Sunday, November 18, 2012

Zakaria GPS covers Fiscal Cliff, leadership change in China, and interviews Bill Gates on education

On Sunday, November 18, 2012, Fareed Zakaria GPS held a symposium, “Fixing America’s Finances”.
Robert Rubin and  Paul O’Neill spoke.  O’Neill  called for value added taxes, and prefers that benefits to the need come in the form of “direct checks” than in a maze of exemptions and third-party benefits.
There is a general notion that taxing the rich more won’t make up a large part of the deficit. But people should probably taxed more on income that is consumed than on income that is reinvesting in creating jobs, even at the upper level.
There was no direct mention of the Alternative Minimum Tax.  But I’ve found that if you look at it closely, it does interpolate, and the effect may not be quite as shocking as we first thought. 
Zakaria covered a possible conflict between China and Japan over some uninhabited island (Sankaku) over oil rights. 
Zakaria said that the current political change in China is much more radical than the recent election in the United States.
Zakaria then interviewed Bill Gates in a “1:1”. The former Microsoft chairman said that the steep increase in the number of individuals and parties attempting digital innovations was inevitably going to lead to advances, even if many of them are high rish and can fail.
Gates said that America does lead in the top universities, but he is concerned that the performance of ordinary schools and community colleges may not turn out people educated in the skills employers need. That is even more challenging because of budget cuts.  The two-year sector is very important. 

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