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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS

Hillary Clinton's Big Day; Iran Nuclear Deal; U.S. Policy on Cuba; Interview with Malcom Gladwell. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 12, 2015 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:07] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.

We'll begin the show with Hillary Clinton's big announcement. How would madam secretary translate into madam president? What can we discern about her foreign policy and will she, should she distance herself from her former boss, President Obama?

Then Iran and Cuba. One sworn enemies of the United States. But now a chance for better relations with both. Is it going to happen? Is it a good thing? I have a great panel to debate it all.

Then the Chinese-American rivalry. A former Treasury secretary says America is suffering a historic defeat at the hands of the world's rising superpower. What is it and just how bad is it? I'll explain.

Also, the clock is ticking. It's almost tax day in America and Malcolm Gladwell will explain why in the world it is that Americans are, in his view, more honest on their taxes than any other people. He says they have no reason to be so why do they do it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALCOLM GLADWELL: People believe in the system. And that's a beautiful thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: But first here's my take.

At the heart of the concerns surrounding the deal with Iran is a simple question. Is Iran rational? The answer for many critics of the deal is self-evident. The Iranians are apocalyptic, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has often said. He warns that you can't bet on their rationality. Senator Lindsey Graham puts it quite simply. "I think they're crazy," he said. Israel's Defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, reaffirmed the diagnosis recently, calling Iran's leaders a messianic and apocalyptic regime.

And yet these same critics' preferred policy is one that relies heavily on Iran's rationality. The alternative to the deal forged by Iran in the six great powers is not war, they insist, but rather to ratchet up the pressure and demand more concessions from Tehran. So this crazy apocalyptic band of mullahs will, when faced with a few

more sanctions, calmly calculate the costs and benefits and yield in a predictable way to more pressure. Or as J.J. Goldberg writes in "The Forward," "Apparently they are irrational enough to welcome nuclear Armageddon but rational enough to yield to economic punishment." The point is also well made by Max Fisher in Vox.com.

In fact, in his thorough book, "Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb and American Strategy," Kenneth Pollock carefully reviews decades of Iran's foreign policy and shows that it has been not just rational but prudent over the years. He quotes a former Israeli armed forces chief of staff who explained, "The Iranian regime is radical but it is not irrational."

Remember, rational does not mean reasonable. It means in this case that the regime wants to thrive. And given that goal, it calculates costs and benefits and acts to further it. But it is worth asking a broader question as well. Is Iran being reasonable?

Look at a map of the Middle East. Shiite Iran is surrounded by hostile Sunni states. Across the Persian Gulf sits Saudi Arabia, its arch enemy, fanatically anti-Shiite and armed to the teeth. In Iraq and Syria, Iran faces large Sunni insurgencies dedicated to slaughtering Shiites. Add to this the nuclear dimension. Iran has several nuclear armed neighbors, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, and, of course, Israel.

Plus Iran has faced active opposition from the world's superpower for three decades. Seymour Hersh has reported extensively for "The New Yorker" on U.S. covert support for groups within Iran that seek not only to topple the regime but also to dismember the country Some of these groups like MEK and Jundallah are regarded by some as pretty nasty terrorist outfits.

For decades starting in 2001, Tehran watched as 200,000 American troops massed across its eastern and western borders in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Bush administration openly talked about the need for regime change in Tehran, which was branded part of the globe's axis of evil.

Now I'm not making the case that any of these policies toward Iran should have been altered. International politics is a rough business. But given these realities, is it so bizarre that Iran has behaved as it has, or that it has sought to build a nuclear industry that could give it a pathway to a nuclear weapon? Would a secular, hyper rational country facing the same array of threats have acted differently?

[10:05:21] In 1963, John F. Kennedy predicted that the world would see 15 to 25 new nuclear armed states within a decade. Kennedy's prediction has not proved true because the international community led by the United States has confronted nuclear wannabes with real costs but also benefits.

The Lausanne framework appears to strike that balance for Iran. There's no guarantee that the supreme leader will accept the tradeoffs as his recent tweets remind us. But the awful forces him to make a rational calculation and live with the consequences.

For more, go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week and let's get started.

We have a terrific panel today to discuss Hillary Clinton, Cuba, Iran and more. Anne-Marie Slaughter was the director of Policy Planning in Secretary Clinton's State Department. She's now the president and CEO of the think tank New America. Dan Senor was an adviser to the Romney-Ryan campaign in the 2012 election. During Iraq war he was the spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority.

