America feels divided. From the most salient questions about our national identity and place in the world, to fundamental concerns about technology, religion, the economy, and public policy, Intelligence Squared U.S. is here to help. A respite from polarized discussions, we bring together the smartest minds to debate and dissect issues in depth, restoring civility and bringing intelligence to the public square in the process.
#168 - Has the Transatlantic Relationship Been Irreparably Damaged?
Populism is on the rise. Relations between American and European leaders are often tense. Is the transatlantic relationship beyond repair? Four of the brightest foreign policy minds gather in Brussels for this timely and thoughtful debate. This debate is presented in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bonus Episode: How Europe Is Answering to "America First"
Team IQ2US is busy in Brussels, getting ready to bring you our next debate, “The Transatlantic Relationship Has Been Irreparably Damaged.” This one will be presented in partnership with the German Marshall Fund. In this episode, get ready for the debate with a special episode of “Out of Order,” created by our partners. In this podcast, the German Marshall Fund's president Karen Donfried sits down with senior fellow Peter Sparding to discuss the future of the transatlantic relationship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A decade ago, Facebook and Twitter promised a digital revolution that would bolster democratic values and empower users around the world. Did that work out? In this episode, we take a look back at one of our most important debates to date. Join four leading thinkers in tech, policy, and media for spirited and timely debate on the motion, "Social Media Is Good For Democracy."Cast your vote on the motion at iq2us.orgLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#126 - Should the U.S. Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship?
There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States today. In a divided and contentious political climate where immigration is a key issue for voters across the ideological spectrum, what should happen to these individuals? This episode, we take a look back at our debate on the motion, "Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#134 - Is Universal Basic Income the Safety Net of the Future?
Presidential contender Andrew Yang wants to give every American a monthly check from the government, just to cover the basics. And he's not alone. Business leaders, particularly those in Silicon Valley, and some Democratic politicians are warming up to the idea of a universal basic income as a means to offset the impacts of automation in the workforce. In this episode, we take a look back at our debate on the motion, "The Universal Basic Income Is the Safety Net of the Future."Receive your free 7-day trial at blinkist.com/debateLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Right now, climate engineers are working on new technologies that would reflect the sun’s rays away from earth. For some, it’s a bold new plan to combat climate change. For others, it's a dangerous attempt to meddle with Mother Nature. Join four leading climate scientists for a debate on the motion, “Engineering Solar Radiation Is a Crazy Idea.” Learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. and cast your vote to decide the winner at IQ2US.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What if the next car you buy or taxi you hail drives itself? Join four leaders in autonomous vehicles for a timely debate on whether society should embrace driverless cars or approach these new, controversial vehicles with caution. Learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. and cast your vote to decide the winner at IQ2US.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#165 - Should the Republican Party Re-Nominate Trump?
Former Senator Jeff Flake and the New York Times’ Bret Stephens team up to argue the motion, “The Republican Party Should Not Re-Nominate Trump.” They face Kris Kobach, a former Trump advisor and former Kansas Secretary of State, and Fox New’s Liz Peek, who are rooting for Trump 2020. Learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. and cast your vote to decide the winner at IQ2US.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this special episode of Intelligence Squared U.S., John Donvan sits down with one of America's leading political thinkers to discuss a bold premise: loving your enemies. Arthur Brooks is a best-selling author and the outgoing president of the American Enterprise Institute. His new book, "Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt", builds on his decades in politics and challenges Americans to love each other despite partisan differences. Learn more about membership and our upcoming debates at iq2us.org.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#164 - Can Constitutional Free Speech Principles Save Social Media Companies From Themselves?
With David French, Corynne McSherry, Nathaniel Persily, and Marietje SchaakeHow should the world's largest social media companies respond to a pernicious online climate, including hate speech and false content posted by users? For some, the answer is clear: Take the fake and offensive content down. But for others, censorship - even by a private company - is dangerous in a time when digital platforms have become the new public square and many Americans cite Facebook and Twitter as their primary news sources. Rather than embracing European hate speech laws or developing platform-specific community standards that are sometimes seen as partisan, they argue, social media companies should voluntarily adopt the First Amendment and block content only if it violates American law. Should First Amendment doctrine govern free speech online? Or are new, more internationally focused speech policies better equipped to handle the modern challenges of regulating content and speech in the digital era? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#163 - Unresolved: The Techonomic Cold War With China
With Ian Bremmer, Michèle Flournoy, Yasheng Huang, Parag Khanna, and Susan ThorntonPresident Xi Jinping has made it clear: When it comes to big data, advanced weaponry, and other innovations in tech and AI, China has plans to surpass the United States as the world’s next techonomic superpower. But between the trade war with the U.S., the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, and an array of domestic challenges, are China’s goals outpacing its capacity? Or is China building and investing in strategic partnerships that will push the country toward global dominance?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this special episode of Intelligence Squared U.S., we partner with IBM for a historic debate that brings AI to the stage. IBM Project Debater is the first AI system designed to debate humans on complex topics using a combination of pioneering research developed by IBM researchers. In this debate, Project Debater faces world-class debater Harish Natarajan on the motion, "We Should Subsidize Preschool". Still curious about AI? Dive into more debates: Past Debate - Don’t Trust the Promise of AI: http://smarturl.it/ArtificialIntellMainUpcoming Debate - All Hail Driverless Cars: http://smarturl.it/DriverlessCarLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#161 - Should We Bring Extinct Creatures Back To Life?
Motion: Don't Bring Extinct Creatures back to LifeOnce a sci-fi fantasy explored in films like “Jurassic Park,” recent biological and technological breakthroughs indicate that reviving extinct creatures could become a reality. Proponents argue that the benefits include correcting mistakes of the past by bringing back extinct ecosystems and organisms. Others argue it's not ethical, or even feasible. Should humans bring extinct creatures back to life? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#160 - Ten Years After the Global Financial Crisis, Is the System Safer?
Motion: Ten Years After the Global Financial Crisis, the System Is Safer More than 10 years ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the world witnessed one of the worst financial crises in global history. Has the world learned its lesson and created a more resilient global financial system? Or are we ill-prepared for next time? Join Us Live In New York on January 31st for "Don't Bring Extinct Creatures Back to Life" - http://smarturl.it/De-ExtinctionTixForeign Affairs Exclusive Discount - www.ForeignAffairs.com/faiq2 Enter the promo code faiq2 at checkoutLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Announcing our new season! This winter, we’re taking on new issues, including the state of the global financial system, whether we should try to bring extinct creatures back to life, and whether we’re in a techonomic cold war with China. Our debates will feature leading thinkers like Michele Flournoy, Neel Kashkari, Parag Khanna, Stewart Brand, George Church, Jason Furman, Gillian Tett, Ian Bremmer, and more. To get your tickets, visit IQ2US.org/buy-tickets or text “IQ2” to 79-79-79. To join our Friends Program, visit IQ2US.org/support-us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#83 - Should We Avoid Eating Anything With A Face?
MOTION: Don't Eat Anything with a FaceFrom the Archive: Are humans meant to be carnivores? Revisit our debate featuring “21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart” author Neal Barnard, Farm Sanctuary co-founder Gene Baur, nutritional scientist Chris Masterjohn, and farmer and author Joel Salatin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
MOTION: Smart Technology is Making us Dumb.Smart technology grants us unprecedented, immediate access to knowledge and to each other -- a ubiquitous and seamless presence in everyday life. But is there a downside to all of this connectivity? It’s been said that smart technology creates dependency on devices, narrows our world to echo chambers, and impairs cognitive skills through shortcuts and distraction. Are these concerns an overstatement of the negative effects of high-tech consumption?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul.Silicon Valley once promised to solve many of the world's problems with a technological revolution. But now, the tech hub is the center of much scrutiny, and for many, that scrutiny is warranted. From privacy violations to flawed business models to a lack of diversity and representation, Silicon Valley has seemingly betrayed its idealism. And though technological progress has notably enriched a few, Silicon Valley has failed to deliver its promise to all. Has the prioritization of profits and conformity of thought corrupted its original "do good" agenda? Proponents argue no: Silicon Valley's critics are simply overreacting. After all, it is still the center of innovation, and the tech giants have revolutionized the way we think, shop, communicate, and experience our lives for the better. Do big tech's detractors simply expect too much from lucrative corporations? Or has Silicon Valley lost its soul?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Last year, our host John Donvan sat down with Ken Stern, the former National Public Radio CEO, to discuss his book "Republican Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right, " which chronicles this lifelong liberal's journey through conservative communities and ideas. Ken sat in on Steve Bannon’s radio show, rallied with the Tea Party, spent Sundays in evangelical churches, and went boar hunting in Texas. The result? A new respect for the conservatives he once demonized and optimism for the state of American partisan politics. Join our host and moderator in revisiting this conversation a year later. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Trump is Bad for ComedyFrom the opening skit on “Saturday Night Live” to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to the pages of The Onion, President Trump has become the face of comedy. Some comedians and writers argue that in the Trump era, satire has become more challenging and jokes have become cheap. Trump, according to his critics, has normalized the absurd and the nature of political satire in a post-truth world. But others disagree; they argue that the president serves up comedy-gold every day, making their jobs – and the laughs they seek to elicit – easier than ever before. And, they argue, comedy is much more “woke” than it used to be, with late-night hosts and comedians playing a pivotal role in the fight for social justice. Is the president killing comedy? Or is he making the funny business ever more relevant?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#157 - Will Progressive Populism Save The Democratic Party?
