Preface: The Post-American World (Release 2.0)
June 30th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

Preface: The Post-American World (Release 2.0)

The following is my preface to The Post-American World (Release 2.0), which came out recently:

The first edition of The Post-American World was written in 2006 and 2007, when America was at the center of the world. The American economy was booming and, despite the setbacks in Iraq, people could not but be impressed by Washington’s military power, which, since 9/11, had been deployed across the world on a scale unmatched in human history.

American culture reigned supreme everywhere from Latin America to China. And whatever anyone thought of George W. Bush, there was still a general feeling that America represented the world’s most advanced form of capitalism, run and regulated in a sophisticated fashion.

The book was published in the middle of 2008, when the financial crisis had just begun. The Bear Stearns bailout, in March 2008, seemed to have stabilized the system, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average crept up to 13,000.

That fall, the financial system collapsed and with it the American economy, which contracted by 6 percent in the last quarter and shed almost four million jobs in six months, the largest such decline since the 1930s. The contraction in global trade was actually worse than that of the 1930s.

I would be lying if I said that I had predicted any of this. While I did mention the dangers of cheap credit and wrote about a looming financial crisis, I thought it would be the garden-variety kind most countries periodically go through, not the seismic shock that actually took place.

However, contrary to most predictions by most experts, the effect of the crisis was to accelerate the forces that I described in the book. The financial crisis hastened the rise of the post-American world. Goldman Sachs has twice revised its predictions of when China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy, and it will surely revise them again in light of the slower growth rates caused by the crisis.

The conventional wisdom was that when the West sneezed, the rest would catch pneumonia - that had been the experience in the past. But this time, the emerging nations of the world had achieved a critical mass and were now able to withstand the dramatic decline in growth in the Western world.

In fact, in retrospect, it seems wrong even to describe it as “the global financial crisis.” For China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia, this has not been much of a crisis. It has resulted in an acceleration of the power shift I described in the book, giving it new force and greater scope. In this edition, I try to explain the consequences of the financial crisis, the resulting changes in power, diplomacy, and national psyche. China is today a country very different from the one it was just three years ago.

One more big change: Barack Obama became president, and he arrived in the Oval Office with an awareness of the trends described in the book. That meant that the book needed to reflect the new political realities in Washington, some of which were positive, others as depressing as ever.

I remain convinced that the United States can adapt and adjust to the new world I describe, but the challenges have become greater and more complex, and I outline them with some new research and reflections on the way technology and globalization have combined to create a real crisis of employment for Americans. I also remain convinced that the geopolitical challenge of living in a world without a central, dominant power is one that will be acutely felt everywhere, and this too has been amply illustrated over the last few years.

The new edition incorporates my views on the financial crisis and its effects, the challenges and opportunities for the American economy, and the nature of the new global geopolitics. They are worked in throughout the book, not in any one place. Nowhere have I altered my basic views, so a reader who thought I was wrong three years ago is unlikely to be persuaded that I am now right. I felt that it was important to preserve the basic integrity of the work. I still believe that the challenge for all of us in the twenty-first century will be to live and prosper in this new and very different world.

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  1. NCGolfer

    looking forward to this book. just ordered.
    BTW, I am one of those who switch back and forth between CNN and Fox news to get both views. Any chance we can see you there ? or you invite some of our conservative guests ?!

    May 31, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Reply
    • Ninu

      If you really want to know what is going on in the world and the trends that are framing our world and American's position in it, the LAST thing you should do is watch ONLY US media. I just spent 10 months living abroad and both of these just reflect how far our heads are buried in the sand. I suggest you watch Al-Jazeera English, DWTV, BBC, CCTV for a start, and start reading NON-US publications, and NOT just European either, try Brazilian, Indian, etc..

      June 1, 2011 at 1:16 am | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Besides GPS, I follow BBC World News, Al Jazeera and the German and French speaking channels. I come to the conclusion that many European channels see world politics out of their point of view, which is governed by national interests. In small countries like Austria and Switzerland the national media there leaves much to be desired, when it comes to critical journalism. The media in general is only interested in grasping the masses.

        June 1, 2011 at 4:28 am |
      • JM

        I just want to add something here. Read all sorts of media from countries which have a free press. Avoid countries which don't like iran, China, North korea. China has to the worst propaganda bias media there exists in the world. Wait no, north beats that. US media seems to over-exaggerate stupid topics like the financial crisis and "Is china going to become the next largest economy". I mean there must be mindless people wring dumb things today. They only write it because its interesting to know that there is actually a competitor to the US. They did the same with Japan and Russia since WWII. Everyone thought Japan was going to have a larger economy then the US but that never happened. Now they they think China will outpass the US. The difference between China and Japan is this... China is about quantity and less about quality, and japan is the other way around. When I mean quantity were talking about mass productions... alot of people, alot of factories. When i mean quality, I mean inteligent peoples, innovators, advanced research, advanced technology. Maybe, the low quality, high quantity is better. China GDP per capita will never pass US though and the amount of investment to the US will stay the same also. China just produces low tech low quality stuff to the rest of the world. simple as that.

        June 2, 2011 at 1:33 am |
      • Nick San Diego

        You are spot on.

        June 2, 2011 at 10:21 am |
      • Steve

        JM

        We should never bury our heads in the sand. Fastest supercomputer, China. Fastest train, China. The first time I visited China I was shocked shocked. In fact as a tourist, you would never see the reality of China. There's really nothing wrong for them working hard to pull forward. We should do the same and more. China do make high quality stuff....but low quality too.

        June 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
      • Gordon

        So True!!!!

        June 30, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • james2

      I can guarantee you Fareed would lose almost all of his viewers if he stooped down to the level of that excuse for a news program called Fox News. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with attempting to set up an appearance on the network of your choosing, but when you're facing a news network with a political agenda there's not much point in going there, ya? Frankly, Fox News resembles the government run TV we've heard about in Syria or Egypt, except that over here only a half of the government is running it (Republicans). Here is a particularly egregious example:
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL5HzMEHPFE&w=640&h=360]

      June 1, 2011 at 7:33 am | Reply
      • hoop

        Right. LOL. Fareed will do for CNN just what he did for Newsweak. Run it into the ground with his sycophantic shilling for he failed presidency of the muslim in chief. Fareed's predictions will only come true if we continue to stick to the progressive policies being foisted on us by the failed public education system and the increasingly irrelevant media.

        June 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
      • kar

        I think the scarier fact is that Fox seems to lead Republican lawmakers, and not the other way around. Once they make their views public, Republican lawmakers seem to fall in line.

        June 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • kar

      You can't possibly consider the combination of Fox and CNN to be a balanced view. First off, avoid American 24-hour news networks; they lure you in with insignificant news trumped up to be important. While the networks as a whole leave much to be desired, some analysts do a decent job. Second, while CNN is considered part of the "liberal mainstream media" by conservative politicians, it's much more centrist than you'd think. Instead of watching the news, read it; newspapers are a good place to start. The Washington Post and New York Times still publish decent articles; others less so. If you're interested in international events, read other regions' news sources, Der Spiegel, Haaretz, Al Jazeera, BBC, etc. If you're unhappy with the current discourse in the U.S. like me, then watch comedy news, like Daily Show or Colbert Report. They'll definitely give you unique perspective.
      As far as conservatives on GPS: Paul O'Neill, Kenneth Rogoff, Ann Coulter, Kissinger (if you consider realpolitik conservatism). That's within the past month or two. Fareed has faults; attempting to get balanced opinion isn't one of them.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  2. Tewodros

    Dear Fareed,
    I am one of your admirer. I love your analysis. I joy FZ GPS. I followed your interview with Charlie Rose yesterday. On the interview you commented abut the netghbours of USA in the north and south. north neighbour I believe is Canada, I think canada is not weak country, Canada has lots of strength than USA in many ways, when us Banks are crumbling Cabada seand strong, Canada's democracy is better than USA, healthcare, etc. I rsepectfully disagree with you calling Canada as a weak country, I am sure you meant by military force or slip of the tongue. Fareed I forgive you and always like you. by the way I am Canadian. 🙂
    Cheers!

    June 1, 2011 at 1:23 am | Reply
    • Steve

      Tewodros,

      I love canada but by 'weak country' Zakaria really meant Canada isn't a country. If so, tell me who is your president? Tell me whose faces are on your currency 🙂

      June 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
      • Lukos

        Steve, Canada IS a real country. They are one of the only countries in the western hemisphere to have a prime minister as head of government rather than a president, however. You should fact check such simple sutff before posting.

