tv Book Discussion on This Brave New World CSPAN June 4, 2016 8:30pm-9:31pm EDT
thank you for hosting us. [applause] [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] >> when i tune into it on weekends, usually at the authors sharing their new releases. watching the nonfiction authors on book tv is the best television for serious readers. >> on c-span they can have a longer conversation and delve into their subject. >> book tv weekends, they bring you off thereafter author after author that is spotlighting the life of fascinating people.
>> good evening everybody. good evening on this beautiful evening. thank you all for joining us. we are very excited to host this launch in d.c. of a monumental new book, train three. it is already getting excellent reviews in the new york times. if you haven't seen it, that should be the second thing you read after her book "this brave
new world". we are excited to have anja manuel joining us in conversation. i will give you just a brief sketch of both of their biographies because they are so well known to all of us in this room. three is a lawyer anja manuel is a lawyer and handles the asia portfolio for the undersecretary of state who handles clinical affairs. they have served as the deputy national security adviser among many positions as chairman of the u.s. institute of peace. this book is really a wonderful
work. it's important and comes at an important time when so many of our policymakers and business people and are trying to determine precisely how to think about china and where these two very important countries fit into it. so, on the half of all of us, we are very honored to have the ability to host this conversation tonight. without further ado, let me turn it over to anja manuel and steve. [applause] thank you, richard, very much. i need to begin by saying i am a big fan of anja manuel and her book which i think is extremely informative and readable. it's a terrific read. congratulations.
i want to start by asking you why you decided to write a book, why why did you decide to write this book and why india and china together? for most people either one of them would've been a daunting task and you decided to do both. >> thank you and thank you for hosting this. thank you for being willing to do this with me and thanks to all the friends and bureaus in the audience peered and very happy to be here and seeing all of you. why this book? asia is a little bit in my blood. i actually grew up partially in pakistan which wasn't famous then for bin laden but was at
the base of the highway leading to the wild west of china leading to india. this was an area i have been interested in for a long time. i did a lot of work at the state department mostly on india and some on china. increasingly, as i watch, now's course we do business in both of those places for our clients and as i see i see the public discourse in america about asia, it seems were so worried about china and there's so much about china. one day there 10 feet tall and they're coming to get us in the next day there that the doom dragon and their economy is collapsing. neither of which is quite right. there's very little public discourse about india. i believe that even now, but especially a a decade or more from now, these are the two countries that are going to have a dramatic impact on how we all live as americans. by then they will have 3 billion people between them so our companies will be selling to them. they will have the worlds largest middle classes and we can't even begin to solve the world's biggest problems without them. i live in california. a small cloud already travels from asia all the way to san
francisco. in a decade or so india and china will be the first and third largest carbon emitters. we need to get our relations with them just right. >> so you already knew a lot about india and a lot about china before you worked the book. what is it that you learned in writing the book that most surprised you? >> a lot. the number one thing, i would say, we spend our time, all of us in washington talking to government officials, talking to officials, talking to business leaders, when i wrote the book i very much tried also to see the inter-lands of both of these countries. i spent some time in the slums of delhi where people live in corrugated iron huts with no plumbing or electricity. they make their money by recycling materials from a trash heap that is 3-foot high. i spent some time interviewing the folks that assemble all of the worlds electronics.
