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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Interview with David Miliband, Ian Bremmer, Danielle Pletka, Gideon Rose; Funding Education in the U.S.; Interview with Jeff Hawkins; Interview with Charles Murray. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired May 24, 2015 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:03] ACOSTA: It will air in the noon hour of this program. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. "FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS" starts right now.
FAREED ZAKARIA, 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.
We'll start today's show with a world-class panel to discuss the world's many crises.
ZAKARIA: ISIS advances in Iraq and Syria. Europe's military action to stop migrants coming into the continent. China's push forward in the South China Seas. And America's role in all of it.
Also, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking are all warning that computers could get too smart. But are the dangers of artificial intelligence being overblown? I'll talk to a real expert.
And Bernie Sanders proposed free college for all in the United States. Could it ever work? Probably not, but there is another solution that could.
Then a call for civil disobedience, not for civil rights or social justice. The ever-controversial Charles Murray will lay out his case. Don't miss this one.
ZAKARIA: But first, here is "My Take." On Monday the Right Honorable David Cameron, prime minister of Great Britain, gave his first speech after being re-elected to his high office. Confronting a world of challenges from Greece's possible exit from the euro, a massive migration crisis on Europe's shores, Ukraine's perilous state, Russia's continued intransigence, the advance of ISIS, the continuing chaos in the Middle East.
Cameron chose to talk about a plan to ensure that hospitals in the UK would be better staffed on weekends.
OK. That's a bit unfair. Leaders everywhere, including in the United States, understand that all politics is local, but spending a few days in Britain last week, I was struck by just how parochial it has become. After an extraordinary 300-year run, Great Britain has essentially resigned as a global power.
Over the next few years, Britain's army will shrink to somewhere around 80,000. A report from the Royal United Services Institute predicts that the number could get as low as 50,000, which the "Daily Telegraph" points out would be smaller than at any point since the 1770s. David Rothkoff notes it would mean that Great Britain's army would be about the same size as the New York Police Department.
No wonder then that Britain has become a minor, reluctant ally in the air strikes against ISIS. Its 30-year-old tornado fleet of planes is a generation behind the American planes, the F-22s, that it flies alongside. The Royal Navy that once ruled the waves no longer operates a single aircraft carrier, though they do have two under construction.
A similar story is true of other elements of Britain's global influence. In Cameron's first term, the Foreign Office budget has been cut by more than a quarter and further cuts are likely. The BBC world service, perhaps the most influential arm of the country's global public diplomacy, has shuttered five of its foreign language broadcasts and the entire organization has seen its budget slashed with more cuts probably to come.
Why does this matter? Because on almost all global issues, Britain has a voice that is intelligent, engaged, and forward looking. It wants to strengthen and uphold today's international system, one based on the free flow of ideas, goods, and services around the world, one that promotes individual rights and the rule of law.
This is not an accident. Britain essentially created the world we live in. In his excellent book "God and Gold" Walter Russell Meade points out that in the 16th century, many countries were poised to advance economically and politically. Nor than at least city states, the Hanseatic league, the low countries, France, Spain.
But Britain managed to edge out the others becoming the first great industrial economy and the modern world's first super power. It colonized and shaped countries and cultures from Australia to India to Africa to the western hemisphere, of course, including its settlements in North America. Had Spain or Germany become the world's leading power, things would look very different today.
[10:05:04] There is a paradox readily apparent to visitors to the UK. London continues to thrive as a global hub, increasingly cosmopolitan and worldly. More than a third of Londoners were born outside the United Kingdom, and this government has been more than willing to travel around the world petitioning for investment in the city whether it be Chinese, Russian, or Arab.
That's fine as a strategy for an aspiring entrepot, of financial safe haven, but Britain is not Luxembourg. It is even now a great global power with the talent, history, and capacity to shape the international order, which is why the inward turn of the United Kingdom is a tragedy not just for them but for all of us.
