Over the past 20 years or so, most of China's leaders have been engineers. I'm embarrassed to say that I was not aware of this until recently. Suddenly, everything makes sense.

For years I have marveled at the fact that the Chinese government could be so practical. They didn't seem bogged down by the superstitions and sideshow passions that you so often see in other governments. China's leaders make decisions like engineers. For example, every time I hear someone yapping about how China harvests organs from executed criminals, all I'm thinking is That's a practical way to get spare parts.

China's leadership isn't big on religion. And apparently they don't see any upside in war. They handle their money wisely. They put a lot of energy into building infrastructure. And they care more about stability than human rights. In other words, they value efficiency over feelings. It's exactly the way you'd expect a bunch of engineers to run a country. Obviously this approach has served China well.

The bad news for China is that their up-and-coming leaders have backgrounds in law, economics, and history. In time, the lawyers will start passing lots of laws that individually make sense while collectively strangling the business sector in red tape. The economists will all disagree with each other, and the historians will be planning for the past. So China is pretty much doomed. But they had a good run.


Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +43
  • Print
  • Share


Sort By:
Sep 29, 2009
Which Chinese engineer decided to outlaw depictions of skeletons?
Sep 29, 2009
I'm sure at least a few communist party members read your blog. The engineers are still in power. They're now going to harvest the organs of the lawyers and economists.
Sep 29, 2009
(minus 3???? ... I guess government bailout jokes are SO last news cycle...)
Sep 29, 2009
sooo... what you're saying is Dilbert went to China & asked them where there marketing dept was? (Dilbert TV series joke)
Sep 29, 2009
A bit off topic....


Florida State University has built a Off-Grid Zero Emission Building that is completely solar powered, stores water from run off, uses LEDs for lighting, and produces hydrogen to power appliances such as the hot water heater, stove, and HVAC. Built using renewable and recycled matierials to resemble an old cracker house, features a reflective roof and bamboo flooring.

It's too bad you are already building your house, Scott, or you might have been able to use a few of these ideas.
Sep 29, 2009
BRILIANT. But as you say, efficiency and practicality have no defence against the stupidy of legal eagles and economists. As soon as you see a mission statement appearing in the Chinese manifesto - head for the hills.
Sep 29, 2009
Well if China is doomed, then the US is certainly doomed. We have a good head start on the red tape and "feelings" that you mention.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 29, 2009
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an engineer too.


I think there might be a cultural aspect to China's success that we're overlooking.
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 29, 2009
Harvesting executionees is pure genius. If there were any economists in the group, they'd auction the organs.
Sep 29, 2009
I wish my idiot coworkers run our IT support like china run their government.
Sep 29, 2009
Since when is human rights = feelings?
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 29, 2009
Sheesh! Just like a bunch of engineers. Take a country that was almost completely agrarian just 50 years ago. Make it the world's third largest economy in record time. Build 300-400 nuclear warheads to defend it. And then let the lawyers and economists take over the riegns.
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 29, 2009
Frighteningly true. We're screwed too!
Sep 29, 2009
What, the engineers didn't have a backup plan to keep others from running for office? I'm dissappointed.

So long as those from other backgrounds are introduced slowly, it should be a good thing, as China does need improvement in certain areas (human rights, safety, environment). A little outside influence may be just what the current leaders of China needs to bring them up to speed.

Dilgal: The Hadron Collider pick up line.....hilarious
Sep 29, 2009
...correction. The next Republican administration will have AIG insure the whole country, THEN we'll bail AIG out...again.
Sep 29, 2009
Hang in there Scott, the next Republican administration will bail them out.
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog