It’s easy to get mesmerized by the daily news cycle focused on President Trump’s unpredictable behavior, says Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria. The twin dramas of journalist Bob Woodward’s explosive new book and the anonymously authored New York Times op-ed that created media frenzies last week are but the latest examples.
“But while the great presidential psychodrama captivates us,” Zakaria notes in his Sept. 6 commentary, “let’s remember there are real things in the real world that continue — trends that will prove important and consequential, whether or not they get talked about on television.”
Peace, Stability, and Prosperity
Zakaria points out that outside of the political realm, much of the world is at peace, stable and prosperous. And short of major wars, he says, political issues rarely impact economies in a significant way.
He describes the U.S. economy, for example, as “a vast, complex $19 trillion beast that is shaped more by large, structural trends than by a few policy changes in Washington.”
Risk of Trump Policies
But in the long-term, Zakaria warns, a number of policies being pursued by President Trump put the U.S. at risk in the decades to come.
While acknowledging the boost Trump’s tax cuts appear to have given to the American economy, Zakaria says the long-term effects are potentially damaging. The cash infusion the cuts provided to the economy “is likely to produce only a temporary bump for the country, a sugar high that comes a the cost of a massive increase in deficits and deepening inequality,” he warns.
He also raises concerns that the United States, “the world’s leading architect of the international order and stability, seems determined to disrupt it” under Trump’s leadership, he says.
Coming Technology Wave
Zakaria sees technological advancement as another area of worry. It was the U.S. government, he notes, that developed the Internet and GPS. Those technologies seeded the immense success of U.S. economic juggernauts like Google, Amazon, and Apple.
“The next wave of massive investment in science and technology is indeed taking place — but in China,” Zakaria says.
You can read Zakaria’s full commentary, We Have to Look Beyond the Madness at The Washington Post.