For more, go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
We have a lot to talk about with a terrific panel, so let's get right to it. Ian Bremer is the president of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultant. He's the author of brand new book, "Super Power: Three Choices for America's Role in the World."
Danielle Pletka is the senior vice president for Foreign and Defense Policies Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. David Miliband was Britain's last Labour foreign minister. He is now the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. And Gideon Rose is the editor of "Foreign Affairs" and once worked in the Clinton National Security Council.
David, you have been to Iraq and to Lebanon recently, in the last few months. When you hear these stories about ISIS now being able to take over another town in Syria, take over Ramadi, what do you think?
DAVID MILIBAND, FORMER U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY: Two things really come to mind. The first was said to me across all sections of Iraqi society. I was in the Kurdish region at the time, and they said very clearly at the moment the choice for Sunni communities is between ex- Baathists and ISIS, and the absence of a legitimate Sunni representation that really commands confidence in the Sunni communities is debilitating the fight against ISIS.
The second thing, obviously, is that as the Syria war goes on the choices get worse, and the dangers of inaction become clearer and clearer.
ZAKARIA: But when -- the third aspect of it of course is the Sunni community does not trust at all what they regard as the Shiite government in Baghdad.
GIDEON ROSE, EDITOR, FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Well, I think what you're seeing here is that ISIS' success is not just a tribute to its own abilities, but to the fact that it's an opportunistic infection on a body politic both in Syria and Iraq with severely promised immune systems.
The really problem in Iraq and Syria is not ISIS, it's the lack of any kind of political order in which a competent, aggressive, radical group like ISIS can make such headway. And until we fix that larger political problem, we're not going able to stop ISIS. And the real question is do we want to, or are we able to really address the larger problem of political order in Iraq and Syria?
ZAKARIA: Danielle, this is a great sectarian struggle. We tried in Iraq. We spent 10 years. We picked -- handpicked the government, and the sectarianism bubbled through and is essentially destroying the country. Should we really try again in Syria?
DANIELLE PLETKA, SENIOR VP, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: It seems to me so dreadfully unfair to suggest, first of all, that we failed terribly in Iraq. When we left Iraq in 2011, we were not failing. There was comity, not perfect, but between the Shia and the Sunni, and in fact the Shia and the Shunni have lived in the Middle East for a long time.
This narrative, this Sunni versus Shiite narrative, the Persian empire versus the Ottoman empire, is enormously detrimental to our interests. And the more that the Saudis and others dig in on the Sunni side, and the more that the Iranians dig in on the Shia side, the more likely we are to see conflict.
Now Gideon says, you know, we can't fix it and, of course, the answer is, well, no, we can't fix it but we have a stake in the solution, and that's the challenge for us. When people say to me, oh, they've been fighting for a millennia. Well, A, they haven't been fighting for a millennia. B, we care even if we don't care about the hundreds of thousands of people who are dying around the region, being tortured or being raped, are being kidnapped, are being sold.
Even if we don't care at all about that as Americans, we still care about the fact that groups like ISIS, al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Jabbath al-Nusra, which is benefiting in Syria and is sworn bayat to al Qaeda, is rising up. Ultimately, they come -- they come for us.
ZAKARIA: Do we care, Ian Bremmer? You have a new book but also a "TIME International" cover store in which you actually poll Americans as to whether they want to go around fixing the world's problems and what are the results?
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: Well, the good news is that there really is space for a debate here, that Americans are all over the map in terms of whether they believe that we need to really live up to our values, be more of a global policeman, lead if otherwise there'd be a vacuum and those that want to pull out.
[10:10:15] But there's a problem here. And that is there's a huge generational divide. And the younger you get, the more you have Americans saying we do not want to touch these things, and the problem you have is that the candidates, while they are at least starting to really debate some of the foreign policy issues in way that in 2012 the election really didn't, the willingness to actually stand up and talk about the costs, talk about what would be required to truly take a leadership role in helping to build a coalition, fix the Iraqi army, defeat ISIS.
