tv After Words Dambisa Moyo Edge of Chaos CSPAN December 25, 2018 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
that what i was doing my phd was never discussed now it is the top three issues of policy agenda we have all long-term structural problems that people that are charged to oversee that regulatory environment are very short-term. so i felt this mismatch between long-term economic progress one - - problems and long term could not be fully explored and i don't feel this potential solution for the mismatch especially in the liberal democratic system in that groundswell of emotions in terms of people's apathy but also with the rise of populism whatever the motivations may be arguably here in the united states something i wanted to talk about t7 you do talk quite positively about many successes that have many
different models like china. what is wrong with that it isn't wishing to write about china what works or doesn't work and they do have a very fundamental different system we prioritize the individual that utility function to drive that is paramount and the most important thing is the social and the community so as we can use our very different from that frame and policy that we could adopt in the west and i do feel it is a red herring.
and what you see as major economic problems give us a brief version. everything from technology there are number of economic forecast that there could be a hundred million jobs lost to automation the report that comes on 2013 that walked back from that estimates but estimating 40 percent on - - supported 7 percent of the jobs would be gone because of technology in 20 years. so how do they respond to that risk? we can talk that technology has been a big catalyst that was 60 percent of the american workforce we know what
happens. people went into technology and services so it's not all bad but with a low skilled worker than the high skilled worker. but in the past many of these headwinds were driving economic growth there is a real concern that they simply cannot support it took 125 years to go to 3 billion trending 28 billion through 2100 what we do with this fast-growing population? and the quality of the
workforce is a big issue. and with the concerns around education what the report that has stuck out for me that this generation was the third time so that is an issue and a threat and if it does matter what will we do about that? so something that i mentioned when doing my phd at oxford we never saw that as a problem that we could deliver improvement of wages of the gap between the very rich and the very poor but with income inequality it is true the same countries have actually shrunk as the developing countries
and then essentially a collapse. and then to create an issue of equality. that something with a backdrop of the environment of climate change issues for the corporate boards and how do we have this rising world population to increase the demand for natural resources with the constant balance and that is the difference with the developing countries and how they see the issue versus the richer countries that have a bit of tax form than in the
poor countries. and debt, government debt, corporate debt, household debt, including credit cards now is over $1 trillion. and concerned about what happens with the cbo raises the alarm about debt and deficits what happen over the next 30 years not just the us but many of those issues but the question around productivity is at least 50 percent with labor and capital but yet productivity
with that output how much gdp am i producing? you would expect in the technology era one of the perennial questions and then in many leading countries. so as you mentioned earlier it was an impetus over several decades and then turning into a headwind t7 we could turn on - - talk for a whole hour on any of those but i will just pick to. a lot of warnings about debt interest rates are really low and many print their own many. . >> as a student at harvard and
then to say something to the effect that the prices come later than when you it's one - - expect but it is more than anyone could anticipate. so that is the looming idea around debt. so we haven't seen what many people have been questioning. but at the same time, i do worry about this because now with the interest rates rising environment we don't see the levels of growth over the long term that sustain some of those concerns that i have of course, participation rate and then we get it from the unemployment rate but there are deep structural concerns for what we have to contend
with and somehow be able to avoid a catastrophe so there is a question of what will happen if we can continue to move on. and with the structural f use one --dash there does need to be important policy decisions and what continues to happen that we have seen in the past. >> t7 i was surprised to see natural resource scarcity. and to understand markets in the seventies and then it
turns out we discover more of everything how to extract natural gas in ways we could not imagine. and then to indicate. >> i did write a whole book on natural resources but you are right but the world is coming to an end but in the 17 hundreds given by population growth but definitely raise the alarm of the oppression of the peak oil from the 19 seventies in many ways has been discredited because of technological innovation but also some improvement with the
interventions from the conversation 50 of us went to meet president xi about two years ago in beijing the president of the largest country in the world. >> use yet we were not talk too much about china but here we are but we did ask what keeps you up at night? he said natural resource scarcity with the point being essentially we have promised the rest of the world 97 percent of the worlds population emerging market. that they can live at the standards of the united states.
but 97 percent is water it is not part of all the way that we can use it. there used to be much more innovation than investment of desalination. look at that arid land one.3 million people in china with some estimates around ten or 11 percent of arab land and how do you speed that population? so the consequences of the risks they face in china 40 percent of the worlds population and in a continent that has real issues on the environment.