your iphones and android phones. that's not something i had been exposed to before. the most interesting thing i learned from that, we all know there was a lot of poverty in china and india, india is much worse. india has 300 million people still under the world poverty line which is a dollar 25 a day. china has 84 million. million. the scale of the problem is much bigger but it's also, in china, most of the poor, especially the urban poor are working in factory jobs or jobs that are on the books. in a way they are easier to help because you can do it through the paycheck and you can give pension and health benefits. in india, all of these guys are working in the economy. what are you going to do. until india just introduced a new biometric id system which
actually puts some of the people on the books and gives them an existence and modi has opened almost 250 million bank accounts which will then allow these people to actually be helped by the state in a way they were before. >> one of the things, these are countries that have very different approaches to development and seeking prosperity and in some sense seeking power. i know you avoid the horserace analogy, which is better and which is going to win, but do we have a stake in terms of how these countries succeed and whether they succeed? what's the u.s. stake in all of this mark. >> we do have a stake in this and i think we want them both to succeed. it's often much more comfortable to deal with india than with
china. i described that in the opening of the book for the state visits. i'm sure many of you were part of them but there were two, and one in seattle and one in palo alto. one was just comfortable and relaxed and we were already partners and it was easy and the other dinner was wonderful as well but it was very formal and we were working hard to get our relations just right. it wasn't quite as comfortable with india. i agree with you, i don't think this should be about the horse race. i think it's very much in our interest for both of them because as i said you can't have climate change without them. you can't solve a lot of of the worlds other problems without them. despite of what we heard on the campaign, our economies don't succeed unless these two growing
economies continue to be the engine of world growth. >> let's talk about environment issues. china is now the biggest emitter of co2, for example and india india is probably the fastest growing in midair. so obviously it affects what happens in those two countries and that affects the world economy and the united states in terms of the environmental situation. is there something that we can do with india and china together that all three countries can do that can make some progress on these environmental issues? >> this is a good question and this is one of the most fertile opportunities for working together. in the book i lay out a number of challenges that these countries face on their way to power status and how they are dealing with them. the environmental one is an
enormous challenge. when you're looking around china, you see see this huge coal mine, 30 football fields in length and they make those mining trucks look teeny tiny and you see china still needs to do this stuff to grow. they can't help it. in india the pollution is actually even worse. thirteen of the 20 most polluted cities are actually in india. when i was on the river, you see dead bodies floating on the river. the problems are dire. this is one of the areas where i think we've done a good job, our governments across different administration working with china and india to solve the problem. when i was in government, i had a small part and you have a large part in negotiating this civilian nuclear deal with india
partly that was about our strategic partnership in india, but a lot of it was about getting clean, nonpolluting power as india scales up its electricity use. it's. it's a big win win for both country. india has these super optimistic projection about how many nuclear operators they were going to build. i would say, similarly, i really think what the obama administration is doing with china and on the climate change in 2014 that has helped spur the rest of the world to announce their own binding commitments on omissions was another helpful way that all three can work together. >> more to come on that. >> you wrote an op-ed on india's corruption. we don't hear a lot about india's corruption but if you talk to business communities, one of the problems they have is
that india is so corrupted can't deal with it. they wonder how much is about corruption and how much is about political course of this. can you talk a little bit about the different approaches in india and china and what they say about their two political systems? the way they are dealing with this is a perfect example of the two systems. the reason the new york times wanted to write about the india story is because there's a personal story. when i was a young state department official, of mid-level official tried to involve me and a kickback scheme. i just sat there naïvely blinking and nodding and got out of his office as quickly as i could. it's ram. and it's a difficult problem like it is in china.
the chinese story is well-known. the way china has dealt with it so far has been almost completely top-down, own almost 200,000 people were investigated and have gone to trial. purely top-down. india's solution is almost entirely bottom-up. so about four or five years ago, a lot of citizens were finally fed up with this. a man who looks a little bit like gandhi but is older started a hunger strike. it caught on. before you knew it there were tens of thousands of people across india who demonstrated and said enough is enough. some new anticorruption laws
have been passed and it's been far from perfect, but this citizen activism is there and it continues. the problem is neither of these approaches alone are perfect. when you look at the countries that have really tackled corruption and done a good job with it, singapore, hong kong, south kong, south korea, what they have done is a little bit of what you're seeing in china and india, but more more. hong kong for example established an independent which is nonpolitical and very quickly adjudicated many of the programs a wanted to teach young people that this is not how you should be doing business. in some cases there was a rise in civil servant salaries. those are some additional steps that i think both india and china should take if they're really going to solve this problem. >> are you optimistic they can do it or is the corruption to ramp it? is it almost too far gone to fix? >> i think with corruption when there is a will there is a way.