The same people are saying we must defeat ISIS are saying absolutely no boots on the ground and that just does not stand.
MILIBAND: The problem with the independent America, quote-unquote, thesis that Ian in the end supports is that you may not want to have anything to do with them, but they'll end up having something to do with you. And in an interdependent world, remember, it's been more than 50 years since JFK declared interdependence, the idea that America can have the blessings of globalization but none of the burdens does not add up.
And I think that's the real choice that America faces because it cannot enjoy all the fruits of being a leader of the global economy, including economic but not only that, without bearing those burdens unless there is leadership from America for a rules-based international system, then you will have a vacuum. And when you have a vacuum, you have danger. That's the simple --
MILIBAND: I do admit I feel passionately about this because seven beneficiaries of our services lost their lives outside Italy and so the consequences of inaction, the consequences of the vacuum, are the people we're serving having their funerals today and that really speaks to very, very deep American values as well as interests.
BREMMER: Let's just talk about where that vacuum hits, though. There's no question that it's a much worse world order if no one is providing that leadership and the Americans are best situated to do so. But the fact of the matter is that ISIS is a much greater threat in the region, a much greater threat to Europe than the United States. The Americans are the ones with the energy production now. They're less interested in these things.
The Americans are not being affected by the refugee crisis in a way that the Turks, the Jordanians, the Lebanese, the Europeans are, and, frankly, the willingness of the Saudis and others in the community to not only send their boys to war but also to be willing to say we've got a problem with radical Islam within our countries and we have to actually deal with that. We have to cut off these clerics.
If they're not prepared to do it, I'm just saying you have a much harder argument to make. I agree with you, but if you don't have a credible decision by an American leader that's really going to give you that kind of outcome, then the least you can do is not lie about it.
ZAKARIA: Danielle, isn't that fair that this is first and foremost an Arab problem? The Arabs should be taking care of this.
PLETKA: As I said before, we can posit, we don't care about these Arabs, we don't care about your guys in Italy. OK. Fair enough. You know, I'm sure seven people were killed somewhere in New York state as well. That is the challenge here is to understand that even if you want to profess indifference, callous indifference to what's happening and say ISIS is an Arab problem, even the Sunni-Shia is a Muslim problem, the issue is that each time it comes back to bite us.
ZAKARIA: All right. We are going to have to switch gears when we come back because another big issue that people have been talking about has been the British elections. There is an argument that the Labour Party moved too far left which is one of the reasons why it last. It did that under one Ed Miliband.
I'm going to ask his brother, David Miliband, whether he will take over the reins of the Labour party when we come back.
[10:18:09] ZAKARIA: And we are back with Ian Bremmer, Danielle Pletka, David Miliband, and Gideon Rose.
So right after the British elections, J.K. Rowling tweeted, "I wonder what David Miliband is thinking of these elections." So tell J.K. Rowling, that the Labour Party under your brother who won a narrowly contested -- one narrowly and it contested, the Labour Pay race for leadership against you, did he take the party too far left?
MILIBAND: I think that he bet and the party bet that this was an economic change election, and, in fact, it was an economic security election, and at some level it's relatively straightforward what happened. There's many layers to it. In Scotland obviously you can see political fragmentation of a very serious kind, the rise of the Scottish National Party, but essentially economic security was the key argument and economic risk was the danger that Labour failed to mitigate.
ZAKARIA: Is that good news or bad news for Hillary Clinton? At the end she presumably would be the candidate of economic security and a degree of continuity.
PLETKA: This is a lesson for Hillary Clinton if you want. She's taking very far to the left. She's nervous about her left flank in the country. She recognizes who exactly is going to turn out, who's going to be energized, and so she's taking a series of positions that are rather different from the Hillary of, I don't know, last year? And I think that's very fraught with risk for her actually because at the end of the day people do value security and I think they also value a genuineness in a candidate who isn't sort of John Kerry style flip-flopping around based on what they think is going to win them the next primary.