Motion: Progressive Populism Will Save The Democratic PartyAs Democratic leaders and strategists gear up for the 2018 and 2020 elections, the party stands at a crossroads. For progressive populists, the path forward is clear: Democrats must get back in touch with the party’s working-class roots by championing a specific set of policies, including Medicare for all, free public college tuition, a guaranteed federal jobs program, and housing as a human right. They say this strategy is key to winning back disillusioned working-class voters and to regaining power in Washington and beyond. But others view this as a dangerous path. They argue that a handful of high-profile progressive wins have been overhyped by the media and, rather than make promises that may be impossible to execute in this political climate, Democrats should champion centrist, economically viable policies that will win elections and solidify the base. How can the Democratic Party, out of power and outnumbered in Washington D.C. and state capitals across the nation, bring itself out of the political wilderness?Cast your vote on the motion: http://smarturl.it/DemDebateVoteLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#156 - Will Retail Alliances Fix the U.S. Health Care System?
Motion: Retail Alliances – Not Washington – Will Save the U.S. Health Care SystemLast year, Intelligence Squared U.S. and the Mayo Clinic brought to the stage a bold inquiry about whether health care in the United States is terminally broken. And this year, we’re picking up where that discussion left off, against the backdrop of corporate behemoths announcing mergers that, they say, are sure to shake up health care – from the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase venture, to the CVS-Aetna deal, to the Humana-Walgreens partnership, and more. But while these superpower alliances are making a splash in the headlines, will they actually be able to disrupt, and save, U.S. health care? Proponents argue that the bargaining power and data competencies of these retailers will squeeze middlemen out of an inefficient supply chain and bring more transparency to health care pricing. But others argue that the promise of these novel efforts is overstated or misguided, particularly because U.S. health care is so complex and deeply rooted. Will consumer-focused models and employer-led initiatives lead to better and less expensive outcomes?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Three Motions: Is NATO No Longer Fit for Purpose? Is the Russia Threat Overblown? Is It Time to Take a Hard Line on Iran?For the United States, tensions are rising with both allies and adversaries. Rogue states are racing to master new technologies and create weapons of mass destruction. And faith in international institutions is seemingly deteriorating. What does this all mean for U.S. national security? Staged in our "unresolved" format, five esteemed foreign policy thought leaders will argue for or against a number of motions revolving around some of America’s most pressing national security issues, including: Is NATO no longer fit for purpose? Is the Russia threat overblown? And is it time to take a hard line on Iran?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This Thursday, September 20th, we’re launching our fall series with an evening of debate on the state and future of American national security. Set in our “unresolved” format, five debaters will fly solo on the following resolutions: It’s Time to Take a Hard Line on Iran. NATO Is No Longer Fit for Purpose. The Russia Threat Is Overblown. _____ Tickets available here: http://smarturl.it/NationalSecurityTix Use code FRIENDS30 for 30% offLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#154 - Has Globalization Undermined the American Working Class?
MOTION: Globalization Has Undermined America's Working ClassGlobalization ushered in an era of free trade, fluid borders, and unparalleled corporate profits. For its proponents, the global integration of states and their economies was a political and economic win that created a wealth of opportunities for workers and consumers around the world. But in the United States, jobs are disappearing. From construction zones to clerical offices to coal mines, the American working class is losing ground. Is globalization to blame? Did the push toward global integration leave our most vulnerable populations behind, making them the losers of this grand experiment? Or is globalization being used as a scapegoat for a wider range of failed public policies and unprecedented advances in technology? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
MOTION: Social Media Is Good for DemocracyBy connecting people across the world for free, platforms like Twitter and Facebook set the stage for a promising digital revolution, providing tools that helped foster global friendships, break down long-standing barriers that kept people and ideas from being heard, and served as the ultimate democratizing force for information. Now, lawmakers in the U.S. and beyond are reeling with questions of how to prevent the spread of digital political propaganda and protect citizens' personal privacy online. Critics argue that rather than uniting and informing, social media deepens social and political divisions and erodes trust in the democratic process. Will the power of social media yet be harnessed and used as an unprecedented force for good in the world? Or do systemic platform flaws pose an irreversible threat to the world's democratic institutions? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#152 - Trigger Warning: Are Safe Spaces Dangerous?
Debate: Trigger Warning: Safe Spaces are DangerousLong hailed as bastions of intellectual development and ground zero for the free and spirited exchange of ideas, today's universities have come under attack by those who argue that a new generation of students and administrators are trading in academia's most cherished values for political correctness and inclusion. At the heart of this debate is the question of safe spaces, how we define them, and whether they aid or hinder intellectual inquiry. Deeply rooted in social justice movements of the past, these spaces promise a reprieve from bigotry and oppression by allowing today's students - the most culturally and racially diverse in history - the opportunity to express themselves in an empathetic environment. But to their critics, safe spaces pose a dire threat to free speech and undermine the resilience of a generation. Are safe spaces dangerously coddling young minds? Or are they a legitimate and necessary component of modern education? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
MOTION: Automation Will Crash DemocracyAround the world, technology is disrupting the workforce, with automation poised to displace humans in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and beyond. Will the rise of robots fuel a new wave of “us versus them” populism capable of undermining democracy?For some, the answer is yes. They argue that as people lose jobs to robots, the gap between the rich and poor widens, distrust in government and democratic institutions grows, and populist ideas become more attractive to those who feel left behind. The importance of work trumps the importance of democracy, leaving a clear path for authoritarians to rise under nationalist messages that pit groups of people against one another. But others paint a different picture: They argue that humans have adapted to – and benefited from – new innovations for centuries. From the advent of water and steam power to computers, work has changed, but never disappeared. And as automation drives higher productivity growth, humans can reach their full potential and pursue societal innovation, allowing more citizens to feel fulfilled and strengthening democracy on the whole.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Negotiations Can Denuclearize North KoreaWill all of the recent goodwill gestures between North and South Korea lead to the one thing Washington wants most? Can a deal be struck that denuclearizes North Korea? And what will they want in exchange for giving up that leverage? Presented in partnership with Georgetown University, LIVE at the first Georgetown University Women’s Forum.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Bitcoin is More Than a Bubble and Here to Stay.Is Bitcoin here to stay, or is it a bubble waiting to pop? Less than a decade old, Bitcoin is worth billions. The cryptocurrency promises to revolutionize global finance by placing control of currency in the hands of users, not nations, and make financial exchanges more transparent, efficient, and democratic. And it seems to be taking hold: Earlier this year both the Cboe and CME debuted Bitcoin futures. But is Bitcoin really a safe bet? Proponents say the hype around the cryptocurrency is warranted, and previous critics – including executives at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs – are increasingly jumping on the Bitcoin (block)train. On the other hand, skeptics suggest this highly volatile digital currency offers a platform for illicit activity, including money laundering and trafficking of humans and drugs, free from government oversight and regulation. And, they argue, Bitcoin has no intrinsic value – the price is based on market enthusiasm rather than actual utility. This debate is presented in partnership with the Adam Smith Society. The Adam Smith Society — a project of the Manhattan Institute — is an expansive, chapter-based network of MBA students, professionals, and business leaders who work to foster debate about the moral, social, and economic benefits of capitalism.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Preserve Net Neutrality: All Data is Created Equal.What if a single policy could impact American democracy, culture, and competitiveness? What if that policy might either empower citizens and consumers, or burden them? And what if the decision on that policy sparked a frenzy of legislative proposals, judicial challenges, and citizen outrage, all across the country?The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to end net neutrality regulations has fueled a national debate about the future of the internet. Adopted in 2015, net neutrality promised to preserve the democratic spirit of the web by ensuring that all data would be treated equally, regardless of where it originated. Under these regulations, internet service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, the corporate giants who deliver the internet into our homes, could supply web infrastructure, but could not preference how data passed through it. Denying them that power, supporters argue, remains critical to ensuring that users and content-creators can discover ideas and information without censorship, or charges, from these prospective gatekeepers. After all, no person should have to pay for every video streamed on YouTube; no startup should be hobbled against established companies who buy faster access to consumers; and no minority voice should have its ideas throttled by wealthier interests.On the other hand, net neutrality opponents argue that the genius of the Internet has been its individually driven, organic development, free from the heavy hand of so-called net neutrality. These burdensome regulations constitute dangerous governmental overreach, stifle innovation, and spike costs for both consumers and providers. The result, they maintain, will be a less interesting, less democratic, less innovative web. Moreover, Americans will enjoy uninterrupted access to their favorite sites – without net neutrality – because ISPs make more money from an open, rather than closed, internet. Consequently, the backlash against the FCC’s decision is overblown, and ending net neutrality is the right policy for the future of America’s internet.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: The More We Evolve The Less We Need God.Does God have a place in 21st century human affairs? Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, and cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin team up to argue for the motion, "The More We Evolve, The Less We Need God." On the other side is integrative medicine advocate Dr. Deepak Chopra and ER physician Dr. Anoop Kumar.To buy tickets to our live show in Chicago on April 17th, visit IQ2US.org.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#146 - Does Humanitarian Intervention Do More Harm Than Good?
