Intelligence Squared US

Intelligence Squared US We are America's Debate Series, as heard on public radio, television and Apple podcasts. Cast your vote and join the debate at http://iq2us.org.
A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis, and constructive public discourse to today's often biased media landscape. IQ2US has presented more than 120 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From clean energy and the financial crisis, to the Middle East and the death of mainstream media, IQ2US brings together the world’s leading authorities on the most important issues of the day.

Looking for a great debate? We just released Intelligence Squared's summer reading list for 2020 (link in comments) with...
07/18/2020

Looking for a great debate?

We just released Intelligence Squared's summer reading list for 2020 (link in comments) with new titles from some of our most esteemed past debaters.

But before you hit the books, check out the debates that brought our featured authors to the IQ2US stage: https://spoti.fi/2DT3WAk

07/18/2020
Can a Nation-State Exist Without Nationalism?

Can a nation-state exist without nationalism?

Andrew Keen says "yes," and points to Canada as an example of its existence by highlighting a lack of the "ethnic nationalism" promoted by the Trump administration.

But Colin Dueck retorts that nation-state nationalism does indeed exist in Canada, and that nationalism holds many different forms.

For years, many officials and foreign policy experts have dismissed the idea that a new Cold War was emerging between th...
07/18/2020
Intelligence Squared US

For years, many officials and foreign policy experts have dismissed the idea that a new Cold War was emerging between the U.S. and China (we even debated the topic last year.) They'd often argue that today's world is incomparable to the decades when the U.S. and the Soviet Union squared off.

As both superpowers clash over the handling of today's pandemic, technology, territory, and global clout, they face the same risk of small disputes escalating into major conflict.

Is the recent U.S. stance toward China focused enough to achieve key economic and strategic objectives? Or will U.S. policy escalate tensions too much, ultimately reducing the chances that the world’s two major powers can achieve a sensible partnership during the pandemic?

Since testifying before Congress during the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mark Zuckerberg has argued that if Congress bro...
07/17/2020
Unresolved: The Techonomic Cold War With China

Since testifying before Congress during the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mark Zuckerberg has argued that if Congress broke up or regulated U.S. tech giants, unregulated Chinese companies would dominate the space.

But Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler declared this as “spinning up the China bogeyman,” in a recent dissertation via The Brookings Institution. He labelled it a strategy that “allows the companies to portray their size and the vast amounts of data they store about individuals as a national asset and an antidote to the big firms and big data of China.”

Would breaking up Big Tech platforms like Facebook strengthen China's position in a techonomic cold war? Comment below.

President 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 a...

07/16/2020
Debate Clip: Social Media in China

Citing national security threats, India will ban 59 mobile apps from China, including the popular video-sharing platform TikTok. Now, the U.S. may follow suit.

Should foreign nations trust Chinese social media apps?

In our 2018 debate with Aspen Ideas Festival, "Social Media is Good for Democracy," The Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer and venture capitalist Roger McNamee argue the country's tactics online are saturated with malintent.

But former State Department official Emily Parker rejects the "bait and switch" theory, and highlights the voices amplified by their technology –– voices which would have otherwise been silent.

07/16/2020

In our recent debate, "The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness," John Donvan asks, "Are Republicans liking the Electoral College today because it's giving them an advantage?"

Former chairman of the Federal Elections Commission, Bradley Smith, argues that both parties have used the Electoral College to their advantage.

Kate Shaw, Supreme Court Contributor for ABC News, acknowledges that it's Democrats who would frequently do better in popular vote elections, but those party lines could flip quickly.

An estimated 5.4 million American workers lost their health insurance between February and May, according to a recent Fa...
07/15/2020
Replace Private Insurance With Medicare for All

An estimated 5.4 million American workers lost their health insurance between February and May, according to a recent Families USA study.

Is a government-funded health system like Medicare for All the solution? Comment below.

