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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
The Trump Effect; Varoufakis Talks European Economy; Bassem Youssef to Restart Career in California. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired May 8, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:12] 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.
We'll start this show with the stunning news from the 2016 presidential campaign. Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee. We've assembled a great group of conservatives to discuss what this means for the Republican Party, for conservatism and for America.
And just who is to blame for all the rancor in Washington? Is it politicians like Donald Trump? One research suggests that it might be all traced back to China. "What in the World?"
Also, the Jon Stewart of Egypt. Now living in exile in the United States tells us exactly what is going on in his very troubled nation.
And while there's much worry about American politics, is Europe actively falling apart? Yes according to Greece's former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis .
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YANIS VAROUFAKIS, GREECE'S FORMER FINANCE MINISTER: It would be awful, frightful and highly disruptive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: But first, here's my take.
At the heart of Donald Trump's appeal is his fame as a successful businessman. It's why most of his supporters don't really worry about his political views or his crude rhetoric and behavior. He's a great CEO and he'll get things done. No one believes this more than Trump himself who argues that his skills in the commercial world amply prepare him for the presidency.
Now there's some debate about Trump's actual record as a businessman. Regardless, it's fair to say that he has formidable skills in marketing. He's been able to create a brand around his name like few others. The real problem is that these talents might prove largely irrelevant because commerce is actually quite different from government.
The modern presidents who achieved the most, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, had virtually no commercial background. Some who did, George W. Bush and Herbert Hoover, faired much worse in the White House.
One of the few successful CEOs who also did well in Washington is Robert Rubin. A former head of Goldman Sachs he served as the chief White House aide on economics and then Treasury secretary in Bill Clinton's administration. When he left Washington he reflected in his memoirs that he had developed a deep respect for the differences between the public and private sectors.
In business, the single overriding purpose is to make a profit, he wrote. Government on the other hand deals with a vast number of legitimate and often potentially competing objectives. He also noted that a big difference between the two realms is that no political leader, not even the president has the kind of authority every corporate chief does.
CEOs can hire and fire based on performance, pay bonuses to incentivize their subordinates and promote capable people aggressively. By contrast, Rubin pointed out, that he had the authority to hire and fire fewer than 100 of the 160,000 people who worked under him at the Treasury Department. Even the president has limited authority and mostly has to persuade rather than command.
This is a feature, not a flaw of American democracy. Power is checked, balance and counterbalanced to ensure that no one branch is too powerful and that individual liberty can flourish.
In interviews with "The New York Times" Trump imagined his first hundred days in office and talked about the positions he would fill.
"I want people in those jobs who care about winning. The United Nations isn't doing anything to end the big conflicts in the world so you need an ambassador who would win by really shaking up the U.N."
This displays an astonishing lack of understanding about the world. The United Nations can't end conflicts because it has no power. That rests with sovereign governments unless Trump wants to cede U.S. authority to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The notion that all it would take is a strong American ambassador to shake up the U.N. and end conflicts and win is utterly removed from reality. Yet it is a perfect example of business thinking applied in an alien context.
Success in business is important, honorable and deeply admirable, but it requires a particular set of skills that are often very different from those that produce success in government.
[10:05:03] As Walter Lippmann wrote in 1930 about Herbert Hoover, who was probably the most admired business leader of his age, the popular notion that administering a government is like administering a private corporation, that it is just business or housekeeping or engineering is a misunderstanding.
The political art deals with matters peculiar to politics with a complex of material circumstances of historic deposit, of human passion for which the problems of business or engineering as such do not provide an analogy.
For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
The conservative columnist George Will says that Donald Trump is the most unconservative nominee in the 162-year history of the Republican Party.
What will his candidacy do to the party, to the country? I have assembled a group of conservatives to help me understand the issues.
David Frum was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush. He's now a senior editor at the "Atlantic" and the chair of the Policy Exchange. Emily Miller was the senior editor of opinion for the "Washington Times." Before that she spent many years working in senior communications role for Republicans on Capitol Hill as well as for secretaries of state, Powell and Rice.
