COMING DEBATES AT THE SOHO FORUM
"Parents should have the choice to opt out of public schools and redirect the taxpayer tuition money for their children to other approved schools or educational options."
Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
45 Bleecker St,
Seating must be reserved in advance.
*Moderated by Gene Epstein,
the economics editor of Barron's.
Featuring Lenore Skenazy, "World's Worst Mom" and author of Free Range Kids, in her world debut as a standup comedian before the debate.
For the affirmative:
Bob Bowdon is the executive director of ChoiceMedia.TV, an investigative video website devoted to education reform. He is a champion of school choice, charter schools, vouchers, merit pay, and other types of education reform.
Bowdon is a longtime broadcast journalist, television producer, reporter and commentator. His varied career has seen him conducting in-depth on-camera interviews, anchoring newscasts and producing nationally-syndicated TV shows. He’s even appeared in satirical news sketches for the Onion News Network.
The Cartel, Bowdon’s award-winning documentary, reveals the nature and extent of corruption in public education. Behind every dropout factory, we discover, lurks a powerful, entrenched and self-serving cartel. And the film puts a human face on those who suffer as a result.
For the negative:
Samuel E. Abrams is Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is the author of Education and the Commercial Mindset, and a chapter on Nordic education in Utbildningsekonomi: Om lärandets värde. In recognition of his promotion of the understanding of Finnish education in the United States, the Finnish government in 2014 made Abrams a Knight, First Class, Order of the Lion of Finland.
“The U.S. government should offer a Medicare-like plan that would be available to all Americans buying health insurance.”
For the affirmative:
Jacob S. Hacker is Stanley Resor Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. A regular media commentator and policy adviser, he is the author or co-author of five books, numerous journal articles, and a wide range of popular writings on American politics and public policy. His most recent book, written with Paul Pierson, is American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper—a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and a best business book of 2016 according to the management magazine Strategy+Business. Previously, the two wrote the New York Times bestseller Winner-Take- All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Professor Hacker is known for his research and writings regarding health policy, especially his development of the so-called public option. He is also a member of the OECD’s High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. He was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
For the negative:
David Goldhill is president and CEO of GSN, which operates a US cable television network seen in 80 million homes and one of the world’s largest digital games companies. GSN is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and AT&T.
Prior to joining GSN, Goldhill was chairman and CEO of Independent Network Holdings, Ltd. (INTH), which founded and operated the TV3 television network in Russia through its sale to the Interros Group in December of 2006. He also served as president and COO of Universal Television Group, a division of Universal Studios. In this capacity, he oversaw all operations at the company’s domestic and international cable television networks (including USA and SciFi), cable and network television studios, first-run syndication business and worldwide television distribution.
Goldhill was also the CFO of Act III Communications, a privately-owned holding company with interests in television stations, movie theaters, magazines, and film/television production. He began his career as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers.
In 2009, Goldhill published a widely-acclaimed cover story in The Atlantic magazine entitled “How American Health Care Killed My Father.” In addition to numerous op-eds, he is the author of “Catastrophic Care: Why Everything We Think We Know about Health Care is Wrong” (Knopf, 2013) and “The Real Costs of American Health Care” (Vintage, 2016) and was co-editor of “New York’s Next Health Care Revolution” (Manhattan Institute, 2015). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Leapfrog Group, an employer-sponsored organization dedicated to hospital safety and transparency.
Goldhill graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. degree in history and holds a M.A. degree in history from New York University.
“All Affirmative Action programs in public colleges and universities that are based on ethnic-racial composition should be abolished.”
For the affirmative:
Peter H. Schuck is the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale University, where he served briefly as Deputy Dean. Before joining the Yale faculty in 1979, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1977-79), Director of the Washington Office of Consumers Union (1972-77), and consultant to the Center for Study of Responsive Law (1971-72). He also practiced law in New York City (1965-68) and holds degrees from Cornell (B.A. 1962), Harvard Law School (J.D. 1965), N.Y.U. Law School (Ll.M. in International Law 1966), and Harvard University (M.A. in Government 1969). In spring 2017, he is a visiting professor at Berkeley in the law and public policy schools, as he was in the previous three springs.
