COMING DEBATES AT THE SOHO FORUM


Monday,
July 2,
2018

Resolution

“Bitcoin, or a similar form of cryptocurrency, will eventually replace governments' fiat money as the preferred 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:

Erik Voorhees is co-founder of the bitcoin company Coinapult, worked as Director of Marketing at BitInstant, and was founder and partial owner of the bitcoin gambling website Satoshi Dice, subsequently sold in July 2013 to an undisclosed buyer. He is also the creator and CEO of the instant bitcoin and altcoin exchange, ShapeShift, having founded and operated it under the alias Beorn Gonthier, until revealing his true involvement with the company, as part of a seed funding announcement, in March 2015.

For the negative:

Peter Schiff is the author of six books, including Crash Proof 2.0, which appeared on both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. He's CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc., a broker-dealer based in Dorado, Puerto Rico, which he helped found. Schiff's father, Irwin, was a prominent figure in the US tax protester movement, who died in federal prison in October 2015 while he was serving a sentence of at least 13 years for tax evasion.


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5 Debates, Fall Season, September 2018 - January 2019

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11 Debates, Full Season, September 2018 - July 2019

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6 Debates, Spring Season, February 2019 - July 2019

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Also Forthcoming


Monday,
August 27,
2018

Discussion

“Is the best way to end global poverty free markets or government action?”

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 free market:

William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University and Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, which won the 2009 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge in Development Cooperation Award. He is the author of three books: The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (2014), The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (2006), which won the FA Hayek Award from the Manhattan Institute, and The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (2001). He has published 69 peer-reviewed academic articles, and has written columns and reviews for the New York TimesWall Street JournalFinancial Times, New York Review of Books, and Washington PostForeign Policy Magazinenamed him among the Top 100 Global Public Intellectuals in 2008 and 2009, and Thomson Reuters listed him as one of Highly Cited Researchers of 2014. Wikipedia lists him as the 12th most famous native of Bowling Green, Ohio.

For government action:

Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute.  A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university's highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003. In 2011 Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz's work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His most recent titles are Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, The Euro, Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy and The Great Divide.


Thursday,
September 13,
2018

Resolution

“While laws that prohibit gun ownership would reduce crimes perpetrated by criminals, that benefit would be more than offset by the foregone opportunities for defensive gun use by victims of crime.”

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:

Gary Kleck is the Emeritus David J. Bordua Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University.  His research has focused on the topics of the impact of firearms and gun control on violence, deterrence, and crime control. He is the author of Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, which won the 1993 Michael J. Hindelang Award of the American Society of Criminology.  He also wrote Targeting Guns (1997) and, with Don B. Kates, Jr., The Great American Gun Debate (1997) and Armed (2001), and, with Brion Sever, Punishment and Crime (2017).  His articles have been published in the American Sociological Review, Journal of Criminal Law and CriminologyLaw & Society ReviewJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and many other journals.

For the negative:

Paul Helmke is the former president and CEO of the Brady Center/Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and three-term mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is currently a professor of practice at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the founding director of the Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center in Bloomington, IN. Helmke's professional interests include law and public policy, civic education and participation, mayoral and nonprofit leadership, urban issues, and gun control. His experience on gun control issues lands him frequent mentions and interviews in national news stories and programs. Helmke received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale University and a B.A. with highest distinction from Indiana University.


Monday,
October 15,
2018

Resolution

“Socialism is more effective than capitalism in bringing liberty and prosperity to the masses”

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:

Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin and the editor of several volumes including The ABCs of Socialism (Verso, 2016). He is the author of the forthcoming Socialism In Our Time (Basic Books, 2019).

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 is also the Director of the Soho Forum.


Wednesday,
November 14,
2018

Resolution

“The message of anti-racism has become as harmful a force in American life as racism itself.”

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 McWhorter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, teaching linguistics, Western Civilization and music history (in the Core Curriculum program) and American Studies. He is a regular columnist for Time and CNN, writes for the Wall Street Journal “Taste” page, and writes a regular column on language for the Atlantic. He has also been Contributing Editor for The New Republic, The Root.com and City Journal and a regular columnist at The New York Sun, The New York Daily News and The Daily Beast.

For the negative:

Nikhil Pal Singh is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at New York University, and founding Faculty Director of the NYU Prison Education Program. A historian of the civil rights movement, foreign policy and national security in the 20th-century United States, his most recent book is Race and America’s Long War (University of California Press, 2017). He is also the author of the award-winning, Black Is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2004). Singh’s writing and historian interviews have appeared in a number of popular venues, including New York Magazine, N+1, TIME, The New Republic, The Intercept, Open Source, and Code Switch.


Monday,
December 3,
2018

Resolution

“Governments of the advanced industrial economies should phase out the use of paper money in the form of large-denomination notes and sharply restrict the use of crypto-currencies."

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:

Kenneth Rogoff is Thomas D. Cabot Professor at Harvard University.  From 2001–2003, Rogoff served as Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund.  His widely-cited 2009 book with Carmen Reinhart, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, shows the remarkable quantitative similarities across time and countries in the run-up and the aftermath of severe financial crises. Rogoff is also known for his seminal work on exchange rates and on central bank independence.  Rogoff’s 2016 book The Curse of Cash looks at the past, present and future of currency from standardized coinage to crypto-currencies. His monthly syndicated column on global economic issues is published in over 50 countries.

For the negative:

Lawrence H. White is Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He is a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Mercatus Center. His latest books are The Clash of Economic Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and (as co-editor) Renewing the Search for a Monetary Constitution (Cato Institute, 2015).  Best known for his work on market-based monetary systems, White is also author of Free Banking in Britain (1984; 2nd ed. 1995), Competition and Currency (1989), and The Theory of Monetary Institutions (1999). His research has appeared in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, and other leading economics journals.


Monday,
January 14,
2019

Resolution

“Since the federal government fostered housing segregation in the 20th century, the government should foster housing integration in the 21st."

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:

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a fellow of the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and of the Haas Institute at the University of California (Berkeley). He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, forthcoming in 2017. His other recent work has documented the history of state-sponsored residential segregation, as in his report, The Making of Ferguson. He is the author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008) and Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (2004). Other recent books include The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (co-authored in 2005); and All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different? (co-authored in 2003).

For the negative:

Howard Husock is vice president for research and publications at the Manhattan Institute, where he is also director of the Institute’s social entrepreneurship initiative. City Journal contributing editor, he is the author of Philanthropy Under Fire (2013) and The Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake: The Failure of American Housing Policy (2003). From 1987 through 2006, Husock was director of case studies in public policy and management at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was also a fellow at the Hauser Center on Nonprofit Organizations and an adjunct lecturer in public management.  His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Affairs, New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Society, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Philanthropy, The Wilson Quarterly, and Public Interest. Husock has written widely on U.S. housing policy, including Repairing the Ladder: Toward a New Housing Policy Paradigm (1996).


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.


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.