Dan Senor has served as a senior foreign policy adviser to Governor Mitt Romney in both of his White House runs and has advised the current House speaker Paul Ryan, as well. And Ross Douthat is an op- ed columnist for "The New York Times."
So, Ross, you wrote a column which made me think of something which is there were 17 candidates who ran for the Republican nomination. I think it is unquestionable that the least conservative candidate of those 17 won. What does that say about what the Republican Party thinks of conservatism?
ROSS DOUTHAT, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, first, it says that there is a large constituency among Republican voters for ideas that are outside the conservative mainstream and this is something that I think was fairly apparent for a long time. It's just been surprising to many of us just how large that constituency was. And two, that Republican politicians are willing to put in the end surprisingly little on the line to defend the ideas that their party is ostensibly committed to and that, I think, to me is in certain ways the biggest surprise.
I thought that I had a low opinion of politicians in certain ways, but I thought -- I did think that there was sort of a commitment to the interests of the party that would lead to more ferocious resistance to Trump than we've seen.
ZAKARIA: David, you've been saying for a long time that the big divide is the ideas of the donor class versus the ideas of the base. Is that what this really is all about?
DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: That's the operational part, but it's clearly now growing into something much bigger because the donor class is now handing in its sword of surrender. I mean, there was an article that Dan Henninger in the "Wall Street Journal" pleading with Donald Trump, please to consult Charles Koch. And Charles Koch has already said this, it's going to be like Appomattox, handing in the sword to General Lee.
I think we're going need to cope with the wreck that is coming and the immensity of the wreck and it's not just a presidential wreck. It's going to be a wreck in the Senate. It's going to be a wreck in a lot of other places. It's also a more and cultural wreck. It's not just a political wreck.
To cope with this, the people who object to what is happening whether they're donors, whether they're base, are going to need a series of strategic decisions about the key dates ahead on the calendar. There is a key date at the convention. What can be done at the convention to tell America that not all Republicans are on board with what is happening. And then --
ZAKARIA: How do you do that, David? I mean, he is the nominee. He's going to write the platform. The platform will say, we're going to build a wall, we're going to deport people, we're going to ban Muslims, we're going to end trade deals for a party that was pro- immigration, pro-trade, pro --
FRUM: That's correct because remember one -- Trump has a terrible work ethic. Ted Cruz has a lot of delegates, over 600. Many of the Trump delegates are constrained to support him but they don't really -- they're actually people who are more regular party people. Ted Cruz here could be -- could play a very important role. And you can write things into the platform, for example, to say that if any -- if the presidential candidate has made any loans to his campaign, who said he's self-funded, that should not be paid back with taxpayer funds.
ZAKARIA: To you, this would be a fight?
FRUM: You fight on the beaches. You fight -- you fight in the towns. You fight in the streets. You keep going. And then during the fall there are candidates to rescue who will deserve rescue and then afterward will come the digging out.
ZAKARIA: You disagree with all this.
EMILY MILLER, SENIOR EDITOR OF OPINION, WASHINGTON TIMES: I'm just shaking my head. I'm just shaking my head because you just see all these conservative elites in New York and D.C. -- they're losing their marbles over this. They can't believe this has happened. What's happened is the people decided who was going to be the Republican nominee.
[10:10:05] It's not Washington and it's not New York. It's the people. They voted for Donald Trump. They want Donald Trump. They agree with his beliefs. They agree with his policies. They're saying jobs first. They're saying America first. We want to make America great again. That's what's going on.
Platform aside, Donald Trump has run on something that he says if he wins, if he beats Hillary Clinton this is what he's going to put in office, this is what he's going to do when he's in office. As you said, he's going to build a wall with Mexico and stop the illegal immigration. Illegal immigration has bumped up since Donald Trump has done well because people know there's possibly going to be a wall there in the future.
So there are things and people are saying, yes, stop these free trade agreements that are hurting us, that are hurting our jobs. ZAKARIA: What do you think? I mean, you were advising Marco Rubio
DAN SENOR, FORMER POLICY ADVISER TO MARCO RUBIO AND MITT ROMNEY: Yes.
ZAKARIA: You're advising Paul Ryan. For Paul Ryan this is a vision of conservatism pretty much the opposite of what he believes in.