i named three countries that really turned around their system. it's doable. but it requires a lot of sustained effort and a political effort. >> let's talk a bit about china. there has been a remarkable crackdown in terms of china. i think that is what we would have to say in terms of human right workers and in terms of media and social media and i think there was an article in the review actually, the wall street journal, where there are about 180,000 incidents of civil disruption in china every year. talk a little bit about the challenge and can they really keep the lid on that society. a society that now has many people on the internet and an engaged population. how are we to think about them long term and their stability in
light of what's percolating their? >> thank you. i'm going to ask that second part of the question right back at you in just a minute. so in terms of the kind of dissent that you see in china, as i started digging into it in the book and i started interviewing a lot of people, i saw three different kinds of dissent. one is the 180,000 protest that you talk about. mostly run-of-the-mill people who don't want their property appropriated and are worried about labor conditions at their factory, who want a better environment, sort of daily issues, not political. this is not for freedom. this is is not for i want to get paid more or i want clean water. two you have some people who are just going to be outsiders in the chinese system. other communities that are on the outside and are in some
instances protesting and a lot of other places are underground. third, i think this is the most important force that is coming up, when i go to go to china now and i speak to students at stanford, where i teach they have a big center, when i speak to students there, these millennial's have no memories of tenement square. they have no memory of crackdown. they are unbelievably active on social media, just as you said. some some of the things they say really cross over, there's a guy at berkeley who studies what's trending on chinese social media and you would be surprised of some of the things that are out there. so when the people's congresses meeting in beijing you have a
whole uptick in who are these people, they don't represent me. when i have a young, when we were there a few years ago, we have a young government translator and we asked her about this and she said well, we all know that social media is monitored, but we keep switching to the new one until they catch onto that one. we thought that was a little surprising from a government translator. for your second question, is it going to implode, i think no one predicted the fall of the soviet union. there has been recently a lot of chatter about china and it's hard to see how you interpret it, as i'm sure many of you know in march there was anonymous letter sent asking him to step down because he's developing a controlling personality, there are constant rumors, no one knows if they're true or not of attempts on his life.
it's anyone's guess whether there is more brewing there or not. i do think if there is a change of government in china there would be more likely that it is an internal, within the communist party uprising than a tenement square type uprising. but i would love to have you answer that question as well. >> that wasn't in the script. i was at the u.s. china dialogue a week ago and one of the same things they talked about in regards to instability and security threats, he doesn't really believe it. he thinks he wouldn't have seen the leader travel internationally the way he does.
his theory is there's a lot of rumors in the system. they were giving me a hard time about the american political system, sort of making the suggestion that is in the chinese better. i think the risk for the chinese and what i said to him was in the united states what you are seeing is a lot of discontent being played out within our political system, for better or worse because that's what our political system allows. rather than than playing out on the streets in terms of violence or demonstration. we invite that much. of course the question for china is, if you clampdown too much and there is discontent, what is the outcome. if you put the lid too tightly on a boiling pot, at some point there's a problem. >> let me add one thought on this. i think we speculate about this
stuff a lot in the media and in policy, i think it's not in anyone's interest for there to be a drastic change in government in china. political turmoil in china, think about the financial markets so i don't think we should be hoping for any type of overthrow. >> let me ask you something we haven't talked about. how about political stability a in india, a very different system. any worries or concerns about that? >> india is exactly iq say, it's like the american system. it is resilient. governments may not be perfect but a lot of my indian friends are frustrated but it's a balance. the problem is, when when you have a democracy you have to deal with lots of other interest groups.
