Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 08-05-12

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

Max Weber singled out China and Japan as cultures particularly prone to poverty and stagnation, but were the world’s fastest-growing two large economies over the past five decades.  Another powerhouse, India, was once seen as having a culture totally incompatible with economic success. China was stagnant for centuries. What changed was their economic policies.

Historically the key driver for economic growth has been the adoption of capitalism and its related institutions and policies. Turkey and Indonesia will be next to achieve a GDP of $1 trillion, both Muslim democracies.

Seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa.  The wisest observation about this is from Daniel Patrick Moynihan:  “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change culture and save it from itself.”

The World Bank reports that 26 percent of the world population do not have electricity, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and the poorer, more rural parts of Asia

China recently and surprisingly caved in to the demands of protesters in two distant cities. Protesters in both cities mobilized on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. McKinsey say China has by far the world’s most active social media population. The internet has empowered and connected the Chinese. Four in ten Chinese have access to the Internet.

Prominent NASA scientist James Hansen said the recent extreme hot weather has virtually no explanation other than climate change. Professor Richard Muller at University of California Berkeley says global warming over the last 250 years has been caused by greenhouse gases emitted by humans. Rising temperatures will soon be higher than we have ever experienced.

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have fallen over the last few years as we switch from coal to natural gas – natural gas emits only one-third of the carbon dioxide that does coal. We have to improve energy conservation, and switch the world away from coal and on to natural gas.

Professor Jonathan Haidt at NYU said people don’t adopt political positions entirely because of rational reasons. Our obsession is that people are tribal and want to feel in sync with the people whom we hang out with, respect, admire. Conservatives build on five foundations including loyalty, authority and sanctity.

Read the transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1208/05/fzgps.01.html or watch the show at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/