ZAKARIA: You we just in Asia. What are you hearing in terms of concerns about China? It does seem as though China's flexing its muscle in the South China Seas but at the same aggressively courting India, trying to present itself as the kind of inevitable economic super power of the region.
BREMMER: One interesting point tied to the Hillary question is when you go around the world and you ask who they want to be the next leader. You know, elites everywhere saying we're happy with Hillary. Not Chinese leadership. They didn't like the pivot to Asia, they didn't like Hillary's containment concepts, which -- that's the way they perceived it. It's going to be interesting when we started talking about foreign policy for 2016 but there's no question that China is the one country in the world that actually today has a global strategy. Not the United States.
[10:20:30] The fact that they are creating all of these institutions like the BRICS Bank, like the Asian Infrastructure Bank. They're planning on spending over a trillion dollars to both on infrastructure and also on equities to align other countries economically towards the Chinese long term. The Americans have not had a response to that either an assertive nor defensive one. And I think that unnerves a lot of American allies in the region who unlike a lot of other countries like Britain really want to see a lot more America in their part of the world and they're not getting it. Right? And the British election was not about let's talk about European
leadership. It wasn't about the world. In Asia it's Modi's India, Abe's Japan, Joko's Indonesia. They're really quite concerned that the United States is not consistent and is not ultimately committed to them and I think that's an interesting challenge.
ROSE: Which is why the United States simply has to, has to pass not just trade promotion authority but the transpacific partnership to show that it is not a wall, that it actually cares about maintaining and reviving the liberal international order and sustaining it that it has created and benefited from.
ZAKARIA: But presumably this is also the reason we can't get overly involved in the Middle East again.
ROSE: Absolutely. The problem with the pivot was we didn't do enough of it and we didn't back it up and then we managed to get trapped into backward looking olive tree conflicts rather than forward-looking Lexus concepts to use Tom Friedman's old terms.
ZAKARIA: In your dealings as foreign minister, what was your sense of the Chinese? Do you think they are trying to kind of upend the international order?
MILIBAND: No, I think they've studied very carefully the history of how hegemonic powers have declined and how rising powers have gained. They worry, actually, about what American, quote-unquote, "decline" is going to mean. And my -- I'm actually a strong supporter of the Asian pivot, one of the last ones. And I think it should have been done with Europe.
PLETKA: You can't pivot if the Middle East is on fire. Europe certainly can't pivot if, in fact, thousands and thousands of refugees are arriving, streaming through Italy, which is taking more than 40 percent of these boat people. You can't -- you can't ignore it. At the same time, you've got to have the bandwidth. And we in the United States don't have the military resources.
The real tragedy behind the pivot is even if we wanted to, even if we had the will, even if the Middle East wasn't on fire, we don't any longer have the necessary resources to put towards a fully resourced pivot in Asia.
ZAKARIA: Well, we're spending 70 percent of NATO -- I mean, if we don't have the resources, nobody has the resources.
PLETKA: That's exactly right.
ROSE: I don't -- I don't buy that. I think the problem is one less of resources and actually capabilities than of will and attention and the fact that sort of, in effect, we take for granted not just the benigness of the American order, then everybody recognition of that, but also the persistence of it. And Americans have a sort of imperial privilege that they need to check. And they need to make clear to the rest of the world that this order is good, it benefits the United States and the world, and it's going to be going forward for generations to come, not just generations in the past.
BREMMER: I think we're capable. Thirty-seven percent of the world's defense budget is spent by the United States. But the problem is the pivot to Asia was run by Hillary Clinton, by Tim Geithner, by a series of folks in the first term in Obama that actually did Asia.
ROSE: Tom Donilon.
BREMMER: They had Tom Donilon, and other, Kurt Campbell. They're all gone. There's no one left. I mean, John Kerry is not an Asia guy. It wasn't his focus on. Israel-Palestine for 18 months. That's a fireable offense, from my perspective. But I mean for -- the point is, that's not -- they don't want consistency. And if you don't have leaders that are going to engage in consistency, with a president that really cares as a top priority, that strategy matters, then the result you're going to get is people that are saying you can't do this stuff.
