Tom Friedman: Chinese Autocracy Better Than American Democracy

by Pat_S

Tom Friedman thinks Democracy is becoming a hindrance.

The media is wringing it’s hands over the political climate. It’s always sunny when Democrats get their way. The forecast is for stormy weather. All this opposition and people in the street, it’s not a good thing.

Tom Friedman was on Meet the Press today with Tom Brokaw and David Brooks. He thinks we’d be better off if we were more like the Chinese government.

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?

Friedman: This is what worries me that I’ve been saying for a while there is only one thing worse than one party autocracy, the Chinese form of government, and that’s one party democracy. In China if the leadership can get around to an enlightened decision, it can order it from the top down. Here, when you have one party democracy, one party ruling, basically and the other party basically saying “no”, every solution is suboptimal. When your chief competitor can produce optimal and you can only produce suboptimal! Because what happens whether it’s health care or the energy bill, votes 1 through 50 cost a lot; votes 50 to 59 cost you a fortune and 60, his name is Ben Nelson. By the time you made those compromises you wind up with the description out of the health care bill, which is this Rube Goldberg contraption, I hope it passes but I can’t tell you I think it’s optimal.

It’s so much easier to get things done when there’s no opposition, no one to say “no”. Of course to achieve that you have to round up and imprison or kill dissidents and impose censorship. As long as something optimal comes out of it once in awhile, say universal health care, it’s well worth it or so the thinking goes in some circles. History is well acquainted with optimal solutions from unopposed governments.

Neither Brokaw nor Brooks seemed to think Friedman was talking like a madman. This is what worries me.

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