SENOR: Complete opposite. I think you take a step back. I think when the dust settles and if Trump loses in November which I think he will, the big question is, will there be Trumpism without Trump? And I just think, this entire election I thought to myself, you know, Trump is a uniquely talented political figure as we've learned so he's been able to tap into something, but if Trump were not in this race, would we still be having the crackup in the Republican Party?
I mean, to some extent yes, but a more conventional albeit populist politician would have been able to tap into it. You know, if Scott Walker or Chris Christie or a John Kasich, a uniquely sort of, you know, charismatic, you know, populist Paul could have done this.
ZAKARIA: But they were there --
SENOR: I know, but they were just completely eclipsed by Trump. I'm just saying if Trump were in this thing, I think someone else could have marshaled a lot of it. Not perhaps with the same intensity and conservatism, modern conservatism would have been basically intact. So this idea that Trump is a vessel for, you know, an anti-free trade, you know, an increase in the minimum wage, tearing up any ideas about entitlement reform, the idea that he's a vessel for that and that's a real ideas agenda on the right, I'm just --
ZAKARIA: We've got to take a break. When we come back we're going to talk about all that, but we are also going to talk about the point you raised which is will Trump really lose because he's up against another controversial politician, Hillary Clinton. When we come back.
[10:16:40] ZAKARIA: And we are back with David Frum, Emily Miller, Dan Senor and Ross Douthat, talking about what Donald Trump will do to the Republican Party and what it might do to him.
David, I want to pick up on something Dan was saying earlier, though. Do you believe that there is Trumpism without Trump? That is to say, it doesn't -- haven't we learned that the base of the Republican Party is considerably less conservative than we thought?
FRUM: There are -- there are things in Trumpism that are healthy and the party needs to learn from. The party needs to pay attention to the economic distress that Trump has appealed to. That's for sure right. It is time to consider that globalization creates losers as well as winners and the losers have to be more fairly compensated by the winners than they are now. And we need a different kind of approach to immigration that is more controlled and managed in the American national interest and that draws more from highly skilled people and less from low skilled.
Those things are all true, but the authoritarianism, the inflammatory, the open racial appeals, the concealed racial appeals, all of that radically unacceptable and that part of Trumpism has to be faced. Every country, every society, every political movement has demons. And you have to confront them and exorcise it.
DOUTHAT: But this is the challenge. The challenge for the Republicans I think David puts it very well is that you can't have a party without Trump supporters, right? The idea that you can, one, purge Trump supporters somehow, I mean, it's very hard to purge people whose candidate is now the nominee of your party, but two, and here I think I disagree a little bit with Dan. I think the idea that you can sort of return to a conservative normalcy after an event like this is unwise and unlikely that what this has proved is that the party needs to address these concerns, but it has to do it without becoming essentially captive to Donald Trump.
ZAKARIA: But I'm going to guess you think not only does the party need to address, you know, Trump's ideas but that more than the party could find it appealing that Trump will win, I guess you would say.
MILLER: Well, I mean, if the Republicans want to win they need to get together and as you introduced us, we got four conservatives here, three of them are saying let's find a way to get rid of Trump and get Hillary elected. This is insane. I mean, how do you -- you can't win -- obviously they don't want to win. I mean, and you're hearing all these voices, but you're only hearing them in Washington and New York saying we've got to find a third-party candidate, we've got to recruit someone. We've got to find a way -- I'll vote for Hillary and burning my Republican card.
They're not -- that's not how you take power and that's not how you win elections and you will never see four liberals sitting around a table talking about how they're going to kill Hillary's campaign or find a third-party candidate or embrace Bernie Sanders.
FRUM: Because Hillary has been loyal -- you cannot claim loyalty if you don't give loyalty. You --
MILLER: But you're talking ideology as opposed to --
FRUM: You cannot claim identity if you don't give identity and you cannot be president if you are unfit for the office.
MILLER: But would you --
FRUM: I don't care what label he wears, if he's unfit and dangerous, he's unfit and dangerous.
DOUTHAT: And can I ask you a question?
MILLER: But the voters don't think that. You guys --
SENOR: Leave us out of it. If Hillary Clinton basically performs against Trump as well as Obama did against McCain in 2008, so basically eviscerates him in the electoral college. If we lose the Senate control, if we wind up with a razor thin majority in the House --
[10:20:01] MILLER: Well, we don't know these things are all going to happen.
SENOR: But I'm just saying, if Trump gets --
MILLER: That's all hypothetical.
SENOR: -- slaughtered at the top of the ballot, it's going to have down ballot implications.
SENOR: You're going to blame these like three conservative activists for this? It means the country is rejecting the guy that you --
MILLER: But that's --
SENOR: -- that you were behind --
MILLER: Right now we're in May.
MILLER: And all you hear from conservative intellectuals, pundits and Washington, D.C. people is he's going to get slaughtered, he can't win. That's all you hear as opposed to, wait, there's five months, we haven't had a convention yet, the country doesn't really even know Donald Trump yet we haven't had debates between Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton is such a flawed candidate.
FRUM: Here's a great point because --
DOUTHAT: Do you think that the country is unfamiliar with Donald Trump at this point?
MILLER: Absolutely on the depth of his policies. We haven't seen policy papers. We haven't gone to the platform stage yet.
ZAKARIA: I wonder why we haven't policy papers.
FRUM: When pundits say -- there is a disorder in punditry. When pundits mean to say he deserves to be slaughtered they have to say he's going to be slaughtered. But you -- but what they are really --
MILLER: But they also said that Donald Trump -- I wrote four years ago Donald Trump is a serious force and he needs to be taken seriously. Everybody has been mocking me since --
FRUM: No one denies that now.
MILLER: And there is a long list of people who said there is absolutely no way he'll ever be nominated.
FRUM: We now know he is a serious force. A force for good or for bad, that is what we're debating.
MILLER: So Hillary is better? Is that the answer here?
ZAKARIA: And you think political parties, though, are resilient in the end?
SENOR: Yes. I mean, in 1964, if you go back -- you know, when Goldwater got defeated badly all the pundits were saying this is it, the Republican Party, you know, it is a multigenerational setback. And four years later, you know, Republican -- Nixon gets elected in '68. Republicans go on to win five of the next six presidential elections. And Democrats, '84, you know, Mondale loses 49 stats, people say the Democrats are doomed, eight years later you have a modernizer in Bill Clinton, turns the party around and ushers in an area of Democratic governance. Parties can bounce back.
ZAKARIA: But will the party be -- will the Republican Party of the future be as I think Emily is suggesting a more Trump-like party, populist, nationalist, protectionist, slightly xenophobic?
DOUTHAT: I would say that it is very likely that the Republican Party of the future if it is a majority party will learn something important from Trump and my hope would be that it learns something about the importance of recognizing the economic anxieties of middle America and if it doesn't learn something about the usefulness of talking about Mexican rapists and banning all Muslims. But that's an open question.
I think, look, we're in an age where nationalism is resurgent and this is true in Europe, it's true now in North America, it's true all around the world and it's true for understandable reasons. People, you know, dislocation, you know, the forces of globalization have --
MILLER: And terrorism.
DOUTHAT: And terrorism have created anxieties and created losers and successful politicians, especially successful conservative politicians, have to address that anxiety and so far Republicans haven't and that's why we have Trump.
FRUM: Barry Goldwater lost so dramatically. He called for post-civil rights laws and talked lightly about fighting nuclear wars. The Republican Party learned from that. There are things in Goldwater to learn from, but we're going to drop the opposition to civil rights laws and no, we're not going to fight any nuclear wars.
The analogy with Trump is to say, yes, let's learn about the things Ross said and let's --
FRUM: And let's never -- let us keep faith with the people who voted for Trump. But let us also understand what he is and what kind of president he would be and how unacceptable that is.
MILLER: I appreciate that. Why are you all talking about learning lessons four or five months before we even have an election?
DOUTHAT: Do you think he has the temperament to be president?
MILLER: I do. I do. I've interviewed him a lot. And I really do. And I see a very different person than I'm seeing on the campaign trail.
ZAKARIA: Well, why -- so why a different person?