in india, people were fed up. so now you have a government which has tried to do a lot on economic reform but isn't able to move as quickly because there are interest groups within both the central groups but most importantly the stakes in states in india have so much power that makes it harder to achieve things quickly but they're much more resilient. >> i will put you down as india is stable instability and china is unstable stability. how's that? >> that sounds okay. let me. >> let me ask one more question. they say they are one of the worst democracies to be a woman. is that true and how do india
and china compare? >> i think it is true. i learned much more about this in my research for the book. so in india, a lot of the laws are on the books. so pretty decent anti-harassment laws and maternity leave, all of the things that you would expect, sometimes better than the u.s. however, especially for the poorer segments of society and the lower castes, they are not enforced, sometimes ever. they are not as well enforced as they should be. in typical indian style, people often take things into their own hands and their citizens who do something about it. one of the stories that i tell in the book is about a gang of women who wear hot pink scarves. they are lower caste women and they are females. there are tens of thousands people who have joined them across india.
they are in the villages where if they know a woman is being beaten by their husband, for example in the police doesn't do anything about it, they will they will go with sticks and beat up on the husband. it's a very indian solution. but, when you compare india and china on these issues, there is just no comparison p at the communist communist party has actually been very good for women, especially if you're looking at women in the workforce, i think something like 70% of chinese of chinese women work compared to 58% here, 25% in india. many, many chinese women are at the top, not so much the top of the political establishment but in business, more chinese women are self-made billionaires than anywhere else on earth. >> 30 million chinese women run companies.
they are female entrepreneurs. >> those are really big numbers and that means something. >> thank you. questions from the audience? a boom microphone is on its way to you. >> i love the logo on the book, but of course to be more accurate, the gears from india and china would actually be messed together as well. you haven't talked at all about the relationship between india and china and how that has evolved over the past three or four decades. >> thank you per that's a very good question and it's evolved a lot. i think when i was in government, a decade ago the indians were not too worried about china. we have similar histories, the
history of being a threat by outside powers and china is mostly a partner that were trading a lot with them, that has all changed. now when you go to delhi, people worry very much about what's happening in china and they have a very similar view to china is what you see in the u.s. we want a positive relationship. we want to good economic relationship. india has the same enormous trade imbalances with china that we do. on the military side i think they are getting increasingly worried. there are some skirmishes, none of them have been fatal yet but if you look it up on youtube there are actually videos of chinese and indians soldiers throwing punches at each other on the border in the hunt high himalayas that is unsettled. when you talk to the indian military they are more and more worried about the number of chinese ports that are being built around what they consider a string of pearls and about the chinese submarines that are increasingly active in the indian ocean. so it's a huge turnaround from
where we were a decade ago. >> sir, over on the right-hand side. >> i'd like to hear more about this asian century in the population growth. from what i've seen they project up population to decline to 500 trillion by the end of the century. i don't see how china and india get to 3 billion. i see similar figures for japan. similarly, with the economic growth, there has been a lot of debt that's been doing that. that debt is now becoming burdensome. if you read you read the chinese press the talking about nonperforming loans and loans on default. if that debt starts to unwind, that means people will be thrown out of work, so where does this roaming asian century come from?
>> let's start on the demographic question. you are right. i think it's difficult to predict demographics a century out. when i'm looking at a future, i am looking looking at ten or 15 years out. by 2030, a, a lot of people assume that china will have around 1.4 billion people, india will have around 1.5 billion. india will pass china because just as you say, china you say, china is aging. about 70% of india will be of working age, a lower percentage of chinese. india, as you said has an opportunity to change this.
