COMING DEBATES AT THE SOHO FORUM


Wednesday,
February 20,
2019

Resolution

“The financial crisis of 2008 was caused mainly by government-induced distortion of markets rather than caused mainly by intrinsic market failure"

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

John Allison is an Executive in Residence at the Wake Forest School of Business. He is a member of the Cato Institute’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the Executive Advisory Council of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. Allison was president and CEO of the Cato Institute from October 2012 to April 2015. Prior to joining Cato, Allison was chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation, the 10th-largest financial services holding company headquartered in the United States. He was recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of the top 100 most successful CEOs in the world over the last decade. He is also the author of The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy’s Only Hope.

For the negative:

Mark M. Zandi is chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, where he directs economic research. He conducts regular briefings on the economy for corporate boards, trade associations and policymakers at all levels. Dr. Zandi is a cofounder of Economy.com, which Moody’s purchased in 2005. He is also the author of Paying the Price: Ending the Great Recession and Beginning a New American Century, which provides an assessment of the monetary and fiscal policy response to the Great Recession. His other book, Financial Shock: A 360º Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis, is described by the New York Times as the “clearest guide” to the financial crisis.


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Also Forthcoming


Monday,
March 18,
2019

Resolution

“To resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel must first achieve defeat of the Palestinian movement."

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

Elan Journo is a Fellow and Director of Policy Research at the Ayn Rand Institute. His latest book is What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He is co-author of Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism, a contributor to Defending Free Speech, and editor of Winning the Unwinnable War. Follow him on twitter @elanjourno, Facebook: elan.journo and reach out at elanjourno.com.

For the negative:

Major Danny Sjursen is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. He lives with his wife and four sons near Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet.


Monday,
April 15,
2019

Resolution

“There is little or no rigorous evidence that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming and threatening life on the planet."

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

Craig Idso is the founder, former president, and currently chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. The Center was founded in 1998 as a non-profit public charity dedicated to discovering and disseminating scientific information pertaining to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment on climate and the biosphere. Dr. Idso’s research has appeared many times in peer-reviewed journals, and is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2Enrichment (Vales Lake Publishing, LLC, 2011), CO2, Global Warming and Coral Reefs (Vales Lake Publishing, LLC, 2009). Dr. Idso also serves as an adjunct scholar for the Cato Institute and as a policy advisor for the CO2Coalition, the Heartland Institute and the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

For the negative:

Jeffrey Bennett is an astrophysicist and educator. He has focused his career on math and science literacy. He is the lead author of bestselling college textbooks in astronomy, astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics, and of critically acclaimed books for the general public on topics including Einstein’s theory of relativity, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the importance of math to our everyday lives. Other career highlights include serving two years as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters, proposing and helping to develop the Voyage Scale Model Solar System that resides on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and creating the freeTotality app that has helped tens of thousands of people learn how to view a total solar eclipse. His book A Global Warming Primeris posted freely online at www.globalwarmingprimer.com.


Monday,
May 13,
2019

Resolution

“There is little or no rigorous evidence that vegetarian/vegan diets are healthier than diets that include meat, eggs, and dairy."

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

Nina Teicholz is an investigative science journalist and author. Her international bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise has upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat–especially saturated fat–and challenged the very core of our nutrition policy. The Big Fat Surprise was named a 2014 *Best Book* by The Economist, The Wall Street JournalForbesMother Jones, and Library Journal. Teicholz’s writing has also been published in The BMJ, The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticThe IndependentThe New Yorker, and The Los Angeles Times among others. Teicholz is the Executive Director of The Nutrition Coalition, a non-profit group that promotes evidence-based nutrition policy. She has testified before the Canadian Senate and U.S. Department of Agriculture about the need for reform of dietary guidelines.

