillion to China, our sprawling military complex often appears helpless against disparate threats abroad, and the War on Terror has stripped us of the moral high ground. Washington is paralyzed by bitter partisanship, our children are falling behind their international peers, and our middle class is no longer the world’s most affluent. But we’ve been warned about America’s decline before. Remember Sputnik? Yes, times are tough, but America is recovering from the Great Recession faster than almost any other advanced country, an energy boom could add billions to the GDP, we’re still a leader in technological innovation, and our military strength and geopolitical advantages remain unrivaled. Are our best days behind us, or should the world still bet on America? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 18, 2015
Tribute To David Carr
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Upon hearing the news of the sudden passing of The New York Times's David Carr on February 12th, 2015, we assembled this rememberance. David appeared on our stage on October 27, 2009 arguing against the debate motion: Good Riddance to Mainstream Media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2015
#99 - Is Amazon The Reader's Friend?
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In late 2014, Amazon and the publishing house Hachette settled a months-long dispute over who should set the price for e-books. In Amazon’s view, lower prices mean more sales and more readers, and that benefits everyone. But for publishers, the price of an e-book must reflect the investment made, from the author’s advance to a book’s production. The conflict, resolved for now, has only raised more questions about the value of books, Amazon’s business practices, and the role of publishers. Is book publishing an oligopoly, a dinosaur in need of disruption? Is Amazon, which accounts for 41% of all new book and 67% of all e-book sales, a monopoly? Who is doing right by readers and the future of books? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 22, 2015
Retrospective On The Freedom Of Speech
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With the world outraged by the attacks on satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, last week in Paris, we think back to our debate from 2006 on the motion: Freedom of Expression Must Include the License to Offend. The debaters were Philip Gourevitch, David Cesarani, Christopher Hitchens, Daisy Khan, Signe Wilkinson, and Mari Matsuda. The complete debate can be heard at http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/545-freedom-of-expression-must-include-the-license-to-offend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 12, 2015
#98 - Should We Genetically Modify Food?
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Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for decades, and they are developed for a number of different reasons—to fight disease, enhance flavor, resist pests, improve nutrition, survive drought. Across the country and around the world, communities are fighting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Are they safe? How do they impact the environment? Can they improve food security? Is the world better off with or without GM food? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 10, 2014
#97 - Should We Legalize Assisted Suicide?
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In 1994, Oregon voters passed the Death with Dignity Act, which legalized physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Since then, it has become legal in 4 more states, including New Mexico, where the state court ruling that it is constitutional is under appeal. Will these laws lead to a slippery slope, where the vulnerable are pressured to choose death and human life is devalued? Or do we need to recognize everyone’s basic right to autonomy? The debaters are Peter Singer, Baroness Ilora Finlay, Andrew Solomon, and Dr. Daniel Sulmasy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 20, 2014
#96 - Does Income Inequality Impair The American Dream?
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Income inequality has been on the rise for decades. In the last 30 years, the wages of the top 1% have grown by 154%, while the bottom 90% has seen growth of only 17%. As the rungs of the economic ladder move further and further apart, conventional wisdom says that it will become much more difficult to climb them. Opportunities for upward mobility—the American dream—will disappear as the deck becomes stacked against the middle class and the poor. But others see inequality as a positive, a sign of a dynamic and robust economy that, in the end, helps everyone. And contrary to public opinion, mobility has remained stable over the past few decades. If the American dream is dying, is it the result of income inequality? Or is disparity in income a red herring where more complex issues are at play? The Debaters are Elise Gould, Edward Conard, Nick Hanauer, and Scott Winship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 29, 2014
#95 - Mass Collection Of U.S. Phone Records Violates The Fourth Amendment
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Some say that the mass collection of U.S. phone records is a gross invasion of privacy. Others say that it is necessary to keep us safe. But what does the U.S. Constitution say? "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Is collection of phone records a “search” or “seizure"? If so, is it “unreasonable”? Does it require a particularized warrant and probable cause? These are among the most consequential—and controversial—constitutional questions of our time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 14, 2014
#94 - Will Flexing America's Muscles In The Middle East Make Things Worse?