>> testing. >> a decade ago i don't think we would consider that quad but we discarded that idea. now, now, that is happening more frequently. i think it is important that even though china has made it difficult for us that it's important to include china's much is possible both on the track to dialogue that were talking about, for other issues it beyond military and especially on the military issue because that is by far the hardest thing to resolve. i teach at stanford and one of the things that he said that he is quite proud of and i think it is a great initiative is that he helped persuade the pla that
when chinese sailors meet sailors of other nations including the united states that they are allowed to speak to them by radio which they were not previously allowed to. tiny steps, right, right, not such a big deal, but that alone has made accidents less likely. it means that everybody is on the radio practicing their mandarin and practicing their english. you're much less likely to shoot if you are all talking to each other. we i agree with you that we need more of that and it would be great to do more on a trilateral basis, us, india, china, there are some dialogues like that but not as many as we like to see. also with australia and japan. we should do more. >> i'm on the board of directors of the eurasia center and eurasian business coalition. given what you mentioned about the chinese are building, et
cetera and they're very dynamic involvement in investment banks, et cetera for infrastructure on the new road, one belt one row, et cetera, can you talk to weather the indian, economic and government communities is equally committed to or aware of how the investments over the next are probably 50 plus years it can also benefit india and south asia. it's not just a road, it's it's a web of infrastructure and investments. >> thank you. i think india is ambivalent about the one belt, one road initiative for similar reasons that america is ambivalent about it. so on the one hand, first of all, looking at it from china's a purse active it makes perfect sense. you need to get to this situation if you're in china
where if you have to bring all of your material, 80% of it you need other ways to get into an out. and, asia needs a lot of infrastructure investment. so it's actually a positive thing that china is able to make the rails faster and make commerce better. that benefits all of us. i think india sees that. at the the same time, it's worried. because a big first announced deal was and announced 46,000,000,000 dollars in infrastructure aid to pakistan. it is not clear whether all 46,000,000,000 will finally be invested. obviously that worries the indians. they are asking the chinese to come invest here. some of that is happening. not. not quite as much is in pakistan but increasingly you see them talking about chinese investments in india as well. i
think that is a very positive development. another thing that thing that i think is a very positive development is that china but through the asian infrastructure. whenever i see the ceo and the aib talking, i think he is quite sincere he talks about having standards that are good or better than the world bank. i see this really as an when you're leaving form policy that china to come in and be a responsible stakeholder of china wanting to be a responsible stakeholder we should welcome it and support it. >> hello.
i am from india. my question is, the story of india is bn far away from -- does your book look at these shifts and are you looking at, should u.s. and china look at talking to these governments instead of the government -- >> yes. yes we should. when we help our clients, american companies do business in india, we often tell them it is an enormous country, very different standards, very, very different chief ministers in the different indian states. some of them on a very pro-gross of platform and some of them not. you are quite right. often we tell people you wanna think about for five other indian states.
>> i'm tom bradley grad student, freedom of navigation and freedom of congress are vital to the u.s. we have demonstrated it through over 220 years now. it is probably the most commercial routes in ocean in the world. where it makes it in the east china sea and south china sea, what advice advice would you give a president concerning how to maintain freedom of commerce on the high seas while not provoking china to do something more aggressive? do you think any of them are smart enough to take the advice?
