Free Markets

Is Free Market Ideology Hurting the Economy?

A livestreamed debate between Binyamin Appelbaum and Gene Epstein


"Free market ideology is largely responsible for the dismal performance of the U.S. economy over the past few decades." That was the resolution for a live debate on Monday, October 17, 2022, at the Sheen Center in downtown Manhattan.*

Defending the resolution was 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 was 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.

The debate was moderated by Nick Gillespie.

*CORRECTION: This page originally said that the live debate was held on October 15.