MILLER: He's very -- I was surprised even the first time I interviewed him. Very thoughtful, calm, direct, listens very well. Very different than sort of the person you see at these big -- which you have to be different in the rallies than you are one-on-one and direct with the person and obviously he's had the same executives in his companies for years and years and years. He is well liked by the people who work with him and I think you'll see that type of person emerge more when he's not fighting 17 people around him, when it's just one-on-one with Hillary.
ZAKARIA: We will have to end on that hopeful note that I think we all agree on. Let's hope we see that Donald Trump.
Next on GPS, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders can't stop railing against China. The Asian super power is a favorite villain for the extremes of the American political spectrum, but in an ironic twist, is China actually responsible for political extremism in America? That is what a fascinating, important new study says. I'll tell you about it when we come back.
[10:28:18] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can't continue to allow China to rape our country.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Corporate America will start investing in this country not just in China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: We've heard Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders rant on and on about China, and according to one group of renowned economists, China is actually to blame for a big problem in America, but perhaps not quite what the two candidates are talking about. A new study puts the blame on China for something surprising. The
rising extremism in American politics.
What in the World? A new study co-authored by MIT economist David Order finds that between 2002 and 2010 congressional districts that were negatively impacted by trade with China were more likely to elect representatives who were more ideologically extreme, in other words who veered further left or right than the officials they replaced. So increased trade with China and the loss of American jobs as a result have made for a more polarized U.S. House of Representatives.
Overall, the shift away from the political center benefited conservatives much more than liberals according to the study. The clear losers were moderates from both parties.
In an interview with GPS Order pointed us to an encapsulated example. Representative Jim Jordan who serves Ohio's Fourth Congressional District just north of Columbus. The staunch conservative replaced a more moderate Republican in the 2006 election and has since led the charge in Congress to kill the export-import bank and to block Obama's trade deal with the Pacific.
Consider this hypothetical. Had imports from China been slashed in half between 2002 and 2010 Order estimates that Congress would currently have 22 more moderates, but instead of these hypothetical moderates, what we have are four very liberal Democrats and 18 very conservative Republicans currently roaming the floor of the House of Representatives.
And it's no surprise that fewer centrists in Congress means less compromise and more gridlock. This study illustrates and highlights the problem with free trade. Most economists agree that, on balance, free trade is a net positive. It produces lots of growth. And guess what? So do most Americans.
Despite the anti-trade rhetoric, it turns out that the majority of Americans are currently upbeat about foreign trade. According to a recent Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans still view foreign trade as an opportunity, while 34 percent see it as a threat.
Contemplate this real-world scenario posed by a new Associated Press/GfK poll to a cross-section of Americans. A retailer has two pairs of pants. They have the same design and they're made of the same fabric. Would you pay $50 for the foreign-manufactured pants or would you spring $85 for the American-made pair? Sixty-seven percent of Americans in the polls say they would opt for the cheaper, foreign- made threads.
In a sense, Americans understand that they get a big tax cut in the form of cheaper goods, food and services because of free trade. But that is a diffuse benefit spread across the entire population. We don't thank China for that. Yet the costs of free trade are concentrated. One factory, one town feels the pain and the political system responds to those concentrated costs. Indeed, many of us, when we see an American factory close, do blame it on China. Moderates must figure out a way to explain this mismatch between the
broad benefits of trade and its narrow costs, or else the country will keep getting more polarized, with more extremists in office at all levels, including, maybe, the presidency.
Next on "GPS," is Europe on the brink of collapse? That's what my next guest says, and Yanis Varoufakis knows what he's talking about. He was Greece's finance minister through that nation's most precarious period.
ZAKARIA: A few months ago Europe seemed in deep trouble. Have things stabilized there?
There is Brexit, which worries everyone, for sure, but people have stopped talking about Greece and Spain and Portugal defaulting. Fears of immigration and refugees seem to have calmed down. Even the Paris and Brussels terror attacks have receded in memory somewhat.
But my next guest says things are actually very bad in Europe. And Yanis Varoufakis should know. He was Greece's finance minister for the first half of 2015. That was perhaps the most tumultuous time in Greece's history, at least its modern history. He had just published a book called, "And the Weak Suffer What They Must: Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future."