And Peter Beinart is a contributing editor at "The Atlantic," a senior columnist for "Haaretz," a CNN political commentator, and I should say a fellow of New America as well.

Peter, when running for the presidency, if you look over the last 100 years, the only times a candidate has -- a party has gone three terms in the White House has been when the candidate has been arguing for continuity. Right. It was Hoover after Coolidge, it was FDR after himself, and only once since the two-term limit, which is Bush after Reagan, Bush Senior.

Does that mean that Hillary has to run as the candidate of continuity?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. Because she has to be authentic. And for her to suggest that she's an outsider, that she's going to make radical change given that she was in the Obama administration would undermine her authenticity which is part of what hurdle a lot in 2008. The good news for her is that she has a pretty decent record to run on. Health care is pretty popular, the health care reform, and the economy is getting stronger.

And I think the Clinton people also look at what Al Gore did when he didn't run on Bill Clinton's record in 2000. And they say we know how well that worked out. So I think she will add certain elements, absolutely, but I think she will run as the candidate of continuity, experience and she has a pretty strong case to make.

ZAKARIA: But, Dan, you know the poll, the CNN poll that said when people are asked what kind of person do you want, they said somebody who is not going to follow -- continue Obama's policies.

DAN SENOR, ADVISER TO ROMNEY-RYAN 2012 CAMPAIGN: Yes -- no, this is very hard to do for a candidate to basically have their party run for a third term and yet separate from the first two of those three terms. McCain had a very difficult time doing this. You could not think of -- a more distinctive political figure from George W. Bush than McCain running in 2008 and yet McCain owned George W. Bush.

Hillary is not going to be able to distance herself from Obama. That's partly a benefit, an advantage, because I do think her -- and people think of her as secretary of state, it exudes, you know, experience in the world when the world is chaotic. And I think there's some benefit to that. The flipside of that is she owns this chaotic world, she was America's chief diplomat. And how she explains where she differed without alienating key segments of the base, that the Democrats need to turn out I think is very difficult.

ZAKARIA: How will she do it, Anne-Marie?

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NEW AMERICA: So she's going to be continuity, absolutely, and some change. So on the continuity parts, particularly we're seeing now the fruits of Obama's engagement strategy very important in the first four years when she was secretary of state, with Iran, with Cuba, before that with Myanmar.

At the same time she does, I think, have a more muscular vision of U.S. leadership than the president does in certain areas and I think as she articulates her own vision of the U.S. role in the world, we will see some differences.

ZAKARIA: What about the potential game changer, here, Anne-Marie, which is the female factor, you know, because all this stuff I think we're doing conventional analysis. My 12-year-old daughter doesn't follow politics at all. She loves the idea of Hillary Clinton being president because she thinks it's high time for a woman.

SLAUGHTER: It's interesting will I was talking to one of my son's 18- year-old friends, a woman, yesterday who said the same thing. I think women are hugely important. I think of it as kind of an army of women who are thinking this is our time. And if in 2008 you had grandchildren dragging their grandparents to the polls, this time around you're going to have grandmother's bringing their grandchildren to the polls saying we're going to vote -- you get to vote for the first woman president.

[10:10:17] ZAKARIA: What do the Republicans do about that?

SENOR: First of all, I mean, I agree with that. I think the combination of her experience, having been secretary of State and -- the woman issue, as you characterize it, is powerful but it doesn't strike me as rational for a candidacy.

SLAUGHTER: No.

SENOR: Particularly in a dangerous world. And while the economy may be coming back, it's still sluggish, labor participation rates are still slow. It's not because she has a clear distinction yet, particularly when the sand beneath the feet of the Democratic Party is moving so direction of the left. That said, I think Republicans, no matter who the nominee is, is one going to have to run against eight years of Obama and B, more importantly run a populist campaign.

That is the challenge for the Republicans. Can they look at Hillary Clinton and say proximity to Wall Street has basically lived a very rich life in every sense of the world, completely out of touch with --

(CROSSTALK)

SENOR: Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie, regardless of what you think of their policy agendas, they've come up the ranks politically in a far different way. And if they can make a populous case against the Clintons and what they represent I think that will (INAUDIBLE).

