June 19th, 2011
02:58 PM ET

Zakaria: Conservatism has lost touch with reality

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

I've been watching the Republicans on the campaign trail and what strikes me so far is that conservatives in America have gone through a strange transformation.

It used to be that conservatism was a hard-headed set of ideas rooted in reality.

Unlike the abstract theories of Marxism and socialism, it started not from an imagined society, but from the world as it actually exists.

"This is the way things work," conservatives would patiently explain to wooly headed liberal professors. "Whatever you may want it to look like, this is what it really looks like."

But consider the debates over the economy these days. The Republican prescription is cut taxes - slash government spending, then things will always bounce back.

Now, I would like to see lower tax rates in the context of simplification and reform, but what is the actual evidence that massive tax cuts are the single best path to revive the U.S. economy? Taxes as a percentage of GDP are at their lowest levels since 1950. The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies.

So the case that America is grinding to a halt because of high taxation is not based on facts, either past or present. It is simply a theoretical assertion.

The rich countries after all are in the best shape right now with strong growth and low unemployment are ones like Germany, Denmark and Canada - none characterized by low taxes.

Meanwhile, many Republican businessmen have told me that the Obama administration is the most hostile to business in 50 years.

Really?

More than that of Richard Nixon, for example, who presided over tax rates that reached 70 percent, regulations that spanned whole industries like airlines and telecommunication and who actually instituted price and wage controls?

In fact, right now any discussion of any government involvement in the economy - even to build vital infrastructure - is impossible because it is a cardinal tenet of the new conservatism that such involvement is always and forever bad.

That's the theory.

Meanwhile, in practice across the globe the world's fastest growing economy, China, has managed to use government involvement to create growth and jobs for three decades.

From Singapore to South Korea to Germany, evidence abounds that some strategic actions by governments can act as catalysts for free market growth.

But conservatives now resemble the old Marxists who refuse to look at actual experience. "I know it works in practice," the old saw goes, "but does it work in theory?"

Republicans often praise businessmen. Well, one of the first steps any business now takes when confronting a problem is to ask, "How are other companies around the world handling this? Is there a best practice we can learn from?" But in any area, from infrastructure to health care to education, to ask these questions is heresy on the right.

It's a shame. I think we need smart, market-friendly conservative reforms that streamline government, cut costs in health care and empower individuals, but they need to be rooted in reality, drawn from best practices around the world and based on practical measures of what seems to work.

What we have instead are policies that are simply recitations of some free market theory taken out of some book based on no actually existing national economy.

It turns out conservatives have become the wooly headed professors after all.

For more on this, you can read my column in this week's TIME Magazine.


soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Tom

    They have certainly lost touch with reality. But so have the Democrats. In fact it seems that it has become very American to just never look at results, or listen to others. Instead we pontificate and talk like we have aspergers syndrome, very self satisfied, very blaming toward all others who don't BELIEVE!.

    June 23, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  2. what1ever

    Somebody really needed to say this. Libertarianism has become a psuedo-religion, much like Marxism was (and still is). The Milton Friedman-esque policy of supporting tax cuts at any time for any reason is a great idea, but like Marxism, that's probably not what's best way to run the world.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:34 am | Reply
  3. OldMo

    Fareed, thank you for taking the time to attempt to inform us mouth-breathers about the economy, obviously you're part of the intelligentsia. Lowering taxes would be crazy because that would keep people's money in their own pockets. How is the gov't going to funnel your money to their voting blocks and puppet masters if it's in your pocket? And slashing spending would be insane because then the gov't couldn't borrow and become deeper indebted to foreigners. Also, if we slashing borrowing....I mean spending and "investing", we might have to shut of the printing presses at the Fed. We all know that's a source of magical money and there's never any ill effects when it's poured into the economy. Keep up the good work Fareed, I'm so glad you're one of the geniuses that has the President's ear.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:02 am | Reply
  4. Realist

    To your first main point, taxes, you're far off base.

    The theory for slashing taxes is based on the failure and bankruptcy of countries like Iceland and those soon going into bankruptcy – Sweden and Norway. They have extremely high taxation and still don't cover all of their expenditures, pushing them further into debt. There comes a point in their societies where people stop working – for either apathy or age (about 50-55 in Sweden) – and just ride off of the government. The same problem is starting to happen here – e.g. extended unemployment, abuse of the Welfare system, etc.