Motion: Humanitarian Intervention Does More Harm than Good.The international community currently faces a global refugee crisis and mass atrocities in Iraq, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, and beyond. How should the West respond? Proponents of humanitarian intervention – the use of force to halt human rights abuses – argue that the world’s most powerful militaries have a responsibility to protect innocent civilians around the world. Beyond saving lives, they argue, intervention deters would-be abusers and ensures global stability, thereby strengthening the liberal world order. But opponents argue that military intervention is thinly veiled Western imperialism, and subsequently, an assault on state sovereignty. And, it’s ineffective: the West, with its military might, increases the death toll and worsens the conflicts it sets out to solve. Further, given recent waves of populism in the U.S., France, and U.K., they suggest that Western nations should spend their time looking inward rather than policing activity around the world. This debate is presented in partnership with The German Marshall Fund's Brussels Forum, broadcast live from Brussels, Belgium.The More We Evolve, The Less We Need God: http://smarturl.it/ReligionDebateTixLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Swipe Left: Dating Apps Have Killed RomanceEvery day millions of people turn to dating apps to find love. To date, more than 49 million Americans have given digital dating a try and the companies facilitating these matches are raking in billions. But are dating apps really designed to promote long-lasting romance? Apps like Tinder and Bumble make finding a date as easy as swiping right, while digital platforms like Match.com and OkCupid use specialized algorithms to help users find the perfect partner, regardless of age or personal preferences. Further, a range of niche sites connect people with highly specific interests, whether it’s single parenthood, a gluten-free lifestyle, or a devotion to Ayn Rand. But some argue that online dating is rife with sexism, racism, and misogyny, and that dating apps ultimately create a culture that prioritizes sex over committed and lasting love. After all, why settle on one match when there may be someone better just a swipe away? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Three Motions: Is deregulation driving the booming economy? Can the Republican tax bill spur economic growth? And is the stock market too high? By most accounts, the American economy is booming — manufacturing is at a 13-year high, unemployment is at a 16-year low, and both the stock market and consumer confidence are soaring. But just what is driving this upturn? And can Americans trust that current economic conditions will hold up in the months ahead? In our season premiere, five esteemed economic thinkers debate the state of the American economy, from tax cuts to trade policyLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Liberals hold the moral high ground.Do conservative or liberal philosophies lead to more just outcomes? Opposing moral philosophies have long fueled debate about America’s policy goals and national identity. For conservatives, morality is grounded in ideals such as patriotism, including a respect for order and authority; fairness and liberty in the sense that an individual’s actions yield just rewards, or consequences; and reverence for the sanctity of religious and moral tradition. Liberals place moral emphasis on caring: for the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized; on fairness in the sense of redressing both historic wrongs and current inequalities of outcome; and on generosity extending beyond the bounds of nations or cultures. In today’s divisive political arena, which side best embodies the nation’s most cherished virtues? Morally speaking, is the left right?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guns, Bibles, & Breaking Bread: A Thanksgiving Podcast
John Donvan sits down with Ken Stern, the former CEO of NPR, to discuss America's partisan politics and how to talk across the aisle -- and your Thanksgiving table.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Pay College AthletesCollege sports is a big-money business, with football and basketball programs generating millions of dollars in revenue every year. While coaches and athletic directors in Division I programs routinely score seven-figure contracts, student-athletes are currently prohibited from sharing in the profits. Is it time to rewrite the rules in college sports and allow athletes their fair share of the profits? Or would providing monetary incentives -- above and beyond existing scholarships and career supports -- spoil the sport?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Western Democracy is Threatening SuicideDo populist and nationalist uprisings signal Western democracy’s certain decline? Or can recent events be seen as part of a healthy and regenerative antidote to policies that have challenged liberal institutions and marginalized the middle class? Some predict that a resilient liberal world order will rally to triumph over fear, xenophobia and fractured political parties – others say that support for autocratic alternatives is on the rise. Four leading thinkers debate the future of Western democracy.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#140 - Is the U.S. Healthcare System Terminally Broken?
MOTION: The U.S. Healthcare System is Terminally BrokenCriticized by patients, providers, and politicians alike, the United States healthcare system is hardly a crowd-pleaser. Is the most expensive health care system in the world beyond repair? FORDr. Robert Pearl, former CEO of the Permanente Medical GroupShannon Brownless, author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and PoorerAGAINSTDr. Ezekiel Amanuel, a bioethicist and an architect of the Affordable Care ActDr. David T. Feinberg, CEO of Geisinger Health SystemLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#139 - Face-Off with China: Foreign Policy in the Trump Era
Special: "Unresolved" Debate FormatAgainst the backdrop of North Korea's nuclear advances and escalating regional tensions, we ask: How should the U.S. respond to its most urgent national security threats? In a wide-ranging evening of debate, General David Petraeus joins military historian Max Boot for a keynote conversation and broad look into the most pressing global challenges of the Trump era. Then, four of the world's most prominent foreign policy voices zero in on the most important strategic relationship of the twenty-first century: the United States and China. Staged with our new "Unresolved" debate format, these debaters argue for or against a number of motions including: Is Donald Trump making China great again? Is China destined for regional dominance? And can we strike a deal with Beijing to contain North Korea’s nuclear program? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Think about your most strongly held political belief. How did you arrive at your position? What experiences, information, or opinions influenced you? In the final installment of our summer podcast series on the state of political discourse today, we dive into an increasingly important skill: the ability to debate yourself.Our host John Donvan sits down with Yale Law professor Peter Schuck to discuss his new book, One Nation Undecided: Clear Thinking About Five Hard Issues That Divide Us, which takes on five hot-button topics — poverty, immigration, campaign finance, affirmative action, and religion in public life — and shows us why there’s a legitimate case to be made for differing opinions.After all, thinking about hard issues shouldn't be easy.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Here at Intelligence Squared U.S., we love a good argument – almost as much as we love an audience willing to change its mind. So when the New York Times’ David Leonhardt challenged Americans to do just that this summer, we took notice. In an op-ed entitled, “A Summer Project to Nourish Your Political Soul,” David asked readers to, "pick an issue that you find complicated, and grapple with it." But he didn’t stop there: David then advised readers to, “consider changing your mind, at least partially."In this episode, David joins our host John Donvan to discuss the urgency of engaging with people and ideas that challenge closely held orthodoxies. He cites immigration, abortion, and education as examples of contemporary issues that defy easy answers, and says it’s ultimately the right and responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to wrestle with nuances and complexities. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The State of Debate on Capitol Hill: The American Health Care Act
Mickey Edwards, former member of Congress for 16 years, and vice president and program director at the Aspen Institute, recalls a more civil time in American politics, when both Democrats and Republicans were more likely to engage in debate on Capitol Hill. In this episode, he speaks with Intelligence Squared U.S. host John Donvan about the ways in which Congressional deliberation has changed over the past 40 years, and paths to restoring open discourse in Washington.To support the show, visit http://smarturl.it/IQ2Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#138 - Your Private Data: Can Tech Companies Keep it from the Law?