ZAKARIA: So that doesn't sound, Peter, like Jeb Bush. It's going to be -- at least it's a challenge to run. It's always struck me that there will be for Republican primary -- there is a race right now to be the candidate to the right of Jeb Bush. There is going to be some candidate to the right of Jeb Bush who will -- that will be the contest. Who will that be?

BEINART: I think the strongest candidate is Marco Rubio. I think the Republicans -- just as Hillary Clinton has experienced, the Republican brand has to be changed. And that's why Jeb Bush is to my mind such a disaster because he takes that off the table. Then it becomes, did you like the Bush presidency better or the Clinton presidency better? We know how Americans feel about that.

I think there are other candidates who represent change. I think Rand Paul has been the most innovative. But I think we've seen over the past couple of weeks that he has real flaws as a candidate. What I think is compelling about Rubio is I just think he's a very gifted, natural politician. He's likable in a kind of Reaganesque way. He also represents the future. I think he doesn't come off as fervent ideologically as a Ted Cruz does.

If he can turn out to be able to hold his own with Hillary Clinton in debates, and seem as substantive as her, which I think is a big question, I think he could turn out to be a strong candidate.

(CROSSTALK)

SLAUGHTER: So --

ZAKARIA: Thirty seconds.

SLAUGHTER: So I think what's interesting here is the change. He's the first Hispanic, she's the first woman president. She's not going to run on being the first woman president, she's going to run on being a good president, on being the person who can actually deliver. But you've got that change built in. And then I think the debates are really going to be who can --

(CROSSTALK)

SENOR: The first time she will be stepping on the debate stage most likely will be in the fall of 2016. That is risky. These Republicans are going to be duking it out in a bitter way for the next year. And when they get into -- onto that stage it will be much better politically athletic shape than Hillary Clinton.

ZAKARIA: All right. We're going to come back. I have to ask one more questions about the primaries when we come back.

Much more. We'll talk about Iran and Cuba as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:17:40] ZAKARIA: And we are back with Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dan Senor and Peter Beinart.

Dan, Rand Paul's announcement, the thing that struck me about it was you now listen to the positions he's taking on all kinds of issues from defense spending to, you know, social conservative issues, this guy was meant to be a libertarian.

SENOR: Yes.

ZAKARIA: And does it suggest that the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, which a lot of people find very attractive, small government, you know, restraint on defense, that it's gone? At least politically it can't survive the Iowa caucuses and the social conservative base of the Republican Party.

SENOR: Well, I think on domestic and social issues there is space for it. I think particularly if you look at the polling among Republicans, particularly younger Republicans on issues like same-sex marriage because if definitely moved in a direction that I would --

(CROSSTALK)

ZAKARIA: But why --

SENOR: I think he's worried about his foreign policy issues. I do not think there's space right now in the Republican Party for a candidate who does not represent a sort of muscular interventionist view of the world, particularly contrasted with eight years of Obama. Had this been George W. Bush's mess, it may have been a different dynamic. But the world is chaotic and it seemed to be owned by Obama who Republican primary voters strongly dislike, so they can't have anyone as their standard bearer who in any way has any space shared with Obama and I think that is the -- you know, that is the fundamental challenge.

ZAKARIA: All right. Substance, Anne-Marie, the big -- the big news of last day or two is that Ayatollah Khomeini has come out not just with tweets now but with actual -- would you say denunciation of the deal or distancing himself from deal?

SLAUGHTER: I think all of this is negotiating tactics. I mean, we -- in the week where we've been analyzing the actual framework agreement we're forgetting that leading up to that week it looked we might have no deal because suddenly the Iranians were saying that they wouldn't ship their enriched uranium off to Russia. Everybody was taking a harder line.

They found enough common ground to get the framework. But the big issues are still there. I mean, are they -- they have agreed to reduce their enriched uranium but are they going to do it by shipping it out of the country or are they going to do it in the country? So I think this is once again the Iranians pulling their -- their classic technique, which is to take a much harder lined stance preparing for the -- for the end game.

ZAKARIA: What about our hard-liners?

(LAUGHTER)

[10:20:01] SENOR: Look, our hard-liners, is Henry Kissinger a hard- liner? Is George Schulz a hard-liner? Is -- I mean, is Chuck Schumer a hard-liner? I just returned from Israel, I was amazed the center left in Israel, who are some of Netanyahu's fiercest critics are -- is expressing extreme skepticism about the deal.

ZAKARIA: But let me ask you about that. So right now Iran is three months from breakup.

SENOR: Yes.