>> can i put this one to you because you have done so much work on this issue and then i will add. >> the problem with this issue is i was on this track to u.s. a china dialogue a week ago. someone said you know the problem with this issues the united states has framed it as a freedom of navigation issue. china has framed it as a sovereignty issue. as have a number of its neighbors. of course the problem with framing something as a sovereignty issue is you almost make it impossible to compromise. who wants to go down in history as having compromise their nations strategy, their nation sovereignty. so i think we have to insist on international standards and freedom and navigational and the like, what we are doing is in some sense -- my understanding
is we have failed to do this as often as we should have in the south china sea and we are trying to make up for lost time. i think one thing we can do is lower the profile. do it, we don't need to talk about it, we don't need to be provocative about it but it does need to be done. i think the second thing we need to do is have in place as on you talked about, communication channels and concept avoidance procedures in the military chain and the civilian chain so that you do not have a situation where to see captains get into it and the two countries are forced into a confrontation that neither wants, that neither can afford. and finally, think the third thing you need to do is find a way to park some of these sovereignty issues. these are really not for us, it's for through china and its neighbors. but they both address these issues and they basically said that they are too hard, we need to lead them to future
generations. i think that is probably the right approach. whether we can get back to that is going to be difficult. >> i would just add one word. you asked about a vice for the next president, one of the things that president doesn't do well is a long-term, subtle policy. it is very hard, because of our electoral's and especially near like this, all of the rhetoric has it gone crazy, let's hope hope the policy doesn't go that way. but once we announce a policy, we need to be very consistent about how we do it. we should not have freedom of navigation operations and the not have them and then have them again. right now we do not have them for a few years and now we are back. my thing would be the next president should do it as well. but the worst thing you can do
is start and stop because if i were on the other side i would be a little confused about where the lines are. i think we should be very clear, ratchet down the rhetoric and very consistent. >> i would say one other consistent. >> i would say one other thing. china has a certain incentive, they have an incentive to be strong on sovereignty, strong a territory claims. that's what they do and he doesn't want to open himself politically in his right to be soft on sovereignty issues. on the other hand we know that if he is going to have economic performance that he wants in the economic reform program that he wants implemented, he is going to have a good economic relations with his neighbors, with us, and with europeans. if there is a confrontation on the south china sea, those economic relationships are at risk. so i think he has a tricky task in front of him. my hope is that he pushes a bit because of domestic pressure, but he recognizes and in some sense economic back pressure and he does not go too far. he does not
want to jeopardize that the economic future of his country. we will see. it requires skillful diplomacy. as anya said, that is in on you said, that is in short supply during an election campaign. there is another, -- >> hello. since you're based in the heart of -- i have to ask about technology policy. could you talk about what you see are the big issues between us, india and china, in particular if you could hit on internet governance and cyber security and the deal that was made with president she on not conducting espionage for business purposes. >> thank you for coming. i said to someone earlier when we're upstairs on the roof that i thought the technology companies relationship with china in the business community relationship between china and the u.s. used to be one of the backbones. it used to be something you could rely on that would make the relationship stronger. i just spoke to the ceo of a venture capitalist on friday and the sentiment is universally
negative. very, very worried, very frustrated at what they perceive to be china's unfairness at how they treat our companies. unfairness on the the way that the laws are enforced against western companies versus chinese, native companies and there is a litany of complaints that i'm sure you know. the industrial espionage i think was the number one thing that made it difficult for the u.s. business community said to support china. it has taken a real toll. we know many companies that have personally suffered from this, it is an enormous problem. the fact that they came in september for the first time acknowledged openly that we're going to do something i think these are all steps in the right direction.
we need a lot more dialogue and i'm not privy to what's going on behind the scenes. i'm a private citizen california. i understand there is dialogue that is continuing. it's slow, painful, steady. that is the work that it takes for this kind of relationship. we should this kind of relationship. we should definitely continue the dialogue on that. i also think this is a should be a wake-up call to china that the part of america that has always been pro- trade with china and open relations, and making the relationship work is, in a way turning against and they're frustrated with the relationship. in both sides need to do something to fix it. >> i think we have time for two more questions. this gentleman here. and then richard will give you the last line. >> hello. my name is jake i'm with the department of defense. my question, you touched a little bit about the security relationship between the united states and china and the united states and india. my question is