and with water scarcity. so i am worried about that so companies are heading off than technology has or the cost of not only food production but transportation. and that i talk about in the book don't worry about the world it is all fine we have to work less but guess what? the cost of living will go down because of technological innovations. i'm not so worried about the endpoint but the transition how do you get to that place and have more challenges? . >> you listed it last in the
book that half of the issue is innovation and productivity. have you thought about your theory? . >> i have written about this and a number of newspaper articles. the more sanguine view is that taking the view and with that technological space in my favorite example from that moment benjamin franklin's book and thomas edison are making them available for promotional use took a long time. and then in the way for
productivity. that is a more cynical view in china that is very interesting. which is the argument that the decline of productivity and output per worker declined using natural artifacts of a system of democracy. individual citizens are not dumb that the politicians need to give me treats and i realize because that's the case i have to work as hard as i want to but to take the view
and take a peek at those countries it is much more aggressive food and health care, et cetera we don't have to work so with that decline of productivity. it is telling on the surface i have heard from more than one person in china it is a very hard discussion to have in the united states but with those proposals that may fly in the face of what we believe. >> it is very hard to test because those countries that our rich are those that are democracies it is harder to innovate and push forward and
and the facts. >> i take the view it is fundamental policy with the economic headwinds and the biggest headwind of them all that is myopia not just business with those challenges but also the short-term with politics. and as an impetus for this book. it is bad policies that are appealing at a moment in time
and that they recognize and then to make those future generations with future generations it is much harder to balance and manage in social media with the policymakers and then they try to appeal. . >> and we do have an important line in the book just with this myopia we do much to address the specific challenges to economic growth. . >> that is my belief.
but that tension between accountability and long-term that it is super successful because those that take the long view it turns out it wasn't quite as good. . >> serving on a number of corporate boards that anyone board in particular i think in general they are recognizing it is problematic and so to miss allocate capital but it
is clear to me also not just on the short-term and that earning ratio was over 100 percent with those opportunities and in dividends. we see much more in ten years for hedge funds and a professor at yale who talked about how the company stock would be held for seven years on average no estimates of high frequency trading could be 11 weeks. this is not a good backdrop
do you think that has gotten worse or do you have any idea why? . >> even the most obvious is media. it constantly surprises me how much politicians pander and sometimes about the real recognition of policy choices but there are real implications for where the market trades i don't remember at the last time if any conversation of infrastructure or health care but the long-term social problems now take breaks it - - brexit and that overhang but that politician is right on this
issue today and now but at the same time we do worry about the policies that are debated and the innovation is tested in a world where they focus on the media. i have 4 million people and i can tell you it is a beast. and for me it is ever more important so the question is can we protect the political system from being vulnerable to that and there are discussions in the book about that as well. >> you talk about reforming any aspect of the media. we have the first amendment. 3million followers.
but are there things to be done there? . >> i think there are. and without myself looking at those areas, i feel there are some aspects of future reform with social media and traditional media that we have seen those types of reform in other sectors. so you could have a separation to separate what is true from opinion that traditional media and banking there is a real separation between commercial banking and investment banking or trading.
i don't see why that isn't on the table for debate i'm sure it is as other people talk about it before social media because right now there is such a blurring of lines what is true. that it is split but you could have something similar to britain like the bbc on national walter cronkite re-created into that institution and those are things that should be on the table because the media is critical and to talk about the centrality and efficacy of democracy but it's also clear right now that it is far too fragmented not enough clarity of what is true and what is made up and that is incredibly damaging long-term. >> your book has a number of things we should be doing like
education or expanded trade or protectionism. but you didn't want to stop there and just make a set of economic recommendations. >> because then you are stopped by the politicians. so what? . >> how big of a difference would it be for what you describe? . >> i think it would be highly impactful but i also recognize that there is that we can agree there is a very good case that globalization is the right system for the world and all countries can benefit and the proverbial all boats will be lifted but i am now more
skeptical if we can get to a place in particular with the democracies where globalization can be implemented and the manner in which is described in textbook. i don't think that's possible and we have to think about the realpolitik of economics what many economists are doing to have policy suggestions that practice because of politics and the realities to make it impossible to implement and now there is a target for that but. >> so why don't you tell us one for the book and one for voters?
