Among the things that most people agree are in big trouble these days are the European Union and democracy in the US. I will talk with today’s guest, STEVEN HILL, about both.
We have been hearing for two years about the trouble Europe is in. The debt crisis in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and beyond is challenging this federation of nations and economies to share the solutions to problems that have proven worst in individual countries who took greater risks than their more prudent neighbors. After Europe seemed to have fared better than the US in the early stages of this prolonged crash, what brought on this crisis? How close are they to solving it? How close are they to blowing it? What would Hill’s advice be? And what does it mean for the rest of the world and for the US in particular?
While the bad news of this Euro crisis makes headlines in the US, what has not made headlines is the good news contained in HILL’s 2010 book EUROPE’S PROMISE. I will check in with Hill about the current state of that promise.
Closer to home, HILL believes that America’s recent economic collapse was preceded by a longer-term political collapse. Even before the economic crisis, the US faced choice-less elections, out-of-control campaign spending,partisan polarization, a rigidly divided Congress, a filibuster-wild U.S. Senate, superficial debate, mindless media, a partisan Supreme Court, and paralysis in the face of new global challenges.
As the middle collapses and partisans take over, Americans’ frustration grows – witness the Tea Party and the 99%. In a brand new 2012 Election edition of his 2006 book, Steven Hill renews his 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy.
ZACHARY KARABELL argues that the economies of China and the US have melded over the past 20 years, as billions of dollars flow east from the US for Chinese-made goods and return to this country from China in exchange for IOUs.
"This mega-economy is hiding in plain sight, unrecognized, unacknowledged, and unwanted by many millions whose lives are being reshaped by it." Karabell's not suggesting this is an unalloyed good thing, "but it's a fact. And it's better to deal with reality than live in a fantasy land."
ZACHARY KARABELL is President of River Twice Research, where he analyzes economic and political trends. He is also a senior advisor for Business for Social Responsibility, which develops sustainable business strategies. Previously, he was president of Fred Alger and Company; and portfolio manager of the award-winning China-U.S. Growth Fund, and launched the $30 million Spectra Green Fund, linking profit and sustainability.
Educated at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard, his previous books include A Visionary Nation: Four Centuries of American Dreams and What Lies Ahead, The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election, and Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Coexistence.