ZAKARIA: The deal get them -- rolls them back to 12 months. So are all the things that you worry about already true? And if there is no deal there are three months to break up.

SENOR: If you believe that we can actually enforce that. And that the key here is the inspections. And you know, the president, the secretary of state, have talked about any place, anywhere, and Khomeini is saying something much different from than that and there's no single piece of paper in English and Farsi that we can all look at and say, this is -- these are the rules. They can hit the nuclear facilities for inspections, they can go to military facilities, they can go to (INAUDIBLE), they can go to all these places.

It's not clear. It's vague. So how does anybody get security that that one-year break is for real if you cannot rely on inspections.

ZAKARIA: So I have always had the view, while I think this is a good deal, you know, assuming some of these things can be clarified, I've always been skeptical that it will happen. It just strikes me that there's too much resistance on both -- in both sides. That the negotiators have these very strong critics within their countries. Will it happen?

BEINART: I think that both governments have a strong, strong desire to see this happen. I mean, you saw how hard they pushed, how hard Obama pushed at the end. And look at Rouhani, I mean, he's not the supreme decider there. His presidency is basically over. So I think at the end of the day it's going to be very, very tough, we're a long way away but I think the chances are good.

And look, as much as you can respect Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, they've made good points in that op-ed, they still didn't answer the basic question we've been asking for week after week, what is the alternative? The fundamental fallacy is the idea that if there's no deal the pressure on Iran goes up. It goes down. Because even if the U.S. Congress imposes new sanctions, the rest of the world, which likes this deal, is going to start to see the sanctions erode. China is going to start importing more oil from Iran. And then if there's going to be any future deal in the future it will be a worse one deal, not a better one.

ZAKARIA: Sandy Berger makes exactly this point. He says, you know, at the end of the day getting this coalition together was only possible because it was a path to negotiation. SLAUGHTER: Absolutely. I agree with Peter completely that if this

doesn't happen, it's going to be perceived to have been torpedoed at least in part by us and the coalition will fall apart. I think the other pieces at every stage the desire to actually have the deal does go up. In the skirmishing for almost eight years between us and Iran, we could never get to the table. Now we've gotten to the table for the interim agreement. Now for the framework agreement. And I'm not going to say it's automatic but I would bet we're going to get a deal because the desire is great.

SENOR: It's a completely different argument than the administration is making. The administration is arguing that they are very tough negotiators, they put a lot of pressure on Iran. Iran is rational basically the way you articulate in your op-ed and they came to the table. What you're basically saying is the sanctions regime is going to collapse, it's over. We have no options. We can't put pressure on them. So we just got to take whatever they're going to agree to. And if that's the case, then let's have that discussion. That is not what the administration is saying.

BEINART: Right. But I think we can afford as commentators to actually talk about the real world, we don't have infinite leverage on Iran precisely because we don't have good military options.

ZAKARIA: All right. We have to get to Cuba. But I have a feeling there's going to be more agreement than (INAUDIBLE). The one thing about the deal, about this opening is most people are still skeptical, it's not going to change this regime very much in the short run, will it?

SLAUGHTER: Yes. I don't think that's what we're betting on. This is not a way of opening to Cuba so we have regime change, this is Obama's initial strategy of engagement. In his inaugural address, he said we will extend our hand if you will unclench your fist. And his point has been we're not changing the regime through the embargo. What we are doing is shooting ourselves in both feet in the world and particularly in Latin America.

ZAKARIA: Thirty seconds.

SENOR: Look, the Cuba policy absolutely has to be modernized. It's a relic of the past to some degree. On the other hand, any change should be to force change in human rights and address some of the other issues for why the embargo was put in place. And our approach to Cuba seems to be the approach to Iran, all concessions, and nothing really (INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

ZAKARIA: All right. We've got to go. Very good discussion. Thank you all.

Next on GPS, the U.S. may be making progress with Cuba and Iran but is it making bad decisions when it comes to the most important relationships in the world, the relationship with China. That's what some are saying. Find out what I think when we come back. [10:24:30]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. Former Treasury secretary Larry Summers recently shared this ominous prediction in the "Washington Post."

"This past month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system."

"U.S. diplomacy has proved a disaster," wrote the economist. The U.S. has committed an almost comic series of missteps, said the "Financial Times."