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The disintegration of Iraq, Syria’s ongoing civil war, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the promise and peril of the Arab Spring... What role should America play in the Middle East? For some America’s restraint has been a sign of disciplined leadership. But for others, it has been a sign of diminished strength and influence. Are we simply recognizing the limitations of our power, or does this embattled region require a bolder, more muscular, American presence? The debaters are Aaron David Miller, Michael Doran, Bret Stephens, and Paul Pillar. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 07, 2014
#93 - Should We Embrace The Common Core?
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  In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts. Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start? The debaters are Carmel Martin, Carol Burris, Michael Petrill, and Frederick Hess. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 19, 2014
Retrospective On Hamas And Israel
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Rising tensions between Israel and Hamas have come to a head this week with a dramatic eruption of conflict along the Gaza strip, making a debate we held back in 2006, less than a year after Hamas won a majority vote in the Palestinian parliament, all the more relevant today. The motion being debated that night was: Is A Democratically Elected Hamas Still A Terrorist Organization. The debate, held in front of a live audience in New York City, lasted well over an hour. We’ve culled a sample from each teams’ opening statements to give you a sense of their core arguments.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 11, 2014
#92 - Is There A Constitutional Right To Unlimited Spending On Political Speech?
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Is independent political speech the linchpin of our democracy or its Achilles' heel? For democracy to work, some say, citizens (and corporations, and unions, and media outlets, and other voluntary organizations) must be allowed to express their views on the issues, candidates, and elections of the day. This proposition, they say, is exactly why the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech and of the press. On this view, restrictions on independent political speech undermine and subvert our constitutional structure. But others take a different view: If everyone can spend as much money as they like to express their political views, then some voices will be amplified, magnified and enhanced — while others will be all but drowned out. On this view, it is this inequality of influence that subverts our constitutional structure — and restrictions that level the playing field actually enhance rather than abridge the freedom of speech. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 02, 2014
#91 - Is Death Final?
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If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality? The debaters are Dr. Eben Alexander, Sean Carroll, Dr. Raymond Moody, and Dr. Steven Novella. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 14, 2014
#90 - Do Millennials Stand A Chance?
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Millennials—growing up with revolutionary technology and entering adulthood in a time of recession—have recently been much maligned. Are their critics right? Is this generation uniquely coddled, narcissistic, and lazy? Or have we let conventional wisdom blind us to their openness to change and innovation, and optimism in the face of uncertainty, which, in any generation, are qualities to be admired? The debaters are Binta Niambi Brown, David D. Burstein, W. Keith Campbell, and Jessica Grose. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 16, 2014
The Controversy Over Ayaan Hirsi Ali At Brandeis University
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  Women's rights activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, became the center a media firestorm last week, when Brandies University reversed its decision to grant her an honorary degree. While they commend her for being "a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights," many of her past statements against Islam have offended students and faculty at the Massachusetts institution. In this podcast, we hear some of these past statements in the form of an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate from 2010, where she argued against the motion, Islam is a Religion of Peace. http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/573-islam-is-a-religion-of-peace Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 15, 2014
#89 - More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: Is The Lecture Hall Obsolete?
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Is the college of the future online? With the popularity of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the availability of online degree programs at a fraction of their on-campus price, we are experiencing an exciting experiment in higher education. Does the traditional classroom stand a chance? Will online education be the great equalizer, or is a campus-based college experience still necessary? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 10, 2014
Does Affirmative Action On Campus Do More Harm Than Good?
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Affirmative action, when used as a factor in college admissions, is meant to foster diversity and provide equal opportunities in education for underrepresented minorities. But is it achieving its stated goals and helping the population it was created to support? Its critics point to students struggling to keep up in schools mismatched to their abilities and to the fact that the policy can be manipulated to benefit affluent and middle class students who already possess many educational advantages. Is it time to overhaul or abolish affirmative action?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 26, 2014
#88 - Is Russia A Marginal Power?
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Disarming Syria. Asylum for Edward Snowden. Arming Iran. Deploying troops to Crimea. Is Vladimir Putin flexing his muscles, while our own president fades into the background of world politics, or is it all a global game of smoke and mirrors? Russia is one of the world’s largest oil producers and has the power of veto on the U.N. Security Council, but it remains an authoritarian state, rife with corruption and economic struggles. Is our toxic relationship something to worry about, or is Putin’s Russia fading in importance? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 20, 2014
Does The President Have Constitutional Power To Target And Kill U.S. Citizens Abroad?
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With the drone strike on accused terrorist and New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, President Obama has tested the limits of the executive branch’s powers. Does the president have constitutional authority under the due process clause to kill U.S. citizens abroad, or is it a violation of this clause to unilaterally decide to target and kill Americans? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 12, 2014
Was Snowden Justified?
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Has Edward Snowden done the U.S. a great service? There is no doubt that his release of highly classified stolen documents has sparked an important public debate, even forcing what could be a major presidential overhaul of the NSA’s surveillance programs. But have his actions—which include the downloading of an estimated 1.7 million files—tipped off our enemies and endangered national security? Is Snowden a whistleblower, or is he a criminal? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 18, 2014
Is Obamacare Beyond Rescue?
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With the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, critics of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” were given more fuel for the fire. Is this political hot potato's inevitability once again at stake? And is the medical community really on board with the law, or resisting (rewriting?) it from the sidelines? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 22, 2014
Reconsidering The Minimum Wage
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Although widespread retail-worker strikes failed to enact a rise of the federal minimum wage in 2013, on the state level, the tide is turning. Last week 13 states started the New Year by raised their minimum wage, and as many as 11 states, and Washington, D.C., are considering  passing similar legislation in 2014. To shed light on the evolving public debate surrounding wage gaps in the US we are revisiting a debate we staged last Spring “Abolish the Minimum Wage.” That evening James Dorn of the Cato Institute and popular economist Russ Roberts argued for the motion, and faced Jared Bernstein from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Karen Kornbluh, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 08, 2014
Don't Eat Anything With A Face
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According to a 2009 poll, around 1% of American adults reported eating no animal products. In 2011 that number rose to 2.5%--more than double, but still dwarfed by the 48% who reported eating meat, fish or poultry at all of their meals. In this country, most of us are blessed with an abundance of food and food choices. So taking into account our health, the environment and ethical concerns, which diet is best? Are we or aren't we meant to be carnivores? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 11, 2013
Does Spying Keep Us Safe?
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The NSA collects data on billions of phone calls and internet communications per day. Are these surveillance programs legal? Do they keep us safe? If not for the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, most Americans would be unaware of the vast amounts of information their government is secretly collecting, all in the name of national security. But whether you believe leakers are heroes or traitors, an important public conversation has finally begun, and we should ask ourselves: What tradeoffs are we willing to make between security and privacy? As Benjamin Franklin might have asked, "Are we giving up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, and thus deserving of neither?" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 27, 2013
Has The Constitutional Right To Bear Arms Outlived Its Usefulness?
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Recent mass shooting tragedies have renewed the national debate over the 2nd Amendment. Gun ownership and homicide rates are higher in the U.S. than in any other developed nation, but gun violence has decreased over the last two decades even as gun ownership may be increasing. Over 200 years have passed since James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, the country has changed, and so have its guns. Is the right to bear arms now at odds with the common good, or is it as necessary today as it was in 1789? The debaters are Alan Dershowitz, David Kopel, Sanford Levinson, and Eugene Volokh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2013
Let Anyone Take A Job Anywhere
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If we value a free market in goods and free movement of capital, should we embrace the free movement of labor? Reciprocal treaties would allow citizens of the U.S. and other countries to work legally across borders. Would the elimination of barriers in the labor market depress wages and flood the marketplace with workers? Or would the benefits of a flexible labor supply be a boon to our economy, all while raising the standard of living for anyone willing to work? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 06, 2013
For A Better Future, Live In A Red State
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While gridlock and division in Washington make it difficult for either party or ideology to set the policy agenda, single-party government prevails in three-quarters of the states. In 24 states Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the legislature, and in 13 states Democrats enjoy one-party control. Comparing economic growth, education, health care, quality of life and environment, and the strength of civil society, do red or blue states win out? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 31, 2013
Should We Break Up The Big Banks?
