COMING DEBATES AT THE SOHO FORUM


Monday,
December 11,
2017

Resolution

“Fifteen million able-bodied adults on government welfare would have a better chance at economic betterment if they were taken off welfare."

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 Gene Epstein,
the economics editor of Barron's.

For the affirmative:

Tarren Bragdon is president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for Government Accountability, which he founded in 2011. FGA focuses on state and federal policy reforms that 1) free people from dependency and poverty by promoting work, and 2) build a free market within health care to lower costs and improve quality.

Bragdon is a nationally recognized expert on health and welfare reform issues. He has testified before committees of the U.S. Senate and House, as well as money state legislative committees, and regularly speaks at public policy conferences.

His work has been featured on Fox News' Sean Hannity show, National Public Television's NOW, in Wall Street Journal editorials and op-eds, and in the New York Post, Boston Globe, New York Times, and on National Public Radio. His research has been published with The Heritage Foundation and The Manhattan Institute.

Bragdon was previously CEO of The Maine Heritage Policy Center. In September 2010, he received the Thomas Roe Award, given annually by the State Policy Network to the individual with the greatest impact on the nation's free market movement.

From 1996 through 2000, he served in the Maine House of Representatives, the youngest person ever to do so.

Bragdon received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Maine and his Masters of Science of Business degree from Husson University.

 

For the negative:

Neera Tanden is President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, where she focuses on how to expand opportunity for all Americans.

Tanden previously served as senior adviser for health reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.m and worked with Congress and stakeholders on particular provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Tanden was the director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign, as policy director for Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign, as legislative director in Sen. Clinton’s office and deputy campaign manager and issues director for Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign.

She began her career as an associate director for domestic policy in President Bill Clinton’s White House and senior policy adviser to the first lady.

Tanden has appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’ “Face the Nation,” PBS’ “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” MSNBC, CNN, and Fox. Most recently, she was named to Elle’s “Women in Washington Power List” and Politico’s “Politico 50”.   She has also been included in National Journal’s “Washington’s Most Influential Women,” Washingtonian’s “Most Powerful Women in Washington,” and Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Politics”.

Tanden received her bachelor of science from UCLA and her law degree from Yale Law School.

 


Also Forthcoming


Tuesday,
January 16,
2018

Resolution

Selfishness is a Virtue."

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

Seating must be reserved in advance.

For the affirmative:

Yaron Brook is the executive chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute and can be heard weekly on The Yaron Brook Show, which airs live on the BlogTalkRadio podcast and on TheBlaze Radio. He is a frequent guest on national radio and television programs and is an internationally sought-after speaker and debater.

In the national best-seller Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government, Brook and his co-author Don Watkins argued that the answer to our current economic woes lies not in "trickle-down government" but in Rand's inspiring philosophy of capitalism and self-interest.

Last year, Brook and Watkins released, Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality, that shows the real key to making America a freer, fairer, more prosperous nation is to protect and celebrate the pursuit of success―not pull down the high fliers in the name of equality.

Brook was a columnist at Forbes.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily and many other publications.

Brook was born and raised in Israel. He served as a first sergeant in Israeli military intelligence and became an American citizen in 2003. He earned a BSc in civil engineering from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel and received his MBA and PhD in finance from the University of Texas at Austin. For seven years he was an award-winning finance professor at Santa Clara University, and in 1998 he cofounded BH Equity Research, a private equity and hedge fund manager, of which he is managing founder and director.

Brook serves on the boards of the Ayn Rand Institute, the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism and CEHE (Center for Excellence in Higher Education), and he is a member of the Association of Private Enterprise Private Enterprise Education and the Mont Pelerin Society.

 

For the negative:

Gene Epstein is a nationally known economist, and the economics editor of Barron's, America's premier financial magazine. He is also the books editor at Barron’s, and writes a weekly column called “Economic Beat.”

Epstein is the author of Econospinning: How to Read between the Lines when the Media Manipulate the Numbers; and Making Money in Commodities. 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.

Gene has appeared on Fox, CNBC, and BBC TV, and on podcasts that include Russ Roberts’ “EconTalk,” Dave Smith’s “Part of the Problem,” and “The Tom Woods Show”.

He has delivered lectures in venues that include Columbia University, hosted by Students for Liberty; the International House in Tokyo; Loyola University in Baltimore; Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City; the Romanian-American University in Bucharest; the American Center in Moscow; the International Banking Institute in St. Petersburg; and FreedomFest in Las Vegas.

Gene Epstein created the Soho Forum, Libertarian Debate Series, and currently acts as the moderator of the series.


Monday,
February 12,
2018

Resolution

“All the laws requiring those convicted of sex offenses to put their names in a registry should be abolished."

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 Gene Epstein,
the economics editor of Barron's.

For the affirmative:

Emily Horowitz is professor and chair of the sociology and criminal justice department at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, where she founded a program that helps the formerly incarcerated complete college.