As the nation gears up for the 2020 election, Democrats are promising bold new changes to the American health care system. One idea championed by many on the progressive left is “Medicare for All,” or a single-payer system, which would do away with private health insurance for most forms of care...

UP FOR DEBATE: Boycott FacebookOver 1,000 companies are pulling their advertisements from Facebook and its subsidiaries,...
07/15/2020

UP FOR DEBATE: Boycott Facebook

Over 1,000 companies are pulling their advertisements from Facebook and its subsidiaries, in an effort to force the tech behemoth to change its content moderation policies. With 99% of Facebook’s revenue coming from ad sales, what could this boycott mean for the social media giant?

Should Facebook heed the demands of these advertisers and their supporters? And is corporate social activism effective in the long run?

Bloomberg LP - In recent meetings between Facebook executives and civil rights organizations, Jessica González, co-chief executive officer of Free Press, said “Facebook approached our meeting today like it was nothing more than a PR exercise."

POLITICO - "Why, exactly, we should applaud the boycott moves of major corporations has yet to be explained by #StopHateforProfit or anybody else. Are [corporate boycotters] really all that morally superior to Facebook?"

China and Iran are reportedly forging a strategic alliance. The partnership would expand China’s presence in Iran’s tele...
07/14/2020
The Maximum Pressure Campaign Against Iran Is Working

China and Iran are reportedly forging a strategic alliance.

The partnership would expand China’s presence in Iran’s telecommunications and other industries, supply China with discounted oil for the next 25 years, and support military cooperation between the two countries.

Is U.S. foreign policy to blame? Comment below.

The targeted killing of General Qassim Suleimani sent shockwaves around the world and sparked staunch debate about the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign. Supporters argue that this strategy, which includes leaving the JCPOA and imposing harsh economic sanctions, will safeguard Ameri...

Facing public outcry around digital disinformation and hate speech, platforms like Twitter, Twitch, and Reddit have anno...
07/14/2020
Free Speech, Finances, & the Facebook Boycott

Facing public outcry around digital disinformation and hate speech, platforms like Twitter, Twitch, and Reddit have announced landmark changes including banning political ads, shutting down certain accounts, and fact-checking some content.

Facebook has not.

In response, hundreds of advertisers have joined the Stop Profit for Hate campaign to boycott advertising on Facebook until it changes its content moderation strategy. Should Facebook heed the demands of these advertisers and their supporters? And is corporate social activism effective in the long run?

Over 1,0001 companies are pulling their advertisements from Facebook and its subsidiaries, including Instagram. With 99%2 of Facebook’s revenue coming from ad sales, what could this boycott mean for the social media giant?

After a surge in transmissions, there is no country in the world where confirmed coronavirus cases are growing as rapidl...
07/13/2020
For A Better Future, Live In A Red State

After a surge in transmissions, there is no country in the world where confirmed coronavirus cases are growing as rapidly as they are in America's Sun Belt.

Meanwhile, gun violence is spiking in blue states like Illinois and New York.

Comparing economic growth, education, health care, quality of life and environment, and the strength of civil society, do red or blue states win out?

Comparing economic growth, education, health care, quality of life and environment, and the strength of civil society, do red or blue states win out?

At the height of the city's caseload, patients at some community hospitals in New York City were reportedly three times ...
07/12/2020
The U.S. Health Care System Is Terminally Broken

At the height of the city's caseload, patients at some community hospitals in New York City were reportedly three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than patients in the wealthiest parts of the city.

What's the best strategy to reduce disparities in care?

Criticized by patients, providers, and politicians alike, the United States health care system is hardly a crowd-pleaser. But is the most expensive health care system in the world beyond repair?

07/12/2020

It’s been a little over three months since Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Approximately $2.2 trillion later, the U.S. unemployment rate is still higher than it was at the peak of The Great Recession, and the coronavirus continues to infect more Americans than it did the day before.

