Friedman: Ya know what? The only thing worse than China is … America

Sometimes I wonder what this guy is thinking. Another great moment from the wizards of smart (copyright 2009 Rush Limbaugh).



MR. BROKAW:  Tom, are we at a kind of turning point in America in terms of being able to make this a functioning country again or are we dysfunctional?

MR. FRIEDMAN:  Well, this is what worries me, that, you know, I’ve been saying for awhile, Tom, there’s only one thing worse than a one-party autocracy, the Chinese form of government, and that’s one-party democracy. You know, in China, if the leadership can get around to an enlightened decision, it can order it from the top down, OK?  Here, when you have one-party democracy, one-party ruling, basically, and the other party just basically saying no, every solution is suboptimal, you know.  And when your chief competitor in the world can order optimal and you can only produce suboptimal, because what happens, you know, whether it’s health care or the energy bill, votes one through 50 cost you a lot, votes 50 to 59 cost you a fortune, and vote 60, his name’s Ben Nelson.  And by the time you’ve made all those compromises, you end up with the description David had of the healthcare bill, which is this Rube Goldberg contraption.  I really hope–I hope, personally, I hope it passes, I hope it works, but I can’t tell you I think it’s optimal.

Remember this is the same guy who thought there was something to be said for China’s form of government. The Chinese have a way of just getting things done.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.

Reasonably enlightened? Just ask Tibet.

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Jim Vicevich

Jim is a veteran broadcaster and conservative/libertarian blogger with more than 25 years experience in TV and radio. Jim's was the long-term host of The Jim Vicevich Show on WTIC 1080 in Hartford from 2004 through 2019. Prior to radio, Jim worked as a business and financial reporter for NBC30 - the NBC owned TV station in Hartford - and as business editor at WFSB-TV in Hartford for 14 years while earning six Emmy nominations and three Telly Awards.


  1. donh on March 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    It is the " politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century" that have me concerned. Politically difficult policies like China's one child per family breeding rule could be the next unpopular policy passed by the "Slaughter solution" side step.

  2. Dimsdale on March 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Friedman has turned into a real cheerleader for China lately.  At least a "one party democracy" can change via free voting, whereas a "one party autocracy" is an effective dictatorship, and can only be changed by coup d'etat or the fortuitous death of the dictators.


    Don't Obama's five year plans qualify him for Soviet status at least?

  3. GdavidH on March 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm

     I don't know about you guys but I'm gonna say it like I tell my teenage boys, bring it down to it's simplest form. The only obstruction Obama has experienced in the last 14 months that matters is from his own party. We already have one party democracy.  All the bribery and arm twisting going on has left the republicans in our republic as observers only.  I honestly don't understand how the rhetoric is allowed to continue.  Rush is right when he says to let them OWN this. I'm sad about the fact that one party can blatently disregard the rules and the constitution but it's happening, and they aren't listening.  We can only hope that our future leaders will fix ( un-do) this.  If it happens… Let them own it.

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