ZAKARIA: All right.
PLETKA: May I have at you both for one second on the defense budget. You know, you need to understand that we are spending smaller and smaller part of a smaller and smaller pie so the notion that we're spending any particular percentage needs to understand the pie is much smaller. We spend 50 percent of our defense budget on personnel. We don't have the carriers. We don't have the attack ships. We don't have the refueling capabilities. We don't have the new technology that we need to actually be in Asia in the way that we need to, to contend in the Middle East as well.
ZAKARIA: Well, the military budget is becoming like the budget of all American institutions --
PLETKA: Well said.
ZAKARIA: Which is largely devoted to pensions and health care.
PLETKA: Exactly. Well said.
ZAKARIA: With a very small appendage at the end. Anyway, we've got to stop. Thank you all very much. Wonderful conversation. We'll do it again.
Up next, Germany offers a free college education to anyone who qualifies. Bernie Sanders says the United States should do the same. We'll see if that makes any sense.
ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. This week the Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would make four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: It is a national disgrace that hundreds of thousands of young Americans do not go to college not because they are unqualified but simply because they cannot afford it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: The cost of college in America has skyrocketed to more than 13 times what it cost in 1978, far outpacing inflation and even health care costs as Bloomberg points out. Student loan debt is now over $1 trillion, and it has more than tripled in the past decade. Other countries like Germany and Denmark are offering free college education for all, Sanders says, so why can't the United States?
Take Germany, for instance. Students can get a free education at any of the country's public universities, some of which are among the best in the world. Even foreigners don't have to pay tuition. There were almost 200,000 foreign students enjoying a tuition free and debt free Deutschland education in 2012 including over 4,000 Americans.
How on earth can the Germans afford all of this? Mainly through high taxes, though the concept of college in Germany is more bare bones in some ways compared to the United States. The four-year full-service residential college experience with a range of extracurricular activities is an Anglo-American idea. As Rebecca Schuman has pointed out on "Slate," German universities don't have billion dollar student union buildings or huge sports facilities like their American counterparts. And there isn't much in the way of student housing since a lot of German students commute to school.
There's also less academic advising in Germany, a more hands-off approach with students, Schuman says. So you can get a prestigious degree for free at a German university, but the experience might not match the vibrant, collaborative, wide ranging experience that one can get on an American college campus.
But is there a smarter way to help expand access to the American style of higher education? Michael Crow, the president of Arizona State University for the last 13 years, has some very interesting ideas in his recent book. He's hoping to bring quality education to the masses like never before in the 21st century. Similar to how California State universities changes education in the 20th century. Crow has allowed a lot more students to enroll at Arizona State giving access to those who normally wouldn't go to college.
To help meet all that new demand at reasonable cost, he's supplementing classroom teaching with smart uses of technology like the online e-adviser system where students can plan out their education and view a dashboard that tracks their progress in real time. Thanks in part to that technology, Crow says the school's four- year graduation rate went up 20 percent between 2002 and 2010. Arizona State is also offering a full set of courses online so that students who can't make it to campus aren't excluded. The online revolution in education has just begun. The courses and experience are going to get much better and data analysis will allow educators to better customize each student's individual experience. In a way, there are probably two paths to solving America's education cost crisis. The first, Sanders relies on government to somehow foot the bills or rein in the costs. The second relies on technology to produce innovation, efficiency, and transformation.
My bet is on technology, but it won't be enough. It's still very important for state governments to fund state universities, which are the real highways to the middle class in America. State funding has been declining for decades, and it's still way down years after the recession. Technology won't solve that problem. Only politics can.