Despite a surge in new coronavirus cases across the U.S., colleges have huge financial incentives to resume in-person cl...
07/12/2020
Agree to Disagree: The Virtues of Virtual Learning

Despite a surge in new coronavirus cases across the U.S., colleges have huge financial incentives to resume in-person classes for the fall semester.

Most colleges are planning to open despite the option of virtual learning — but their approaches vary widely. Harvard will reportedly teach all courses remotely and no more than 40% of undergrads will live on campus. In contrast, Georgia Tech plans to resume in-person classes without requiring face masks.

Other universities fall somewhere in the middle, with Stanford University shifting to partial remote learning and four semesters per year, segmented by graduation year.

Which collegiate experience would you opt for?

John Donvan is joined by Ben Nelson, CEO of The Minvera Project, and David Deming, economist and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, to “Agree to Disagree,” about how colleges are adapting to online learning, what students and educators are missing, and how we must adapt to the new normal.

A Chinese law targeting pro-democracy activity in Hong Kong was enacted last week. In response, Congress passed a bill t...
07/11/2020
Coronavirus Will Reshape the World Order in China's Favor

A Chinese law targeting pro-democracy activity in Hong Kong was enacted last week. In response, Congress passed a bill to penalize Chinese officials and banks who supported the law. The Trump administration also began to roll back its special trade arrangement with Hong Kong.

In response, former senior Hong Kong government official and prominent Beijing adviser Lau Siu-kai stated, “Beijing is particularly wary about Hong Kong being used by the U.S. and some of its Western allies as a pawn to contain China’s rise.”

How might coronavirus reshape geopolitics? For some, the answer is clear: China is on the rise. While Washington embraces “America First,” they argue, Beijing is stepping up to provide material assistance to struggling nations and convening global leaders. But others see a global future where Ch...

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as "a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and...
07/10/2020
#183 - Is Nationalism a Force for Good?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as "a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups."

But does that make it a force for good? Or evil?

With borders around the world closed and global governance under question, we teamed up with The German Marshall Fund of the United States to debate that very question.

Stream the podcast now.

Listen to this episode from Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates on Spotify. From Brexit to “America First,” Modi in India, Erdoğan in Turkey, and Bolsonaro in Brazil, nationalism – or allegiance to a nation-state over other group affiliations – has been on the rise. Now, borders around the wo...

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring electors to vote as they had promised, but recent cou...
07/09/2020

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring electors to vote as they had promised, but recent court decisions had come to opposite conclusions about whether electors may disregard their pledges.

On Monday, the Supreme Court curbed the independence of those state electors by requiring members of the Electoral College to cast their votes for the presidential candidates they had pledged to support.

Do you support the ruling?

The Labor Department released a new jobs report last week, with the unemployment rate dipping to 11.1%. The caveat? The ...
07/09/2020
The Global Financial System Was Better Prepared for the Pandemic Than 2008

The Labor Department released a new jobs report last week, with the unemployment rate dipping to 11.1%. The caveat? The employment report is based on a survey conducted weeks before the latest virus surge, and signs that the economic recovery will reverse have already been reported by the likes of The New York Times and Slate.com.

Just how resilient are our markets?

We've debated that very question more than once. The emergence of a global pandemic has put our debater’s arguments to the ultimate test – whose claims have been vindicated by this unprecedented event?

Stream the debate now, featuring Obama administration economic advisor, Jason Furman, and chair of the editorial board and editor-at-large (U.S.) of the Financial Times, Gillian Tett.

More than a decade ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the world witnessed one of the worst financial crises in global history. In January 2019, Intelligence Squared U.S. hosted a debate on the motion “Ten Years After the Global Financial Crisis, the System Is Safer,” to assess how resilient mar...

Are nationalism and patriotism one and the same?According to the dictionary, nationalism is identification with one’s ow...
07/07/2020
Nationalism Is a Force for Good

Are nationalism and patriotism one and the same?

