COMING DEBATES AT THE SOHO FORUM


Monday,
June 17,
2019

Resolution

Given Social Security's nearly $3 trillion trust fund, the system cannot 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.


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Also Forthcoming


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.


Tuesday,
September 10,
2019

Resolution

The Libertarian Party should never again put up national candidates whose views are similar to those of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

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:

Dave Smith is a stand up comedian, radio personality, and political commentator. Dave’s outlet for his social commentary is his podcast, “Part of the Problem,” which is released bi-weekly and available on iTunes. He is also co-host of “The Legion of Skanks” podcast, available on anthonycumia.com. He has also been a regular commentator on CNN and Fox News. His full-length comedy special, Libertas, is available on iTunes and Amazon Prime. He is also the regular opening act at the Soho Forum.

For the negative:

Nicholas Sarwark has been Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee since 2014, and after re-election in 2018, is the first person to be elected to three consecutive terms in party history. As a deputy public defender in Colorado, he tried more than 30 cases before a jury and argued in front of the Colorado Supreme Court. His media appearances include Reason magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Slate, Salon, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on “Kennedy” and “Stossel” on Fox Business, “Stossel on Reason,” the “Glenn Beck Program,” MSNBC, NPR, and many more.


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.*

Meeting convenes: 6:30pm
NYU Eisner & Lubin Auditorium
Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square S
New York, NY 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

*Guest Moderator TBA

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.


Sunday,
December 8,
2019

Resolution

While a pregnant woman should be legally required to help the fetus survive outside her body whenever that is possible, she retains the legal right to evict the fetus at any time during her pregnancy.

Cash bar opens at 2:30pm
Event starts at 3:00pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

Moderated by Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein.

For the affirmative:

Walter E. Block is the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans. His Ph.D. was from Columbia University. His interests include Austrian economics and libertarian theory. He has published almost 600 articles in refereed journals, 27 books, and thousands of op eds.He lectures globally at university campuses, business and civic groups. He has a series on privatization (roads, oceans and space); his most popular books are Defending the Undefendable I and II; he is now working on volume III in this series plus a libertarian analysis of abortion. His main claim to fame is that he once shook the hand of Ludwig von Mises, and never washed his hand afterward. It is now pretty dirty, but if you shake his hand, you channel this hero of his.

For the negative:

Kerry Baldwin is an independent researcher and writer with a B.A. in Philosophy from Arizona State University. Her work can be found at MereLiberty.com, and also at the Libertarian Christian Institute. Her writing focuses on libertarian philosophy and reformed theology and is aimed at the educated layperson--challenging readers to rethink prevailing paradigms in politics, theology, and culture. She became a libertarian through exposure to the ideas of Ron Paul and a re-acquaintance with the US Constitution. In late 2016, she was introduced to the works of Roderick T. Long, Gary Chartier, and Gerard Casey (among others), and became convinced of anarchism. Her current writings on abortion are geared towards resolving the legal question through a proper application of Rothbardian property rights, and resolving the socio-economic question through the free market.


Monday,
January 6,
2020

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 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.