Sunday, July 15, 2007

Food for thought - President Clinton

A fantastic interview with president Clinton at the Aspen idea festival, here is the link.

In the hour long interview Clinton throws some interesting and amazing facts in a very eloquent way, a few of them here:

1. Interdependence: Today we are more interdependent on each other than any time in the past, Interdependence as compared to globalisation, covers the a far wide spectrum than just economics.

2. The issue of identity and the roots of terrorism: Clinton gives the example of the recent bombing attempts in London to argue that real root of terrorism is actually the issue of identity, among people who seem to have lost it and don't feel part of the mainstream even after living for many years in an alien land. For this he says the world needs to be far more open to other cultures and people.

3. The new "IT boom": Clinton attributes the huge growth in average American incomes of the 90s to the Information technology boom, he goes on to say that a developed country like US needs a new wave like IT every 6-8 yrs to sustain the income growth and to keep the wide economic inequality in check.
He suggests wide and far reaching investments and initiatives in controlling green house gases across America, This he suggests will serve to create millions of new jobs and strengthening of middle class.
Now this is some innovative thinking, but then the new jobs this proposed wave can generate will be low end jobs as compared to the IT boom. This will help the lower middle class Americans but its hard to conceive of it as the panacea of all ills.

4. On the Israel-Palestine conflict Clinton views are that if this issue is resolved half the problem of islamic terrorism will be solved and the region can emerge into new powerhouse of the middle east.

Unfortunately, given the recent developments in the Palestine, this seems highly unlikely anytime soon.

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