Motion: Tech Companies Should Be Required To Help Law Enforcement Execute Search Warrants To Access Customer DataDo you have a secret that no one else knows? What about Apple, Google, Facebook, Verizon, or Uber? Are you sure they don’t know your secret? Digital data – emails, text messages, phone records, location records, web searches – contain traces of almost every secret. They also contain traces of almost every crime. Tech companies may promise to protect our data from prying eyes. But should that promise yield to law enforcement and national security? To support the show, visit http://smarturl.it/IQ2Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
MOTION: Video Games Will Make Us Smarter.As video games gain prominence, some game creators are turning to global issues, such as poverty alleviation, international diplomacy, and combating climate change, for inspiration. Playing these socially minded games, they argue, allows users to build tangible skills in combating crisis and solving critical problems. But others see the multibillion-dollar gaming industry, dominated by portrayals of crime and war, as a threat that desensitizes its users to violence and encourages anti-social behavior. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The first 100 days of the Trump administration have been filled with a whirlwind of new policies and challenges to Washington orthodoxies, and the country is sharply divided. But if we are open to it, we might find that there are reasonable arguments being made by both sides on many issues. And those conversations can start by considering: President Trump’s “America First” policy, and what it means to different people; the administration’s impact on the health of the stock market and our economy; the team that the president has assembled; and whether it’s the media, or the president, that’s under attack. In one night we embark on a radical departure from our Oxford-style format, asking five debaters, from across the political spectrum, for their views on four key issues under the new Trump presidency.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Walmart has long been a target for critics of corporate expansion, but does the company really deserve the scrutiny? Some say that the big-box retailer devastates small communities by pushing out locally-owned businesses, mistreats its workers through low pay and restrictive work hours, and forces American companies to use cheap foreign labor to produce goods at low cost. Others point to the fact that Walmart provides countless jobs to low-skilled American workers, sells affordable goods, has increasingly become a leader in sustainability, and attracts new consumers and businesses to its neighborhoods. Has Walmart been good for America?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#134 - Is Universal Basic Income the Safety Net of the Future?
Imagine getting a check from the government every month. $600 guaranteed. It's happening in Finland, where a pilot program is being launched to test what's known as a "universal basic income". As technology transforms the workplace, jobs and income will be less reliable. The idea is that a universal basic income could serve as a tool to combat poverty and uncertainly in a changing society, and provide a cushion that empowers workers, giving them latitude to take risks in the job market. But some argue a guaranteed income would take away the incentive to work, waste money on those who don't need it, and come at the expense of effective programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Is the universal income the safety net of the future?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Charter Schools Are OverratedIn the 25 years since Minnesota passed the first charter school law, these publicly funded but privately operated schools have become a highly sought-after alternative to traditional public education, particularly for underserved students in urban areas. Between 2004 and 2014 alone, charter school enrollment increased from less than 1 million to 2.5 million students. Many charter schools boast of high test scores, strict academic expectations, and high graduation rates, and for some, their growth is evidence of their success. But have these schools lived up to their promise? Opponents argue that charters, which are subject to fewer regulations and less oversight, lack accountability, take much-needed resources from public schools, and pick and choose their student body. Are charter schools overrated? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#132 - Has the U.S.-Saudi "Special Relationship" Outlived its Usefulness?
Motion: The Special U.S.-Saudi Relationship Has Outlived Its UsefulnessIn 1945, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia met onboard the USS Quincy. A close relationship between the two countries has been maintained ever since, with oil and military and intelligence cooperation at its foundation. But the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. shale revolution, human rights concerns, and diverging interests in the Middle East, have all put strains on this relationship. Has this special relationship outlived its usefulness, or is it too important to walk away from? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Motion: Give Trump a ChanceDonald Trump assumes office having won the Electoral College, but having lost the popular vote. His opponents argue that he gave voice and legitimacy to extremists, and that his unpredictable, autocratic style is a threat to both democratic ideals at home. But others argue that Trump’s election represents the will of the American people, who--hungry for change--repudiated the status quo. In their view, we must find areas of common ground to work together. Should we give President Trump a chance? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
MOTION: Policing Is Racially BiasedIn 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, set off a wave of protests and sparked a movement targeting racial disparities in criminal justice. Since then, there have been other controversial deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement that have captured the public’s attention, from Tamir Rice, to Philando Castile. But there are some who say that these encounters, many of them recorded, have fed a narrative of biased policing that the data does not back up, vilifying people who are trying to do good in a difficult job that often puts them in harm’s way. What are the statistics, and how should we interpret them? How have recent incidents shaped our view of policing? Does crime drive law enforcement’s use of force, or is there racial bias?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#129 - Should States Call a Convention to Amend the Constitution?
Motion; Call a Convention to Amend the ConstitutionAlmost everyone can think of something they would like to change in the U.S. Constitution. Some would like to update it to fit new technologies and evolving social mores. Others think the Supreme Court has illegitimately “updated” it too much already, and would like to restore its original meaning. Either way, it is always tempting to invoke Article V to amend the Constitution—to “fix" it, or “restore" it, or “improve" it... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
MOTION: Obama's Foreign Policy is a FailureFor many, Obama’s presidency will be defined by its accomplishments. Taking out Osama bin Laden, disengaging from fights in the Middle East that America cannot win, defusing the threat of a nuclear Iran, and refocusing our attention and resources to Asia, where our greatest opportunities and biggest long-term challenges are located. But for others, it has been marked by missteps and retreat—pulling back where action and leadership was needed, and presiding over policies that strengthened our adversaries and disheartened our friends. Has Obama’s foreign policy been a success? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#127 - Has Gerrymandering Destroyed the Political Center?
MOTION: Gerrymandering is destroying the political center. It is alleged that the practice of gerrymandering—dividing election districts into units to favor a particular group—subverts democracy by making congressional districts “safe” for one party or the other. As a result, only those voting in primaries are in effect choosing our representatives. Are primary voters more extreme in their views, and therefore pulling democrats to the left and republicans to the right? Or is the impact of gerrymandering actually overblown, while other more divisive contributing factors like the emergence of ideologically charged TV and radio outlets, the role of the Internet and social network “echo chambers,” and campaign finance practices are in fact the real drivers of increasing partisanship? If gerrymandering is a major problem, is there policy or constitutional principles that might be part of the solution?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#126 - Should We Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship?
Motion: Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to CitizenshipThere are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and the question of what to do with them has sparked years of fierce debate, but no significant action. In 2013, the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” managed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate, only to get it dropped by the House. And in 2016, a deadlocked Supreme Court decision stalled President Obama’s executive actions, DACA and DAPA, which would have saved 5 million from deportation. For voters, on this issue, the choice between presidential candidates could not be clearer. Should we give these immigrants a chance to earn citizenship through a process that would include paying a penalty, passing a security check, and getting in the back of the line? Or are we rewarding them for breaking the rules, and encouraging more of the same? Do they make positive contributions to the economy and complement our workforce, or do they burden taxpayers and create unwanted competition for jobs? Should we give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#125 - Is "Big Pharma" to Blame for Rising Health Care Costs?
Motion: Blame Big Pharma for Out-of-Control Health Care Costs. Health care costs in the U.S. are some 18 percent of GNP, nearly double what other rich countries spend. We read of drug therapies that cost $100,000 a year or more, and of drug price increases that are 6 times the rate of inflation, on average, and often much more when mergers reduce competition in the industry. Is this a major driver of excessive health care costs? Or is it a by-product of the huge costs of getting new drugs approved? Has big pharma delivered drugs that reduce the need for costly surgeries, which extend life and improve its quality? Or do they deserve the blame that has been leveled against them?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#124 - Are the Elites to Blame for the Trump Phenomenon?
Motion: Blame the Elites for the Trump Phenomenon. The elites of both parties have expressed contempt for Donald Trump, and Trump has succeeded in part by channeling his voters’ contempt for the elites. Does support for Trump reflect an uninformed populism and misplaced anger by a large swath of the American electorate? Or have the elites failed to empathize with their struggles, and failed to craft effective policies to help them cope?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#123 - Climate Change: Has the EPA Gone Overboard?
Reducing carbon emissions is clearly good for the environment but often imposes substantial costs. The costs are most obvious when coal companies go bankrupt, but can affect everyone indirectly through higher energy costs, slower economic growth, reduced employment, and lower business profits. Has the Environmental Protection Agency considered the costs and benefits of its regulatory mandates fairly and appropriately? Is its Clean Power Plan a bold initiative to reduce carbon pollution at power plants, or an unconstitutional usurpation of power?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bonus Podcast: The GOP Must Seize The Center Or Die
In April of 2013 we held a debate on the motion: The GOP Must Seize the Center or Die. At the time, the debaters could not have predicted Donald Trump’s candidacy or imagined the force of its impact on the 2016 election cycle. In this special podcast, we listen to excerpts of this 2013 debate and consider how times have changed.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bonus Podcast: The Supreme Court Considers Racial Preferences In State University Admissions
With the Supreme Court ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas being handed down on Thursday, June 23, 2016, We consider both sides of the issue of race-conscious university admissions. We listen back to our debate from December 2015: The Equal Protection Clause Forbids Racial Preferences in State University Admissions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#122 - Has The President Usurped The Constitutional Power Of Congress?
