February 11th, 2013
12:22 PM ET

What we're reading

By Fareed Zakaria

The politics of frustration and rage remains in U.S. politics, but “is most evident within the GOP’s dwindling base – its insurgents and anti-government crusaders, its ‘middle-aged white guys,’” argues Sam Tanenhaus, in a superb essay in The New Republic.

“They now form the party’s one solid bloc, its agitated concurrent voice, struggling not only against the facts of demography, but also with the country’s developing ideas of democracy and governance.”

The United States “is taking a big risk, to say the least, by turning to austerity policies right now,” suggests John Cassidy in the New Yorker.

“Contrary to popular belief, the country is not facing an immediate fiscal crisis. Since peaking in 2009, at 10.1 percent of the GDP, the budget deficit has been steadily declining. This year, according to the CBO, it will be 5.3 percent of the GDP, and next year it will be 3.7 percent. By 2015, it will be just 2.4 percent of the GDP, which is below what it averaged in the three decades prior to 2007.”

Is the usual notion of an ongoing population explosion in Muslim lands misplaced? David Ignatius, citing work by American Enterprise Institute economist Nicholas Eberstadt, wonders whether it could be in the Washington Post today.

“Using data for 49 Muslim-majority countries and territories, he found that fertility rates declined an average of 41 percent between 1975-80 and 2005-10, a deeper drop than the 33 percent decline for the world as a whole.

“Twenty-two Muslim countries and territories had fertility declines of 50 percent or more. The sharpest drops were in Iran, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Libya, Albania, Qatar and Kuwait, which all recorded declines of 60 percent or more over three decades.”

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. shakib

    hey fareed, fan of your work. there's a movement brewing in bangladesh about the trials of the war criminals of the liberation war in '71. this movement is organized 'n lead by the social network bloggers, 'n cnn almost hasn't covered it at all. i'm very disappointed at cnn for that. can u shed a little light on it, please?!!! those criminals are the original terrorists of the world.

    February 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  2. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    Wonder what our COVERT Islamist Zakaria is trying to say here....mixing up seemingly diverse issues fiscal crisis, GOP's dwindling base and OFCOURSE the one topic that raises his passions most..................the belief that the west is largely biased against the Islamic world....be it demographics, terror or whatever.........

    And.....Mr. Zakaria is NO DIFFERENT in nurturing (& feeding) that belief than his Madarasa educated brethren in the Muslim world.

    February 13, 2013 at 12:14 am | Reply
  3. Al

    I hate to burst your bubble but Albania is not muslim country.

    March 13, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply

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