According to the dictionary, nationalism is identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion of the interests of other nations. The definition of patriotism is devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country.

From Brexit to “America First,” Modi in India, Erdoğan in Turkey, and Bolsonaro in Brazil, nationalism is on the rise. The nation-state has been praised for securing the needs of its citizens and serving as the most efficient form of political organization and criticized for being insular and i...

07/06/2020

Political scientist Prerna Singh and author Elif Shafak both acknowledge a sense of community within nationalism, but disagree sharply on the ethics of it.

Is nationalism a force for good? 👍👎 –– with The German Marshall Fund of the United States. https://smarturl.it/nationalismIQ2US

A recent Pew Research Center survey reveals that half of Americans expect China’s global influence to wane after the pan...
07/06/2020
How Americans envision a post-pandemic world order

A recent Pew Research Center survey reveals that half of Americans expect China’s global influence to wane after the pandemic.

🇺🇸🇨🇳 Do you?

Americans are divided in their outlooks, mainly along ideological lines, but are more united on opinions about China’s place in the world.

Our 2020 Summer Reading List is in! Get an inside look at the works that have shaped our debates this year, and what wil...
07/03/2020
Intelligence Squared US

Our 2020 Summer Reading List is in! Get an inside look at the works that have shaped our debates this year, and what will shape our debates in the years to come, all by our esteemed IQ2 alum.

Bookmark the full reading list: https://smarturl.it/2020ReadingList

Our 2014 debate over the viability of Obamacare continues. In an 82-page brief submitted last week, the Trump administra...
07/03/2020
Obamacare Is Now Beyond Rescue

Our 2014 debate over the viability of Obamacare continues. In an 82-page brief submitted last week, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Should the health law survive?

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?) ...

Facebook lost a prominent antitrust case last week, with Germany’s highest court ruling that the platform abused its pow...
07/02/2020
Europe Has Declared War on American Tech Companies

Facebook lost a prominent antitrust case last week, with Germany’s highest court ruling that the platform abused its power by harvesting personal user data.

Is Europe right to regulate American Big Tech?

European regulators are taking on American technology companies – including Apple, Facebook, and Google – in a big way, with regulations that, they say, will protect tech users’ data and privacy. Is Brussels waging war against Silicon Valley? Or will these regulations restore faith in American...

A recent Pew Research Center poll concluded that only half of self-identified Republicans said they almost always wore m...
07/02/2020
Ezra Klein on Why We're Polarized: Discourse Disrupters

A recent Pew Research Center poll concluded that only half of self-identified Republicans said they almost always wore masks inside stores, compared with three quarters of Democrats. https://pewrsr.ch/3dSdRChonly

Why are we polarized?

Is the American political system broken? In his new book, Ezra Klein argues that the system isn't malfunctioning, it's doing exactly what it was designed to accomplish. In this special episode of Discourse Disrupters, John Donvan sits down with one of the nation's most prominent political journalist...

Europe has begun to allow a select list of outsiders to begin re-entering, but the U.S. is among the nations considered ...
07/01/2020
Coronavirus Will Reshape the World Order in China's Favor

Europe has begun to allow a select list of outsiders to begin re-entering, but the U.S. is among the nations considered too risky.

China, however, did make the list.

How might coronavirus reshape geopolitics? For some, the answer is clear: China is on the rise. While Washington embraces “America First,” they argue, Beijing is stepping up to provide material assistance to struggling nations and convening global leaders. But others see a global future where Ch...