Next on "GPS," Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Stephen Hawking. It's tough to find three smarter guys, and they're all issuing dire warnings about something they say could be disastrous for human life as we know it. What is it? I will tell you when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Stephen Hawking told the BBC that its development could spell the end of the human race. Elon Musk said it was our biggest existential threat. Bill Gates says it's a huge challenge. When three people that smart are that worried, I'd perk up. So what are they concerned about? Artificial intelligence, computers growing past the point where humans can control them. Now, there have been amazing advances in so-called AI in recent years. IBM's Watson winning Jeopardy was just the start. Now MIT professor Andrew McAfee claims that Watson will soon be the world's best medical diagnostician. Google and others have their self-driving cars.
That all sounds benign, so what are all those smart guys worried about? Well, who knows what form the threat from AI would take, but over the years movies have given us some out there ideas. There was how the computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey" who despite a rather soothing voice ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Affirmative ...
ZAKARIA: ... kills all but one of the astronauts aboard Discovery. And then there was Skynet in "The Terminator." An AI network hell bent on eliminating the entire human race. So, will fiction become fact? I asked Jeff Hawkins to come answer that. Hawkins founded Palm Computing and Handspring, and he is now the chairman of the board of the Redwood Neuroscience Institute, which hopes to understand human cognition and apply that to computers.
Jeff, pleasure to have you on.
JEFF HAWKINS, FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, REDWOOD NEUROSCIENCE INSTITUTE: It's a pleasure to be here, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: So, what do you make of this debate and what is your response to people like Stephen Hawkins and Elon Musk who say this is the thing we should be the most scared of going forward in this sort of brave new world of technology.
HAWKINS: I don't think there's a real threat here, at least not in any time in the foreseeable future, and the fears that are coming out are a bit more related to science fiction and a popular culture than they are to the real science and technology. There's a couple of basic concerns that people have, but I think one of the core things that people think about I think - we are told machines are going to be like humans. They imagine them being like you and I, and doing our jobs and having faces and having emotions.
ZAKARIA: And having the same kind of desire for, frankly, control and domination.
ZAKARIA: And you say no. Why?
HAWKINS: It's not - because if we were to recreate humans, if that was possible, then that might be a threat, but machine intelligence is not about that.
ZAKARIA: The concern is, let's be clear.
ZAKARIA: The machines will keep learning and learning and they'll get smarter than us.
ZAKARIA: And people's evidence for that is IBM's Deep Blue or Watson.
ZAKARIA: That they can now beat the smartest human being at chess or jeopardy or whatever.
HAWKINS: Well, you know that, we already live in a world like that. Everybody is smarter than somebody else in something, right? So we have - we have expertise here and we have to - You're smart about international politics and I'm probably smart about brains. And we're comfortable with that, right? And this fear, though, there is a fear that somehow a machine that gets intelligent will somehow get more intelligent and more intelligent and we'll make new machines and there will be this idea called a runaway intelligence explosion. This is nonsense. Brains take a long time to train. You don't just born intelligent. You basically have a raw capability. We have to go through school for many, many years. We have to learn, and what we become intelligent about is what we're trained on. And so, the same thing is going to be with intelligent machines. They are not some oracle or god-like thing that just - that becomes instantly intelligent.
So, you know, the real question we want to ask ourselves, is there some existential threat. That's, I think, the term Elon Musk used, which is, you know, a threat to the existence of humanity that something we're doing today that we couldn't undo. And the answer is no. Not even close. Maybe 50 or 100 years from now we might have another problem or maybe 30 years from now we might think about it. But today the question is, are we doing anything today that is dangerous, that we should like step back and go we shouldn't do that? I can't see it at all. It's like we're building machines that are just like computers, but they learn and it's not like human-like at all.
ZAKARIA: And what's the big benefit to the world?
HAWKINS: This is almost an impossible question to answer. If you asked in the 1940s, you asked the people building computers what were going to be the benefit of building computers, they would say well, we can build these math tables and we can - ballistic trajectories, and no one can anticipate, where ...
ZAKARIA: Which is what they were built for.
HAWKINS: That's what they were built for.
ZAKARIA: World War II rockets.
