Welcome to Iowa Public Television! If you are seeing this message, you are using a browser that does not support web standards. This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device. Read more on our technical tips page.

Iowa Public Television

 

Intelligence Squared

Should Drugs Be Legalized? (#102)

It was 1971 when President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs." $ 2.5 trillion dollars later, drug use is half of what it was 30 years ago and thousands of offenders are successfully diverted to treatment instead of jail. Still, 22 million Americans - nine percent of the population - still use illegal drugs; and with the highest incarceration rate in the world, we continue to fill our prisons with drug offenders, leaving shattered families and communities in the wake. Is it time to legalize drugs or is this a war that we're winning? [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: INTELLIGENCE SQUARED features provocative and informative debates on hot-button concerns of the day. Moderated by ABC's John Donvan, each program includes experts, specialists and passionate advocates on both sides of an issue. Taking the traditional approach of Oxford-style debate, one side proposes and the other side opposes a sharply framed motion, with two to three speakers on each side. After the formal arguments, the debate is thrown open to the floor for questions, triggering an interchange among speakers and audience. The studio audience votes on the motion before and then after hearing the arguments, providing a clear measure of how people have been swayed.

« Upcoming Episodes

All Episodes

  • Are Elected Islamists Better Than Dictators? (#101)

    The popular uprisings of the Arab Spring have left a leadership void that Islamist parties have been quick to fill. A longtime supporter of former strongmen like Egypt's Mubarak and Tunisia's Ben Ali, the U. S. now faces the uncomfortable result of Arab democracy-the rise of Islamist parties that are less amenable to the West than their autocratic predecessors. Will the Islamists, who once embraced violence, slowly liberalize as they face the difficulties of state leadership? Or will it mean the growth of anti-Americanism and radicalization in the region? [56 minutes]

    Watch This Episode Online

  • Does Science Refute God? (#103)

    On the fundamental question--evolution or creation?--Americans are on the fence. According to one survey, while 61% of Americans believe we have evolved over time, 22% believe this evolution was guided by a higher power, with another 31% on the side of creationism. For some, modern science debunks many of religion's core beliefs, but for others, questions like "Why are we here?" and "How did it all come about?" can only be answered through a belief in the existence of God. Can science and religion co-exist? [56 minutes]

  • Too Many Kids Go to College (#104)

    A part of the Chicago Ideas Week, this debate was the first Intelligence Squared U.S. debate to be held live in Chicago. The herd mentality that assumes college is the only path to reaching one's full potential is under fire. Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt, unemployment for those with bachelor's degrees is at an all-time high, and entrepreneurs like the founders of Facebook and Microsoft prove that extraordinary success is possible without it. But recent studies show that college is economically beneficial even to those whose jobs don't require it. Is it still the best way to ensure social mobility, or is America's love affair with higher education unjustified? [56 minutes]

  • Congress Should Approve Obama'a Jobs Plan (#105)

    Imagine a world free of genetic diseases, where parents control their offspring's height, eye color and intelligence. The science may be closer than you think. Genes interact in ways that we don't fully understand and there could be unintended consequences, new diseases that result from our tinkering. But even if the science could be perfected, is it morally wrong? Would it lead to eugenics and a stratified society where only the rich enjoy the benefits of genetic enhancement? Or would the real injustice be depriving our children of every scientifically possible opportunity? [57 minutes]

  • The GOP: Seize The Center Or Die? (#106)

    2012 was a disappointing year for Republicans. The failure to win key swing states in the presidential election and surprising losses in the House and Senate have prompted some reflection. Was their embrace of small government, low taxes, and a strong conservative stance on social issues at odds with shifting American demographics? Or did the GOP embrace the right platform, but the wrong candidates? [57 minutes]

    Watch This Episode Online

  • Is The Fda Too Cautious? (#107)

    The Food and Drug Administration, the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the U.S. federal government, is charged with protecting the public health. Under this mandate, it regulates drugs and medical devices for their safety and effectiveness. But is it a failing mandate? It's long been argued that the FDA's long and costly approval processes stifle innovation and keep life-changing treatments from the market. But the question remains: when it comes to public health, is it ever okay to sacrifice safety for speed? [56 minutes]

  • The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member S (#201)