Yanis Varoufakis, pleasure to have you on.
VAROUFAKIS: It's a great privilege to be here.
ZAKARIA: You say in this book that Europe is in deep crisis and might actually fall apart. Explain why?
VAROUFAKIS: Not "might" -- it is falling apart. If you go now to Austria and you cross into Germany, you'll find that there is a long line of trucks and cars because there's a new border there where there was none until very recently.
If you look at our economies, they are re-nationalizing debt. We are supposed to have a banking union in order to create the shock absorbers for the next crisis, but we're not ending up with a banking union; we're ending up with a banking disunion. At the moment, the probability of losing your money if you have it in an Italian bank is increasing, whereas in Germany, it would be decreasing. So the banking systems of the two countries that are part of the same monetary union are being torn apart.
ZAKARIA: So -- and why is this happening?
I mean, part of it is the refugee crisis that is causing countries to re-nationalize things like border controls, but you're saying that, at the heart of it, there is an economic problem?
VAROUFAKIS: Well, imagine that here in the United States, in 2008, the great state of Nevada, the government of the state of Nevada, had, when the real estate sector was collapsing and construction workers were losing their jobs, banks were failing -- imagine if the state government of Nevada had to go to the international markets, cap in hand, and borrow money in order to bail out the banks of Nevada and to pay the (inaudible) benefits.
And of course, then the state government of Nevada would go bankrupt and then it would have to go to the Fed to ask for a loan from the Fed. And imagine if that loan came with strings attached: You will reduce pensions, Social Security; you will reduce expenditure of the state's government of Nevada by 40 percent, 30 percent? Then what would happen is a downward debt deflationary spiral would start in Nevada. Incomes would shrink. Debt would go up. And suddenly, the state of Nevada would be bankrupt, as would its banks. And then that contagion would take -- would take a life of its own. It would move to Missouri, to Mississippi. Eventually, it would hit California.
VAROUFAKIS: And then, of course, Californians would start hating people from Nevada. The people of Nevada would be pointing moralizing fingers at the people from California, and the union would be broken. This is how we have organized life and the economy in Europe.
ZAKARIA: And how bad can it actually get?
When you talk about disintegrating, you think that the European Union could actually break up?
VAROUFAKIS: I have no doubt it will, if we continue the way we are. It would be awful, frightful and highly disruptive if something like this happens.
ZAKARIA: Is the...
VAROUFAKIS: That's why all of us should work together to consolidate the European Union.
ZAKARIA: Is Britain's exit likely to be the catalyst that could make this all snowball?
VAROUFAKIS: I don't know. It may very well do so. This is why I campaign in Britain in favor of the "Remain' campaign.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about the politics of this, because one of the things people worry about in the United States is we want Europe to be able to act as a single entity on foreign policy, with regard to sanctions against Iran, sanctions against Russia. We want a Europe that can act as a single partner on issues like climate change. And it seems to me you're describing a Europe that is getting more and more divided. Will this affect Europe's ability to play a part on the world stage?
VAROUFAKIS: Absolutely. Do you think that Vladimir Putin would be so uppity if we didn't have this great depression and disintegration of our economy?
I bet you he wouldn't have been.
You put together the words European Union, foreign and policy, and you end up with a joke. There's no such thing. Everybody acts completely on their own. And, if anything, instead of getting closer together, we're being pushed further apart.
Once Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought about British civilization, and he said, "It would be a good idea."
The same thing applies to the European Union. It would be good to have it.
ZAKARIA: But you believe that there is a path forward and you're -- and you are working for it. How optimistic are you about the path forward?
And how worried are you that there will actually be a breakup?
VAROUFAKIS: Fareed, my view is that we don't have the moral right to be anything other than optimistic. Our optimism should be based on faith, not evidence. There is no evidence that things are going to end up well for Europe, but we must remain optimistic because this optimism may feed into a political path that will consolidate Europe.
We need to stop this slide into a post-modern abyss. We have to stop re-erecting borders within our countries. We have to stop indulging in the "not in my backyard" logic. We have to face up to the fact that we have one European crisis, not a Greek crisis or the German crisis or the British crisis or the Italian crisis -- one crisis of one single market. We need to consolidate; we need to create the political institutions that will help us deal with this crisis systematically in order to avoid a systemic collapse.