What were they all talking about? Well, China has convinced several key American allies to defy Uncle Sam and join its new lending body, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The new lender has been described as a potential rival to the World Bank and the IMF and will fund transportation, energy and other projects throughout Asia. The U.S. reportedly pressed its allies not to join concerned about the new bank's lending standards and transparency and also out of worry over China's growing influence in the world.

But many American allies want to join or have joined anyway. There's South Korea and Australia, Germany, France, and Italy, even Great Britain, despite its special relationship with the United States. A recent tally comes over 50 countries that have become members or are applying for membership to the bank. Even the Chinese themselves were surprised by their success, reports "The New York Times."

Larry Summers wrote, "I can think of no event since

[10:30:00] Bretton Woods, the conference that established the IMF and the World Bank comparable to the combination of China's effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the United States to persuade dozens of its traditional allies starting with Britain to stay out. So is this the worst thing that could ever happen to the U.S. as it attempts its so called pivot to Asia? Well, I'm not convinced.

Asia really needs roads. And existing lenders aren't meeting the demand. The Asian Development Bank estimated the 32 of its member countries would need over $8 trillion in infrastructure investment from 2010 to 2020, over $700 billion per year. The World Bank and other existing lenders couldn't come close to meeting that demand according to the "Washington Post."

So, why not have an additional lending entity help? More infrastructure in Asia would help the economies there. And by extension, that would help the rest of the world, including the United States. And unlike the IMF, this bank isn't writing the basic rules upholding the international economic system, it's funding roads and bridges as many state-owned banks do anyway. What does deserve criticism is the utter fecklessness of the United States Congress. China might not have started the bank in the first place had the U.S. allowed China to have more influence in the World Bank and the IMF.

Even though it has the second largest economy in the world, China gets less than five percent voting power in the World Bank and has less than four percent of the vote at the IMF. Tiny Belgium and the Netherlands have more combined voting power than China at the IMF. Legislation that would reform that institution has gone nowhere in Congress. So China came up with an alternative lending body that would allow it to have more clout. Now, Washington should cool it. The United States needs to deter Chinese expansionism, but at the same time it needs to be realistic and accommodate its rising power when reasonable.

After all, surely it is appropriate for China, the world's number two economy, to have some clout and some institutions in the global economic run, Europe has many such bodies. Washington should swallow its pride and join the Asian Bank working from within to strengthen its transparency and reliability. Besides, there's a lot of infrastructure that needs building in America. Who knows, maybe the bank will contemplate helping America repair its roads one day.

Next on "GPS," tax day in America is right around the corner. Have you filed your taxes yet? Do you intend to? Malcolm Gladwell on why he says Americans are the most honest taxpayers in the world.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAKARIA: If you an American, you have just three days left to file your taxes. If you're not an American, you may not be aware, but filing taxes in the U.S. of A is a huge pain. The forms are tedious, the calculations are arcane. And at the end you often have to part with a lot of your hard-earned cash. I had author extraordinaire Malcolm Gladwell in to talk about the Internal Revenue Service. We talked about a lot more.

MALCOLM GLADWELL, AUTHOR: The great puzzle of the American tax system is why are we so honest. We are the most honest taxpayers in the world. Only Switzerland comes close. Even in my native Canada, people are less honest on tax day. And what's weird about it is that the penalties for cheating on your taxes or for trying to find tax cheats in America are lower than almost anywhere else. IRS audits a tiny traction of taxpayers, smaller number than almost any other developed country. So, if we don't have any determined capacity in the IRS, why are we so honest? And the answer is, because Americans perceive their tax system as legitimate.

Legitimacy is an idea that exists as a way of explaining why people behave, why they - why people are obedient. For the longest time our approach was always that the surest path to obedience was deterrence. You simply raise the cost of disobedience so high that people stopped misbehaving. But there are enough problems with this deterrence, and enough instances where it doesn't seem to work that a number of philosophers and legal thinkers over the last ten years or more, Tom Tyler at NYU, Larry Sherman, a bunch of others have begun to write really interesting and thoughtful and do research arguing that deterrence is not the principle reason why people behave as they should. It's legitimacy. And by that they mean three things. Power is perceived as legitimate if it is respectful of those who are under its purview. Respect means when I speak up - a problem you listen to me. Power if perceived as legitimate when it is fair, when if there's three of us, we're all under your control, we are all treated the same. And power is legitimate when it is seen as trustworthy. When the rules don't change overnight without - I don't wake up tomorrow morning and discover that I'm in a completely different, you know, universe. This is where I would say we have an issue we need to deal with in this country, which is the most dangerous problem facing the tax system is the rising sense that it might not be fair, that some people are getting a special deal and others are not.

