Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 05-24-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Britain, which created the world we live in, has become parochial and has essentially resigned as a global power: a tragedy for us all.
  • The Royal United Services Institute predicts that the British army could shrink to 50,000, smaller than at any point since the 1770s and equivalent to the size of the NYPD.
  • Britain’s Foreign Office budget, down by more than a quarter under PM Cameron, will fall further.
  • More than a third of Londoners were born outside the UK, and the city continues to seek investment from China, Russia, Arabia, and others.
  • The US military budget is becoming like that all American institutions, largely devoted to pensions and health care.
  • College in America costs more than 13 times what it did in 1978, far outpacing inflation and health care costs. Student loan debt has more than tripled in the past decade to over $1 trillion.
  • Germany and Denmark offer free college education. Germany mainly through high taxes and with universities that do not offer billion dollar student union buildings, huge sports facilities, or a lot of student housing.
  • The two paths to solving America’s education cost crisis are a) the government paying or reining in the costs, and b) the use of technology. Technology won’t be enough so state governments  must fund state universities, the real highways to the middle class in America.

David Miliband at the International Rescue Committee said:

  • As the Syria war continues, the choices get worse, and the dangers of inaction become clearer and clearer.
  • America may not want to have anything to do with ISIS et al, but they will end up having something to do with us. America cannot have the blessings of globalization with none of the burdens.
  • Without American leadership for a rules-based international system, we have a vacuum, and thus danger.
  • China is not trying to upend the international order and it worries about the meaning of America’s decline.

Gideon Rose at Foreign Affairs said:

  • The real problem in Iraq and Syria is not ISIS, but the lack of any kind of political order to oppose it.
  • The US has to show that it actually cares about maintaining and reviving the liberal international order.

Danielle Pletka at the American Enterprise Institute said:

  • The US left Iraq in 2011 with comity between the Shia and the Sunni.
  • The narrative of Sunni vs. Shiite, Persian empire vs. Ottoman empire, is enormously detrimental to US interests, so the more Saudi Arabia et al support the Sunnis, and Iran support the Shias, the more likely is conflict.
  • Ultimately ISIS, al Qaeda, Jabbath al-Nusra will come for us.
  • Even if we wanted to, and even if the Middle East was not on fire, the US no longer has the necessary resources to fully resource a pivot to Asia.
  • At the end of the day, the American electorate values security and genuineness in a candidate.
  • The US defense budget is a declining piece of a declining pie: 50% of which is spent on personnel. The US does not have the carriers, the attack ships, the refueling capability, the new technology to be in Asia in the way that we need to, or to contend in the Middle East. 

Ian Bremmer at Eurasia Group said:

  • There is a huge generational divide in America over its role as a global policeman, with the younger you get, the more Americans want to leave things alone.
  • Defeating ISIS with no boots on the ground does not stand.
  • ISIS is a much greater threat in the region and to Europe than the United States – America has the energy production now.
  • China, not the US, is the one country in the world with a global strategy, creating institutions like the BRICS Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Bank, and spending over a trillion dollars on infrastructure and equities to align other countries economically towards China over the long-term.
  • With 37% of the world’s defense budget, the US is capable of pivoting to Asia, but it requires US leaders that engage in consistency, and a president who believes that strategy matters and is a top priority.

Jeff Hawkins at Redwood Neuroscience Institute said:

  • Artificial Intelligence is not a real threat for the foreseeable future because machine intelligence is not about recreating humans, if that was even possible.
  • Machines will get smarter than humans, like IBM’s Deep Blue or Watson, but the idea of a runaway intelligence explosion is nonsense – brains take a long time to train.
  • There is nothing we are doing today, that is dangerous, that we could not undo.
  • It is impossible to answer now what will be the big benefit to the world of AI.

Charles Murray said:

  • Ordinary people cannot live their lives as they see fit anymore and live under a constant presumption that they need permission.
  • The number of stupid, pointless regulations has just grown astronomically. The Federal Code of Regulations is now 175,000 pages.
  • The only time drivers get stopped by police going 5 miles over the speed limit is when they are on a deserted stretch of highway. On an ordinary interstate, 70% of vehicles are going 6 miles over the speed limit.

Igarape says:

  • 10 countries account for 58% of the world’s homicides: Brazil, India, Nigeria, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, Pakistan and the US, the world’s deadliest Western democracy. Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, all have rates lower than that of the USA.
  • Countries with a very low homicide rate include Monaco, Liechtenstein, and Singapore.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1505/24/fzgps.01.html