Motion: The president has usurped the constitutional power of congress. The Supreme Court is currently poised to decide whether President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions usurped Congress’s power and flouted his duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” But some argue that the President is not exercising legislative power; he is simply exercising his well-established executive discretion. Has the President usurped Congress’s legislative power?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Do Hunters Conserve Wildlife? In 2014, a permit to hunt a single endangered black rhino was sold for $350,000 as part of a program to support its conservation in Namibia. Counter intuitive? Through funds raised from legal hunting—the purchase of permits in Africa, licenses and taxes here in the U.S.—, hunters contribute significantly to wildlife conservation efforts. Hunting has also become an important tool in the effort to control animal populations, to the benefit of humans and wildlife alike. But are big-game revenues really benefiting conservation and local communities? And is hunting a humane way to maintain equilibrium and habitats, or are there better alternatives? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The auto industry, agriculture, the energy sector. What do they have in common? These industries benefit from government subsidies in the form of loans, tax breaks, regulation, and other preferences. Critics from the left and right say that not only do these subsidies transfer wealth from taxpayers to corporations, they distort the markets and our economy. Proponents say that government has an important role to play in launching innovation via strategic investment, and its support helps American companies thrive. Do we need subsidies, or is this corporate welfare?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#119 - Should We Trust The Promise Of Artificial Intelligence?
As technology rapidly progresses, some proponents of artificial intelligence believe that it will help solve complex social challenges and offer immortality via virtual humans. But AI’s critics say that we should proceed with caution. That its rewards may be overpromised, and that the pursuit of superintelligence and autonomous machines may result in unintended consequences. Is this the stuff of science fiction? Should we fear AI, or will these fears prevent the next technological revolution?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Protests have erupted on university campuses across the country. To many, these students are speaking out against racial injustice that has long been manifested in unwelcoming, sometimes hostile environments. But to critics, their demands have gone too far, creating an atmosphere of intolerance for opposing or unpopular points of view. Are the protesters silencing free speech, or are they just trying to be heard? And are the universities responding by defending free speech, or by suppressing it?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What if we didn’t have to grow old and die? The average American can expect to live for 78.8 years, an improvement over the days before clean water and vaccines, but it's still not long enough for most of us. So researchers around the world have been working on arresting the process of aging through biotechnology. What are the ethical and social consequences of radically increasing lifespans? Should we accept a “natural” end, or should we find a cure to aging?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#116 - Should The U.S. Let In 100,000 Syrian Refugees?
Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, more than 4 million Syrians have fled the country, creating the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. The United States has taken in just over 2,000 Syrian refugees since the war’s start, and the Obama administration has pledged to take another 10,000 in 2016. What are our moral obligations, and what are the cultural, economic, and security issues that must be taken into account? Should the U.S. let in 100,000 Syrian refugees?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#115 - Does The Equal Protection Clause Forbid Racial Preferences In State University Admissions?
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that: "No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Yet many state universities give substantial preferences to certain races in their admissions decisions. In Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), the Supreme Court approved such preferences, but the case was close, and controversial, and the question will be back before the Supreme Court this term. One side may argue that these preferences level the playing field, remedy prior discrimination, and enhance diversity within the classroom, thus redeeming the true promise of equal protection. But the other may say that these preferences – in favor of some races, at the expense of others – are racial discrimination pure and simple, the precise evil that the Equal Protection Clause was intended to forbid.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Central banks all around the world have been printing money. This policy, known as quantitative easing in banker jargon, has driven up the price of stocks and bonds. But will it lead to real and sustainable increases in global growth, or is it sowing the seeds of future inflation?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Autonomy and secrecy, complex criminal code and mandatory minimums -- in combination, these factors have given prosecutors enormous leverage, and the opportunity to wield it relentlessly and selectively. Do prosecutors have too much power? Would changes reducing the leverage of prosecutors in the criminal justice system weaken their critical responsibility to prosecute crimes and secure equal justice for all?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#112 - Should College Students Be Allowed To Take Smart Drugs?
If you could take a pill that would help you study and get better grades, would you? Off-label use of “smart drugs” – pharmaceuticals meant to treat disorders like ADHD, narcolepsy, and Alzheimer’s – are becoming increasingly popular among college students hoping to get ahead. But is this cheating? Should their use as cognitive enhancers be approved by the FDA, the medical community, and society at large? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#111 - Should We Raise The Federal Gas Tax To Fund Infrastructure?
The Highway Trust Fund provides funding for road, bridge, and mass transit projects across the country – and it’s running out of money. Its revenue source, the federal gas tax, has not been raised in over two decades. There are many arguments for a leaner fund, but proponents of the tax say that it still plays a vital role in supporting infrastructure. Should Congress raise the federal gas tax?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? By some accounts, about 3% of the U.S. population has had one: an out-of-body experience often characterized by remarkable visions and feelings of peace and joy, all while the physical body is close to death. To skeptics, there are more plausible, natural explanations, like oxygen deprivation. Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is China’s ascendancy a threat to the U.S.? China’s rise as an economic and military power, coupled with its aggression in the South China Sea, have led some to call for a major re-balancing of U.S. policy and strategy. Can China be trusted to act as a responsible global stakeholder? And will they be a long-term ally, or adversary?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Should Courts Or Campuses Decide Sexual Assault Cases?
High-profile cases have recently put campus sexual assault in the spotlight. One question that has repeatedly come up: why are these cases being handled by campuses at all? Campus investigations may serve a real need, forcing schools to respond to violence and protecting the interests of victims in ways that the criminal justice system may fail. Can schools provide due process for defendants and adequate justice for victims?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bonus Podcast: Should We Abolish the Minimum Wage?
This is a special podcast for Labor Day. The first attempt at establishing a national minimum wage, a part of 1933’s sweeping National Industrial Recovery Act, was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935. But in 1938, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a minimum hourly wage of 25 cents—$4.07 in today’s dollars. Three-quarters of a century later, we are still debating the merits of this cornerstone of the New Deal. Do we need government to ensure a decent paycheck, or would low-wage workers and the economy be better off without its intervention?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Does The U.S. Need To Defeat ISIS, Or Is Containment Enough?
The region under the control of ISIS continues to expand, despite airstrikes and the deployment of U.S. military advisers. Should the U.S. goal be containment, or can ISIS be defeated?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Bonus Podcast: Israel Can Live With A Nuclear Iran
The U.S., Iran, and other world powers have reached a final deal to limit Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon. According to President Obama, "every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off." But to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, this deal will go down as "a historic mistake". In 2013, Intelligence Squared U.S. debated whether "Israel can live with a nuclear Iran." Would a nuclear Iran pose an existential threat to Israel? What role does it play in Israel's condemnation of this historic pact?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With the recent Supreme Court ruling that upholds the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama seems to have secured the legislative cornerstone of his Presidential legacy. But is Obamacare now finally on the road to permanence or is the recent Supreme Court ruling just a setback for a still steady opposition to repeal the law? We'd like to take a moment to look back at a debate we held in January, 2014 just four years after Obamacare was signed into law in 2010. The motion being debated that night was: OBAMACARE IS NOW BEYOND RESCUE.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
More women than men are enrolling and graduating from college and their participation in the labor force has grown. So on this Father's Day, alongside the many deserving gestures of love and appreciation, we'd like to take a moment to reflect on what could lie ahead for dear old Dad. The central question arising, are we now at a place where women will achieve in the futurethe same sort of dominane that men have held in the past, or will it always be a man's world? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Should States Be Required To License Same-Sex Marriages?
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides: “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” And now, the Supreme Court is poised to answer the question of whether this clause requires States to license marriages between two people of the same sex. Does the Equal Protection Clause require States to license same-sex marriages, or will marriage be defined as between a man and a woman?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In April 2015, the P5+1, the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, negotiated an interim nuclear accord with Iran. Among the key parameters: Iran’s enrichment capacity, enrichment levels, and stockpile would be limited; its Fordow site converted into a research center; and the Arak heavy water reactor redesigned. In return, the IAEA would gain greater access for inspections, and U.S. and EU sanctions would be lifted. Many in the U.S. fear that a deal as outlined would not go far enough and, instead of being a benefit, would strengthen Iran’s hand in the Middle East. Not to mention the important question of trust. Is this agreement a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to halt nuclear proliferation, or does President Obama have this wrong?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's graduation season, a time for high school seniors to look backand celebrate their formative years before embarking on the next stepon their academic journey: college. But not every graduating senior attends college and perhapsnot every student should. With enemployment for those with bachelor's degrees still at an all-time high and student loan debt surpassing credit card debt, it begs the question whether its really worth it? And calls to mind a debate we had on October 12th, 2011 where the motion being debated was: Too Many Kids Go To CollegeLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Smart technology grants us unprecedented, immediate access to knowledge and to each other -- a ubiquitous and seamless presence in everyday life. But is there a downside to all of this connectivity? It’s been said that smart technology creates dependency on devices, narrows our world to echo chambers, and impairs cognitive skills through shortcuts and distraction. Are these concerns an overstatement of the negative effects of high-tech consumption?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A recent Gallup poll found that Americans are still largely supportive of the death penalty, with 6 in 10 in favor as punishment for murder. At the heart of the debate are many complicated questions. Within a flawed criminal justice system, is it possible to know every person’s guilt with a sufficient degree of certainty? Does the fear of death reduce crime? Are there race and class biases in sentencing? Are some crimes so heinous in nature that punishment by death is the only appropriate measure, or is capital punishment always immoral?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Has The President Exceeded His Authority By Waging War Without Congress?