    Under the idea to cut taxes and cut spending, the American public becomes less dependent on the government and will have to take responsibility for their own lives. I know, it's a cruel thought. Someone having to actually sacrifice their ego to work at a McD's instead of an office. But that's life. There are jobs out there, people just don't want to sacrifice their pride to make a buck and would rather claim unemployment.

    The other cuts outside of "public service" are mostly redundancies in the government. There is an insane amount of over lap in the government between many, many agencies that not just spend our money, but cause confusion and jurisdiction issues, wasting more time and effort. E.g. ATF, DEA, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, and State Department all having to cover international drug trafficking. Makes no sense at all.

    June 24, 2011 at 8:41 am | Reply
  5. Gregg Prussing

    Mr. Zakaria makes a simple, yet common mistake. He confuses conservatives with Republicans. Republicans are part of the Political Class that has shared power with the Democrats (don't confuse them with liberals, either). The Political Class has become tyrannical in its pursuit of and desire to maintain power.

    Conservatives are people who share some common values. These include, but are not limited to, the notion that people are responsible for their actions and themselves, that government should not be involved in every aspect of life, and that the Constitution was created to guarantee Americans freedoms and liberties. Conservatives believe that these freedoms and liberties are under assault by the Political Class.

    Mr. Zakaria, I would have thought you could do better than label people the way you did.

    June 24, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
  6. Matt

    Couldn't agree more, I had been thinking about this exact issue recently. It used to always be said that liberals were pie-in-the-sky dreamers completely unbounded by reality. But now we have conservatives with their mystical ideas about no taxes and outlawing abortion to make this country a magical utopia. I thought liberals were the crazy utopians.

    One thing though: "It's a shame. I think we need smart, market-friendly conservative reforms that streamline government, cut costs in health care"

    Sorry, being "market-friendly" is exactly what got us ridiculous health care costs. Health care might be the one item where demand is almost perfectly inelastic. You know why? Because we have empathy. As much as conservatives and Ayn Rand objectivists want to argue against it, we have evolved empathy for a reason, so that we can live and work together in a civilized society. What this means is that we have a pretty hard time just letting people die even if they can't pay, so, we just let them go bankrupt instead, after we've treated them. People (typically) don't care about cost when it comes to saving their child's life, therefore you can charge any price you want, therefore demand is inelastic. Free markets and the laws of supply and demand are supposed to be based on choice. How can you have an honest free market in the health care sector when it comes to something that is not a "choice" for most people? I, for one, think that it might be immoral to make a profit on something that determines life or death.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  7. Fred Bastiat

    Here's an idea, lets actually start abiding by the US Constitution as it is written and not as it has been perverted.

    The purpose of government is NOT to be used by a tool on the right to enforce their morality on others any more so than to be used by a tool on the left to extract the wealth of others. The proper role of government is to protect our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

    If followed as written, the US Constitution guarantees that we remain the freest people on Earth. Only when democrats and republicans start using it as a tool rather than a shield do we lose our freedoms.

    Change the Constitution? No. Hold our reps accountable for abiding by it? Yes.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  8. Patrick

    "The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies."

    Fareed should know better. This is a complete fallacy. The U.S. has the Second highest taxes on corporations among all nations. Second only to Japan.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Zombie Messiah

      Corporate taxes are what you're thinking of, the nominal corporate tax rate is the second highest, but is so riddled with loopholes that the actual taxes on corporations are very low (or zero). We have a very low tax rate when all taxes are considered.

      We'd be doijng something very wrong if we can't provide basic services to our people and have a higher tax rate than France or Germany!!

      June 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  9. jane

    This is really true. There is no correlation with taxes on the rich and the economy. Now, my theory is that government spending but going into debt when they cut taxes has masked that the opposite is true. Higher taxes and government spending and lower taxes on the lower income who spend that money is the key. Low taxes and government spending leading to debt is stimulative to the economy but only in the short run. The maximum money gets into the economy from government and low income having it. The least money makes it to the economy when the rich have and hoard it or spend it overseas. Plus they tend to downsized jobs to get it rather than add jobs to get it. Kind of sad but true.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  10. Lew Burgher

    Fareed,

    Funny how you note past Presidents, but you conveniently left out Ronald Reagan who was left with High Inflation, High unemployment, and a high deficit from the Carter Administration. Reagan eliminated the inflation, Lowered the deficit, and created 15 Million Jobs all while Get this..."Lowering Taxes". Wow....You are out of touch with reality and you are not a true American...you are a Liberal Cheerleader.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • Jomomma

      Reagan lowered the deficit? You need to buy a history book, right away!

