Mahbubani worries over a plutocracy in the U.S.
World Insight with Tian Wei

"Today, U.S., sadly, has become a plutocracy," laments Kishore Mahbubani, distinguished fellow from Asia Research Institute, at the National University of Singapore, to CGTN host Tian Wei.

With the 2020 U.S. presidential election pitting two radically different visions against each other, the race to the White House this year is all set to be a watershed moment in the nation's history. Throughout his first term, President Donald Trump has been intent on reshaping American government and refocusing its foreign policy in an unprecedented manner. Now the whole world is watching which direction the U.S. goes next. What does the election mean for the U.S. and other countries around the globe? 

He warns that certainly something has gone profoundly wrong within the American society. Mahbubani explains, "the U.S., which used to be a democracy, which is a government of the 100 percent, by the 100 percent, for the 100 percent, and sadly today's U.S. has become a plutocracy. A plutocracy is the government of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent." 

According to him, the elites in the U.S. have done very well over the last 30 or 40 years. But the bottom 50 percent in the U.S. has been going down over 30-year period. And Mahbubani thinks it is crucial for U.S. to examine why livelihood of the bottom 50 percent hasn't gone up. In term of the discourse, he argues that the simple answer is plutocracy.

Mahbubani says that the more Americans recognize they just become a plutocracy, the more likely it is they can find a solution to their problem. The U.S. is the only major developed society where the average income of the bottom 50 percent has come down over 30 year period. So he thinks after the elections, there will be deeper reflections within the American politics on what has really gone wrong in the United States. 

Besides, Mahbubani is quite optimistic about the cooperation between China and the U.S. on improving the well-being of the people at the end of the day, only if the both countries focus on improving the well-being of its people. And that should be the common goal after this presidential election race is over. 

Some say there are already some divisions in the Asia-Pacific region, to say the least, forming the so-called "The Quad." For example, Japan, Australia, together with the United States. And there were talks about the ASEAN countries may join in. On the other hand, ASEAN countries are struggling with the right consensus. 

When it comes to the foreign policy direction of the U.S. for the ASEAN countries, Mahbubani thinks that the U.S. just looks for allies as China is emerging, and the U.S. tries to use "The Quad." But he asserts, "it is very unlikely that any ASEAN countries will join 'The Quad'." 

"Iit's very important that ASEAN countries have good relationship with their most important neighbor--China. And I think it's very clear that ASEAN countries don't want to be caught to take sides in this contest. And you will find the ASEAN countries was far more careful and pragmatic in their calculations," he said.

World Insight with Tian Wei is an international platform for debate and intelligent discussion. It is the meeting point of both the highly influential and rising voices, facilitated by host Tian Wei. It provides nutrition to form your own thoughts and ideas through a 45-minute live debate and interviews.

Schedule: Monday-Saturday

Time (GMT): 1415, 2015

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