Building on three sold-out years, the vibrant Oxford-style public policy debate series, Intelligence Squared U.S., arrives at the Skirball Center for ten provocative and informative live debates on hot-topic issues of the day.
California is the First Failed State
The argument presented at this debate is whether California is a special case - with a dysfunctional political culture - or a bellwether of failure soon to come to other high-spending states. Uniquely charged by its constitution to guarantee the "happiness" of its residents, the state empowered its people to demand by referendum whatever they wanted to spend money on - from better schools to bigger prisons and to refuse by referendum to pay the bills. A legislature paralyzed by the absence of a workable middle - and a requirement for a 2/3 vote to impose taxes - combined and have dug the state into what many deem an inescapable hole.
Panelists for the motion:
Andreas Kluth, Bobby Shriver, Sharon Waxman
Panelists against the motion:
Lawrence O'Donnell, Van Jones, Gray Davis
Visit the Intelligence Squared Debate Series: California is the First Failed State website: