WorldAffairs

This election year two of the most hotly debated topics are the state of the US economy and the size of the national debt. As it stands there is more than $30,000 of debt for every person in the US, Congress is entrenched in a bitter fight over deficits, the government has been brought to the brink of shutdown multiple times, and, as a result, government approval is at an all time low.

Many politicians are calling for drastic cuts in essential public programs such as Social Security and Medicare in hopes of lowering the deficit, but will these cuts do anything other than worsen the quality of life for thousands of low-income and elderly Americans?

Join Simon Johnson, former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund, as he unravels the conundrum of the national debt, tracks the rise of the US dollar, examines the roots of the current dysfunctional and impotent Congress, and posits a solution to our debt crisis that will result in a strengthened economy without slashing social support programs.

Direct download: 4_17_12_Simon_Johnson.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

The road to economic recovery is long and difficult. Despite positive change and an unemployment rate at a three-year low, the ratings agencies are considering yet another downgrade of US credit and the world is beginning to consider the real consequences of an ongoing US economic downturn.

Long gone are the days of seemingly unending American prosperity and unquestioned US leadership against clear and identifiable enemies. Today the US and the nations that rely on its support need to make a major shift if they are to meet the economic, political and diplomatic challenges that lie ahead.

Michael Moran, one of the world’s leading geopolitical and economic forecasters and the director and editor-in-chief of Renaissance Insight, will talk about how America and its allies can successfully navigate this transition and avoid the pitfalls of clinging to the power structure of the 20th century.

Direct download: 4_12_12_Michael_Moran.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

With the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama closed one chapter of US history; unfortunately, the next is looming large.

As years of sanctions and careful diplomatic negotiations with Iran deteriorate into an increasingly fragile state of affairs, President Obama is left with few choices: attempt to restart what many consider failed negotiations or seriously consider a preventative strike.

Trita Parsi is the President of the National Iranian American Council and the author of the new book, A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran. He contends that diplomacy with Iran did not fail—it was abandoned. Real diplomacy has barely been tried, he argues, and it remains the only promising option for achieving America’s goals with regard to Iran.

Parsi will examine the Obama administration's early diplomatic gestures towards Iran and discuss the best ways to move toward more positive relations between the two discordant states.

Direct download: 4_10_12_Trita_Parsi_2.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:00pm PST

Recorded at WorldAffairs 2012, the World Affairs Council’s annual conference designed for global citizens seeking deeper insight, understanding and context surrounding critical issues of our day.

Direct download: 3_31_12_Bolden_Thiel.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:30pm PST

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