The President has launched a sustained, long-term military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But did he have constitutional power to do so? The Constitution carefully divides the war powers of the United States between Congress and the President. Article II provides that “The President shall be Commander in Chief.” But Article I provides that “The Congress shall have Power … To Declare War.” Did the President exceed his authority and violate the Constitution?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Should The U.S. Adopt The Right To Be Forgotten Online?
In 2014, the European Union’s Court of Justice determined that individuals have a right to be forgotten, “the right—under certain conditions—to ask search engines to remove links with personal information about them.” It is not absolute, but meant to be balanced against other fundamental rights, like freedom of expression. In a half year following the Court’s decision, Google received over 180,000 removal requests. Of those reviewed and processed, 40.5% were granted. Largely seen as a victory in Europe, in the U.S., the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative. Was this ruling a blow to free speech and public information, or a win for privacy and human dignity?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What is college for? For many, it’s a time for personal and intellectual growth, to meet new people, and to explore ideas and philosophies that challenge their beliefs. Or is it? Recent cancellations of conservative speakers, rescinded honorary degrees, and scrutiny of certain campus groups have heightened perceptions that there is pervasive liberal intolerance on campuses. Are liberals shutting down speech and debate on campus? Or is this theory a myth, based on the preponderance of liberals at universities rather than intentionally discriminatory actions?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
America owes $6 trillion to China, our sprawling military complex often appears helpless against disparate threats abroad, and the War on Terror has stripped us of the moral high ground. Washington is paralyzed by bitter partisanship, our children are falling behind their international peers, and our middle class is no longer the world’s most affluent. But we’ve been warned about America’s decline before. Remember Sputnik? Yes, times are tough, but America is recovering from the Great Recession faster than almost any other advanced country, an energy boom could add billions to the GDP, we’re still a leader in technological innovation, and our military strength and geopolitical advantages remain unrivaled. Are our best days behind us, or should the world still bet on America?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Upon hearing the news of the sudden passing of The New York Times's David Carr on February 12th, 2015, we assembled this rememberance. David appeared on our stage on October 27, 2009 arguing against the debate motion: Good Riddance to Mainstream Media.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In late 2014, Amazon and the publishing house Hachette settled a months-long dispute over who should set the price for e-books. In Amazon’s view, lower prices mean more sales and more readers, and that benefits everyone. But for publishers, the price of an e-book must reflect the investment made, from the author’s advance to a book’s production. The conflict, resolved for now, has only raised more questions about the value of books, Amazon’s business practices, and the role of publishers. Is book publishing an oligopoly, a dinosaur in need of disruption? Is Amazon, which accounts for 41% of all new book and 67% of all e-book sales, a monopoly? Who is doing right by readers and the future of books?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With the world outraged by the attacks on satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, last week in Paris, we think back to our debate from 2006 on the motion: Freedom of Expression Must Include the License to Offend. The debaters were Philip Gourevitch, David Cesarani, Christopher Hitchens, Daisy Khan, Signe Wilkinson, and Mari Matsuda. The complete debate can be heard at http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/545-freedom-of-expression-must-include-the-license-to-offend.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for decades, and they are developed for a number of different reasons—to fight disease, enhance flavor, resist pests, improve nutrition, survive drought. Across the country and around the world, communities are fighting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Are they safe? How do they impact the environment? Can they improve food security? Is the world better off with or without GM food?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 1994, Oregon voters passed the Death with Dignity Act, which legalized physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Since then, it has become legal in 4 more states, including New Mexico, where the state court ruling that it is constitutional is under appeal. Will these laws lead to a slippery slope, where the vulnerable are pressured to choose death and human life is devalued? Or do we need to recognize everyone’s basic right to autonomy? The debaters are Peter Singer, Baroness Ilora Finlay, Andrew Solomon, and Dr. Daniel Sulmasy.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Income inequality has been on the rise for decades. In the last 30 years, the wages of the top 1% have grown by 154%, while the bottom 90% has seen growth of only 17%. As the rungs of the economic ladder move further and further apart, conventional wisdom says that it will become much more difficult to climb them. Opportunities for upward mobility—the American dream—will disappear as the deck becomes stacked against the middle class and the poor. But others see inequality as a positive, a sign of a dynamic and robust economy that, in the end, helps everyone. And contrary to public opinion, mobility has remained stable over the past few decades. If the American dream is dying, is it the result of income inequality? Or is disparity in income a red herring where more complex issues are at play? The Debaters are Elise Gould, Edward Conard, Nick Hanauer, and Scott Winship.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mass Collection Of U.S. Phone Records Violates The Fourth Amendment
Some say that the mass collection of U.S. phone records is a gross invasion of privacy. Others say that it is necessary to keep us safe. But what does the U.S. Constitution say? "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Is collection of phone records a “search” or “seizure"? If so, is it “unreasonable”? Does it require a particularized warrant and probable cause? These are among the most consequential—and controversial—constitutional questions of our time.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Will Flexing America's Muscles In The Middle East Make Things Worse?
The disintegration of Iraq, Syria’s ongoing civil war, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the promise and peril of the Arab Spring... What role should America play in the Middle East? For some America’s restraint has been a sign of disciplined leadership. But for others, it has been a sign of diminished strength and influence. Are we simply recognizing the limitations of our power, or does this embattled region require a bolder, more muscular, American presence? The debaters are Aaron David Miller, Michael Doran, Bret Stephens, and Paul Pillar.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts. Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start? The debaters are Carmel Martin, Carol Burris, Michael Petrill, and Frederick Hess.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Rising tensions between Israel and Hamas have come to a head this week with a dramatic eruption of conflict along the Gaza strip, making a debate we held back in 2006, less than a year after Hamas won a majority vote in the Palestinian parliament, all the more relevant today. The motion being debated that night was: Is A Democratically Elected Hamas Still A Terrorist Organization. The debate, held in front of a live audience in New York City, lasted well over an hour. We’ve culled a sample from each teams’ opening statements to give you a sense of their core arguments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is There A Constitutional Right To Unlimited Spending On Political Speech?
Is independent political speech the linchpin of our democracy or its Achilles' heel? For democracy to work, some say, citizens (and corporations, and unions, and media outlets, and other voluntary organizations) must be allowed to express their views on the issues, candidates, and elections of the day. This proposition, they say, is exactly why the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech and of the press. On this view, restrictions on independent political speech undermine and subvert our constitutional structure. But others take a different view: If everyone can spend as much money as they like to express their political views, then some voices will be amplified, magnified and enhanced — while others will be all but drowned out. On this view, it is this inequality of influence that subverts our constitutional structure — and restrictions that level the playing field actually enhance rather than abridge the freedom of speech.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality? The debaters are Dr. Eben Alexander, Sean Carroll, Dr. Raymond Moody, and Dr. Steven Novella.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Millennials—growing up with revolutionary technology and entering adulthood in a time of recession—have recently been much maligned. Are their critics right? Is this generation uniquely coddled, narcissistic, and lazy? Or have we let conventional wisdom blind us to their openness to change and innovation, and optimism in the face of uncertainty, which, in any generation, are qualities to be admired? The debaters are Binta Niambi Brown, David D. Burstein, W. Keith Campbell, and Jessica Grose.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Controversy Over Ayaan Hirsi Ali At Brandeis University
Women's rights activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, became the center a media firestorm last week, when Brandies University reversed its decision to grant her an honorary degree. While they commend her for being "a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights," many of her past statements against Islam have offended students and faculty at the Massachusetts institution. In this podcast, we hear some of these past statements in the form of an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate from 2010, where she argued against the motion, Islam is a Religion of Peace. http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/573-islam-is-a-religion-of-peaceLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: Is The Lecture Hall Obsolete?
Is the college of the future online? With the popularity of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the availability of online degree programs at a fraction of their on-campus price, we are experiencing an exciting experiment in higher education. Does the traditional classroom stand a chance? Will online education be the great equalizer, or is a campus-based college experience still necessary?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Does Affirmative Action On Campus Do More Harm Than Good?
