The Soho Forum Debates

Did the Free Market Ruin Our Economy? A Soho Forum Debate

A livestreamed debate between Binyamin Appelbaum and Gene Epstein


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"Free market ideology is largely responsible for the dismal performance of the U.S. economy over the past few decades." That is the resolution for a live debate taking place on Monday, October 15, 2022, at the Sheen Center in downtown Manhattan. The debate is also being livestreamed on YouTube.

Defending the resolution is Binyamin Appelbaum, the lead writer on business and economics for the New York Times editorial board. He previously worked as a Washington correspondent for the Times. He is the author of The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society (2019).

Arguing for the negative is Gene Epstein, the director of the Soho Forum and former economics and books editor of Barron's. His last published book was Econospinning: How to Read Between the Lines When the Media Manipulate the Numbers. Epstein has taught economics at the City University of New York and St. John's University, and he has worked as a senior economist for the New York Stock Exchange. He has defended the negative at six Soho Forum debates. His November 2019 debate on socialism with University of Massachusetts professor Richard Wolff has gained more than 5 million views on Youtube.