She researches the causes and consequences of fears and hysteria surrounding child protection, and frequently writes about inflammatory media coverage of sex offenders and child abusers, as well as miscarriages of justice related to irrationality about child safety. She serves as a board member for the National Center for Reason and Justice, a national organization that advocates in criminal cases involving those falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of crimes against children, and the Alliance for the Constitutional Reform of Sex Offense Laws, an organization that educates and litigates laws that undermine the civil rights of those convicted of sex offenses and their families.

Horowitz is the author of Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us (2015) and co-editor of Caught in the Web of the Criminal Justice System: Autism, Developmental Disabilities, and Sex Offenses (2017). Horowitz has a PhD in sociology from Yale University and an AB in History from Bard College.

 

For the negative:

Marci A. Hamilton is Fox Professor of Practice and Fox Family Pavilion Resident Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion in the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder, CEO, and Academic Director of CHILD USA, which is dedicated to interdisciplinary, evidence-based research to prevent child abuse and neglect. She previously held the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

Hamilton has been a vocal critic of extreme religious liberty and successfully challenged the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) at the Supreme Court in Boerne v. Flores (1997). She defeated the RFRA claim brought by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee against hundreds of child sex abuse survivors in Committee of Unsecured Creditors v. Listecki (7th Cir. 2015). The author of God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty (Cambridge University Press), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, she is also a columnist for Verdict on Justia.com.

Hamilton is a leading expert on child sex abuse statutes of limitations and has advised legislators in every state where significant reform has occurred. Her book Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press) advocates for the elimination of child sex abuse statutes of limitations. Her textbook, Children and the Law, co-authored with Martin Gardner, will be published Fall 2017 by Carolina Academic Press.

Hamilton has been honored with the 2016 Voice Today, Voice of Gratitude Award; the 2015 Religious Liberty Award, American Humanist Association; and the 2014 Freethought Heroine Award, among others. She is also frequently quoted in the national media on child abuse and related issues.

Hamilton clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Judge Edward R. Becker of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, BA; Pennsylvania State University, MA (English, fiction writing, High Honors), MA (Philosophy); and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, JD, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

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Monday,
March 19,
2018

Resolution

There is a rape culture on college campuses that creates an unsafe environment for female students."

Michael Kimmel vs. Cathy Young


Monday,
April 16,
2018

Resolution

“Fractional reserve banking poses a threat to the stability of market economies."

Robert_Murphy_vs_George_Selgin.jpg

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 Gene Epstein,
the economics editor of Barron's.

For the affirmative:

Mises Institute Senior Fellow Robert Murphy will defend the resolution, “Fractional reserve banking poses a threat to the stability of market economies,” against George Selgin, Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives.

For the negative:

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. His research covers a broad range of topics within the field of monetary economics, including monetary history, macroeconomic theory, and the history of monetary thought. He is the author of The Theory of Free Banking (Rowman & Littlefield, 1988); Bank Deregulation and Monetary Order (Routledge, 1996); Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy (The Institute of Economic Affairs, 1997); and, most recently, Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage (University of Michigan Press, 2008).

Selgin is one of the founders, along with Kevin Dowd and Lawrence H. White, of the Modern Free Banking School, which draws its inspiration from the writings of F. A. Hayek on denationalization of money and choice in currency.

Selgin has taught at the University of Georgia, George Mason University, the University of Hong Kong, and West Virginia University. He holds a BA in economics and zoology from Drew University, and a PhD in economics from New York University.


Monday,
May 14,
2018

Resolution

All government support of higher education should be abolished."

Bryan Caplan vs. Edward Glaeser


Monday,
June 11,
2018

Resolution

The U..S. Constitution should be interpreted and applied according to he original meaning communicated to the public by the words of the text."

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 Gene Epstein,
the economics editor of Barron's.

For the affirmative:

Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center and the director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution.

Barnett's latest book is Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People (2016). In 2008 he was awarded a Fellowship in Constitutional Studies by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Barnett's Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty was published in 2004. His book The Structure of Liberty won the Ralph Gregory Elliot Book Award in 1998.

After attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Barnett worked as a prosecutor in Chicago, Illinois. Barnett's first academic position was at the Chicago-Kent College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He later became the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Law at Boston University, where he served as the faculty adviser for the Federalist Society. Barnett is a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute and the Goldwater Institute. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, and Harvard Law School.

 

For the negative:

Michael C. Dorf is Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School. He has written dozens of scholarly articles on constitutional law, constitutional interpretation, and related subjects. Dorf is the editor, author, or co-author of six books, including On Reading the Constitution (co-author Laurence Tribe, Harvard University Press) and The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Constitutional Law (with Trevor Morrison, Oxford University Press). In addition to his work intended for specialists, he has long sought to explain legal issues to the wider public. Since 2000, Dorf has written a bi-weekly column, currently appearing on Justia’s Verdict. He also posts less formal legal analysis several times per week on his blog, DorfonLaw. Many of his columns and blog posts are republished in Newsweek.

Dorf holds an A.B. in physics from Harvard College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. After law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States. Before joining the Cornell faculty in 2008, Professor Dorf taught at Rutgers for three years and at Columbia for thirteen years.


Monday,
June 11,
2018

Resolution

“Bitcoin, or a similar form of virtual currency, will eventually replace governments' fiat money as the preferred medium of exchange."

Erik Vorhees vs. Peter Schiff