Affirmative action, when used as a factor in college admissions, is meant to foster diversity and provide equal opportunities in education for underrepresented minorities. But is it achieving its stated goals and helping the population it was created to support? Its critics point to students struggling to keep up in schools mismatched to their abilities and to the fact that the policy can be manipulated to benefit affluent and middle class students who already possess many educational advantages. Is it time to overhaul or abolish affirmative action? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Disarming Syria. Asylum for Edward Snowden. Arming Iran. Deploying troops to Crimea. Is Vladimir Putin flexing his muscles, while our own president fades into the background of world politics, or is it all a global game of smoke and mirrors? Russia is one of the world’s largest oil producers and has the power of veto on the U.N. Security Council, but it remains an authoritarian state, rife with corruption and economic struggles. Is our toxic relationship something to worry about, or is Putin’s Russia fading in importance?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Does The President Have Constitutional Power To Target And Kill U.S. Citizens Abroad?
With the drone strike on accused terrorist and New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, President Obama has tested the limits of the executive branch’s powers. Does the president have constitutional authority under the due process clause to kill U.S. citizens abroad, or is it a violation of this clause to unilaterally decide to target and kill Americans?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Has Edward Snowden done the U.S. a great service? There is no doubt that his release of highly classified stolen documents has sparked an important public debate, even forcing what could be a major presidential overhaul of the NSA’s surveillance programs. But have his actions—which include the downloading of an estimated 1.7 million files—tipped off our enemies and endangered national security? Is Snowden a whistleblower, or is he a criminal?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, critics of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” were given more fuel for the fire. Is this political hot potato's inevitability once again at stake? And is the medical community really on board with the law, or resisting (rewriting?) it from the sidelines?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Although widespread retail-worker strikes failed to enact a rise of the federal minimum wage in 2013, on the state level, the tide is turning. Last week 13 states started the New Year by raised their minimum wage, and as many as 11 states, and Washington, D.C., are considering passing similar legislation in 2014. To shed light on the evolving public debate surrounding wage gaps in the US we are revisiting a debate we staged last Spring “Abolish the Minimum Wage.” That evening James Dorn of the Cato Institute and popular economist Russ Roberts argued for the motion, and faced Jared Bernstein from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Karen Kornbluh, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
According to a 2009 poll, around 1% of American adults reported eating no animal products. In 2011 that number rose to 2.5%--more than double, but still dwarfed by the 48% who reported eating meat, fish or poultry at all of their meals. In this country, most of us are blessed with an abundance of food and food choices. So taking into account our health, the environment and ethical concerns, which diet is best? Are we or aren't we meant to be carnivores?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The NSA collects data on billions of phone calls and internet communications per day. Are these surveillance programs legal? Do they keep us safe? If not for the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, most Americans would be unaware of the vast amounts of information their government is secretly collecting, all in the name of national security. But whether you believe leakers are heroes or traitors, an important public conversation has finally begun, and we should ask ourselves: What tradeoffs are we willing to make between security and privacy?
As Benjamin Franklin might have asked, "Are we giving up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, and thus deserving of neither?"Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Has The Constitutional Right To Bear Arms Outlived Its Usefulness?
Recent mass shooting tragedies have renewed the national debate over the 2nd Amendment. Gun ownership and homicide rates are higher in the U.S. than in any other developed nation, but gun violence has decreased over the last two decades even as gun ownership may be increasing. Over 200 years have passed since James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, the country has changed, and so have its guns. Is the right to bear arms now at odds with the common good, or is it as necessary today as it was in 1789? The debaters are Alan Dershowitz, David Kopel, Sanford Levinson, and Eugene Volokh.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If we value a free market in goods and free movement of capital, should we embrace the free movement of labor? Reciprocal treaties would allow citizens of the U.S. and other countries to work legally across borders. Would the elimination of barriers in the labor market depress wages and flood the marketplace with workers? Or would the benefits of a flexible labor supply be a boon to our economy, all while raising the standard of living for anyone willing to work?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
While gridlock and division in Washington make it difficult for either party or ideology to set the policy agenda, single-party government prevails in three-quarters of the states. In 24 states Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the legislature, and in 13 states Democrats enjoy one-party control. Comparing economic growth, education, health care, quality of life and environment, and the strength of civil society, do red or blue states win out?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
To prevent the collapse of the global financial system in 2008, The Treasury committed 245 billion in taxpayer dollars to stabilize America’s banking institutions. Today, banks that were once “too big to fail” have only grown bigger. Were size and complexity at the root of the financial crisis, or do calls to break up the big banks ignore real benefits that only economies of scale can pass on to customers and investors? The debaters are Richard Fisher, Simon Johnson, Douglas Elliott, and Paul Salzman.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is The Two-Party System Making America Ungovernable?
The government shutdown is a dramatic display of the growing strife not only between the Republican and Democratic parties, but also, among the GOP itself. For some, the shut down has even called into question the effectiveness of the American political system, which makes a debate we held back in 2011 all the more relevant today. The motion was “The Two-Party System is Making America Ungovernable”. The team arguing for the motion included Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, and NYTimes Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks. The team arguing against the motion, and in support of the two-party system, included political satirist PJ O’Rourke and author and columnist Zev Chafets.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is The Two-Party System Making America Ungovernable?
The government shutdown is a dramatic display of the growing strife not only between the Republican and Democratic parties, but also, among the GOP itself. For some, the shut down has even called into question the effectiveness of the American political system, which makes a debate we held back in 2011 all the more relevant today. The motion was "The Two-Party System is Making America Ungovernable". The team arguing for the motion included Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, and NYTimes Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks. The team arguing against the motion, and in support of the two-party system, included political satirist PJ O’Rourke and author and columnist Zev Chafets.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Although President Obama signed it into law in March of 2010, the Affordable Care Act remains one of the nation’s most divisive issues. Over the past nearly four years, House Republicans have voted 40 times to repeal the law in part or in whole. Just this week, Senator Ted Cruz spent hours on the Senate floor speaking against the healthcare law, while President Obama took the stage at the Clinton Global Initiative to explain intricacies of the healthcare overhaul. So, how has it come to this point? Why does healthcare remain such a contested issue nearly 6 years into Barack Obama’s presidency? To shed light on the evolving public debate surrounding healthcare, Intelligence Squared US is recapping a debate it held in 2011, just 9 months after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The controversial motion up for debate was: "Repeal Obamacare."Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, have been the centerpiece of America’s counterterrorism toolkit since the start of the Obama presidency, and the benefits have been clear. Their use has significantly weakened al Qaeda and the Taliban while keeping American troops out of harm’s way. But critics of drone strikes argue that the short-term gains do not outweigh the long-term consequences—among them, radicalization of a public outraged over civilian deaths. Is our drone program hurting, or helping, in the fight against terrorism?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is there a clear course of action the U.S. could take to help the Syrian people that would lead to a better outcome for the country? Or is greater U.S. involvement likely to do little good in the end? The question has taken on a new sense of urgency following a recent attack near the Syrian capital Damascus that left hundreds dead. The Syrian opposition says it was a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, a charge the government denies. The Obama administration is now weighing possible responses. A group of experts took on the Syria question Aug. 9 in an Oxford-style debate for Intelligence Squared U.S., in partnership with the Aspen Strategy Group. They argued two against two on the motion: "The U.S. Has No Dog In The Fight In Syria."Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is Cutting The Pentagon's Budget A Gift To Our Enemies?