ZAKARIA: Yanis Varoufakis, pleasure to have you on.
VAROUFAKIS: My pleasure.
ZAKARIA: Up next, he has been called the "Jon Stewart of Egypt," the very funny, very smart Bassem Youssef, on the future of his troubled nation, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Bassem Youssef was called "Egypt's Jon Stewart." He was the host and star of a weekly satire show on Egyptian TV titled simply "The Program." Like Stewart did in America, Youssef brilliantly and boldly took on the powerful in Egypt, from Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Youssef's satire, it turned out, was too biting. After having been threatened, suspended, pulled off the air and forced to move to different channels, Youssef announced he'd had enough. The show's run ended two years ago. He left Egypt in part over fears for his safety. Now living in California, Youssef will soon debut a new show in America called "The Democracy Handbook". Listen in.
ZAKARIA: Bassem, pleasure to have you on.
YOUSSEF: Oh, my God. It's an amazing honor. I am maybe in one of the coolest CNN studios ever. It is so cool.
ZAKARIA: It is the coolest. We got an award for it.
... I mean, the bricks and stuff. You need a live audience and people cheering for us as we go in. This is crazy. Yeah.
ZAKARIA: So, now, you had your own shows. You -- you had a show on when -- after the, kind of -- the Egyptian revolution?
ZAKARIA: It was the number one show in Egypt. Then President Morsi didn't like it. He prosecuted a case against you. Then Morsi gets deposed, but it turns out the new regime doesn't like it and doesn't allow it to air.
YOUSSEF: I'm not very popular with the regimes. I mean, they have a problem with my jokes. I don't know.
ZAKARIA: But -- and I know that you are constrained on -- you know, let's be honest -- about what you can say about all of this.
ZAKARIA: So let me just start by asking you, where do you think Egypt is right now?
There was so much hope. In many ways, historically, the leader of the Arab world seemed to be leading the Arab world in a new path away from dictatorship toward democracy, and now we're back with a regime -- and I'm going to characterize it this way -- which seems even more repressive than the Mubarak regime?
YOUSSEF: Oh, my God, this is the most democratic regime ever in the history of Egypt. I mean, let's -- are we fooling ourselves?
But let's talk about how history works. I mean, I'm not a historian, but this -- we've been only five years. Five years in history is nothing. I mean, where was the French Revolution in five years? There was a lot of regression. Where was the American revolution in five years?
It is -- I always say a revolution is not an event; it's a process. And you can't just really remove, like, a whole regime or a whole mentality that's been there for decades just for standing in the street for 18 days. It takes time. We were too naive to think that it would actually work.
ZAKARIA: But how do we understand what happened in Egypt in terms of the clamor for the military to come and replace the government?
Because I think a lot of us saw Tahrir Square, the search for democracy, millions of people on the streets and squares all over. Then Morsi comes in. Yes, he governs very badly; he tries to -- he tries to act high-handedly. But what was it that triggered, you know, tens of millions of people to come out on the street and say "We want a military coup?"
YOUSSEF: Of course. Because here's the thing. The problem with the Middle East in general is this bipolar personality that's either in military or it's religious. And the mistake that the West always does is, like, oh, we might actually deal better with a military regime in order to protect us from the religious faction. As a matter of fact, military and religious factions work hand in hand. One of them keeps the other as a scarecrow to tell you that this is the alternative.
ZAKARIA: Explain to me something about the Arab mood, or the Egyptian mood, in particular. Because, again, you're not just a political pundit. You had the most popular TV show in Egypt. Why are they so anti-American?
I'm sometimes puzzled by...
YOUSSEF: Who's anti-American?
ZAKARIA: So when you look at the polls in Egypt -- I ask you this because, whenever I go to Egypt, I'm always struck by how friendly Egyptians are, how they...
ZAKARIA: ... you know, they're fascinated by America, love -- but you look at the Pew polls or polls like that, and they ask, "What do you think of the United States," and, you know, up there with Pakistan and the Palestinian territories in anti-Americanism are the Egyptians.
