Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Airs Sunday, June 11, 2017, at 6 p.m. 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? Our debaters are, for the motion: John Tierney, Contributing Editor for City Journal; Richard K. Vedder, Economist & Author of The Wal-Mart Revolution.  Arguring against the motion Nelson Lichtenstein, Professor, at UC Santa Barbara & Author of The Retail Revolution; and Amy Traub Associate Director of Policy and Research for Demos.

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?