COMING DEBATES AT THE SOHO FORUM


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 tri weekly and available on gasdigitalnetwork.com, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube. He is also co-host of “The Legion of Skanks” weekly comedy podcast, also available on gasdigitalnetwork.com, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube. Dave has also been a regular commentator on CNN and Fox News. His full-length comedy special, Libertas, is available on Apple iTunes and Amazon Prime. Dave 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.


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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 affirmative:

Martin Ford is a leading expert on the Robot Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, job automation, and the impact of accelerating technology on workplaces, the economy, and society. He is the author of three books: Architects of Intelligence: the Truth about AI from the People Building It (2018), New York Times bestselling Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (winner of the 2015 Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year award), and The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology, and the Economy of the Future. He is a frequent keynote speaker at corporate, academic, and government sponsored events. His TED Talk on the impact of AI and robotics on the economy and society has more than 2 million views.

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,
March 9,
2020

Resolution

Antitrust should take the initiative to control the size of big tech companies.

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:

Tim Wu is a professor at Columbia University law school and contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. He is the author of The Master Switch, The Attention Merchants, and The Curse of Bigness. A veteran of Silicon Valley, he has worked for White House, and also for the New York Attorney General's Office. In 2013 he was named one of America's 100 Most Influential Lawyers, and in 2017 he was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For the negative:

Richard A. Epstein is the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University Law School, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago. The author of many books and articles, Richard researches and writes in a broad range of constitutional, economic, historical, and philosophical subjects. Richard appears on “The Libertarian,” a weekly podcast sponsored by the Hoover Institution that features a conversation with him on issues of the day. This will mark his second appearance as a debater at the Soho Forum.


Monday,
April 6,
2020

Resolution

Government policies imposing cutbacks on prescription painkillers that came into full force around 2010, have been a tragic mistake that should be completely rolled back to the period before the imposed cutbacks.

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:

Jeffrey A. Singer is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He is principal and founder of Valley Surgical Clinics, Ltd., Arizona’s largest and oldest group private surgical practice. He was a regular contributor to Arizona Medicine, the journal of the Arizona Medical Association from 1994-2016. He served on the Advisory Board Council of the Center for Political Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University (2014-2018) and is an adjunct instructor in the Program on Political History and Leadership at ASU. He writes and speaks extensively on regional and national public policy, with a focus on health care policy and the harmful effects of drug prohibition. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals as well as major national and regional journals and periodicals. He received a B.A. from Brooklyn College, an M.D. from New York Medical College, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

For the negative:

Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His latest book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury, 2015), for which he traveled across the United States. Dreamland won a National Book Critics Circle award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015. It was also selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by Amazon.com, Slate.com, the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Entertainment Weekly, Audible, and in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business. Quinones is currently working on a follow up to Dreamland. He is formerly a reporter with the L.A. Times, where he worked for 10 years (2004-2014). He is a veteran reporter on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking, and the border.