      June 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  11. Chris D

    Fareed is quite the liberal, eh? Never saw this side of him. Can't you also say that Liberals have gone off the deep end and make no sense when they spew "human rights" – but love abortion like it's candy – and trumpet "free speech" – but not when it's any conservative opinion they do not like.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Jomomma

      Both Liberals and Conservatives are rife with inconsistancies – like cherishing the life of a blastocyst, but putting absolutley no value on the lives of thousands of arabs. I love the rank hypocricy of trashing his right to free speech because he disagrees with conservatism by characterizing it as hating the free speech of people he disagrees with. Man that's some sweet double-think. I think modern conservatism is best diagnosed by a complete and utter lack of self-awareness.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  12. Lew Burgher

    Chris, I couldnt agree more.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  13. Jomomma

    We keep hearing about how evil socialism is. And how anything which involves spending tax dollars on tax payers is Socialism (despite what the definition in the dictionary states). Now basic neccessities of a modern society like healthcare, education and basic infrastructure upkeep – all things that other developed nations provide for its citizens and which are completely essential to maintaining a competetive economy – are EVIL, objectively BAD on a level of totalitarian communism in the Soviet Union.

    It comes down to a question of values. Our national values is MONEY, that's it. Not life, not peace, not justice, not equality, not the environment – all of those get shoved rudely aside when they conflict with the making of money. So Socialism only seems evil because in conflicts with our national value. So we get a bunch of rich, greedy, money-obsessed crooks repeating over and over that the only important thing that we can do as a nation is make them richer, and with enough years and enough repetitions of this theme, a huge portion of our populace have come to believe them. SO we get no great art or archetechture (not cost effective, let's build strip malls and business parks instead), we ravage our environment in the name of jobs (which continue to disappear anyway), and even considering that keeping our citizens healthy and well educated is somehow treasonous. We will destroy anything beautiful if it means a profit, anything objectively and intrinsically good will be gladly bulldozed if someone stand to make a dime. So we let our kids languish in awful schools while the world moves ahead. We stand screaming in the streets that a small sliver of our money might be used to keep someone else healthy and alive. We raize entire mountains leaving poisoned wreckage behind which will never be the same to get at coal which is sterilizing the oceans and suffocating the world we depend on for life. Our religions are turned on their head and the sacred words of God extolling aid to the poor and condemning greed are used to espouse the opposite instead. Truth becomes mutable, fact a point of view, the press a marketing arm of a conglomerate. These are indeed sad days.

    So let's destroy everything we used to cherish, everything a normal human not steeped in this culture of greed would value, for enormous fortunes that accomplish nothing except their own growth – which at the end of the day (or world) will only be zeroes written magnetically on some hard drive somewhere.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • Chris D

      Socialism isn't evil but it certainly does not trumpet the value of human life either. Socialism mandates that the government determine what level of excellence everyone can achieve. They oppress the free will of people, a free will that the religious would understand is given to them by God when even He knows some will fall. How you determine success is allowed in a free society, but not in Socialism.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
      • Jomomma

        No. You are totally wrong. But thanks for proving my point. Once again, the simple and proven idea that a government should provide some very basic services for its people is SOCIALISM!!!! And not just socialism (as understood by nearly everyone else in the world, including its own basic definition), but hardcore soviet-style COMMUNISM!! Why, if you believe that everyone should have access to medical treatment without thought to the profit of some distant and soulless corporation, then you despise life and freedom, and wants everyone dressed in grey waiting in bread lines! Put down the Ayn Rand and pick up a history book, or at least the far superior Great Gatsby.