is that if these three states are defining the way forward in the 21st century and asia's pacific and beyond, where does that leave the current international security order defined by the u.s. relationships and in fact where does it leave u.s. allies like japan, australia, south korea or thailand, that are increasingly caught between the interest up hours that are considerably greater than them in terms of geopolitical weight. question mark. >> let me be clear, i'm not advocating that we change our alliance system and this is the 21st century where there is a, there are three superpowers and we world the world together, india, china, and the, and the u.s., that's highly unlikely to happen. i think our current alliant system will continue. largely the way it is. i do not think we will enter into a formal alliance with india even though the partnership has become so much closer over the past decade
, i think a formal alliance is something india wants and not what we would want. i don't for see an enormous change in our asian alliance structure. what i do think we need to do is think carefully about, especially in this election time where that rhetoric has gotten so heated and it has become so unpopular to talk about cooperation with china in particular, we need to think about what happens when you actually go down that path. if path. if you have a trade war with china, or god forbid a military confrontation do we want a new cold war? do we want to relationship that is more similar to what we had between the u.s. and the soviet union? or do we want something were certainly we have disagreement. certainly we are are going to have national interest that diverge from each other. by and large we lower the rhetoric, we solve our problem
as much as possible behind the scene where we emphasize the cooperation because it's in all of our interest to make sure that this triangle gets locked. >> richer, less question. >> thank you. i wasn't going to ask a question but i cannot resist. after hearing this great conversation i wanted to ask about the role of pakistan and the thinking of both indian and chinese today because i think if this conversation at happen sometime in the recent past pakistan would predominate more. it would've been more of a topic, the indians would have thought about pakistan more concretely and more often is an element of the competitive relationship. they also what he thought about the relationship with china, in part through pakistan and pakistan's strategic relationship with china. are you sensing pakistan is retreating from the forefront of
form policy makers mind in both beijing and new delhi? how do you see that fit in to the three countries that you're talking about today? >> you and i go to all of the same dialogue. we might might have a similar view on this. i do think that india is looking up strategically. where they used used to be preoccupied with their neighborhood, worried about pakistan, to some extent china, now they are seeing themselves as having a global role. it has been critical in shaping that and to being much more prominent on the world stage. so i think yes, i'm usually pakistan will continue to shape a lot of india's thinking because terrorism comes from pakistan, the nuclear weapons are still a concern, specially a concern, especially the new smaller ones their building. but it is not predominate. more and more when we talk to indian government officials, they want to talk about china and they want to talk about the
world beyond asia. i think that is a positive thing that we should welcome. >> we have come to the end of our time. i want to thank richard and c-span for sponsoring this. thank you on you for coming and giving us a chance to speak today. [applause]. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible conversation] >> you are watching the tv on c-span2. this weekend we are visiting las vegas, nevada to talk to local
authors and tour the city's literary sites with the help of our local cable partner, cox commute occasions. next, we discuss son, sin and suburbia, and essential history of modern las vegas with author geoff schumacher. >> when people think about las vegas they typically think of the las vegas strip, right. they think about the big casinos, they think about the shows, they think about gambling, the restaurant. they think about downtown las vegas where they have the older casinos and we have fremont street with all of the spectacle of the promenade. so that's what i think people immediately think of. someone who lives here, someone who writes about las vegas come i don't necessarily think of
that first. i think about the 2,000,000 people who live here, i think about the neighborhoods where i live in where my friends and relatives live, and so much more nuanced and complicated story than the complicated outside of town imagines. once vegas has been growing ever since it was founded as a railroad town, however there are certain decades where things are really celebrated and one was in the 1940s. in the 1940s you saw with the world war ii you saw the arrival here of a huge magnesium production plant. this production plant grew thousands of workers to las vegas. then at the same time you had the development of an army airfield which later became an air force base. thousands and thousands of people descending on this valley , quadrupling the population in a matter of years.