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Comments

I am a fan of your podcast, but the debate "Two Cheers for Two Parties" was disappointing: - The panel was composed of credentialed theorists, but no representation from the Libertarian Party? Independents? Anyone who has the experience of leading other political parties or running for office as a third party? The arguments from the panelists came across as hypothetical instead of realistic from the perspective of those with direct experience - I am very happy that ranked choice voting was discussed, but nobody was aware of Approval Voting when the complexity of ranked choice was expressed by an audience member? Any discussion of alternate voting systems that excludes Approval Voting is illegitimate Having more choices is completely separable from proportional representation. Both sides presented arguments that suggested one necessitates the other. Wrong! This panel of theorists apparently could not escape the trap they put themselves in. Those with practical experience know that proportional representation is completely independent from alternate voting systems and the efforts by those in power to restrict choice through punative fees on third parties and other ballot access restrictions. The fact that the status quo motion won despite the panelists and the audience saying they opposed the status quo reveals that the panel needed better representation and different arguments. I hope these comments are taken in the spirit of constructive critique
FREE Download: 21 Day Mind Hacking Challenge Want to revolutionize your mind? Just join to the group. Link's below: https://www.facebook.com/groups/616672012421877/ #MindHacking #NLP #FREE #Ebook
I come to you with questions. Please help me understand what the principles or standards of behavior are that Donald Trump upholds that some people believe in? Is it his ethics? His moral code? His behavior? Rules of conduct? His high standards? "Values" is generally defined as a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life. Jesus says, ‘I was a stranger. How you treat the stranger is how you treat me. How you treat the sick is how you treat me. How you treat the poor is how you treat me,’” These are the most important people to Jesus and appear to be the least important to this administration. Was Jesus's message transactional? There is a conflict between the politics of Jesus and the politics of Trump. Racial bigotry is a deal breaker for the Gospel. White nationalism, which Donald Trump embraces and champions, isn’t just racist — it’s anti-Christ. Dehumanizing immigrants isn’t just racist — it’s anti-Christ. Demeaning women isn’t just sexist — it’s anti-Christ. At some point, do Christians have to ask themselves: Are the teachings of Christ going to be followed or not?
This is a job for Intelligence Squared:
The issue of Medicare for All is a matter of CHOICE. Your employer chooses how your healthcare needs are financed or you choose to support a publicly accountable entity, Medicare for All, which provides comprehensive medical care as a universal public plan. Or the private health insurer plan which collects premiums from you and your employer but profits by denying payments for medical needs.
After the Roaring Twenties, Hoover and his Secretary of the Treasury were sort of run out of town. FDR stopped that from sinking Capitalism after he used a War, and a Bretton Woods agreement to boost our spirits and stimulate the economy. Nixon may have given the purpose of Capitalism another brief moment of fame with his invention of Fiat Money, I know it had been tried before. The Tarp buyout seems to have delayed the inevitable, but what is next for an economy that seems to stagger from crisis to crisis, without the assistance of the Middle Class? How many 401 K Plans still fund the bonus checks that draw the economics grads to Wall Street? How long will this Dead Cat Bounce keep the playful activity of Capitalism afloat? Will Trump become a new Hoover? Is he a sacrificial lamb to the Gods of Capitalism? Just how will humans handle another economic crisis? That is the question I have been asking for a couple of years....
The "conversation" about contempt with a right wing extremist outlet like the American enterprise Institute fell way short of your standards. Framing Brooks as an expert on civilized discussion fails to capture the degree to which the AEI twists facts on climate change and many other issues. The topic is a worthy one, but it is simply not true that respect can really exist without boundaries. I do believe both conservative and progressive voices are needed, but progressive voices that don't reject communism and conservative voices that don't overtly reject white nationalism are not worthy of respect. Having different opinions on solutions is one thing, but accepting propaganda like climate denial or anti-vaxx as fact, for example is not worthy of respect. Brooks talked about shared moral ground, but never defined it as if that shared moral ground has to be his.
Timely issues are debated by knowledgeable persons and the audience has an opportunity to ask questions following hearing the positions of the debaters. The points are not presented by politicians.