        June 3, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  3. j. von hettlingen

    "The Post-American World" , do you want the title to spark patriotism? Though America economically is on the verge of bankruptcy, its power is still omnipresent. America hasn't gone down yet! As a matter of fact it still has military bases in geo-strategic places all over the world and its soft-power – the cultural influence has a huge impact on the life of billions of people. Of those emerging powerhouses like Brazil, India, Indonesia and China you mentioned, only Brazil would be deemed most favourable by western standards. Indonesia has to remain a secular nation if it wants to climb the international ladder. The growth in India and China relies very much on the human resources of the countries, which are not only an asset but also a burden, if one day the governments have to face social problems on massive scale. No doubt the economic power of China and India is relevant to the rest of the world, but this could change. Let's hope that the clocks in these two countries don't tick simultaneously. Otherwise we will be worse off than we already are today.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:09 am | Reply
    • Thatsnotrue:[

      Having military power means nothing when you don't have the means to back up your claims, and in our day and age, the military and wars are seen as aggressors, why do you think soo many people all over the world want the wars to end? It's been over ten years, pull out already! And having military bases everywhere while the military isn't even responding in the recent crisis, Joplin, all I seen on the news are VOLUNTEERS helping, no militay there?!?!? WHAT?!?!?!? And as for American influences, one word, materialism. The Chinese and India cultures have not been westernized, we still take care of our elders, no retirement homes for them....unless they want to go. How can human resources be a burden? You know that there's more educated people there right, as for social problems....that's American media for you, 99% of the bad things happening which are relatively small problems, 1% positive, talking about pandas or something? And well, you can't help it, they are going to raise.....but they might not care much, research Tang dynasty, well....it'll only be bad if the current government decides to irritate one or both of them on domestic issues or something, other wise they're both in BRIC which haven't really supported any wars.

      June 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  4. joe

    The USA will soon be eclipsed by the chinese. The chinese praise the pakistanis as their best friends, in spite of the fact that pakistan took 20 billion dollars from the usa , and still hid bin ladin in their military town.
    Now pakistan"s nukes are like walmart items , and they will be sold or allowed to be stolen by the talebanis. These bombs will be used against the USA, europe, india etc. China feels that pakistan is its best all-weather friend. So logically china and pakistan are partners in this crime. If there is mass destruction the UN should know whom to claim the losses from- china and its client-state-pakistan. Instead the world should pre-empt this possible disaster.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:44 am | Reply
  5. ikez78

    Mr. Zakaria, Yesterday I heard a clip of your delirious rant about Bibi Netanyahu. Just curious, when did your hardcore liberalism/leftism lead you to rabid anti Semitism?

    June 1, 2011 at 6:52 am | Reply
    • hoop

      It's just part of his mindless shilling for Lord Obama. Lord Obama says debt is bad, Zakaria says debt is bad. Lord Obama says debt is good, Zakaria says debt is good.

      How long until CNN sells for $1 just like Newsweak?

      June 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • Supra

      I have no idea where you managed to link up being against Netanyahu with Anti-semitism. I know several Jewish people against his policies. If I remember correctly his party won with around 60% of the vote. Are you saying that 40% of Israeli citizens are anti-semitic?

      June 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • dj59

      Fareed doesn't have an opinion. He only says & types what George Sorous tells him to! All you have to do is go back to
      'his interview with Georgy Porgy who accuses Glenn Beck of saying things about him. Seems Spookydo George has dementia & Fareed is illiterate cause the very things he accuses Glenn of saying about him are things he states about himself in his book. Seems the truth to liberalists is whatever they happen to want it to be that day. When tomorrow comes the truth as seen by liberalists may change to progress their agenda. Just listen to Barack Obama – a more double minded man I've never heard! I used to watch only CNN but for them to have the likes of Fareed spouting off such
      'total rubbish – well just makes me wonder what else on their programming is as biased as Fareed. Does George own
      all of them or just Fareed?

      June 2, 2011 at 9:47 am | Reply
      • TheTruth

        Cannot believe that you supporting the most pathetic cartoon of our time – Glen Beck, Wow! You are prime example of rightwing media brain wash 🙂

        June 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • bannister

      I am a conservative and I'm against supporting Israel too. It's probably the only thing I agree with Fareed on.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  6. Luqman Dar

    Very true Zakria Sahab

    June 1, 2011 at 8:45 am | Reply
  7. Onesmallvoice

    The biggest problem the world faces today is American interference into the affairs of other countries whether it concerns them or not. 100 years ago,the world was a far more peaceful place and far more prosperous as the French called that era "the Belle Epoque". American needs to mind it's own business just like it did then and let the rest of the world take care of itself!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • hoop

      Did you ever hear of the Ottoman Empire? World War I? Anything?

      You are a tribute to the progressive education system in the US.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • Nick

      um....around 100 years ago...maybe more or less......we got into a war with spain because of how they where treating cuba...and got puerto rico and the phillipines...and where worried about european spheres of influence in china...my point.......we didnt mind our own buisness

      June 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • Lukos

      Onesmallvoice, you've totally lost touch with reallity. Hoop is spot-on with comments about the WWI and the ottoman empire. I'll add even more. 100 years ago the russian massess were enslaved by landowners in a millenia-old system of serfdom. The Austro-hungarian empire subjugated most of eastern europe. The chinese were no better off. Throughout the 20th century the US has stood against totalitarianism and fascism, first against franco, hitler and mussolini; then against to the communists who enslaved billions in the latter half of the century. We have not always been successful, as in the cases with Franco, Cuba and Vietnam; but one only need to look at a free europe, south korea and japan to see that fruits of American "intervention" Ask any South Korean whether or not they would prefer to live north of south of the 38th parallel.

      America has stuffed up, but an engaged and active USA on the world scene inevitably leads to a more democratic world becuase we ARE a democratic people.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  8. jeff

    Its an interesting proposition, a "Post American World" and a definitely provocative view. The world will always continue to ebb and flow with countries on the rise and those on the fall. Unfortunately for this country, we seldom set a path to prosperity but rather set the conditions for the invisible hand of the market to work its magic OR just wait until it really hits the fan and we must react. We are at the point of the latter, although the fundamentals of the US are still strong and unique even with the watering down of the free market by a larger and more intrusive government. Is America "exceptional", absolutely. But can we drink from the kool-aid and blindly believe that matters will take care of themselves, absolutely not. Your book I think is a wake-up call to reality of today, but that does not have to be the reality of the future. This country's best days I believe still lie ahead, but it will take leadership across all sectors and a unifying vision to get our economic base, schools, science, etc. all on the right track to deal with a world that has woken and in some ways caught up.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  9. Peikovian

    I appreciate the value of endless repetition in an ideological struggle, Fareed. "The Post-American World". Nice. But what if it's a Post-Muslim world? What if the oil-based economies of the 20th Century are already on their way out, and the feudal regimes that relied on oil are about to fall? What if capitalism reinvents itself? That's what capitalism tends to do. In 1914 few people would have thought that European monarchies were about to be toppled in the First World War, or that a Second World War was possible. Whatever moment we are in, it's already the peak moment for some ideology on the world stage. So why not yours?

    June 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  10. TowelHeadsAreMorons

    Islame is the problem.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  11. Peikovian

    American media is part of the problem. When President Clinton sent American troops into the Balkans as part of a NATO force, no amount of TV news, not even CNN, would clarify who the people were in that region, their similarities and differences, their historic animosities. It required the internet and independent research to find out who were the Slovenes, Croats, Serbians, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Herzegovinans, Macedonians, and the ethnic Albanians in the district of Kosovo. American media exists to promote its own TV shows, and promotes no understanding of history or politics or economics. It is a waste of time. Fareed Zakaria is in the Fareed Zakaria business, and has the same delusional frame of reference as many people in the media.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  12. NonZionist

    I believe in equal rights and freedom, not in war and empire. I favor the original America over the U.S. today.

    So I am happy to see a MULTI-polar world developing. "Multi" implies choice and competition. We desperately need competition to keep the politicians and the corporations honest.

    Having one Superpower dictating to the entire world is the pits. The arrogance of the empire increases without limit, till the whole house of cards collapses, hurting everyone. Global monopolies strangle the free market. Innovation ceases. The world becomes one big Company Town - the Global Plantation.

    I remember the Cold War period. At least then, we had SOME competition. The Soviet Union put a limit on how tyrannical our own elites could become. We were not molesting people at airports back then, nor were we trying to do away with labor unions and abolish medical care. We could not afford to make ourselves look worse than the Soviets. Today, after spending $13 trillion to win the Cold War, we have gone way beyond the U.S.S.R. in surveillance, and our freedoms hang by a thread.