HAWKINS: Yeah. And then they first became commercially exciting when IBM adopted it for business finance and for business accounting. We're going to go through the same learning experience now. It's easy to say well, we can apply intelligent machines to the world's data problem. It's like, we're awash in data and we can't have people looking at all the data, whether it's medical data, whether it's security data. Whether it's - you know, whether it's - there's a ton and ton of data and we need machines to be able to sort through them and look at them as a human would and say I see the patterns, you know, I see what's going on, this is how we should act upon it.
So, we can imagine that stuff happening, and that certainly will happen. But where it goes beyond that it's really hard to say. I have my dreams about it, but it's, you know, we're going to have to see how it plays out.
ZAKARIA: Jeff Hawkins, pleasure to have you on.
HAWKINS: It was a pleasure, Fareed. Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Up next, the U.S. federal code of regulations is over 170,000 pages long. Is that statistic alone enough to make your blood boil, to make you want to rise up against your government? Well, that's what it does for my next guest. The provocative Charles Murray.
ZAKARIA: July 4th will mark 239 years since the Declaration of Independence and my next guest says it's time for a new declaration against the government, a declaration of resistance he calls it. He wants American citizens to rise up in protest of their government's ways. Why? It's not for the reasons you probably think, but I will let him explain. Charles Murray is the author of such provocative and controversial books as "The Bell Curve" and "Coming Apart." His new book is called "By the People: Rebuilding Liberty without Permission." So, what is the great cause that you want people to rise up in rebellion against?
CHARLES MURRAY, AUTHOR: Ordinary people can't live their lives as they see fit anymore. They live under a constant presumption that they need permission, so that if it's somebody trying to run a small business or a family building, a deck behind the house, or a community trying to get a new playground for their kids, they constantly have the government coming up and saying, no, you can't do this, you have to do it that way. We're going to fine you $5,000 for this. I'm not so worried about the big corporations and I certainly don't want to get rid of the regulations that are important and necessary, but the lives of people are being constantly impeded by stupid, pointless regulations. And that's what I want to do something about.
ZAKARIA: And the number of these kinds of regulations you point out has just grown astronomically.
MURRAY: Oh, yeah. If you want to talk about the total pages in the Federal Code of Regulations, you are up to 175,000 pages now. And that's not as telling to me, Fareed, as what happens if you go out and just ask somebody who runs a small business. How does regulation affect your life? And the answer you're going to get is it makes my life miserable.
ZAKARIA: So since the 1940s with this regulatory state rising, the United States has become the richest, most dynamic, most technologically advanced country in the history of the world. And secondly, I look at our lives and we have cleaner air, safer coal mines, cleaner water.
MURRAY: What's the big deal then?
ZAKARIA: Right. What's the big deal?
MURRAY: Look, point number one, I am in favor of regulations that take smokestacks that are boiling out noxious smoke and regulating the hell out of them. OK, that's fine with me. Coal mines safer, that's fine with me, too.
ZAKARIA: So, is there a way to get - I guess what I'm trying to get at, is there a way to get the good regulations without the bad? Because you point out, for example, that, you know, OK, it makes sense that you should have some rules about stairways so that people don't fall off, that there should be some kind of railing.
MURRAY: There should be a railing there.
ZAKARIA: But there's a law - there's a regulation that says if the railings are not 42 inches high, you will be fined as per OSHA regulation 19- 10.23e.
[10:50:03] ZAKARIA: How do you avoid that but still have safe coal mines?
MURRAY: That's where you come to my proposal, which is to say that you have a way to fight back and I put it in terms of legal defense funds. And these are not legal defense funds that just defend the innocent. They defend people who are technically guilty of violating a pointless regulation, and, again, this is a fund for ordinary people. It's not for big corporations. So what happens is you are being harassed by a bureaucrat for silly reasons. The defense fund says the bureaucrat, we are taking this person's case. It will not cost them a penny. We will litigate it to the max. We're going to make as much work for you as we can, and when you finally find that he was in violation and fine him, we're going to reimburse the fine, and I want this done not with one or two cases. I want it done with hundreds. So, I'm talking about a large fund.