Political gridlock in Washington triggered across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, in March. As a result, the Pentagon was given six months to eliminate $41 billion from the current year’s budget, and unlike past cuts, this time everything is on the table. In 2011, America spent $711 billion dollars on its defense—more than the next 13 highest spending countries combined. But the burdens it shoulders, both at home and abroad, are unprecedented. Could the sequester be a rare opportunity to overhaul the armed forces, or will its impact damage military readiness and endanger national security?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Food and Drug Administration, the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the U.S. federal government, is charged with protecting the public health. Under this mandate, it regulates drugs and medical devices for their safety and effectiveness. But is it a failing mandate? It’s long been argued that the FDA’s long and costly approval processes stifle innovation and keep life-changing treatments from the market. But the question remains: when it comes to public health, is it ever okay to sacrifice safety for speed?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2012 was a disappointing year for Republicans. The failure to win key swing states in the presidential election and surprising losses in the House and Senate have prompted some reflection. Was their embrace of small government, low taxes, and a strong conservative stance on social issues at odds with shifting American demographics? Or did the GOP embrace the right platform, but the wrong candidates?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The first attempt at establishing a national minimum wage, a part of 1933’s sweeping National Industrial Recovery Act, was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935. But in 1938, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a minimum hourly wage of 25 cents—$4.07 in today’s dollars. Three-quarters of a century later, we are still debating the merits of this cornerstone of the New Deal. Do we need government to ensure a decent paycheck, or would low-wage workers and the economy be better off without its intervention?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It’s often taken for granted that America needs a strong dollar. When the value of the U.S. dollar is strong relative to other currencies, it becomes attractive to investors and allows Americans to buy foreign goods and services cheaply. But in times of recession, are we better off with a weak dollar that stimulates U.S. manufacturing by making our goods cheaper and more competitive? Or will the loss of purchasing power and currency manipulation abroad, offset the potential gains?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Imagine a world free of genetic diseases, where parents control their offspring’s height, eye color and intelligence. The science may be closer than you think. Genes interact in ways that we don’t fully understand and there could be unintended consequences, new diseases that result from our tinkering. But even if the science could be perfected, is it morally wrong? Would it lead to eugenics and a stratified society where only the rich enjoy the benefits of genetic enhancement? Or would the real injustice be depriving our children of every scientifically possible opportunity?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Over the summer of 2012, despite increased international pressure and economic sanctions, Iran doubled the number of nuclear centrifuges installed in its underground Fordow site, stopping just short of the capacity to produce nuclear fuel. President Obama has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call to draw a “red line” that would trigger U.S. military action. But what would the costs and benefits of military action be? Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran, or could the time be near for a pre-emptive strike?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
On the fundamental question--evolution or creation?--Americans are on the fence. According to one survey, while 61% of Americans believe we have evolved over time, 22% believe this evolution was guided by a higher power, with another 31% on the side of creationism. For some, modern science debunks many of religion's core beliefs, but for others, questions like "Why are we here?" and "How did it all come about?" can only be answered through a belief in the existence of God. Can science and religion co-exist?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It was 1971 when President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs." $2.5 trillion dollars later, drug use is half of what it was 30 years ago, and thousands of offenders are successfully diverted to treatment instead of jail. And yet, 22 million Americans-9% of the population-still uses illegal drugs, and with the highest incarceration rate in the world, we continue to fill our prisons with drug offenders. Decimated families and communities are left in the wake. Is it time to legalize drugs or is this a war that we're winning?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How do we fix the economy? The U.S. government's budget deficit is nearing a trillion dollars for the fourth straight year and unemployment remains high. With the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2012, what is the best move for continued economic recovery? Are the nation's wealthiest paying their fair share, or should tax cuts be extended to everyone in the name of job creation? Debaters include Romney's economic supervisor, Glenn Hubbard, economist Arthur Laffer, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and economist Mark Zandi. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Just because we can extend life, should we? Two teams of debaters are arguing for and against this motion. The U.S. is expected to spend $2.8 trillion on health care in 2012. If health care is a scarce resource, limited by its availability and our ability to pay for it, should government step in to ration care? In other words, how much is an extra month of life worth?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The popular uprisings of the Arab Spring have left a leadership void that Islamist parties have been quick to fill. A longtime supporter of former strongmen like Egypt's Mubarak and Tunisia's Ben Ali, the U.S. now faces the uncomfortable result of Arab democracy - the rise of Islamist parties that are less amenable to the West than their autocratic predecessors. Will the Islamists, who once embraced violence, slowly liberalize as they face the difficulties of state leadership? Or will it mean the growth of anti-Americanism and radicalization in the region? Reuel Marc Gerecht, Brian Katulis, Daniel Pipes and Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser debate the motion: "Better elected Islamists than dictators." Debate moderated by author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Money has been flowing through this election season like never before. Some say unfettered political spending is a necessary part of free speech; others argue that approach drowns out many voices. A panel of experts takes on the topic for Intelligence Squared U.S.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Some people are embracing the wave of increased natural gas extraction in the United States. Others, concerned about the risks, are saying no fracking way. A panel of experts weighs the pros and cons of a boom sparked by hydraulic fracturing in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In recent years, college football programs have been hit by a series of scandals. And observers have long raised questions about the risks of head injuries. A panel of experts looks at the state of college football in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
On the Internet, it's easy to find like-minded people and to frequent sites where you agree with the content. And algorithms are serving up more personalized search content. Are we running the risk of getting trapped in information bubbles? A panel of experts debates for Intelligence Squared U.S.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
As China experiments with its own form of state-run capitalism, the country has managed to maintain a strong economy while many Western countries are faltering. A team of experts faces off in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the motion, "China Does Capitalism Better Than America."Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the U.S., more than 78 million adults and 12 million children are obese, prompting some to argue that it's in the government's interest to combat the problem. But others say the government should stay away from people's personal habits. A group of experts takes on the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate held Jan. 10, four experts on the Middle East face off on the motion "The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member State." Could this approach help resolve or exacerbate the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A rabbi, a descendant of Charles Darwin, a philosopher and a scholar face off over religion in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Supporters say if lawmakers do nothing, the U.S. economy may fall into another recession. But critics say the jobs package just recycles policies that have failed in the past. A group of experts argue the merits of the president's proposals in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Getting a college degree is often touted as a way to increase your income and your ability to compete in the job market. But are too many unprepared students being pushed into taking on large amounts of debt? A team of experts faces off in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The debate over entitlement programs has a generational component that can't be overlooked: Is helping seniors make ends meet only generating mountains of debt that will hamper future generations? A team of experts chewed over that topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Last year, women made up the majority of the U.S. workforce for the first time ever. There are more women earning college degrees than men. Are women taking over the position of power in society, or are things just balancing out after years of male domination? A panel of experts debates.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks and months after the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, is it time to move on? Or is it important to maintain the open-ended conflict? Experts take on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Does Freedom Of The Press Extend To State Secrets?
Does the public's right to know interfere with the government's ability to protect citizens? Four experts go head to head on the issue in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The U.S. is often referred to as a nation built by immigrants. But in recent years, the debate over the country's immigration laws has reached a boiling point. Do immigrants help the economy? Or do they take jobs away from Americans? Four experts recently went head to head on the issue in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
As the United States grapples with a struggling economy and continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some argue that it's time to scale back its role in the world. A team of experts discusses the pros and cons of this proposition in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
President Obama and other leaders have called for investment in cleaner energy sources as a way to create jobs and spur U.S. economic recovery. But can it really work? A team of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is The Two-Party System Making The U.S. Ungovernable?
Some argue that Americans have been locked into evaluating every issue through a prism of left and right. A team of experts tackles the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
As Republicans now in control of the House move to repeal the new health care law, a team of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debateLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Should Airports Use Racial And Religious Profiling?
The recent furor over screenings and pat-downs has catapulted airport security back into the spotlight. Should airports be targeting their limited resources differently? A team of experts examines the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
After nearly a decade of fighting, Americans are still debating the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, its toll on the military and its financial cost. A team of experts goes head-to-head on the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
On Oct. 26, a team of experts argued the issue "Big Government is Stifling the American Spirit" during the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
That's how former President George W. Bush characterized it, but some take a different view. A panel of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Some view a law enforcement approach to terrorism as dangerous, while others argue that denying suspects the ability to defend themselves in court runs counter to American values. Four experts recently went head to head on the issue in the latest debate in the Intelligence Squared U.S. series.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
As succeeding presidential administrations and leaders in the Pentagon devote increasing resources to cybersecurity, some observers are questioning whether the threat of cyberwar has been overstated. A panel of experts debates the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. topic.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Does Obama's Foreign Policy Spell America's Decline?
When it comes to foreign policy, some argue that President Obama is alienating the United States' allies as he seeks to make accommodations for nations with whom America has more uncertain relationships, such as China and Russia. And, they say, the administration has been too weak in its policy toward Iran. A group of experts takes on that question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is paying extra money for organic food worth it? Some argue that the label confers real value, while others claim that organic food has not been proven healthier and that it comes with its own environmental trade-offs. A panel of experts faces off on the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the quest to remake America's public schools, teachers unions have frequently been blasted as an obstacle to improvement. But do unions really deserve more of the blame than shrinking budgets and other problems? A group of experts takes on that question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Does the United States' special relationship with Israel come at too high a cost in the Middle East? A panel of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
California is in the midst of a budget nightmare. Will the Golden State find a bailout, or has it become the first failed state of the union? A group of experts takes on the topic in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In Mexico, thousands of people have died in drug-related violence in the past three years as the government has ramped up its war on drug cartels. But is the United States — with its market for illegal drugs and flow of guns south of the border — to blame? A panel of experts face off on the topic in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Are Obama's Economic Policies Working Effectively?
As the economy slowly begins to recover from the financial meltdown, should the Obama administration get credit for turning things around? Or has the administration failed to do what it takes to really help the economy? A panel of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
As newspapers go under, the network newscasts lose viewers and the mainstream media in general see more and more of their audience shift online, are we as a society better or worse off? A panel of experts debates.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
"Buy American" provisions included in legislation such as President Obama's stimulus package have touched off a heated debate. A panel of experts argues whether they help or hurt the United States in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices