Kishore Mahbubani: Is America in decline?
Kishore Mahbubani was appointed Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 16 August 2004 after having served 33 years in the Singapore Foreign Service (with postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and twice as Ambassador to the UN, during which he also served as President of the Security Council). He was the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry from 1993-1998.
He is the author of Can Asians Think? published in Singapore, Canada, US, Mexico, India and People’s Republic of China and of Beyond The Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust between America and the World. His new book entitled The New Asian Hemisphere: the Irresistible Shift of Gobal Power to the East was published in New York in February 2008. He was also listed as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines in September 2005.
Kishore Mahbubani: No, I don’t think America in the decline at all. In fact, I try to emphasize the fact that while the relative shares of America and Europe in the growing global economy will decline, because it is unnaturally large, the absolute GNP of America, the absolute GNP of Europe is not going to go down. It’s going to grow, and I amazed that Americans and Europeans have stopped believing that they can compete in the world of tomorrow. How come? You have world’s best universities. You have the world’s best companies. You have very highly-educated workforce. Why you afraid of competition? Why do you allow new dogs to set the terms of the debate in America. It’s crazy. How can the world, for so long America used to preach to the rest of the world and say “open up your economies, compete, it’s good for you.” Guess what? They did it. They opened up. They want to compete. So why you are running away from the competition.
Recorded on: 2/28/08
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