Gene Epstein, who hosted the Soho Forum debate between Justin Wolfers and me, sent Justin and me the voting results this afternoon. Recall that the debate resolution read: The US economy should be liberated from the governments’ lockdowns right away.

I defended the resolution; Justin opposed.

Here are the results:

That was a bigger win than I had expected. I thought Justin would gain from the undecideds but he didn’t.

I wrote Justin and Gene the following:

Dear Gene and Justin,

Wow! Of course, that’s not ultimately how I judge a debate. I thought I won on points and not on KO, but I thought it would be closer than that.

Justin wrote back (and gave me permission to quote him):


It’s a great win, and I’m more than happy to concede to the better debater.
As I said at the start of the debate — at some point in time even I will concede that we need to re-open the economy. It appears that our audience was convinced that point might be earlier than I had been willing to concede.
You were, of course, a terrific and kind debate partner, and having admired your work for years, it was fun to finally meet. So at the end of this, I feel like I lost a debate, but made a friend, and I’m pretty happy with that tradeoff.
I replied:

Dear Justin,

Thanks. You’re so gracious.
I did even better because I both won the debate and gained a friend. 🙂