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To prevent the collapse of the global financial system in 2008, The Treasury committed 245 billion in taxpayer dollars to stabilize America’s banking institutions. Today, banks that were once “too big to fail” have only grown bigger. Were size and complexity at the root of the financial crisis, or do calls to break up the big banks ignore real benefits that only economies of scale can pass on to customers and investors? The debaters are Richard Fisher, Simon Johnson, Douglas Elliott, and Paul Salzman. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 23, 2013
Is The Two-Party System Making America Ungovernable?
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The government shutdown is a dramatic display of the growing strife not only between the Republican and Democratic parties, but also, among the GOP itself.  For some, the shut down has even called into question the effectiveness of the American political system, which makes a debate we held back in 2011 all the more relevant today. The motion was “The Two-Party System is Making America Ungovernable”. The team arguing for the motion included Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, and NYTimes Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks. The team arguing against the motion, and in support of the two-party system, included political satirist PJ O’Rourke and author and columnist Zev Chafets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 13, 2013
Is The Two-Party System Making America Ungovernable?
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The government shutdown is a dramatic display of the growing strife not only between the Republican and Democratic parties, but also, among the GOP itself. For some, the shut down has even called into question the effectiveness of the American political system, which makes a debate we held back in 2011 all the more relevant today. The motion was "The Two-Party System is Making America Ungovernable". The team arguing for the motion included Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, and NYTimes Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks. The team arguing against the motion, and in support of the two-party system, included political satirist PJ O’Rourke and author and columnist Zev Chafets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 13, 2013
Healthcare Retrospective
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Although President Obama signed it into law in March of 2010, the Affordable Care Act remains one of the nation’s most divisive issues. Over the past nearly four years, House Republicans  have voted 40 times to repeal the law in part or in whole. Just this week, Senator Ted Cruz spent hours on the Senate floor speaking against the healthcare law, while President Obama took the stage at the Clinton Global Initiative to explain intricacies of the healthcare overhaul. So, how has it come to this point? Why does healthcare remain such a contested issue nearly 6 years into Barack Obama’s presidency?  To shed light on the evolving public debate surrounding healthcare, Intelligence Squared US is recapping a debate it held in 2011, just 9 months after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The controversial motion up for debate was: "Repeal Obamacare." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 26, 2013
Is The U.S. Drone Program Fatally Flawed?
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Remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, have been the centerpiece of America’s counterterrorism toolkit since the start of the Obama presidency, and the benefits have been clear.  Their use has significantly weakened al Qaeda and the Taliban while keeping American troops out of harm’s way.  But critics of drone strikes argue that the short-term gains do not outweigh the long-term consequences—among them, radicalization of a public outraged over civilian deaths.  Is our drone program hurting, or helping, in the fight against terrorism? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 17, 2013
Does The U.S. Have A Dog In The Fight In Syria?
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Is there a clear course of action the U.S. could take to help the Syrian people that would lead to a better outcome for the country? Or is greater U.S. involvement likely to do little good in the end? The question has taken on a new sense of urgency following a recent attack near the Syrian capital Damascus that left hundreds dead. The Syrian opposition says it was a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, a charge the government denies. The Obama administration is now weighing possible responses. A group of experts took on the Syria question Aug. 9 in an Oxford-style debate for Intelligence Squared U.S., in partnership with the Aspen Strategy Group. They argued two against two on the motion: "The U.S. Has No Dog In The Fight In Syria." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 28, 2013
Is Cutting The Pentagon's Budget A Gift To Our Enemies?
