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June 21, 2010 - Ray Hall (Archive)

Today (6/20/10) I watched Fareed Zakaria’s GPS (Global Public Square) on CNN. I appreciate his program because of his extraordinary skills as an interviewer of some of the world’s most prominent figures. He does not shy from his own political views that swing left and right depending on the particular issue but he is quick to tell the viewers of his own biasis, and that makes him all the more interesting.

He taped an interview with Paul Wolfowitz. President George W. Bush’s Deputy Secretary of Defense and one of the neoconservatives most responsible for the President’s Iraq policy. It is fair to say that he was one of the most controversial and outspoken defenders of the Iraq War and the Bush Doctrine that he helped create. It’s also fair to say that I had never heard him engage in calm, reasonable dialogue for his case until the Zakarian interview.

Although I flinched from pain and anger at his defense of what I continue to believe was high crimes and misdemeanors at the highest levels of government he calmly laid out his positions and convinced me that they were honestly held. However, Paul Wolfowitz wasn’t the most interesting guest.

Zhang Xin, a thirty-five year old billionaire real estate developer is one of the richest women in China and she had a lot to say. Zhang Xin was born in a Hong Kong slum in crushing poverty and worked in a factory until she was fourteen when she won her chance at an education. She ultimately earned an advanced degree in the United States but instead of staying in the United States with Goldman-Sachs she returned to China.

Ms. Xin drew several parallels with China and the United States that will send the conserves and the tea people into sudden and near fatal apoplexy. She said that America’s glory has faded a bit over the last thirty years. Then, she said everyone looked to America—still so, she continued but today more college graduates are staying in China because that is where they see the opportunities.

Inside China today is where all the high-rise buildings are being built and never before has any country seen such a rapid rise in millionaires, even billionaires. However, Ms. Xin warned that their government run economy is all cash—amassing great wealth for the enterprising few; creating income disparity for millions of people and social discontent.

The gist of her concerns was that the biggest challenge the Chinese government faced was creating a market economy that narrowed the income divide and allowed all of China to have a better quality of life.

Republicans, Democrats who have sold out to the big money lobbyists, Conservatives and the Tea People are blinded by their own greed and do not see that our economy is a cash economy for big bankers, companies too big to fail and one that squeezes the middle class into oblivion.


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