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Oct-16-2009 20:06TweetFollow @OregonNews
CNN Journalist Fareed Zakaria Addresses Globalism at Willamette UniversitySalem-News.com
Zakaria’s visit coincided with the dedication of Ford Hall.
(SALEM, Ore.) - The U.S. is struggling to effectively address issues like Social Security, immigration and health care because the government’s solution so far has been to “kick the can down the road in hopes the problem will solve itself,” Newsweek International editor and CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria told a group of Willamette University students Friday.
Zakaria visited campus to deliver the university’s fall Atkinson Lecture in Smith Auditorium. Prior to the lecture, he met informally with students in politics Professor Greg Felker’s “Capitalism and Democracy” class.
One of the books the students read in class was Zakaria’s The Future of Freedom, and they queried the journalist on everything from why American leaders seem unable to act on policies, to whether the country’s consumer-driven culture is impacting people’s attitudes toward politicians and spending.
As one student asked whether U.S. leaders were “inept,” Zakaria countered that the country’s politicians are “very intelligent people.” “But the system is one that encourages short-termism. … It’s not that our politicians are stupid. It’s that they’re smart. They’re responding to the infrastructure we have given them.
“If you look at the world today and ask yourself, ‘What is the biggest problem in democratic societies?’ it is clearly the inability to impose any short-term pain for long-term gain,” he added.
After meeting with the students, Zakaria addressed a near sell-out crowd of 1,250 on “Globalism: A New World.” Tracing the history of some Asian countries’ rise in economic power — including China, Thailand and India — Zakaria noted that these countries “have gotten really good at capitalism, and we haven’t even noticed.”
Concerned that the U.S. has failed to pay attention to these countries’ efforts, Zakaria theorized that one day a historian might note that the U.S. “achieved its goal to globalize the world. It just forgot along the way to globalize itself.”
Zakaria oversees all of Newsweek’s editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek and Newsweek International, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New Yorker. His weekly foreign affairs program for CNN Worldwide, “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” features in-depth interviews with world leaders such as Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice.
In 1999 Zakaria was named “one of the 21 most important people of the 21st Century” by Esquire Magazine. He is the author of The Future of Freedom, The Post-American World and From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America’s World Role.
Zakaria’s visit coincided with the dedication of Ford Hall, an academic building that integrates state-of-the-art learning technologies and planned space to facilitate cross-disciplinary teaching and problem-solving; and the conclusion of the Campaign for Willamette, which exceeded its goal of $125 million and raised $131 million in endowed funds for people, programs and facilities that support and enhance academic excellence.
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