coinciding with that was that of element of the casino business on a much larger scale. those casinos drew workers, tours, las vegas became a tourist place. the 40s were huge. the 50s was when he saw the rise of all the iconic casinos on the las vegas strip. that coincided with the rise of the atomic testing, 60 miles north of las vegas. so again, lot of scientist, lot of others who needed to lot of scientist, a lot of others who needed to work at the atomic testing site came to live in las vegas. again, tourists also came to las vegas just to witness the spectacles, these above ground atomic explosions. so the 40s and 50s i would have to say were a pivotal time for las vegas and its growth. it faces a lot of different challenges as it grew so quickly. one was transportation. another was education, building enough schools to accommodate all of these kids. transportation for example, the building at the airport we were very late in getting caught up with the demands and so the development of mccarran airport was open and then suddenly we're talking about expanding, then in
the 50s you saw the need to develop roads and the need to develop the infrastructure for the spreading of the city. we are always behind the curve, las vegas has never quite kept up with the growth. that is probably the nature of all fast-growing cities in the west. las vegas has had an extreme case. on the positive side keeping up with growth in las vegas means there is lots of jobs. there's lots of people needed. we need manpower, people to work in the casinos, we need them to work on construction, and in different businesses around the community. so you the community. so you see people coming here for opportunity. when they get here, often times in the past there have been school overcrowding is a big problem. you find there are not enough amenities, restaurants or credit for example. you find the roads are insufficient so people are living in gravel roads that should ever will wise be paid. and then, most importantly, you don't have enough tax dollars to
pay for all they have a structure needs that you have. so then you're starting to look at raising taxes, raising property taxes, raising to sales tax et cetera in order to afford all of these new amenities. again, las vegas is constantly trying to keep up with its growth and it really has never let up. >> there is a lot of people been around las vegas for a long time who would like to keep the small town feel they remember hear from the earlier days. unfortunately las vegas has always been in the growth mode. there's never been a sincere attempt to control and manage growth in las vegas. we are opportunities, were constantly looking for the next opportunity. whether. whether it's developing subdivisions worst commercial areas or casinos. so the impact of the growth of the strip on the suburbs has been this insatiable demand for more housing. when you have more housing than
any more schools coming anymore parks coming in more roads, we are basically one big construction site. that has been going on for decades now. in the past las vegas has had recessions. it suffered from slowdowns in its growth. periodically there is periodically there's national receptions, and other challenges that come up. we've had a water issue in the early 90s that slowed the development for a while. what happened in 2007 and 2008 was almost unprecedented for las vegas. we saw the real estate market collapse so dramatically and then we saw the national recession hit with the wall street crisis. it just hammered las vegas tourism. so at that point between 2007 and 2012 or 13 las 13 las vegas was in very sorry shape.
you saw a lot of homes of her close. you saw people losing their job, high on a planet rate and you saw a lot of vacant buildings, not just houses but commercial buildings. las vegas took a long took a long time to recover from that. the damage to the foreclosed upon homes by squatters, the the people who get upset because they're being evicted and they tear up the house, you you saw this again and again here. he saw a lot more homeless people on the street. you saw people leaving town because they needed to go find work somewhere or they lost their home. in the construction industry the unemployment rate was 50%. this was an amazing number for a town where people have grown literally rich working blue-collar construction work. so it was a very severe recession and it hit las vegas as hard or harder than any place in the country. the good news is, the positive side is las vegas is resilient. it is fighting back, the growth is returning, the economy is
growing, people are getting back to work and by 2016, things are starting to look bright. i think the biggest take away from "sun, sin, and suburbia" is that this has many more facets than the strip. we have a history of the strip, we have the history of downtown of the book, it's very important that the crux of the whole enterprise here, but the point of this book is for people who are local to kind of understand where ey live a little better. if you're not local then to understand this is more complex and interesting place than simply the rows of slot machines along fremont street or along las vegas boulevard. >> for more information on book tvs a recent visit to las vegas and many other destinations on our cities tour go to c-span.org,/cities tour.
>> michael what you do for living question? >> i am the ceo of hachette book's group which means i work with talented publishers editors, finance people, everything that's involved in running a publishing company that is bringing books to all the readers in america and around the world. >> what makes up hatchet? >> it is made up of some publishers that have been around for a long time. we been in a company that was founded in 1837 in boston. another division called grand central publishing which is a publisher of commercial mainstream fiction and nonfiction that has been around 35/45 years. a45 years. it started warner books. we have a children books division, we have a christian division, we have a nonfiction division, we have a division
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