Suggestion - would love to see iq2 try to align more with the Intellectual Dark Web. That is where your audience is at
I'd like to submit for consideration something around the topic of government incentivizing major corporations. "Do corporations like Amazon and Foxconn need public assistance?" seems like too big a spin. Maybe a motion like: "The benefits of incentivizing economic development are worth the cost and risk of governmental support."
DEBATE THIS ! APPARENTLY THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR IS OF NO CONCERN TO FINANCIAL PEOPLE, FOR THEY ARE BLINDED BY "EDUCATION" & COLOR OF MONEY ! and IT'S NOT A TRADE WAR, IT'S AN ECONOMIC WAR (or it should be) TO ELIMINATE N. KOREAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS, GET RID OF Un, END THE KOREAN WAR AND UNITE NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA. One of the most profound statement since the 1950's; "the U.S. will not trade with any country that trades/supports North Korea" (paraphrased ) : THE TRUMP DOCTRINE: China; allow N. Korean military/family defectors safe passage to other countries. ALL NATIONS need to announce that the U.S. and others will not accept any imports from China, Russia, Iran, Cuba or any other country that assists N.K." Naysayers will contend that the U.S. and the world will suffer the greatest depression the world has ever known. I contend that China will cave (give in) first because China can't afford to lose it's exports. The Chinese economy is having trouble and the U.S.A. doesn't need them to purchase any more of our National Debt; the Trump Ax can/will reduce government spending, so no need to increase the National Debt. We don't need all their junk; we can make it in the U.S. and make it better. China has up to recently arrested people leaving N.K. and sent them back to N.K. where they were exterminated. After Trump's trip to Asia, it appears that China has started to build temporary housing for N.K. defectors, along the river that separates China and N.K. Japan and Radio Free Asia broadcast propaganda into N.K. along with S. Korea. S. K. has an army of assassins getting ready to go North. It shouldn't take long before the military people and their families defect, leaving Un without enough support to continue to threaten anyone. He no longer has enough money to keep bribing the military with expensive gifts so he either gives them a pat on the back and a badge or has them executed. The Trump doctrine needs to be extended. S. Korea and the U.S. can take care of the nuclear materials after Un is gone; China stay out; North and South can be united again. And the Trump Doctrine needs to be extended to the United Nations; support the defectors or get out of New York! We can use the building to house N. Korean defectors ! For those that don't want war with N.K., or don't want to buy their agreement not to build nuclear weapons, as we did with Iran, support Trump. William E. Fortune, Lee, NH [email protected] January, 2018 ---------------------------------------- News Reports: China is planning to build five camps that could accommodate thousands of North Korean refugees, The New York Times reported Monday. According to The Times, a leaked document from state-run China Mobile that appeared on the microblogging site Weibo, said the telecommunications company was contacted to check for "viable internet service" at the five sites in the northeast border province of Jilin. “Because the situation on the China-North Korea border has intensified lately, Changbai County government plans to set up five refugee sites in Changbai,” the document reportedly stated. " ……………. When questioned by The Times, a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry said they were not aware of reports about the refugee camps, but did not deny the plans to build them. Jilin has a large border with North Korea and is close to the nuclear-test site North Korean defectors often escape to China because of the countries' large shared border. Jilin province alone has a 200 kilometer (124 mile) border with North Korea and most of it is split by the narrow Tumen River, which is shallow enough to wade across in summer or walk on when frozen in winter. China used to send North Korean refugees back The refugee camps could indicate a shift in China's policy on North Korean refugees. In the past, China has said it does not recognize North Korean defectors as refugees but as illegal economic migrants. Those who are caught are apprehended and many sent back to North Korea, where they face almost guaranteed torture. “Those North Koreans have illegally crossed the border due to financial hardship in their homeland. They did not go through normal immigration procedures and also disrupted public order in our border regions," a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman was quoted as saying by Korea Times two years ago. Just earlier this year, China appeared to tighten its crackdown on North Koreans entering the country. According to Human Rights Watch, In July and August, (2017) 41 North Koreans were apprehended, nearly as many in all of 2016. Of all those, nearly half have been sent back to North Korea."