Zombie Zakaria Has Some “Ideas” For You

Affirmative Action,America,Education,Europe,Government,Labor,Multiculturalism,Outsourcing,Political Economy,Science,Technology


Fareed Zakaria: is there anyone more inane and wishy-washy than he? Zombie Zakaria’s “Restoring the American Dream” presentation is in the tradition you’ve come to expect from this CNN pundit.

Thus, Fareed vows to “bring you solutions” to “the hollowing out of the middle class” by growing the state’s role in R & D, for, as he concludes, “Almost all of the science and technology research that we take for granted now came out of the Defense Department spending post World War II.”

But surely, and logically, we cannot assert that because the DOD (the Department of Defense) gave rise to certain technologies, without it these inventions would not exist, as ZZ claims? It might be the case that sans state intervention, there would be even more innovation than with it.

This guy’s “ideas” are festooned with similar falsehoods.

Another of ZZ’s lessons comes courtesy of the super-productive German workforce.

“Despite some of the highest wages in the world, strong unions, lots of regulation, Germany has maintained a very powerful manufacturing base, employing millions,” ZZ opined. “It has held in good stead during this economic crisis. Germany’s unemployment rate has actually fallen for the past 15 months straight, an unbelievable record in this economic climate.”

As ZZ narrated the above passage, images of industrious German factory workers flashed on the screen, and were contrasted with the long lines of the unemployed in America. Guess what the American assembly and unemployment lines look like? You are right: By comparison, the German workforce so famous for its industry looked relatively homogeneous.

Still, ZZ hopes to apply efficiencies learned from the German cohort to America’s increasingly third-world, imported, underclass of workers. (“The United States,” we are told, “now ranks 52nd in the world in quality of science and math education.” It used to have “very high levels of performance in math and science.” What happened other than suffocating unionization in education, third-world immigration, and affirmative action?)

As Fareed and his well-to-do, high-achieving (indubitably high IQ) guests conclude, and I paraphrase, opportunities are indeed boundless if somebody has the smarts and the motivation; everybody can be the designer of an iPod or a programmer at Google; this essentially, is not a rarified group. Any one can get to be at “the top end of America.”

ZZ’s smart panel, which can never be called an interest group plumping for government/taxpayer subsidies (no never!), included Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google; Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola; Lou Gerstner, who has run R.J. Reynolds, American Express and IBM; and Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO of Alcoa, the aluminum giant.

All were agreed that laborers are interchangeable in as much as potential is concerned, and if given the right conditions by government.

I have advocated in my writings for “a natural shift from a credit-fueled, consumption-based economy, to one founded on savings, investment and production.”

ZZ favors only a shift from consumption to investment; massive federal-government investment.

6 thoughts on “Zombie Zakaria Has Some “Ideas” For You

  1. mike

    Damn, Ilana, you cut right to the quick.

    “As ZZ narrated the above passage, images of industrious German factory workers flashed on the screen, and were contrasted with the long lines of the unemployed in America. Guess what the American assembly and unemployment lines look like? You are right: By comparison, the German workforce so famous for its industry looked relatively homogeneous.”

    You mean that the German workforce is still German? B-but all of our omniscient economists assured me that no developed economy could prosper without massive third world immigration!!! What happened to all the jobs that Germans simply will not do?

  2. james huggins

    “suffocating unionization in education, third world immigration and affirmitive action.” One could write a very strong article with that line alone.

  3. George Pal

    It’s not that the likes of Fareed Zakaria and Thomas Friedman constantly arrive at the same idée fixe that’s remarkable; it’s that so many of them can fill their sails with their own wind to get there.

    [Such a comment reminds me of how much I miss my readers when I’m away.—IM]

  4. Myron Pauli

    GPS came out of Timation concepts invented at Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and then funded by ARPA (forerunner of DARPA):


    however, DARPA generally does not send money to NRL anymore because of some intergovernmental politics.

    In general, nothing terrible about the feelgood mush by Zakaria and his CEO’s and surprisingly, they ignored the usual glop about how to solve America’s problems by recruiting more Aleutian Islander physicists:


    The fact is that most physics departments are dominated by Cosmic Superstring Theorists who have not even a third hand relation to anything practical – not to mention the fact that most of them (a) DESPISE teaching students and (b) probably do not have English as a first language. So this “spend more on basic science R&D” may be just nice sounding blather.

    Oh, but what the heck! It is a reprise from Olbermann and Hannity and the usual partisan bloviation. And they did mention the trillions wasted on “liberating” Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead, we can waste it on the teachers unions or on brand new Mac computers for ghetto illiterates. Or {oops!} maybe we could actually spend less, reduce the deficit, and stabilize the currency – but that might be too revolutionary!

  5. Barbara Grant

    Wrong; simply wrong on Mr. Zakaria’s part, because the majority of workforce employment during the prime decades of DoD spending (the Cold War) went not to R & D, but to manufacturing. It was manufacturing on a large scale that employed many people, technologists, technicians and support personnel; and most were never a part of “blue-sky,” or “pie-in-the-sky” research. Rather, they toiled in the technical trenches building planes, missiles, land vehicles, and other products that enhanced the U. S. mission of the time (defeating the Soviets.)

    It’s incorrect to argue that spending more government money on R & D will increase the worth of the middle class, or lead to greater employment. One need only look at recent history to see how wrong Mr. Zakaria is. He is much like Vivek Wadhwa, http://wadhwa.com/blog/2010/07/10/bloomberg-businessweek-why-andy-grove-is-wrong-about-job-growth/ who argued (albeit intelligently) for breaking the “logjam” of university research in order to create jobs on a massive scale. Didn’t happen during the Cold War; won’t happen now, the prime reason being that it is not R & D that creates jobs, it’s manufacturing. R & D provides employment for a few, but not for many.

  6. Roger Chaillet

    The German work ethic is, well, G-E-R-M-A-N!

    No one buys a car because of its Yemeni engineering. Duh.

    As for Thomas Friedman, I hammered that buffoon but good. http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2010/04/04/american-high-iq-risk-takers-why-thomas-friedman-is-an-ass/print/

    By the way, Friedman lives in the affluent, majority white suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Friedman

    Too bad he doesn’t move across county to working class Wheaton. http://helpsavemaryland.blogspot.com/2009/07/montgomery-county-invaded-by-illegals.html

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