Fareed Zakaria Addresses the Issues of a Changing World

April 17, 2009

Fareed Zakaria presents the 2009 Schooler LectureEven though the United States is in the middle of an economic recession and in a world that is changing everyday, Fareed Zakaria still places faith in America. Zakaria addressed the many important issues facing America today during the 2009 Schooler Lecture, held in the Timken Gymnasium on April 14.

Zakaria asked the important question, “How did we get in this, and how do we get out of it?” He pointed out events in history that started in 1979 when inflation was very high and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. “This began the unraveling of the Soviet empire and unleashed a political wave that still rocks the world,” said Zakaria.

There is now a new political wave, economic wave and technological wave that is hitting the world. Clinton was the first President of the new wave. Since this wave, the rest of the world has been rising

“It is important to understand that the economic crisis happened because countries around the world are growing and had to push their cash somewhere,” said Zakaria “They bought the debt of the United States government, and bought trillions and trillions of dollars of it. This made debt cheaper with lower interest rates and provided Americans with cheaper credit. This system seemed like it was perfect. The problem was that it created a system that was so complicated that it was like creating the world’s fastest car that no one knew how to drive, and that had no shock absorbers.”

What ended up happening was that America consumed more than it produced. Zakaria added that the United States household debt is currently $14 trillion and has doubled in the last ten years.

“I believe we will go through this recession for quite some time, but it is not the end of the world,” said Zakaria. “We will come out of this with a healthier understanding of economics and how to keep it from happening in the future.”

Zakaria pointed out some faults of the United States and how Americans can learn from them, but he also pointed out that this nation is great in many aspects. One of these aspects is in higher education, which is highly competitive and a place where everyone is raising their game.

“The United States remains an open, dynamic system and the worst thing would be for the United States to get scared,” said Zakaria.

Zakaria pointed out that the fact that China and India and other countries around the world are on the rise, and that can’t be changed. He concluded that we should all accept the fact that the world is changing and embrace it. “Rise along with it and take advantage of the opportunity,” said Zakaria.

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