For the negative:

David L. Katz is the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Immediate Past-President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and Founder/President of the True Health Initiative, a non-profit organization established to promote messages about healthy, sustainable diet and lifestyle in the service of adding years to lives around the globe. Katz directed the development of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index used in the NuVal nutritional guidance system, the world’s most robustly validated nutrient profiling system. He is the Founder and CEO of his own start-up company, developing a disruptively innovative approach to dietary intake assessment, and diet coaching- known as Diet Quality Photo Navigation. He serves as Chief Science Officer for Better Therapeutics, a digital therapeutic platform devoted to the use of diet and lifestyle for the treatment and reversal of chronic disease.


Monday,
June 17,
2019

Resolution

“The Social Security system can’t add to the federal deficit"*

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

*Guest Moderator: Reason Editor-at-Large Nick Gillespie

For the affirmative:

Teresa Ghilarducci holds the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Analysis at the New School in New York. In books published by Princeton University Press, MIT University Press and in a new book by Columbia University Press, co authored with Tony James (Blackstone Group) she has argued the current financialized pension system destabilizes the macro economy and fails to provide equitable, adequate and efficiently delivered retirement income. Her research areas concern automatic stabilizers, financialization, and labor market dynamics. Ghilarducci holds a Ph.D from the University of California Berkeley. And 2007 to 2009, Wurf fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. Ghilarducci has been a court appointed trustee to the UAW Medical Trust Board which manages $60 billion for over 800,000 members since 2009.

For the negative:

Gene Epstein has recently stepped down from a 26-year stint as Economics and Books Editor of Barron's, with plans to write long-form articles and books. His last published book was Econospinning: How to Read between the Lines when the Media Manipulate the Numbers. He has taught economics at the City University of New York and St. John’s University, and worked as a senior economist for the New York Stock Exchange. He's appeared on podcasts that include Russ Roberts’ “EconTalk," "The Tom Woods Show,” and the Reason podcast, and has delivered lectures in venues that include the International House in Tokyo; Loyola University in Baltimore; Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City; the Romanian-American University in Bucharest; and the American Center in Moscow. He is Executive Director and moderator of the Soho Forum, and also an occasional debater.


Monday,
July 15,
2019

Resolution

“Postmodernism is necessary for a politics of individual liberty."

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

Thaddeus Russell heads Renegade University, runs the podcast, "Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell," and is the author of A Renegade History of the United States. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, Russell graduated from Antioch College and received a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The Daily Beast, New York Magazine, Reason, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and Salon, and his scholarly articles have been published in American Quarterly and The Columbia History of Post-World War II America.

For the negative:

Stephen Hicks is Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University, Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, and Senior Scholar at The Atlas Society. He is author of Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004), Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010), The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998), and Entrepreneurial Living (CEEF, 2016). He has published in Business Ethics Quarterly, Review of Metaphysics, and The Wall Street Journal. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Indiana University, Bloomington. In 2010, he won his university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.


Monday,
August 12,
2019

Resolution

“Bitcoin is poorly suited to the purpose of becoming any nation’s main medium of exchange."

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

Dr. George Selgin is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute and Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Georgia. He is the author of The Theory of Free Banking (Rowman & Littlefield, 1988), Bank Deregulation and Monetary Order (Routledge, 1996), Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage (University of Michigan Press, 2008), Money: Free and Unfree (The Cato Institute, 2015), Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy (The Cato Institute, 2018), and Floored! How a Misguided Fed Experiment Deepened and Prolonged the Great Recession (The Cato Institute 2018). Selgin holds a B.A. in economics and zoology from Drew University, and a Ph.D. in economics from New York University.

For the negative:

Dr. Saifedean Ammous is the author of The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking, the first book on the economics of Bitcoin. He is Associate Professor of Economics at the Lebanese American University and member of the Columbia University Center on Capitalism and Society.


Monday,
September 9,
2019

Resolution

“Robotics will soon lead to widespread joblessness and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.”