talk about the political system first. >> ten proposals in the book and i mentioned we are trying to target two things. one is the myopia issue long-term economic problems and short-term liberal democracies and second is the point of legitimacy that i think is more problematic there is a lot of concerns over the brexit vote and that is what has come out in the aftermath and the issues around the veracity and the sanctity. so we want to get through that issue of legitimacy and myopia. and then to target the voter
what is enforcement to me it isn't me cooking them up in my kitchen but to look around at the democracies to say what do they do that might be different in one country versus another that we could replicate? . >> so i will give you a couple of them that one of the proposals but it seems to justify the compensation so the head of state is paid one.41.$7 million per year the secretary education and health care for 30 or 40 percent
based on how the economy is performing and then to be that type of model in the private sector and the implement in the public policy space. but then years later with the government in fishkill - - officials inflated the numbers and then getting to certain outcomes of life expectancy in dubious ways then we can get some of the money back and with that innovation and compensation in the private sector and then to think about the long-term and then to increase the minimum standards for politicians in the 19 sixties in britain the average
age was 62 years old as a parliamentarian with varied experiences as teachers and lawyers and doctors there were a lot of studies that i state - - cited in the book the average age was 40 and many people that were parliamentarians also don't have other work experience like politicians and that is problematic looking at these long-term problems we do need some knowledge of how to address it with the consequences of policymaking on the ground and i will give one more. extending terms as i mentioned to bridge the mismatch between economics and politics like mexico has a six year term brazil has a nine year term for senators with the idea
those terms may better match business cycles see don't have elections every two years like in the united states now one of the points i anticipate would be an issue that people say do we want to be mexico? there are real issues around what we are hoping to achieve in society and it would seem to me that if we do recognize having elections every two years is not an ideal situation we want the focus to solve the problem then it seems then that should be considered among the people. >> there is literature in the political science if you have enlightened leaders you can do incredibly well if you have
corrupt despotic leaders they can drive the country into the ground with no one to stop them so some of your proposals feel like they push in that direction that people can't choose to vote for someone because of term limits they cannot choose to remove them after two or three years that there isn't a lot of choice there are decisions taken away from people are you worry about that approach? . >> the way that i think about it it it is real risk and i think on balance my sense is if you have an informed electorate and the real hook is civics which is in the standard basis across the united states but around the world as well if you don't have the engaged electoral system you end up with the bad policies anyway and i feel
right now couple that understanding with the political system like 29 percent of american adults know the government also the fact there was low voter participation rate for low income households it's around 30 percent this gives me a lot of encouragement actually with the policies we are achieving long-term are good policies trying to imbue some sort of innovation into the system that would force politicians to think more long-term but that is a fair play but i am very familiar with that.
>> but the direction society seems to be going in a lot of different countries is the reaction against the elites that think they know better than others why do your proposals seem to run against that like the minimum requirement and other types of rules? is there a difference from what people seem to say that they want? . >> that's a great question i think in many respects the term conflated with people who are experts with some knowledge but it seems to me the frustration isn't necessarily with experts per se but the short term is him that has emanated from the political process i consider myself pretty worldly and engaged but i actually don't know as i sit here the best
use of the marginal dollar in the health care sector do you buy more beds or more medicine or more nurses? i have no idea but i have to believe the people that work in those sectors have more opinions and information about the big issues the same with education do you need more blackboards? do teachers need more compensation? i really don't know so as a general citizen but could be get better outcomes if we had more information of where the marginal dollar is? and i think the referendums in general provide a platform to explore what encourages or allocates higher wages and how
that could move generally because right now i think we will talk about if this is adopted we are in a situation where there is more populism where people are storming the politics or ending up in a plutocracy with smaller and smaller numbers of people are influencing public policy as you know, just 158 families in this country were responsible for 50 percent of the political contributions of 2016 that was astonishing to me as a very small number and how many seeps into the system so i do worry and that the us is trending more to that
plutocracy mode and if people don't acknowledge there is a broader base of knowledge that we should support that we think is valuable i think we have more of a risk than what is reflected in public policy. >> so the most controversial recommendations for the political system giving them new responsibilities. >> i will pick up on a couple of ideas. first of all, i'm an immigrant to the united states i have to pay taxes i don't just show up i have to take a test to be a citizen it is a very basic test but a test all the same.
and coming from africa where testing, civics is mandatory as an important aspect of education i'm astonished how many people it's not even on the curriculum. >> a number of states actually they are starting to give students the same test that you have to take. >> you can imagine when i was in seattle a teacher showed up with his students and said exactly about this point that is a move in the right direction but it's not a law but anyway some of those proposals like mandatory voting there are 27 countries around the world that have mandatory voting australia is one of them belgium latin american countries with the idea you are a citizen and you have responsibilities to the
country and if you do not vote you will be punished in some form which can be a monetary fine or not having access to public goods. i can see people heckling because that flies in the face of first amendment of choice but here in the last six weeks the supreme court sided with the state of ohio for voters not participating in the election so i think mandatory voting is something we should think about also the low participation numbers in particular for those low income households there is a whole host of other things we could do maybe not have it on a tuesday or take people to the voting places it is much
more wide basted should be put on the agenda but the second point is minimum standards for voters with this idea that having people pass a standard test, again it raises a lot of alarms because america has a very bad reputation. >> historically test have been used so gender against race or people i use or wealth and that is not the intent of this proposal but to try to figure out other ways to encourage
and allocate higher allocations to voters for more engagement especially in the backdrop of voter participation those that were seen as to be misunderstood but obviously as a black woman from africa immigrant i am a proponent of testing for any people of my background or anybody else in this country. it is hard to swallow on the surface but there are some proposals around the world that i think we could live with and value add to address the molar structural problems. >>.
