Word of Mouth Presents: Intelligence Squared

Aug 29, 2017

We've heard from a number of Word of Mouth fans wondering why we haven't been producing a lot of new shows. The answer is that we're going local -- we're pulling out of our weekday afternoon spot and re-launching as a weekly/weekend show that answers questions, shares the stories, and explores the place we call home. Our new, New Hampshire centric show kicks off on Saturday, September 2nd at 11am - right after Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, so don't miss it.  In the meantime, we're still playing you some of our favorite shows you don't usually get to hear - and this week we’re sharing some episode from Intelligence Squared U.S.

IQ2 US is the program for listeners who crave a clear view of the big questions that divide Americans. Every episode brings together world thinkers, policy-makers and journalists, in 2 on 2 debates, to argue the pros and cons of issues like health care, foreign policy, clean energy, and the war. Then listeners weigh in. Expect ear-catching, provocative radio that enlightens, entertains and informs.

Wednesday, August 23rd - Has the U.S. - Saudi "Special Relationship" 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, and human rights concerns have all put strains on this relationship. Has this special relationship outlived its usefulness, or is it too important to walk away from? The debaters are Madawi Al-Rasheed, F. Gregory Gause, Mark P. Lagon, and James Jeffrey.

Thursday, August 24th - Are Charter Schools 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. Many charter schools boast of high test scores, strict academic expectations, and high graduation rates. Opponents argue that charters, which are subject to fewer regulations and less oversight, lack accountability, and take much-needed resources from public schools. Are charter schools overrated? The debaters are Gary Miron, Jeanne Allen, Julian Vasquez Heilig, and Gerard Robinson.

Tuesday, August 29th - Is the Universal Basic Income the Safety Net of the Future?

As technology transforms the workplace, jobs and income will become less reliable. A universal basic income could serve as a tool to combat poverty and uncertainty in a changing society. 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 basic income the safety net of the future? The debaters are Charles Murray, Jared Bernstein, Andrew Stern and Jason Furman.

Wednesday, August 30th - Long Live Walmart?

Walmart has long been a target for critics of corporate expansion. They say that the big-box retailer pushes out locally-owned businesses and mistreats its employees. Others point to the fact that Walmart provides countless jobs to low-skilled American workers. Has Walmart been good for America? The debaters are John Tierney, Richard K. Vedder, Nelson Lichtenstein, Amy Traub.

Thursday, August 31st - Will Video Games Make Us Smarter?

As video games gain prominence, some game creators are turning to global issues, such as poverty alleviation, international diplomacy, and combating climate change, for inspiration. Playing these socially minded games, they argue, allows users to build tangible skills in combating crisis and solving critical problems. But others see the multibillion-dollar gaming industry, dominated by portrayals of crime and war, as a threat that desensitizes its users to violence and encourages anti-social behavior. The debaters are Daphne Bavelier, Elias Aboujaoude, Asi Burak, and Walter R. Boot.