Much of what he’s worked for is already in place in China.
Unions have no power and are only there as a show to the outside world that yes, China has unions. Wages are low, hours long, workplace safety at a minimum and benefits nonexistent. In short it is a capitalist’s dream scenario. Just what Branstad has worked for most of his public life.
How about those environmental regulations? Once nonexistent, but the crisis in air quality has finally forced China to impose regulations. Just look at that air in the picture above – thick enough to cut a hole in. Bet the water isn’t much better. What do you expect when industry is allowed to do what it wants in the name their progress?
The road system is probably rudimentary compared to ours. I am betting that like Iowa’s roads they are bumpy and bouncy. Bet that will make him feel at home. Nothing like rolling back into Iowa after a trip out of state to get those shocks and struts back into a fighting mood.
How about that religious aspect? As governor Branstad had no problems letting the public square be used for promotion of religion – well actually, Christianity. It was like a state religion with bibles being read on courthouse lawns and in the state capital with Branstad’s – uh – blessing. Well, guess what? China has a state religion of sorts, too. It doesn’t exactly involve a specific deity, but it does involve fostering a uniform line of thought. He can adapt.
Will Branstad miss the system where wealthy citizens give “campaign contributions” to officials and then have the luck to have legislation passed and signed into law that favors them? Or maybe get appointed to a plum job like the board of regents? Well, China does theirs a bit more quietly and under the table but they have it also. Many recall stories of things like poisonous dog food going through their system? You know, after the Citizens United decision maybe China’s system really isn’t that much different from ours. He will catch on, I am sure.
Lastly, their press relations are something that I think Branstad will love. None of those pesky questions about why statistics cited don’t quite mesh with reality – such as lots of questions about job numbers. For some reason some in our press just couldn’t understand why claims that 5,000 jobs were created when the numbers from the labor department added up to 50. Not a problem for leaders in China. They say something and the press puts it down in black and white and publishes it when they are told to. I am sure this is a system Republican politicians of today could love.
All in all this looks like a place that a Branstad could really feel at home.