There seems to be no escaping debates at the moment. While the just-concluded Presidential Debates have been on the mind of most Americans during the month of October, Smith Soc chapters have taken the debate format and used it to highlight issues and discussions that matter to free market-minded business school students. Multiple chapters have taken on issues as wide-ranging as the relationship between the market and government, the viability of a carbon tax, and the implications of the Brexit vote.
Debates generally afford multiple opportunities for Smith Soc chapters: they allow members to make connections with their campus community (especially other MBA clubs); provide a chance to recruit new members; and give members openings to advance the Adam Smith Society message of free markets and the free discussion of ideas. We have seen many chapters in action on all these fronts this month.
Here's a sample of October's on-campus debates:
Debate on Government and the Economy
On October 3, the Smith Soc Chapter at the SMU Cox School of Business hosted a panel debate on the issue, "The Role of Government in the Economy Over the Next Four Years." Participants were James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal, Abby McCloskey, a consultant with McCloskey Policy, LLC, and Dr. Harvey Rosenblum, a professor of business and financial economics at SMU. The panel discussed the challenges over the next four years for whoever becomes president. The discussion was wide-ranging, with topics ranging from single mothers to social mobility to monetary and fiscal policy.
Debate on a Carbon Tax
The University of Texas McCombs School of Business Chapter hosted a debate on the subject of a carbon tax on October 11. The participants were Oren Cass, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and Rob Williams, Senior Fellow and Director at Resources for the Future. The moderator was Dr. Fred Beach of the University of Texas's Energy Institute.
Debate on Brexit
Our Chapter at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business partnered with the European Business Students Association on their campus to organize a debate on the implications of the United Kingdom's vote and subsequent actions to leave the European Union. University of Michigan faculty Dr. Alan Deardorff (Professor of International Economics), Dr. Kyle Handley (Professor of Business Economics), Dr. Linda Tesar (Professor of Economics), and Dr. Robert J. Franzese Jr (Professor Political Science). The October 12 debate, which incorporated a diversity of voices and perspectives, was attended by over 100 students.
Photos from the Brexit debate at the Ross School.