        Authoritarian and totalitarian governments limit the freedoms and aspirations of their people. And very capitalist nations are just as likely to be authoritarian (think Nazi Germany or Saudi Arabia). Is Canada some kind of Soviet nightmare? Sweden? Germany? All are far more socialist than us, all provide basic services to their people and are growing faster than we are at the moment, and none of them have this BS limit on personal excellence – except to say that 1 person should not be able to kick a cancer patient out of his hospital bed and into the gutter to up his profit margin for this fiscal quarter.

        June 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  14. Lew Burgher

    Jane, your wrong. Re-distribution of money is not right. You cant penalize the rich for being rich. You cant have a Robin Hood GOVT. If you want to be rich...earn it. Dont expect a handout. Thats not what this country was founded on. If the rich want to donate to a charity..so be...let it be their choice...not the GOVT.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • Jomomma

      Atually, you can. Redeistribution of money has been viewed as right and good by many cultures including our own in the past, and is and objective good if the wealth is too centralized as economies with high levels of wealth concentration are less competetive and grow less, and their societies are objectively less healthy and happy. And we'd more be penalizing the rich from impoverishing the rest of us. This idea that the only right is the right fof rich people to do whatver they want to the rest of us to make more money is utter crap.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
      • Chris D

        Who is arguing that the only right is the right of the rich? The poor and middle class have the same right to make more money, to choose what job they want, to become a success. The left has such hatred toward people they do not agree with and I just don't understand it.

        June 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
      • Jomomma

        So you're pro-union, Chris? You support raising capital gains taxes to the same level of as income taxes? You'd support a movement to make offshoring illegal? Or do you support people's right to make money, but only in a way that the only people making more money are the wealthiest few?

        June 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
      • Jomomma

        "The left has such hatred toward people they do not agree with and I just don't understand it."

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Sweet bippy, do you people live on the same planet as the rest of us? Poor, poor conservatives, offering olive branches and back-rubs to the left and then only getting disagreement (HATE!!!) in return.

        June 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  15. Lew Burgher

    Jomomma,

    Touching story......but not reality. You assume that only Republicans like money. Nope.....the hypocrit democrats like it just as much...but they would like to steal it from the rich to give to the poor. make your own breaks and stop looking for the free handouts.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • Jomomma

      I never mentioned either party, as it is clear they are about as antagonistic to each other as opponents in a pro-wrestling match. They are comrades in greed. The distinction between the two are only important to people who want to create fake controversy to hide and legitimize their own greed, or for people so stupid they don't recognize the similarities. 30 years of alternating rule between the parties, and nothing has been accomplished except wars, tax-cuts and a bogus healthcare bill that is really just a subsidy for already wealthy insurance companies.

      AND- I'm not looking for handouts, I'm doing just fine. In fact, I'm sick of people telling me that if I don't value money over everything else in the world, then I am some poor parasite only looking for a handout. Maybe you should take a look at yourself and wonder just for a moment why the only fairness you are concerned with is the fairness that rich people should be able to get richer at our expense?

      June 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  16. Kerry Berger

    The one big point that is lost in all the discussion about the unrealistic perception that GOP members have about the economy is this. At the time when our tax base is the lowest since the 1950's, and the wealthiest members of society are NOT paying their fair share of taxes why is it that for the last 10 years with the Bush budget cuts the economy has not improved? Furthermore, why are we continuing to penalize the already over-burdened Middle-Class and the poor by making additional program cuts? This is absurd. We need to be creating jobs. The wealthy have not been keeping their side of the bargain. Is it right for kids to go to bed hungry in this country? Is it right for youngsters to be kept from attending college because student loans and grants will be eliminated? What kind of future does the GOP have in mind for America? The rate we are declining, we are no better today than many developing nations.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • Jomomma

      If I were in charge, I'd link tax rates for corporations, capital gains and the upper tax brackets to unemployment. If unemployment goes up, so does taxes. If we reach very low unemployment, then those taxes would be very low. How hard is it to come up with an idea like this? Instead we just get more tax cuts for people who don't need them based on an almost religious faith that they'll do the right thing at their own expense.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  17. TransitDave

    Of course, no one wants to admit that prohibition ( pretty much acknowledged today to be an idiotic, unworkable idea)
    was a direct result of giving women the right to vote....................

    June 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  18. Terry

    Did he really reference China? Educated or not, you lose all credibility when you claim that the growth in China by a truly MARXIST government is something to be looked up to and revered. The government controls everything in China and the only people that truly enjoy the fruits of their labor are the rulers.