    The rise of Brazil and other third-world countries means that people will have a choice once again. If the U.S. becomes too bad, people will vote with their feet. And then our politicians will finally have to start paying attention to the people.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • Peikovian

      You are clearly mad.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:08 am | Reply
  13. Peter Joseph Jose

    Liked your anlysis of your preface. But get an impression of this advanced form of capitalism, perhaphs, existed only in the outside world of US ! In the ongoing campaign for 2012, it gives an impression within the US that the labour is not on progress due to capital lying idle. Thats reason, within America some feel capital too, is not in progress as the labour is unemployed ! Ofcourse, Obama makes it up in promise for the oil field, auto industry etc., and in turn if he is re-elected the outside views percieved to be also be the insiders as well Oops!!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  14. Jim

    Another good documentary on the "GFC" is "Inside Job". It shows how internal deep the Finicial crisis was seeded during teh Reagan admin by advisors who are today still involved.
    Americas Credit Card is about to be suspended. America needs to save its money now. And it is being forced to do so ever since the GFC every year the personal savings figures are rising.Until it can save more MONEY than the emerging world. Which has already emerged by the way. America will allways be in second place or drop slowly away.
    We are constantly reminded that our recovery is sustainable and that things are grim and are still ok. Every News castor or comentator has reminded us of our recovery. What recovery? Just look outside, at the millions of unemployed. We havent been in a recovery, weve just been on extended credit. America has been in a resession/DEPRESSION for the last 3 years,we are ofcourse in denial of this.
    IT'S TIME FOR A REAL CHANGE IN COOPERATION IN OUR GOVERNMENT!
    Stop with with bipartisan bickering and bantering. GET THE JOB DONE BEFORE WE LOSE IT ALL.
    I call on all networks to coopertae on this. CNN, CBS,NBC,FOX,BBC,. You have to listen to the people not the ratings..
    POLITICIANS HAVE TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE NOT THE POLLSTERS OR THE LOBYISTS.
    Some harsh decsions need to be made now!
    I understand Democracy requires debate. But sometimes debate needs to be expedited. Our Asian emerging giants"China" dont have debate at all, but they do make expedited decsiosns. Hence their exponential Growth...

    June 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Reply
    • NonZionist

      Democracy is an improvement over dictatorship because democracy, in theory, offers correctives: corrupt or incompetent rulers can be voted out.

      In the U.S., real democracy ended long ago. We have one party, the Establishment Party (EP), with two wings that pretend to compete. The purpose of the wings is to keep people on the bottom of the pyramid fighting: Divide and conquer. The system is failing because the EP has become too narrow. The R-wing represents Robber Barons and Corporate Raiders, and the D-wing aspires to be nothing more than Republican-Lite. The 98% on the bottom are without representation.

      There is a simple solution to our economic tailspin: Increase Demand! But that would require us to terminate the upwards redistribution of wealth. We would have to stop subsidizing the top 2% and start helping the bottom 98%. We would have to replace "Trickle Down" and "Billionaire Bail-Out" with "Rise Up" economics. We would have to stop investing in death and destruction and start investing in people.

      There is just no political will to do that. The 98% who grow the economy are out of the political loop.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:59 am | Reply
      • Peikovian

        Read "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt and then ask yourself how you got where you are today.

        June 2, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  15. sarah

    Now that the modern America (non Native American) has unleashed it's complacent idolized theory of modern (Emperial)capitalism into the world, through force and trickery supported by the UK and it's deluded presence. There may be an optimistic togetherness world future if the accelerating new world nurtures its humain cultures, is kind and dose neither retaliate to the western historical corruptness nor follow suit. Watch this space........

    June 2, 2011 at 2:28 am | Reply
    • Peikovian

      ... for a mumble devoid of all reason? I'll bet he's a lucky guy, when the 35 cats don't get in the way.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  16. Marc

    Sorry, but when you recite the same mantra over and over again over many years if course parts will come close to true.

    The articl above is a sycophantic script on the cult of Fareed. No offends o have just read it all before years ago in Newsweeks.

    We all know you love America!
    We all know economies go through boom and bust!
    We all know that changes in global leaders change dynamics!

    What do we not know?