ZAKARIA: But - and to put it in terms I think an average person can understand, suppose you're speeding on an open stretch of highway, you're going eight miles above the limit you point out, I'm taking this as your example.
ZAKARIA: And you say the cop pulls you over. Almost certainly he's doing it or she's doing it because they need to reach their quota or the county needs a little bit more money and they have been told go out and write some tickets because your argument is there actually there is no harm done in that kind of slight irregularity. You would then fight back.
MURRAY: Let me give you -- let me extend the analogy. The only time you get picked up if you're going five miles over the speed limit is if you're on a deserted stretch of highway. Then they might do that. If you're on an ordinary interstate, 70 percent of the people are going six miles over the speed limit. At that point the state troopers do not pull you over for five miles over the speed limit. They only pull over the people who are going crazy fast or driving erratically. They wait until there is an actual harm done, and, Fareed, that is my whole goal, not to wipe regulations off the books, but to drag the bureaucrats kicking and screaming into a common sense enforcement where they have to marshal their resources against cases where real harm has been done and when no real harm has been done, ignore it.
ZAKARIA: Charles Murray, always a pleasure to have you on.
MURRAY: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," this weekend is the unofficial start of summer at least in the United States. It's the season when many people's minds turn to travel. You probably would like to go somewhere where you are unlikely to be killed, right? If that's the case, stick around. I will tell you exactly where you should go in a moment.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAKARIA: Tomorrow is Memorial Day in the United States and it brings me to my question of the week. The United States outspends all other countries in the world on its military by far, but which of the following countries has the highest percentage of active military personnel? Is it the United States, India, Jordan, or Brunei? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week is the last time I will remind you that my new book is just out and perfectly timed for graduation season. "In Defense of a Liberal Education," it's basically my thoughts about what kind of skills you need to prosper in today's world, both in terms of your career but also in terms of your life. So buy it, gift it, above all, read it.
And now for "The Last Look." Have you ever spun a globe, closed your eyes, and dropped your finger promising to visit whatever faraway place it might land on? Well, a new interactive map lets you do that digitally, though this globe may tell you where not to go. The Web- based map courtesy of the Brazilian security think tank Igarape shows homicide rates around the world. Want to go to a country with a very low homicide rate? Try Monaco, Liechtenstein, or Singapore. According to the organization's most recent data, just ten countries account for 58 percent of the world's homicides. Nine of these may not be all that surprising, Brazil, India, Nigeria, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Venezuela, Colombia and Pakistan, but can you guess the last? It is the United States, which is the world's deadliest Western democracy as "The Global Post" pointed out.
As of now, the U.S. homicide rate is comparable to that of Yemen, but before you book a vacation to Yemen, keep in mind this measures homicides, not war casualties. Now, not all Middle Eastern countries have rates as high as Yemen. The rates for Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates are roughly half as high as that of the United States. And rates in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia are much lower still. Fancy a trip to North Africa? Go for it. According to this map, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and morocco, all have rates lower than that of the USA. So the next time you worry about going to Cairo or Algiers, remember, you are statistically less likely to be murdered in those places than in New York City, a relatively safe city in this country.
The correct answer to the "GPS" challenge question is "D." 2.2 percent of the small nation of Brunei is on active duty according to the World Bank's most recent data. That's relatively high for a country with no mandatory conscription. 1.8 percent of Jordan's population is actively serving. While just 0.2 percent of India's vast population is on active duty in their military. The United States currently has about 1.4 million people serving in the armed forces or 0.5 percent of the population. There are, in addition, roughly 22 million military veterans in the U.S., which means more than seven percent of all Americans alive today have served in the military as 538 pointed out.
[10:59:58] ZAKARIA: To those who have served and are currently serving, we honor you and, of course, we remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.