ZAKARIA: And by that you mean that there are enough -- there's an accumulation of loopholes --

GLADWELL: Exactly.

ZAKARIA: -- and things like that that allow people to effectively play --

GLADWELL: Yeah, if too many people are seen to be getting deals that the ordinary system doesn't get, you start to undermine the legitimacy of the system. And I don't think it's a short step to go from a system where most people pay your taxes to Italy or Greece where they don't.

[10:40:05]

Because what you have there are developed modern countries who have lost the sense that their public institutions are legitimate. It's a fragile thing.

ZAKARIA: It's about a fairer application of the rules.

GLADWELL: Yeah, absolutely. I mean if you look at - think about the American taxation example. We have the wimpiest internal revenue system of any major industrialized country and yet we all pay our taxes. We will all pay our taxes. I mean that tax compliance rates in America are - they are in the high '90s. I mean they are kind of mind blowing.

In fact, the economists will tell you, that it's marvelous -- I've forgotten the name of the economist, he is in New Orleans who wrote this hilarious paper saying rationally in America you should cheat on your taxes. Because you're not going to get caught. I mean and if you get caught, the penalties are low enough that it - worth it. But we don't do that because we believe in the system. And that's a beautiful thing.

ZAKARIA: I think I should be clear to our viewers that you are not advocating cheating on our taxes.

GLADWELL: No, no.

(LAUGHTER) ZAKARIA: When we come back I'm going to ask Malcolm Gladwell about risks, why does one take risks and how does one take risks, and how you make sure it pays off.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAKARIA: And we are back with Malcolm Gladwell, the author of "David and Goliath," which is now in paperback. In that book you talk about something, which I think is very important, it's - almost the key to success, which is the ability to take risks. Because you have so many people who may be well educated, they may be very bright, but they are risk averse.

GLADWELL: Yes.

ZAKARIA: And it's tough to succeed if you're risk averse. So what makes you embrace risk?

GLADWELL: Well, I was very taken when I was writing the book -- I had a chapter about a famous cancer researcher, a guy named Jay Freireich, who was really the - one of the fathers of modern chemotherapy. In the history of 20th century medicine, he is up there. His story is really fascinating. Because the time when he was pioneering, he and a small group of others were pioneering some of these very, very new ideas about how to treat cancer, he was reviled and denounced and considered to be pursuing inhumane medical ideas, theories and practices.

My children - this is first - he was a child leukemia guy. He's really the guy who gets the ball rolling against child leukemia. And the question is why would someone do that? Why would they embark on a course of action that entailed that much social risk? Basically, he placed his reputation on the line and risked his entire career as a medical scientist in pursuit of an idea. And for years and years and years, it was not even an inkling it was going to work.

And the answer he would give is he had nothing to lose. He was a kid from essentially the ghetto in Chicago, he was - he didn't have a lot of friends. Didn't have - he wasn't big on warm and fuzzy. He was a kind of angry, driven, highly ambitious guy who felt he was incredibly lucky to be where he was at NIH. And if it failed, so what. I mean he - it wasn't as if he came from - you know, he had some massive legacy to protect. He was - he still maintained this kind of very scrappy attitude that he carried with him from the West Side of Chicago.

ZAKARIA: So the puzzle, and if it's that's true, and I suspect there's a lot of truth to it, does that mean that you kind of have to have nothing to lose to be - to seek risk? And if you're a guy who goes to Harvard and Harvard Law School and goes through a nice - has a nice opportunity to work at a corporate law firm, you're not going to start your own company, you've got too much to lose. You've got this clear line --

GLADWELL: Yeah.

ZAKARIA: Clear income for the rest of your life. It's the guy who doesn't --

GLADWELL: Yeah.

ZAKARIA: -- who is going to be willing to take that risk.

GLADWELL: This is a very interesting argument that I got into a little bit in "David and Goliath." And that is, what are the downsides to affluence? So, we know the good parts of affluence. We're well aware of them. But do you also entail, do you also take on certain liabilities? When you raise a child in a culture of comfort where every need is taken care of. The answer is that you do. I mean -and that doesn't mean you shouldn't raise a child in comfort, it just means the path to doing something extraordinary is going to be a little more difficult, not impossible, but a little more difficult.