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and author who is running for President as a Democrat in 2020. He has worked in startups and early-stage growth companies as a founder or executive for almost twenty years. In 2011 he founded Venture for America, a national entrepreneurship fellowship that has helped create almost 3,000 jobs in Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and other cities throughout the country. In his book The War on Normal People, he explains the mounting crisis of the automation of labor and makes the case for the Freedom Dividend, a Universal Basic Income of $1,000 a month for every American as well as other policies to progress to the next stage of capitalism. Andrew was named a Presidential Ambassador of Entrepreneurship by the White House under the Obama administration and a Champion of Change for his work with Venture for America. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

For the negative:

Antony Sammeroff serves as Spokesperson on Economics and Environment for The Scottish Libertarian Party. He authored the book Universal Basic Income – For and Against. He co-hosts the Scottish Liberty Podcast and has interviewed many prominent thinkers including Stefan Molyneux, Norman Finkelstein, Robert P. Murphy and Jeffrey Tucker. He has also been invited to appear as a guest on popular podcasts including The Tom Woods Show, The Innovation Show, School Sucks Podcast and Lions of Liberty. Antony’s other passion is personal development and he has authored two self-help books, Procrastination Annihilation and How to Make Small Talk. He hosts the Be Yourself and Love It! Podcast.


Monday,
October 7,
2019

Resolution

“Except for laws prohibiting the sale of drugs to minors and driving while impaired, all laws that penalize drug production, distribution, possession, and use should be abolished, along with special "sin" taxes on drugs.”

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist. He is the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use (Tarcher/Penguin) and For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (Free Press). His work also has appeared in Cigar Aficionado, Seed, Forbes, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. His awards include the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties and the Drug Policy Alliance’s Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the Field of Journalism. Sullum is a graduate of Cornell University, where he majored in economics and psychology.

For the negative:

Alex Berenson is a former reporter for the New York Times, where he covered everything from the drug industry to Hurricane Katrina; in 2003 and 2004, he served two stints as a correspondent in Iraq, an experience that led him to write The Faithful Spy, his debut novel, which won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel. He has now written eleven John Wells novels and two works of non-fiction. He left the Times in 2010 to devote himself to writing full-time, though he still contributes occasionally to the Times. His most recent book, Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, was published in January 2019. He graduated from Yale University with degrees in history and economics.


Tuesday,
November 5,
2019

Resolution

“Socialism is preferable to capitalism as an economic system that promotes freedom, equality, and prosperity.”

VENUE TBA

*Guest Moderator TBA

Meeting convenes: 6:30pm

Seating must be reserved in advance.

For the affirmative:

Richard Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. Since 2005, Professor Wolff has written many short analytical pieces focused chiefly although not only on the emerging and then exploding global capitalist crisis. He regularly published such shorter analytical pieces on the website of the Monthly Review magazine and occasionally in many other publications, both print and electronic. Especially since 2008, Professor Wolff has given many public lectures at colleges and universities (Notre Dame, University of Missouri, Washington College, Franklin and Marshall College, New York University, etc.) to community and trade union meetings, in high schools, etc. Professor Wolff's weekly show, Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff, is syndicated on over 70 radio stations nationwide and available for broadcast on Free Speech TV. Wolff holds a PhD in economics from Yale University.

For the negative:

Gene Epstein has recently stepped down from a 26-year stint as Economics and Books Editor of Barron's, with plans to write long-form articles and books. His last published book was Econospinning: How to Read between the Lines when the Media Manipulate the Numbers. He has taught economics at the City University of New York and St. John’s University, and worked as a senior economist for the New York Stock Exchange. He's appeared on podcasts that include Russ Roberts’ “EconTalk," "The Tom Woods Show,” and the Reason podcast, and has delivered lectures in venues that include the International House in Tokyo; Loyola University in Baltimore; Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City; the Romanian-American University in Bucharest; and the American Center in Moscow. He is Executive Director and moderator of the Soho Forum, and also an occasional debater.