Education

Hey NYC Reasonoids: Come To School Choice Debate on July 11!

"Parents should have the choice to...redirect the taxpayer tuition money for their children to other approved schools or educational options."

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To Sir, With Love, screen cap

The next Soho Forum debate, held monthly in New York City, will be about school choice. It's an Oxford-style debate, meaning the winner is the person who gets more people to move his or her way based on votes taken before and after the conversation.

The panelists are Bob Bowdon of ChoiceMedia.tv (he's in favor of school choice) and Samuel Abrams of Columbia University's National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (against choice). They will debate the following proposition:

"Parents should have the choice to opt out of public schools and redirect the taxpayer tuition money for their children to other approved schools or educational options."

The Soho Forum provides one of the rarest things around: A rollicking, intellectually serious space for substantive and civil debate. As a participant in an epic debate with economist Walter Block about whether libertarians should vote for Donald Trump and as an attendee at several events there, I can't recommend it highly enough. Here are the details:

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St,
NY, 10012

Seating must be reserved in advance.

*Moderated by Gene Epstein,
the economics editor of Barron's.

Featuring Lenore Skenazy, "World's Worst Mom" and author of Free Range Kids, in her world debut as a standup comedian before the debate.

Go here to buy tickets and reserve your seats. If you can't make it or are out of the area, each event is live-streamed and podcasted by the Reason Podcast (go here to subscribe).

Bonus video from the most-recent Soho Forum debate, with Mark Skousen and Gene Epstein arguing over Adam Smith's centrality to understanding capitalism:

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  1. Adam Smith obviously didn’t “invent” capitalism. That people have traded goods and services for other goods and services is as old as humanity itself. In addition, everywhere someone was trading, someone was trying to figure out a better way to get more stuff to trade so he can get more other stuff that he wants.

    However, as a logically consistent treatise on the morality and efficacy of people trading in their own best interests, it was probably the first.

    1. When did capitalism even become a term? Because it is really not well defined at all. I almost don’t like using it, because my guess is that it was invented as a term to act as a bogeyman for Marxists.

      1. When did capitalism even become a term?

        the googles:

        http://adamsmithslostlegacy.bl…..rries.html

        The Oxford English Dictionary (Vol II, p 863) locates its first usage in English in 1854 by William Makepeace Thackeray in his novel, The Newcomes.

  2. “Parents should have the choice to…redirect the taxpayer tuition money for their children to other approved schools or educational options.”

    Approved by who?

  3. Would somebody please ask Suderman if he thinks it’s a good idea to move students from public schools to private schools with vouchers?

    Because my impression is that he’s against moving people from Medicaid to private insurance with subsidies–and I don’t see the difference.

    1. The possible distinction that comes to mind is that these might be new subsidies that require funding, while school vouchers are simply replacing how already existing funding is distributed.

      Otherwise, eh, fucked if I know.

      1. Yeah, but we’re already spending money on Medicaid, too.

    1. It’s a place to purchase cocktails, which no true libertarian would ever make use of, because only communists drink cocktails.

  4. What a dumb premise for a debate. It might be worse than “Was Obama a great president?”

  5. Featuring Lenore Skenazy, “World’s Worst Mom” and author of Free Range Kids, in her world debut as a standup comedian before the debate.

    “Free range kids run like this…while the other kids run like this.”

    *laughter*

    “What’s the deal with public parks? They’re public, but no single man can park there.”

    *more laughter*

    1. That was pretty funny, Crusty.

  6. Wish I could go. I will try to catch the podcast though.

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