    As for conservatives being out of touch, I submit it is intellectuals as yourself who do not live in the real world. You surround yourself with like minded socialists trying to conjure up more power for yourselves. Why is it, sir, that all of the European governments you mention are pulling back from all of the governmental programs? Socialism is soft tyranny, pure and simple.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  19. Daniel

    @George Plunkett
    >Conservatives believe in limited government, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, and that although no man or woman has a right to steal the fruits of another mans labor we do have a responsibility to be charitable.
    But that's exactly what he's talking about. You only have concepts of a what a perfect world would be. Hell, I'm liberal and I believe in those things too, but they could apply to a million different policies. And frankly, I'm going to stick on the side that doesn't have a paperthin concept of that sort of economic belief, (which, by the way, makes it theoretical in and of itself.) and then spend the rest of the debate talking about how all Muslim immigrants should be subjected to McCarthyist screening solely for being Muslim, and that 'Family Values' (Whatever the hell that actually means) is being destroyed by Homosexuals demanding basic human rights. If you want to shed these people from 'True Conservatives' then not only would you never vote for them, but you'd outright run them out of your party, and allow conservative policies to actually take more than a passing foothold in your party, with strong central ideals.

    Really, I'd vote Republican in a heartbeat if it wasn't catering to neo-victorian practices about civil rights and issues of sexuality, because despite my core agreement with old conservatism, I can't vote for the same group that supports this sort of horrible shade of humanity.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  20. dedawn1

    did I read this wrong or was that a hint that we should become more like China, a communist country?

    June 24, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  21. dedawn1

    as a conservative I must say they are leaning a little too far to the right however the Dems are tilting just as much. where is the middle of the road party. I want the same respect and rights as the 5% who are pushing laws thru. I dont care if you dont pray and I respect the fact that you wont bow your head but Let me and give me the same cosideration. I dont want to know what you do in your bedroom, we dont need a parade, please stop yelling at me that your gay and proud and I wont yell at you that Im straight and proud or tell you what goes on behind my bedroom door. damn it people when did we quit being americans and start putting new labels on everyone. My distant family is american indian, spanish and english but I AM AN AMERICAN!

    June 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  22. fgffffg

    and obamaism has destroyed the economy. and im an unbiased independent

    June 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Reply
    • CTMarine

      Please define exactly what "obamaism" is. Have you forgotten that when he entered office, we were losing over 800,000 jobs a month, the Dow was at 7,000, the American auto industry was virtually bankrupt and the global capitalist system was teetering on the brink of collapse? So how exactly has he "destroyed" the economy?

      June 26, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  23. tidalwave4000

    Conservatism has brought the country to its knees. Deregulation of the finance industry led to the collapse of the global economy and nearly initiated another Great Depression. Conservatives have this naive view that the free market can solve all of humanity's ills. This is delusional. The strongest economies in the world today are China, Germany, and S. Korea just to name a view. All are mercantilist in nature and benefit from large government investments in the economy. What did the US achieve with laissez-faire, supply-side economic policies? Deindustralization, massive trade deficit, shift of wealth to the top 1%, and a perpetual underclass. We need to take the best practices from around the world and apply them at home. Government does need to be streamlined and smarter; however, it needs to play an active role in our economy and society. Americans need to wake up and vote for pragmatic, centrist politicians and abandon ideologies that don't work.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:18 am | Reply
  24. Michael

    IWasn't it the Repubs, under Bush, who allegedly see the world in black and white?

    You claim that taxes in the US are the lowest since the early 1950s. That may be true, but spending and deficits are the highest since WW2. Further, it's not the absolute level of taxes that is relevant, but the relative level vs. competitors. The US has the highest corporate tax rates and is the only developed country which taxes overseas corporate profits. That drives employers overseas and keeps profits unrepatriated, ie overseas. US tax policy encourages housing investment and discourages industrial investment, even though the returns on housing are the lowest of any major class, and industrial plant & equipment has ROI of less than 2 years.

    You don't even mention regulations. Health care and energy policy are discouraging enormous sectors of the economy from hiring and investing. Again, relative is important. Reagan was so successful with de-regulation because he was dismantling the stifling economic legacy left during the 1970s, which you correctly attribute to one of the worst economic managers of the 20thC, Richard Nixon, but incorrectly attribute it solely to him (Johnson started the trend toward tight regulation).