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Political gridlock in Washington triggered across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, in March. As a result, the Pentagon was given six months to eliminate $41 billion from the current year’s budget, and unlike past cuts, this time everything is on the table. In 2011, America spent $711 billion dollars on its defense—more than the next 13 highest spending countries combined. But the burdens it shoulders, both at home and abroad, are unprecedented. Could the sequester be a rare opportunity to overhaul the armed forces, or will its impact damage military readiness and endanger national security? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 24, 2013
The FDA's Caution Is Hazardous To Our Health
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The Food and Drug Administration, the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the U.S. federal government, is charged with protecting the public health.  Under this mandate, it regulates drugs and medical devices for their safety and effectiveness.  But is it a failing mandate?  It’s long been argued that the FDA’s long and costly approval processes stifle innovation and keep life-changing treatments from the market.  But the question remains: when it comes to public health, is it ever okay to sacrifice safety for speed? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 14, 2013
The GOP Must Seize The Center Or Die
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2012 was a disappointing year for Republicans. The failure to win key swing states in the presidential election and surprising losses in the House and Senate have prompted some reflection. Was their embrace of small government, low taxes, and a strong conservative stance on social issues at odds with shifting American demographics? Or did the GOP embrace the right platform, but the wrong candidates? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 23, 2013
Should The U.S. Abolish The Minimum Wage?
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The first attempt at establishing a national minimum wage, a part of 1933’s sweeping National Industrial Recovery Act, was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935. But in 1938, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a minimum hourly wage of 25 cents—$4.07 in today’s dollars. Three-quarters of a century later, we are still debating the merits of this cornerstone of the New Deal. Do we need government to ensure a decent paycheck, or would low-wage workers and the economy be better off without its intervention? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 09, 2013
Does America Need A Strong Dollar Policy?
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It’s often taken for granted that America needs a strong dollar.  When the value of the U.S. dollar is strong relative to other currencies, it becomes attractive to investors and allows Americans to buy foreign goods and services cheaply.  But in times of recession, are we better off with a weak dollar that stimulates U.S. manufacturing by making our goods cheaper and more competitive?  Or will the loss of purchasing power and currency manipulation abroad, offset the potential gains? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 22, 2013
Should We Prohibit Genetically Enginereed Babies?
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Imagine a world free of genetic diseases, where parents control their offspring’s height, eye color and intelligence.  The science may be closer than you think.  Genes interact in ways that we don’t fully understand and there could be unintended consequences, new diseases that result from our tinkering.  But even if the science could be perfected, is it morally wrong?  Would it lead to eugenics and a stratified society where only the rich enjoy the benefits of genetic enhancement?  Or would the real injustice be depriving our children of every scientifically possible opportunity? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 22, 2013
Can Israel Live With A Nuclear Iran?
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Over the summer of 2012, despite increased international pressure and economic sanctions, Iran doubled the number of nuclear centrifuges installed in its underground Fordow site, stopping just short of the capacity to produce nuclear fuel.   President Obama has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call to draw a “red line” that would trigger U.S. military action.  But what would the costs and benefits of military action be?  Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran, or could the time be near for a pre-emptive strike? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 22, 2013
Science Refutes God
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On the fundamental question--evolution or creation?--Americans are on the fence. According to one survey, while 61% of Americans believe we have evolved over time, 22% believe this evolution was guided by a higher power, with another 31% on the side of creationism. For some, modern science debunks many of religion's core beliefs, but for others, questions like "Why are we here?" and "How did it all come about?" can only be answered through a belief in the existence of God. Can science and religion co-exist? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 11, 2012
Legalize Drugs
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It was 1971 when President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs." $2.5 trillion dollars later, drug use is half of what it was 30 years ago, and thousands of offenders are successfully diverted to treatment instead of jail. And yet, 22 million Americans-9% of the population-still uses illegal drugs, and with the highest incarceration rate in the world, we continue to fill our prisons with drug offenders. Decimated families and communities are left in the wake. Is it time to legalize drugs or is this a war that we're winning? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 24, 2012
Are The Rich Taxed Enough?
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How do we fix the economy? The U.S. government's budget deficit is nearing a trillion dollars for the fourth straight year and unemployment remains high. With the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2012, what is the best move for continued economic recovery? Are the nation's wealthiest paying their fair share, or should tax cuts be extended to everyone in the name of job creation? Debaters include Romney's economic supervisor, Glenn Hubbard, economist Arthur Laffer, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and economist Mark Zandi.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 29, 2012
Should The Government Ration End Of Life Care?
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Just because we can extend life, should we? Two teams of debaters are arguing for and against this motion. The U.S. is expected to spend $2.8 trillion on health care in 2012. If health care is a scarce resource, limited by its availability and our ability to pay for it, should government step in to ration care? In other words, how much is an extra month of life worth? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 16, 2012
Are Elected Islamists Better Than Dictators?
