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Obama Gives the Chicoms an "A" for Effort
Posted by: Dale Franks on Friday, August 22, 2008

Barack Obama made the following statement in a speech yesterday:
Everybody's watching what's going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics. Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business you're starting to think, "Beijing looks like a pretty good option."

Well, maybe Beijing is a spiffy place. After all when you can expropriate the wealth of a billion people by fiat, and spend it anywhere you want, you can probably spruce up a single city pretty nicely.

Or not.

I mean, I'm sure it looks nice.

But looks can be deceiving.

Just don't look behind any of those spiffy new walls.

You might get a glimpse of the way China's real infrastructure looks.

Leave Beijing, and go out into the countryside, and you'll get an even better glimpse.

Yes, China has spent a lot of money on infrastructure.
China's rapid economic growth and equally rapid integration into the global economic system is putting huge strains on its infrastructure. This has led to a spate of spending on transport. Between 2001 and the end of 2005 more was spent on roads, railways and other fixed assets than was spent in the previous 50 years.
There's spotty utility coverage and lack of indoor plumbing out in the provinces, but overall, China's infrastructure is probably every bit as good as America' 1930 or so.

Still, entering the 20th century infrastructure-wise counts as a Great Leap Forward. And the $300 million or so the Chinese have spent in Beijing to put on a super Olympics has certainly allowed them to put their best foot forward.

You gotta hand it to totalitarian dictatorships. They certainly know how to put on a show. And when you can expropriate all the nation's wealth, if necessary, to fund the thing, money's obviously no object. And, I suppose the incentive to dance well—even flawlessly—at the opening ceremonies is always increased by the thought of a cold steel muzzle at the nape of the neck for failure.

Yep, whether it's the annual Nuremberg Party Rally, or the big May Day parade in front of Lenin's tomb, you can always count on dictators to go all out for a good show. Complete with goose-stepping soldiers. You really don't have a top-flight dictatorship if your soldiers don't goose-step. and the Chinese have that sharp goose-step down cold.

Granted, China's not as overtly bad as it was 30 years ago in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, but, just because the overlords have slipped on a velvet glove doesn't mean that there's not still a steel fist underneath.

Still, as long as you remember that it's only a show, I guess there's no harm done by admiring the artistry of it.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

"Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now."

New things are almost always better than old.

Of course, Obama should mention that a lot of China’s infrastructure was completed using BOT, i.e. private capital. Is he suggesting we should do the same in the US? LOL.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Great story. Please go to wikipedia and add your material to the entry on "Potemkin Villages."
Written By: arby
URL: http://
As has been said, the olympic games brought two cities into the 20th century: Athens and Barcelona...

And it appears that the 2008 Summer games has added Beijing to that list...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I suppose Obama also thinks the Chinese have also solved their air pollution problem. Truly astonishing shallowness and ignorance from someone who has had access to so much information over the years. I guess he figures that if he needed to know it, they would have taught it to him in those "Intro. to ..." courses at school.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Good post. The wall reminds me of the female gymnasts. What you see ain’t necessarily so.
just because the overlords have slipped on a velvet glove doesn’t mean that there’s not still a steel fist underneath.
Yes, to get that velvet glove on over a mailed fist is noteworthy.
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I’ve twice traveled through China — 1981 & 1997. The differences in "infrastructure" between the two trips was astounding, no more so than for the fact that the 1997 occupancy rate in all the flashy new commercial skyscrapers everywhere was about 2%.

Written By: Gary
URL: http://
What is so ironic is that Obama made these remarks so close to the formerly-slave-owning antebellum estates. Great backdrop, don’t you think?

It’s fun for him to talk about lack of infrastructure in front of Tim Kaine, a person who has showed zero leadership on the topic of transportation.

Great post! I linked and commented, but I am not really good at doing trackbacks.
Written By: Ron
And China is SO superior that they had to shut their entire factory system down for weeks just so the pollution would disappear.

How come Obama has nothing good to say about America, yet he bristles when someone (allegedly) questions his "love of this country"?

If someone continually bashes their own country, they don’t love it - they hate it. This from someone whose wife has not been proud of her country until her dunce of a husband got some votes for President from dumb white people.

If this country elects this fool and his gang, we all deserve what is coming for us. I truly mean that.
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