The ‘defining challenge’ of helping the poor

By Fareed Zakaria Is income inequality the “defining challenge” of our time? President Obama’s Dec. 4 speech on the topic has produced a lively debate, with some supporting him and others — including The Post’s Ezra Klein — arguing that unemployment should be the main focus. In fact, Obama said, it is the combination of “a lack of upward … Continue reading

Is the U.S. making the grade in education?

By Fareed Zakaria The latest international student evaluations, the PISA test results, are out, and one thing is clear: The United States has not done well. Beyond that, the exams have become, professor Jay Greene points out, a Rorschach test. People read into them pretty much whatever they want. So Randi Weingarten of the American … Continue reading

Big Fuss Over a Small Deal

Critics of the agreement with the rogue state worry it may be the start of a beautiful friendship. It isn’t By Fareed Zakaria The opposition to the new agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has been predictable but still puzzling. Here’s what would have happened had there been no deal: Iran would have continued to build … Continue reading

Why Americans hate their government

By Fareed Zakaria Washington is having one of its odd debates as to whether the Obama administration’s rollout of was worse than the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. But whatever the answer, if there is one, the real story is that both are examples of a major, and depressing, trend: the declining competence … Continue reading

No Deal? Don’t Just Blame Tehran

Hurdles to an agreement also come from Paris, Riyadh and Washington By Fareed Zakaria In the end, John Kerry put it best. “It takes time to build confidence between countries that have really been at odds with each other for a long time now,” said the U.S. Secretary of State. A deal between the West … Continue reading

China’s coming challenges

By Fareed Zakaria BEIJING “We are all struck by the contrast between Beijing and Washington,” said George Yeo, the former foreign minister of Singapore. He was referring to the quality of governance in the two capitals — in particular, the sense pervasive in Asia that the United States has lost its ability to execute public … Continue reading

The Saudis Are Upset? Tough!

Why we shouldn’t care that the world’s most irresponsible country is displeased with the U.S. By Fareed Zakaria America’s Middle East policies are failing, we are told, and the best evidence is that Saudi Arabia is furious. Dick Cheney, John McCain and Lindsey Graham have all sounded the alarm about Riyadh’s recent rejection of a … Continue reading

Southeast Asia ponders what is going on in China

By Fareed Zakaria KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Visiting Malaysia this week, I was expecting a volley of complaints. The country was one stop on President Obama’s planned trip to Asia this month that was canceled because of Washington’s manufactured budget crisis. “We were disappointed, but we understood the situation,” Prime Minister Najib Razak told me. Others … Continue reading

Conservatism needs to lighten up

By Fareed Zakaria The crisis has been resolved, but this respite is temporary. We are bound to have more standoffs and brinkmanship in the months and years ahead. To understand why, you must recognize that, for the tea party, the stakes could not be higher. The movement is animated and energized by a fear that … Continue reading

A Republican Party no one could control

By Fareed Zakaria In trying to explain how Washington got into its current mess, some have focused on ideology. Pundits and politicians note that the country has become more polarized, as have the political parties, particularly the GOP. That diagnosis is accurate, but another distinctive cause of today’s crisis might have even more long-lasting effects: … Continue reading


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