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The popular uprisings of the Arab Spring have left a leadership void that Islamist parties have been quick to fill. A longtime supporter of former strongmen like Egypt's Mubarak and Tunisia's Ben Ali, the U.S. now faces the uncomfortable result of Arab democracy - the rise of Islamist parties that are less amenable to the West than their autocratic predecessors. Will the Islamists, who once embraced violence, slowly liberalize as they face the difficulties of state leadership? Or will it mean the growth of anti-Americanism and radicalization in the region? Reuel Marc Gerecht, Brian Katulis, Daniel Pipes and Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser debate the motion: "Better elected Islamists than dictators." Debate moderated by author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 09, 2012
Are Super PACs Good For Democracy?
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Money has been flowing through this election season like never before. Some say unfettered political spending is a necessary part of free speech; others argue that approach drowns out many voices. A panel of experts takes on the topic for Intelligence Squared U.S. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 02, 2012
The Natural Gas Boom: Doing More Harm Than Good?
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Some people are embracing the wave of increased natural gas extraction in the United States. Others, concerned about the risks, are saying no fracking way. A panel of experts weighs the pros and cons of a boom sparked by hydraulic fracturing in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 17, 2012
Should College Football Be Banned?
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In recent years, college football programs have been hit by a series of scandals. And observers have long raised questions about the risks of head injuries. A panel of experts looks at the state of college football in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 15, 2012
Is The Internet Closing Our Minds Politically?
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On the Internet, it's easy to find like-minded people and to frequent sites where you agree with the content. And algorithms are serving up more personalized search content. Are we running the risk of getting trapped in information bubbles? A panel of experts debates for Intelligence Squared U.S. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 23, 2012
Does China Do Capitalism Better Than America?
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As China experiments with its own form of state-run capitalism, the country has managed to maintain a strong economy while many Western countries are faltering. A team of experts faces off in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the motion, "China Does Capitalism Better Than America." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 20, 2012
Is Obesity The Government's Business?
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In the U.S., more than 78 million adults and 12 million children are obese, prompting some to argue that it's in the government's interest to combat the problem. But others say the government should stay away from people's personal habits. A group of experts takes on the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 13, 2012
Should The U.N. Grant Palestine Full Membership?
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In the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate held Jan. 10, four experts on the Middle East face off on the motion "The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member State." Could this approach help resolve or exacerbate the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 18, 2012
#57 - Would The World Be Better Off Without Religion?
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A rabbi, a descendant of Charles Darwin, a philosopher and a scholar face off over religion in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2011
Should Congress Pass Obama's Jobs Bill In Pieces?
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Supporters say if lawmakers do nothing, the U.S. economy may fall into another recession. But critics say the jobs package just recycles policies that have failed in the past. A group of experts argue the merits of the president's proposals in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2011
Do Too Many Kids Go To College?
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Getting a college degree is often touted as a way to increase your income and your ability to compete in the job market. But are too many unprepared students being pushed into taking on large amounts of debt? A team of experts faces off in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2011
Do Grandma's Benefits Imperil Junior's Future?
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The debate over entitlement programs has a generational component that can't be overlooked: Is helping seniors make ends meet only generating mountains of debt that will hamper future generations? A team of experts chewed over that topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2011
Are Men Finished?
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Last year, women made up the majority of the U.S. workforce for the first time ever. There are more women earning college degrees than men. Are women taking over the position of power in society, or are things just balancing out after years of male domination? A panel of experts debates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 26, 2011
Is It Time To End The War On Terror?
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Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks and months after the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, is it time to move on? Or is it important to maintain the open-ended conflict? Experts take on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 14, 2011
Does Freedom Of The Press Extend To State Secrets?
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Does the public's right to know interfere with the government's ability to protect citizens? Four experts go head to head on the issue in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 16, 2011
Should We Stop Taking The World's Huddled Masses?
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The U.S. is often referred to as a nation built by immigrants. But in recent years, the debate over the country's immigration laws has reached a boiling point. Do immigrants help the economy? Or do they take jobs away from Americans? Four experts recently went head to head on the issue in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 09, 2011
Is It Time To Clip America's Global Wings?
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As the United States grapples with a struggling economy and continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some argue that it's time to scale back its role in the world. A team of experts discusses the pros and cons of this proposition in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 13, 2011
Can Clean Energy Drive The Economic Recovery?
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President Obama and other leaders have called for investment in cleaner energy sources as a way to create jobs and spur U.S. economic recovery. But can it really work? A team of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 14, 2011
Is The Two-Party System Making The U.S. Ungovernable?
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Some argue that Americans have been locked into evaluating every issue through a prism of left and right. A team of experts tackles the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 23, 2011
Should The Obama Health Care Law Be Repealed?
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As Republicans now in control of the House move to repeal the new health care law, a team of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 19, 2011
Should Airports Use Racial And Religious Profiling?
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The recent furor over screenings and pat-downs has catapulted airport security back into the spotlight. Should airports be targeting their limited resources differently? A team of experts examines the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2010
Is Afghanistan A Lost Cause?
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After nearly a decade of fighting, Americans are still debating the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, its toll on the military and its financial cost. A team of experts goes head-to-head on the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 18, 2010
Is Big Government Stifling The American Spirit?
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On Oct. 26, a team of experts argued the issue "Big Government is Stifling the American Spirit" during the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2010
Is Islam A Religion Of Peace?
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That's how former President George W. Bush characterized it, but some take a different view. A panel of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 14, 2010
Are Terrorists Criminals Or Enemy Combatants?
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Some view a law enforcement approach to terrorism as dangerous, while others argue that denying suspects the ability to defend themselves in court runs counter to American values. Four experts recently went head to head on the issue in the latest debate in the Intelligence Squared U.S. series. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 22, 2010
Has The Cyberwar Threat Been Exaggerated?
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As succeeding presidential administrations and leaders in the Pentagon devote increasing resources to cybersecurity, some observers are questioning whether the threat of cyberwar has been overstated. A panel of experts debates the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. topic. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 18, 2010
Does Obama's Foreign Policy Spell America's Decline?
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When it comes to foreign policy, some argue that President Obama is alienating the United States' allies as he seeks to make accommodations for nations with whom America has more uncertain relationships, such as China and Russia. And, they say, the administration has been too weak in its policy toward Iran.  A group of experts takes on that question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 18, 2010
Is Organic Food Stuffed Full Of Marketing Hype?
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Is paying extra money for organic food worth it? Some argue that the label confers real value, while others claim that organic food has not been proven healthier and that it comes with its own environmental trade-offs. A panel of experts faces off on the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 10, 2010
Are Teachers Unions To Blame For Failing Schools?
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In the quest to remake America's public schools, teachers unions have frequently been blasted as an obstacle to improvement. But do unions really deserve more of the blame than shrinking budgets and other problems? A group of experts takes on that question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 23, 2010
Should The U.S. Scale Back Relations With Israel?
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Does the United States' special relationship with Israel come at too high a cost in the Middle East? A panel of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 18, 2010
Is California The First Failed State?
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California is in the midst of a budget nightmare. Will the Golden State find a bailout, or has it become the first failed state of the union? A group of experts takes on the topic in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 28, 2010
Is America To Blame For Mexico's Drug War?
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In Mexico, thousands of people have died in drug-related violence in the past three years as the government has ramped up its war on drug cartels. But is the United States — with its market for illegal drugs and flow of guns south of the border — to blame? A panel of experts face off on the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 09, 2009
Are Obama's Economic Policies Working Effectively?
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As the economy slowly begins to recover from the financial meltdown, should the Obama administration get credit for turning things around? Or has the administration failed to do what it takes to really help the economy? A panel of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 24, 2009
Good Riddance To Mainstream Media?
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As newspapers go under, the network newscasts lose viewers and the mainstream media in general see more and more of their audience shift online, are we as a society better or worse off? A panel of experts debates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 04, 2009
Will 'Buy American' Policies Backfire?
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"Buy American" provisions included in legislation such as President Obama's stimulus package have touched off a heated debate. A panel of experts argues whether they help or hurt the United States in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 30, 2009