The Rise of the Rest: The Post-American World
Fareed Zakaria sees the "rise of the rest" -- the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, and many others -- as the great story of our time, and one that will reshape the world. How should the United States understand and thrive in a rapidly changing international climate in which it will no longer dominate the global economy, orchestrate geopolitics, or overwhelm cultures? How will the global shift in power from West to East impact different parts of the world? Dr. Zakaria will explore what it means to live in a truly global era.
Is the American Dream Out of Reach?
The shifting global economic landscape has placed new and powerful pressures on the average American. And now a subpar-turned-floundering recovery in the U.S. and much of the developed world is creating new risks for the whole economic system. Fareed Zakaria describes these pressures and risks and analyzes whether governments have the capacity to make the changes that societies need to survive and flourish. Americans have assumed that hard work and a good education lead to good jobs, rising wages, and secure retirements. Is this a realistic prospect for the future or a dream?
The Future of Energy: The Challenges and the Solutions
The world is changing. Every day, new modes of operation and production seize the public’s imagination, helping them work more efficiently. Yet, while advancements in technology make lives easier, years from now, current consumption practices may have irreversible ecological effects. In his ongoing discussion about energy, Fareed Zakaria highlights some of the strengths and weaknesses of our struggle with energy. From wind-powered turbines to thermonuclear cores, Zakaria investigates and explicates the next fifty years of energy utilization and what it means for our planet.
The Economic Crisis: Lessons Learned -- and the Way Forward
The bursting of a housing bubble in the U.S., unsustainable debt burdens, and highly leveraged banks triggered a financial crisis and global economic downturn that called into question the Western model of capitalism. Government spending, notably in the U.S. and China, along with repeated and the often concerted interventions by Central Banks have at various turns produced waves of liquidity, quelling fears of contagion and producing asset inflation in equities and commodities, the repair of corporate balance sheets, social unrest and complaints about the nationalization of bank bondholder losses, and signs of economic recovery from depressed levels. Hopes that a subpar recovery by historical standards will reach "escape velocity" and broad expectations that a new global downturn will be avoided are now met by concerns that there has been a kicking of the can down the road -- that the European sovereign debt crisis and the severe risk of contagion persist, and that money printing by Central Banks ultimately will result in a competitive debasing of currencies and varying degrees of stagflation in a multi-speed global economy. In this talk, Fareed Zakaria will explore the economics and politics of where we've come from, what we've learned, and what the prospects are for companies and countries in a world of uncertainty and rising new powers on the global stage.
The Politics & Culture of the Global Economy
How will globalization affect you, your business, your country? Understanding this requires mapping out the forces that have produced the global economy, assessing the lessons learned from the economic crisis, and determining how the different dimensions of globalization will change and exert their influence in the future. Understanding the global economy -- and how people, corporations and governments fit into it -- requires a far more complex understanding of the interaction of politics, culture, technology and economics.
Emerging Markets: Challenges & Opportunities
As America moves into a new era, a new world rises beyond its borders. Now taking advantage of the stable infrastructure awarded by more technologically and economically advanced governments, nations around the world match the productivity once thought made in America. Fareed Zakaria distills, what he refers to as, “the rise of the rest,” an emerging market born out of Africa, Asia and South America, which not only challenges America’s economy but also aides it. His findings on China, Russia, Brazil, and India are not meant to frighten, as Zakaria reminds us: This is not about the decline of America but about the rise of everyone else.
Globalization: A New World
Since the end of the Cold War, there has tended to be in the United States a sense that the whole world was moving in one direction. The destruction of Soviet Communism meant that all of a sudden there was one economic model, one paradigm, one world, and we were all hurtling toward it. You just had to catch the globalization train, open up your markets, and you would grow rich and be happy -- and look a lot like America.
But a funny thing happened along the way to this global nirvana. We realized that the world was a lot more complicated. What we forgot was that while economic forces were propelling countries to give up state socialism and central planning, and while technological forces were bringing the world closer-there were other things going on as well. Many countries had their own ways of getting economic growth, their own political history, political preferences, institutions, and culture. So that capitalism in Sweden, China, and Brazil all look very different from each other. And none looks that much like America.
...Sometimes these historical, cultural forces play a larger role, a more damaging role. One of the things we have been obsessed with lately in the world is Islamic terrorism. The parts of the world where this problem comes from have a peculiar relationship to globalization. They can see, but they cannot touch. If you go around the Middle East, there are people who, because of the oil money, have access to the wealth, the consumerism and all the goodies of American capitalism, of Western capitalism. They can buy the cars, they can see the movies, they can eat the fast food, they can drink the soft drinks, but they can't make any of it. They can't truly own that process. They can't master it, because the oil money itself has produced a kind of weird dependency: It has made it unnecessary to modernize these societies. Why go through the hard work of building laws that favor entrepreneurship, that create sound money, that protect private property, that encourage economic growth, when all you need to do is dig a hole in the ground and sell the oil?
These societies-I call them trust-fund countries-have easy access to unearned revenue, so the government doesn't need to do this hard stuff. This produces, however, economic stagnation and something worse: political stagnation. When a government doesn't have access to easy revenue, it has only one choice: to tax you. But in taxing you, it is making you very aware of that government, making you demand something of that government. You begin to demand things like accountability, transparency and good government.
...But the focus on this part of the world has obscured a broader phenomenon, of which the Middle East is just a part. Around the world, countries are finding a way to marry economics and technology with their own politics, culture and history. Brazil and Turkey: ten years ago, you would have thought of these two countries as completely classic Third World basket cases-1,000 percent inflation, nothing working, the government owns too much of the economy, no prospects. If you look at those countries today, they are impeccably managed, with very sound financial positions. Growth is at 5 percent or higher. Inflation is under 10 percent. Their credit ratings are good. They get clean bills of health from the IMF and the World Bank. But what's most astonishing is that they have democracies. They found a way to make it work. And it's actually happening not just in Brazil and Turkey. It's happening in the heart of Africa, with 14 countries growing at 4% or more, most impressive among them is the extremely well-managed regional giant, South Africa. Most importantly, it's happening in China and India. This is an extraordinary process, being fueled by economic and technological forces, but married to local context, culture, and politics. The natives are getting good at global capitalism. But they are doing it their way.
Over the last five hundred years, the world has seen three seismic shifts of power with huge consequences. The first, around the 16th century, was the rise of the West, which has dominated the globe economically, politically and culturally ever since. The second, in the late 19th century, was was the rise of the United States of America, the single most powerful country the world has ever seen, which has shaped global order for 75 years now. And the third is the rise of Asia, first Japan, and now China and India. This last shift is taking place before our very eyes. We, or children, and their children, will live with its fallout.