In January, Walmart announced a plan to create 10,000 new American jobs this year, which many speculated was aimed at getting in front of pressure from President Trump to expand its work force. Supporters cited this as the latest example of Walmart benefiting America by providing jobs to low-skilled American workers, selling affordable goods, and attracting new consumers and businesses to its neighborhoods. But critics argue that Walmart 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. On Thursday, April 6, the "fantastic" (The New Yorker) Intelligence Squared U.S. continues its tenth full year of debates with a debate on the motion "Long Live Walmart."
Debating in support of Walmart are former New York Times "Big City" columnist John Tierney and economist Richard K. Vedder, author of The Wal-Mart Revolution: How Big-Box Stores Benefit Consumers, Workers, and the Economy. Debating against Walmart are Amy Taub, whose research for Demos investigates consumer debt, job creation, and the American middle class; and professor Nelson Lichtenstein, author of The Retail Revolution: How Walmart Created a Brave New World of Business.
The debate will be held at NYC's Kaufman Center and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast "Intelligence Squared U.S." On April 6, online viewers can tune in at IQ2US's new website (http://smarturl.it/WalmartDebate).
WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Long Live Walmart"
WHEN: Thursday, April 6, 2017 / Reception 5:45-6:30 / Debate 6:45-8:30 PM
WHERE: Kaufman Center/129 W. 67th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam)/New York, NY 10023
TICKETS: $40 ($12 for students w/ ID). To purchase, visit http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/
Arguing for the motion:
* John Tierney: Contributing Editor, City Journal
John Tierney is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute's quarterly publication, City Journal. Tierney has written about urban politics, economics, and culture in his column, “The Big City,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine and in the paper’s Metro section, and which won the New York State Publishers Association Award. Tierney’s latest book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, was a New York Times best-seller and has been translated into 20 languages.
* Richard K. Vedder: Economist & Author, The Wal-Mart Revolution
Richard Vedder is director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus at Ohio University, and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He has authored Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much and The Wal-Mart Revolution: How Big-Box Stores Benefit Consumers, Workers, and the Economy.
Arguing against the motion:
* Amy Traub: Associate Director of Policy and Research, Demos
Amy Traub serves as associate director of policy and research at Demos. She has a broad research focus on consumer debt, job quality and job creation, and policies to build the American middle class. She has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on issues relating to job quality and the middle class.
* Nelson Lichtenstein: Professor, UC Santa Barbara & Author, The Retail Revolution
Nelson Lichtenstein is a distinguished professor in the Department of History at UC Santa Barbara, where he directs the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. He is the author or editor of 16 books, including Achieving Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy (2016) and The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business (2009, 2010).
ABOUT INTELLIGENCE SQUARED U.S. DEBATES (IQ2US)
A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 130 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.