>> ontario estate in canada there is a discussion of weighted voting i mentioned it already it is the most controversial proposal in the book i probably shouldn't mention attack about gerrymandering and money but all others that have been beaten to death and nothing happens that weighted voting is the way i think about it is allocating a higher vote and as i mentioned that in canada they have a weighted voting that the number of people that vote for you it is done in a
very clever way to give a bigger weight so one of the big concerns is that people in bigger cities have a bigger weight to influence politics but they actually skew for smaller communities and then talking about age to give higher wages to older people or younger based on an age so this was something debated a little bit with the british brexit election on the one hand give a higher weight to older people because they have more knowledge of politics and in those areas the other argument was given a bigger weight to young people because
they have a longer future to endure based on the outcomes so that is up for debate there were a number of discussions and votes one of the things i have been thinking about is whether or not i can see why it may not be appealing of a general election but whether or not to have a credible weighted voting system with referendums like california they always have referendums on the ballot whether a sugar tax. is that valuable for society to give a bigger weight in the health care sector? or not? it doesn't mean other people get zero that you cannot prove enough knowledge to take the test is not designed to be discriminatory but some people
have broader knowledge than a more superficial reasoning. >> voting systems everywhere are not just designed by political scientist but people in power to perpetuate that power doesn't this just give a huge opportunity to people with the most power to create a set of rules to perpetuate that power? . >> i thought a lot about that and i think that would have been true free social media. think about things today that are influenced actually the factor because young people are saying we will not tolerate this and actually having an impact and influence or certainly with corporations i am not as worried as i may have been prior so some of the
issues around gun violence it is small and perhaps in some ways it is anecdotal but the consequence of what happened in florida with the groundswell that influence companies to change how they were selling guns but also how even blackrock came out specifically talking about changing funding those programs that came from the groundswell and there is much more of that to occur in a society with social media and more individual participation in the system. >> nowhere in your book does it say vote democratic or
republican but if you look people with more education with more education are democratic those with less are republicans. >> so talk about mandatory voting? that definitely brings in minorities and people who are underrepresented. i'm not really sure about the other ones but it's not entirely clear it is a correlation but i myself a lot of the questions and things that i am driven buy you could call me republican that a lot of the issues around
immigration or women's rights or abortion i am definitely on the left but with my economic background i am much more conservative fiscally and frankly i think most people are in the dark about these issues so the distribution i think most people are at the center anyway so obviously they would be against one group or another. >> so now i want to step back into the big picture talk about the possibility of a global economic death spiral i am worried you have ten recommendations and i was persuaded by all of them in the u.s. constitution do you
think 20 years from now if we are talking again and we cannot do these are we doomed? . >> it is more emblematic because first of all, i am pretty optimistic. >> your book is called "edge of chaos". >> but it is how to fix it. it is important to find solutions. not owe my god just go to the bunker. but we can do something first. but i am entirely optimistic about this country it does have a history of resetting and refocusing - - refocusing to be socially or politically.
i have heard this question or this concern we can make changes but 100 years ago somebody somewhere i imagine a bunch of white guys with cigars said why don't we think about having women vote? that had to be crazy than somebody not black why don't we have the black vote for minority groups so as cockamamie at that moment as it seemed this country is about a flexible system that does have amendments and evil thing so i am optimistic but now having said that what does chaos look like quick. >> but your recommendations. >> of course, some things will
be hard to convince america but i'm not so sure. why not individual citizens are already subject to that but also that implementation issue the church will not vote for christmas but there is a whole section on that but i am optimistic that the system can be at a place it is entirely unacceptable also 80 countries in this country to me really is about to say this is enough we cannot do this anymore we will try something else. so i am optimistic maybe you are crazy but look at the announcement from the current administration to merge education and labor department. i have heard a lot of arguments back and forth but
that is a massive undertaking. it may work or may not but i thought not many other governments that would not even be mentioned so that is a backdrop behind my thinking. so it is important as we think about economic challenges to have the united states to address them whether it is weak innovation or climate change issues and right now it is nowhere near at the forefront as it needs to be or i want it to be and i do worry that other countries like china in particular are getting around the world and a situation where fewer countries was a beacon of