    The lottery numbers for next week. Predict that o seer and I will be impressed.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:44 am | Reply
  17. robert

    Mr. Fareed, You are nothing but an anti-semitic shill for the failed Obama Administration.

    June 3, 2011 at 7:55 am | Reply
  18. bannister

    Who is he kidding? Despite what he says, Fareed Zakaria WANTS this world to be "post-American." Because as long as America is on top, the "New World Order" can't take shape.

    Fareed Zukaria omes from the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) a policy forming organization which has been pursuing the goal of global government for decades. The fall of America's economy was BY DESIGN. These people are "levelers" who want to "even out" all disparities between the nations so that all nations can then be consolidated and controlled...by THEM.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Ajeethaa

      Bannister, are you telling me that the rest of the world's nations are puppets and the master is the US government, governed by people like Fareed? Where did you get this idea from...it is simply appalling to me! Bannister, it is quite apparent that you want people to believe your 'thesis' but please include actual facts to substantiate your ideas or arguments. Without them, your comments above are just some loose commentary.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
  19. Mike

    I was surprised by the interview on NPR's "Fresh Air" today, when Mr Zakaria said (contrary to republican talking points) the US has very low tax rates when compared to Europe, and that we cannot begin closing the yearly deficit without increasing revenues. He made this comment while discussing how corporate tax loopholes are "institutionalized corruption" in America. In reality, the US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. In fact, it is only Zambia, Gabon, Pakistan, and a few other failed plutocracies that are on par with our incredibly high corporate tax rate.

    The irony was particularly overwhelming when Mr Zakaria later started to unfavorably compare the US to Germany, who he described as being "highly regulated and taxed" .....while back in reality, Germany actually has a 7% lower tax rate than we do.

    June 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • OpinionPoll

      Total BS.

      August 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • OpinionPoll

      You are Dead Wrong. Corporations come into states & local towns & extort deals that exempt them from paying taxes – deals that give them a free ride – a free lunch, with the argument that the local communities and the state will still be better off than if they locate elsewhere. They are NOT paying their own way. They are using enormous, monumental amounts of the state's infrastructure and resources (water, sewage, roads, etc) and they are NOT paying for it. This is now a government "of, by and for the corporation," with the idea that "what's good for the corporations is good for everyone, because the crumbs they leave behind will be more numerous."

      August 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  20. OpinionPoll

    Dead wrong. Corporations come into states & local towns & extort deals that exempt them from paying taxes – deals that give them a free ride – a free lunch, with the argument that the local communities and the state will still be better off than if they locate elsewhere. They are NOT paying their own way. They are using enormous, monumental amounts of the state's infrastructure and resources (water, sewage, roads, etc) and they are NOT paying for it. This is now a government "of, by and for the corporation," with the idea that "what's good for the corporations is good for everyone, because the crumbs they leave behind will be more numerous."

    August 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  21. OpinionPoll

    I have tremendous respect for Zakaria. He has unique insight and articulation abilities far above most in the U.S. media. But anyone who did NOT see this economic calamity coming probably is in no position to be hawking a book on the subject. Many people like ME saw this calamity coming a mile away. It's not rocket science. When you see the stock market constantly, incessantly, spiraling upward in mammoth leaps and bounds, for absolutely no legitimate, identifiable reasons or for BS reasons, then it's terribly obvious that the stock market, upon which our economic well-being apparently rests, is just an "arbitrary & capricious" instrumentality of "manipulation." Congress prepares to raise the minimum and the stock market rapidly unravels in huge chunks with the proclamation "higher minimum wage not good." And Congress responds accordingly.

    August 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  22. Weston Radcliff

    The stock market defect is that it only cares about "corporate" well-being. But it's a 'legal fiction' while real, live wage-earning tax-paying working stiffs and ordinary citizens are the true, palpable, ultimate reality – deemed by Wall Street to be of collateral significance. We need an "honest" Wall Street approach where the pre-eminent concern is the economic well-being of "the People." A Wall Street that says "minimum wage that is NOT a livable wage NOT GOOD" - and which says a "shift from 'employer's market' to an 'employee's market' is NOT BAD.' We need an 'honest' Wall Street that makes real human beings the focus of concern, NOT the dishonest, money-grubbing, environment-damaging, self-serving 'corporations.' We've got reality standing on its head and that inverted, dishonest configuration is now standing on our throats – precisely for that reason.

    August 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Reply

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