YOUSSEF: And they -- and they are the first ones who are going to be lining up in front of the American embassy to get a visa. I mean, this is -- this is the whole thing. I mean, all authoritarian regimes everywhere in the world -- they need something to fall back to, a reason for failure.
I mean, sometimes I feel that America and Israel are the people who -- like, actually, they offer this kind of legitimacy to these regimes. It's like, "We're not failing because we're incompetent; we're failing because all of these people are conspiring against us." So we have this kind of a schizophrenic outlook to the United States, "Well, we hate it, but we'd love to have a visa right now, green card, just to stay there."
ZAKARIA: Would you like to go back to Egypt? YOUSSEF: Everybody would love to go back to his country. And, you
know, but it's just like, you know, I have a couple of my friends, actually, I know, that have been arrested in the streets, taken from their houses. You know, you never know what will happen. And you can't really predict what's going to happen.
ZAKARIA: And meanwhile, you're going to keep doing comedy from the -- from the safety of California?
YOUSSEF: Well, I'm doing comedy now about the American politics. I have a standard. I'm not going to do my show again in Arabic outside of the country. This is a standard I, you know, I stand by. And I'm doing a show now called "The Democracy Handbook." And it is basically discussing American politics through the eyes of a Middle-Easterner, which could be very interesting.
ZAKARIA: Does Trump remind you of some Middle Eastern politicians?
YOUSSEF: Trump -- if Trump runs in the Middle East, he's going to be a progressive liberal. I mean, we'd look at him as, like, "Oh, my God, you're so cute." I mean, you're talking about Trump. Trump is a xenophobic, hateful, racist bigot. I mean...
ZAKARIA: And in Egypt, he'd be...
YOUSSEF: I mean, back home in the Middle East, that's Monday.
I mean, that's -- Trump, oh --that's lightweight.
ZAKARIA: Awesome. Pleasure to have you on -- honor and pleasure.
YOUSSEF: Thank you so much.
ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," do two-day workweeks sound good to you?
Maybe in the rest of the world, but in Venezuela, they are nothing but bad news. I will explain.
ZAKARIA: The IMF projects that the United States GDP will grow by 2.4 percent in 2016. It brings me to my question: What is the world's fastest-growing economy, according to the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook report, Myanmar, China, India or the Ivory Coast?
Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book of the week is Joshua Cooper Ramo's "The Seventh Sense." The central new reality of the world we live in today, he argues, is connectivity. People, computers, other machines, almost everything is getting linked. And these new networks are spewing oceans of information. Ramo writes with ease and authority about the technology, the history,
the foreign policy of this power shift, giving us an essential guide for this brave new world.
And now for the last look. Venezuela does not observe Daylight Savings Time, but last week the country's clock sprung forward 30 minutes. This way people wait longer to turn on their lights in the evening. This small change ordered by President Nicolas Maduro is indicative of a big problem, a severe electricity shortage.
Maduro blames El Nino, saying drought has impaired the hydroelectric dams that power most of the country. His critics, however, blame government corruption and mismanagement of the economy for years. The power shortages are devastating and truly staggering when you consider that they are happening in the country with the world's largest oil reserves. There are rolling blackouts, partially closed schools and a work week that has been reduced to just two days for the 20 percent of the workforce that are public employees.
And electricity isn't the only thing that's scarce. Faced with spiraling oil prices, the government has instituted rations. It is now nearly impossible for Venezuelans lining up in droves, as you can see, to access even the most basic essentials like food and medicine.
Somehow Maduro managed to celebrate one thing this week. He told cheering crowds he was raising the minimum wage by 30 percent. But it's irrelevant. Inflation in Venezuela is expected to rise to 720 percent this year and to 2,200 percent next year, according to the IMF.
Latin America and the world can expect only greater turmoil and instability from Venezuela in the coming months. And sadly, the people of that country will probably face even more hardship.
The correct answer to the "GPS Challenge" question is A, the IMF projects Myanmar's GDP will grow by 8.6 percent this year, making it the world's fastest-growing economy. On the other hand, Venezuela's GDP is expected to contract by 8 percent, the worst projection of any country in the world.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.