His major fields of teaching and research have been tort law; public policy; immigration, citizenship, and refugee law; groups, diversity, and law; and administrative law. He has published hundreds of articles on these and a broad range of other public policy topics in a wide variety of scholarly and popular journals. His newest book, A Nation Undecided: Clear Thinking about Five Hard Issues That Divide Us, has just been published by Princeton University Press. It focuses on poverty, immigration, affirmative action, campaign finance, and accommodating religious exemptions from secular social policies.
Earlier books include Why Government Fails So Often, and How It Can Do Better (2014); Understanding America: The Anatomy of An Exceptional Nation (2008) (co-editor with James Q. Wilson); Targeting in Social Programs: Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples (2006)(with Richard J. Zeckhauser); Meditations of a Militant Moderate: Cool Views on Hot Topics (2006); Foundations of Administrative Law (editor, 2d ed., 2004) Diversity in America: Keeping Government at a Safe Distance (Harvard/Belknap, 2003); The Limits of Law: Essays on Democratic Governance (2000); and many others. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
For the negative:
Michael Meyers, BA, JD, is president and executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition. A Rutgers-trained lawyer, Meyers is the protégé of civil rights icon Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, the psychologist whose studies the United States Supreme Court cited as the basis for its unanimous 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling that overruled the odious doctrine of “separate but equal”; the High Court decision declared “separate is inherently unequal” and unconstitutional whenever government requires separate facilities and treatment of students in the field of education on the sole basis of the child’s/student’s race (skin color). Meyers assumed his post at the helm of the New York Civil Rights Coalition in 1991 following his nine years on the national staff of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)—as the NAACP’s youngest ever Assistant National Director—and immediately after serving as Special Assistant to the Chancellor of Higher Education, with the New Jersey Department of Higher Education. Meyers is a former vice president and long time member of the executive committee and national board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on which he served for nearly 25 years. Meyers also served for years as the ACLU’s national Affirmative Action Officer, resigning after the ACLU achieved its affirmative action goals in staff hiring and board diversity. He served even longer on the board of directors of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Nat Hentoff, the famed author, journalist and civil libertarian, has described Michael Meyers as “Long a civil rights and civil liberties lion.”
“The U.S. government should unilaterally abolish all tariffs and duties on imports and all subsidies to exports, thereby making all reciprocal trade agreements with other countries unnecessary."
For the affirmative:
Donald J. Boudreaux is a Senior Fellow with the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University. He holds the Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center. He specializes in globalization and trade, law and economics, and antitrust economics.
Boudreaux is committed to making economics more accessible to a wider audience, and he has lectured across the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe on a wide variety of topics, including antitrust law and international trade. He is the author of The Essential Hayek, as well as, Hypocrites and Half-Wits, and Globalization. His articles appear in such publications as the Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report as well as numerous scholarly journals. He writes a blog (with Russell Roberts) called Cafe Hayek and a regular column on economics for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has appeared numerous times on John Stossel’s Fox show to discuss a range of economic issues.
Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an associate professor of legal studies and economics at Clemson University. He also serves as an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.
Boudreaux earned a PhD in economics from Auburn University and a law degree from the University of Virginia.
For the negative:
Rick Manning is the President Americans for Limited Government. A long time public affairs professional, Rick served as the Public Affairs Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Labor during the George W. Bush Administration, where he was twice recognized by the Secretary for Exceptional Achievement.
Born and raised in southern California, Rick graduated from the University of Southern California working his way through school running political campaigns. Shortly thereafter, he became a state lobbyist for the National Rifle Association for nine years responsible for the southeastern United States, Maryland and New Jersey. At NRA, Rick worked closely with local groups to pass the groundbreaking concealed carry law in Florida which has subsequently served as a national model.
A veteran of dozens of corporate communications and grassroots campaigns, Manning has emerged as a leading voice in the conservative community with columns appearing in The Hill, Investor’s Business Daily, FoxNews.com and other major publications across the nation.
A resident of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland where he is a former town council member, Rick is active in his local church and is married to his college sweetheart.