    On September 23, 2011, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appeared before the U.N. General Assembly to request full membership for the State of Palestine. America's veto power renders their bid largely symbolic, but there could be leverage gained - like indirect recognition of statehood - in the process. After 20 years of failed talks with Israel, can this plea to the international community be the only path left to a two-state solution, or have the Palestinians set the peace process back by bypassing negotiations? Panelists: Mustafa Barghouthi, Daniel Levy, Dore Gold, Aaron David Miller. [56 minutes]

  • Obesity Is The Government's Business (#202)

    With 33% of adults and 17% of children obese, the U.S. is facing an obesity epidemic. A major risk factor for expensive, chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, it costs our health care system nearly $150 billion a year. Should government intervene, or is this a matter of individual rights and personal responsibility? Panelists: Dr. Pamela Peeke, Dr. David Satcher, Paul Campos, John Stossel. [56 minutes]

  • China Does Capitalism Better Than America (#203)

    For all appearances, China has emerged unscathed from the global economic crisis, in stark contrast to its biggest debtor, America. China's admirers point to its ability to mobilize state resources, quick decision-making and business-friendly environment as reasons for its economic ascendency. But can its brand of state-directed capitalism overcome rampant corruption and the threat of growing inequality, or will the American model of innovation and free markets prevail? Panelists: Orville Schell, Peter Schiff, Ian Bremmer, Minxin Pei. [56 minutes]

  • When It Comes to Politics, The Internet Is Closing (#204)

    Does the internet poison politics? It?s been argued that the rise of ? personalization,? the use of algorithms to filter what you see online, and easy access to the like-minded, have served to reinforce our pre-conceptions. Is the information bubble a myth, or is it undermining civic discourse? Is the rise of social media really broadening our world views, or narrowing them? Panelists: Eli Pariser, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Evgeny Morozov, Jacob Weisberg. [56 minutes]

  • Ban College Football (#205)

    Corruption and a growing concern for head injury have put college football in the spotlight. Are football programs' millions in profits exploitation? Or are they still a celebration of amateur sport? Does football's inherent danger and violence have any place in institutions of higher learning? Or does it provide young men with educational opportunities they would not otherwise have? Panelists: Buzz Bissinger, Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Green, Jason Whitlock. [56 minutes]

  • The Rich Are Taxed Enough (#208)

    How do we fix the economy? The U.S. government's budget deficit is nearing a trillion dollars for the fourth straight year and unemployment remains high. With the Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of 2012, what is the best move for continued economic recovery? President Obama says we should raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 to reduce the deficit. Others say that the richest 1% already pay more than a quarter of all federal taxes and higher taxes for job creators would slow economic growth. Are the nation's wealthiest not paying their "fair share," or should tax breaks be extended for everyone in the name of job creation? [56 minutes]

  • Two Cheers for Super Pacs: Money In Politics Is St (#301)

    The product of two court decisions, Citizens United and SpeechNow.org v. FEC, Super PAC spending is on course to make 2012 the most expensive presidential election in history. These supercharged political action committees may spend and receive unlimited amounts of money from individuals, corporations, and unions to advocate for political candidates, as long as they are independent of the candidates' campaigns. How have Super PACs changed the political landscape? Are they good for democracy? For: David Keating, Jacob Sullum. Against: Trevor Potter, Jonathan Soros. Moderator: John Donovan. [56 minutes]

    Watch This Episode Online

  • Ration End-Of-Life Care (#303)

    Just because we can extend life, should we? The U.S. is expected to spend $2.8 trillion on health care in 2012. Medicare alone will cost taxpayers $590 billion, with over 25% going toward patients in their last year of life. If health care is a scarce resource, limited by its availability and our ability to pay for it, should government step in to ration care, deciding whose life is worth saving? In other words, how much is an extra month of life worth? [56 minutes]

  • America Doesn't Need A Strong Dollar Policy (#304)

    It's often taken for granted that America needs a strong dollar. When the value of the U.S. dollar is strong relative to other currencies, it becomes attractive to investors and allows Americans to buy foreign goods and services cheaply. But in times of recession,are we better off with a weak dollar that stimulates U.S. manufacturing by making our goods cheaper and more competitive? Or will the loss of purchasing power and currency manipulation abroad, offset the potential gains? MODERATOR John Donvan Author & Correspondent for ABC News FOR Frederic Mishkin Professor, Columbia Business School FOR John Taylor Chairman and Founder, FX Concepts AGAINST Steve Forbes Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media AGAINST James Grant Editor and Founder, Grant's Interest Rate Observer [56 minutes]

« Upcoming Episodes

« Back to Programs A-Z