Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Airs Sunday, May 28, 2017, at 6 p.m. As technology transforms the workplace, jobs and income will become less reliable. A universal basic income could serve as a tool to combat poverty and uncertainty in a changing society. 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 basic income the safety net of the future? The debaters are Charles Murray, Jared Bernstein, Andrew Stern and Jason Furman.

Airs Sunday, March 26, 2017, at 6 p.m.  In 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, and human rights concerns have all put strains on this relationship.  Has this special relationship outlived its usefulness, or is it too important to walk away from? The debaters are Madawi Al-Rasheed, F.

Airs Sunday, March 19, 2017, at 6 p.m. Donald 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?

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Airs Sunday, March 12, 2017, at 6 p.m. Since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, the deaths of many African Americans at the hands of law enforcement have captured the public’s attention, from Tamir Rice, to Philando Castile. But there are some who say that these encounters 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. Does crime drive law enforcement’s use of force, or is there racial bias?

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Airs Sunday, February 5, 2017, at 6 p.m. Almost 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... The debaters are Lawrence Lessig, David Super, Mark Meckler, and Walter Olson.