    Finally you accuse Republicans of woolly-headedness in arguing for reduction in spending, whereas it's known that infrastructure investments help the economy. True, but you should examine HOW Democrats have spent. Most of it has been for non-investment purposes. Subsidies to states are the largest, they were used to keep uneconomic public employees and their pensions at work. Unemployment benefits extension is next, it may be compassionate, but paying people not working is not a path to either economic growth or any lasting improvement in infrastructure capital stock. Some was payroll tax reductions, which is ok, but as a temporary measure much of it is saved. Finally, much of the relatively small portion of true infrastructure spending was siphoned off by NOW and other women's groups who argued against spending on "burly men" industries, even though this was genuinely a "man-cession". They steered a large part of the infrastructure spending into "human infrastructure" by which was meant women dominated fields like teaching and nursing. That despite even Keynes theory that argued for spending on the underemployed economic sectors.

    In short, Democratic policies have failed not because of their woolly-headedness, but because of their bald political motivation. They could use a bit more woolly-headedness themselves. Better than corruption.

    June 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • CTMarine

      You are correct to state that we have ONE of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, although Japan's is higher at 40.69%. However, how many American corporations actually pay 35% in corporate tax when all the loopholes are factored in? G.E. paid ZERO corporate tax in 2010. Google paid 2.4%. Citigroup paid 0%. Boeing didn't pay any corporate taxes between 2008 and 2010. The list goes on and on. In fact, the effective corporate tax rate dropped from 50% of all tax revenue in 1950 to a historic low of just 5.5% in 2009. So when a corporation isn't paying corporate taxes, and when Fortune 100 corporations are sitting on $2 trillion in cash reserves, what is their next excuse for not expanding and hiring in this country.

      I'll give you the answer in two words.... demand and talent. Consumer demand accounts for 70% of all economic activity in this country. If demand is weak, then companies have no incentive to increase supply. Economics 101. And the engine of consumer demand in this country is the middle class, which has been eviscerated in order to reduce the tax liability of the top 1% as much as possible. The taxes saved by the top 1% are simply not being reinvested in this country.

      I deal with C-levels at America's biggest corporations all the time, and have had this conversation more times than I care to mention. They are not "going overseas" because of taxes, regulation or "uncertainty", no matter what the bobbleheads on cable news tell you. Believe me, if consumer demand was higher in this country, they would ramp up to meet it, regardless of the tax burden or what party was in power. They are investing in Asia because India and China have an emerging middle class of up to 750 million new consumers, a vast, highly educated workforce, and governments in New Delhi and Beijing who are investing billions in modernizing their infrastructure. Taxes have nothing to do with it, and neither does regulation (if you'd ever done business in China and dealt with the byzantine government bureaucracy there, believe me you would never again complain about U.S. government regulation).

      June 26, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
  25. Frank

    Why does CNN or anyone gush over Fareed Zakaria so much. I am sick of seeing him interviewed. The guy has an opinion on most subjects on earth and is rather precious about it all. He also has the low blood sugar blues about America's role in the world.

    June 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • CTMarine

      Nobody forces you to watch him, Frank. I could say the same thing about Glenn Beck having an opinion about most subjects on earth and being precious about it, so I choose simply to ignore him. Personally, I always find Fareed's insights highly erudite, well thought out and beautifully articulated. Even when I disagree with him, I appreciate his great intellect and unique perspectives.

      June 26, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • Eric Clayton Heard

        Glen Beck Is just another CONSERVATIVE (Prentending) SICKO, thinking of ratings, so as to, to make his millions,.... and nothing else....

        June 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  26. Ray

    Fareed serves the corporate status quo canvassing opinions from the likes of Kissinger whose track record in supporting wars of choice is notorious. His view of the US military is thinly veiled imperialism, but that doesn't surprise me considering the big money he rubs elbows with.

    June 26, 2011 at 10:12 am | Reply
  27. Eric Clayton Heard

    Thank FZ, I see the biggest threat to American life (today) as the so called conservative movement. These people are just plain sick, crazy or both.... Regards e

    June 26, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
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