For the U.S. economy to reach its full potential, argues Edward Conard, Washington should decrease federal spending and ease government regulation. Fareed Zakaria demurs, contending that structural reform and government investment are what the U.S. economy needs most.
Editor Gideon Rose interviews Foreign Affairs author Fareed Zakaria about the policies and investments that prepare a nation for the future.
The crisis of democracy identified in the 1970s never really went away; it was just papered over with temporary solutions and obscured by a series of lucky breaks. Today, the problems have mounted, and yet American democracy is more dysfunctional than ever -- and it has fewer levers to pull in a globalized economy. This time, the pessimists might be right.
Fareed Zakaria assesses Ian Bremmer's The End of the Free Market.
Despite some eerie parallels between the position of the United States today and that of the British Empire a century ago, there are key differences. Britain's decline was driven by bad economics. The United States, in contrast, has the strength and dynamism to continue shaping the world -- but only if it can overcome its political dysfunction and reorient U.S. policy for a world defined by the rise of other powers.
In his provocative new book, Fareed Zakaria argues that without liberty, democracy can lead to trouble--both abroad and at home.
Around the world, democratically elected regimes are routinely ignoring limits on their power and depriving citizens of basic freedoms. From Peru to the Philippines, we see the rise of a disturbing phenomenon: illiberal democracy. It has been difficult to recognize because for the last century in the West, democracy -- free and fair elections -- has gone hand in hand with constitutional liberalism -- the rule of law and basic human rights. But in the rest of the world, these two concepts are coming apart. Democracy without constitutional liberalism is producing centralized regimes, the erosion of liberty, ethnic competition, conflict, and war. The international community and the United States must end their obsession with balloting and promote the gradual liberalization of societies.
More than economics, more than politics, a nation's culture will determine its fate. So says the man who built Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. Lee is not optimistic that other nations can replicate East Asia's staggering growth. He is critical of the social breakdown that he sees in America: "The expansion of the rights of the individual has come at the expense of orderly society." East Asia is changing in the face of rapid growth, but Lee doubts that American-style individualism will ever catch on there. While critical of American social order, Lee strongly supports America's role as a balancer in East Asia. If it withdraws, other powers, notably Japan, would go their own way. And that would unsettle the region's peace.