I had the embarrassing experience. Callista and I went to China last August. We went to four major cities, Beijing and then three cities in Manchuria. Every city we went to were hosted by senior Chinese officials. They're lecturing me on free enterprise.
"Why is your country borrowing so much money? Why are you failing to invest in the future?" They don't have a stimulus package. They have an investment package. They're building a 225‑mile‑an‑hour rail system connecting every city in China. They think we're nuts.
I mean, for me, I grew up as a hardline anti‑Communist ring winger. To be lectured by Chinese communists on free enterprise was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.
And what was really bad is they were right. So, in the tradition of learning widely, I want to offer you as one of the roles for Michigan, one of the great lessons of Deng Xiaoping. Deng Xiaoping is one of the four great liberators of human beings in the last half century, rivaling Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and John Paul II, and he was arrested three times for a year or more because he kept arguing with Mao about the impossibility of Mao's model.
Deng Xiaoping in 1978 gets the Community Chinese Party to adopt the principle that you have to create jobs, and that to create jobs, you have to have a market economy. Now, it's a dictatorship. Don't misunderstand me. I have no illusions about the Chinese dictatorship, but they come to the realization, and Deng Xiaoping is very successful in making the argument, "If we don't create jobs, they're going to throw us out, so we had better go to work creating jobs."
And this argument goes on, back and forth, and in 1992, he undertakes what is called the "Southern Tour" because he goes across the South, and he gives speeches. And, if you go to Nanjing, which is a city in South Central China, you will see a bridge, and on the bridge, you'll see two giant cats, about 12‑, 14‑feet tall. One cat is black, and one cat is white. And they commemorate his most famous single phrase. He's in South China, and he's talking to Communist apparatchiks, and he says, "Look, I don't care if the cat is black or the cat is white. I care if it catches the mouse." And what he's saying is don't tell me Communist dogma, don't tell me ideology. Can you create jobs or not? And if you can't create jobs, your ideology is stupid because you're not going to be able to survive.