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? About the “Intelligence Squared NPR” Podcast
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates bring Oxford-style debate to America – one motion, one moderator, two panelists for the motion and two against. From clean energy and the financial crisis, to the Middle East and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings together the world’s leading authorities on the day’s most important issues. Join the debate online and cast your vote for each topic at www.iq2us.org.
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? About the “Intelligence Squared NPR” Podcast
Motion: Charter Schools Are Overrated In 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? About the “Intelligence Squared NPR” Podcast
Motion: The Special U.S.-Saudi Relationship Has Outlived Its Usefulness 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, 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? About the “Intelligence Squared NPR” Podcast
Motion: Give Trump a Chance 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? About the “Intelligence Squared NPR” Podcast