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Daley: We Should be More Like China

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 12, 2010 5:30PM

2010_01_12_mayordaleyinchina.jpg Mayor Daley, channeling his inner-Maoist, complained publicly over the weekend that the American system of government wasn't as awesome as China's. Speaking at the opening of the Brown, Red and Purple line L station at Fullerton, he told the press that the U.S. should follow China's lead on building infrastructure. “If you travel to China, they do these things continually, on a daily basis,” Daley said. “They get the full cooperation at the federal, state, and local levels and their infrastructure projects are amazing. It doesn’t take them 10 or 20 or 30 years. It takes about four or five years.” When the Sun-Times pointed out that China's government is a centrally planned authoritarian regime, he noted that “the form of government has nothing to do with it. . . . How did they figure that 25-year infrastructure plan is important for them and we only do one year? It isn’t government — it’s the people thinking 25 years ahead.”

Daley also pointed out (rightly so) that infrastructure improvements create jobs. He noted that doing infrastructure projects on a year-by-year basis doesn't make sense when trying to maintain infrastructure. Mayor Daley, we're not big fans of the Chinese system of government, but we love your idea of continuous improvement to city infrastructure. We suggest that you read up on program budgeting, performance budgeting, and total quality management. (We threw that last one in just for good measure. We also suggest that you channel your new-found passion for municipal management excellence into life-long learning, by taking a few classes at UIC's College of Urban Planning and Public Administration, where they offer Master's candidates a concentration in Local Government Administration.)