Mitt Romney vs. Deng Xiaoping

August 10th, 2012
in Op Ed, syndication

by Frank Li

After the article George Washington vs. Mao Zedong, which was an exercise for fun, let’s compare Mitt Romney with Deng Xiaoping, which may have historical significance.

Right now, Romney is of little significance as compared with Deng. However, Romney has the opportunity of besting any leader in human history, provided that he becomes the next American President, changes the U.S. Constitution, and retires after his first term, all as I suggested (An Open Letter to Mitt Romney).

Follow up:

1. Deng Xiaoping

Here is a description of Deng Xiaoping per Wikipedia:

Deng Xiaoping (22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997) was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy. While Deng never held office as the head of state, head of government or General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (historically the highest position in Communist China), he nonetheless served as the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China from 1978 to 1992.

Inheriting a country fraught with social and institutional woes resulting from the Cultural Revolution and other mass political movements of the Mao era, Deng became the core of the "second generation" of Chinese leadership. He is considered "the architect" of a new brand of socialist thinking, having developed Socialism with Chinese characteristics and led Chinese economic reform through a synthesis of theories that became known as the "socialist market economy". Deng opened China to foreign investment, the global market and limited private competition. He is generally credited with developing China into one of the fastest growing economies in the world for over 30 years and raising the standard of living of hundreds of millions of Chinese.

2. Mitt Romney

Here is a description of Mitt Romney per Wikipedia:

Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States in the 2012 election. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts (2003–07).

America is “desperately in need of a great transformational leader like China’s Deng” (Washington vs. Mao). Will that be Romney?

3. Romney vs. Deng

Once again, the premise here is that Romney becomes the next American President, changes the U.S. Constitution, and retires after his first term, all as I suggested.

With that, fast forward to March 12, 2017. President Romney, now comfortably in retirement, invites me to his 70th birthday party. At that time, I will compare him with Deng as follows:

  1. Economic reform: Deng successfully transformed China’s economy from communism to state capitalism, while President Romney revived America’s superior capitalism. Given the magnitude of the task, Deng achieved far more. Edge: Deng.
  2. Political reform: Deng transformed China’s political system from communism (or more precisely, feudalism, with Mao being the de facto last emperor) to a new form that is best described as “a dictatorship without a dictator” (Towards An Ideal Form of Government). It appeared to be slightly better than America’s political system until 2013, when Romney became the American President. President Romney fundamentally changed America’s political system, making it, once again, superior to China’s political system. Romney achieved far more than Deng. Edge: Romney. Now, what did President Romney do specifically? He changed the U.S. Constitution as follows:
    • Limited the American Presidency to one-term of six years. Very significantly, President Romney set a good example and sacrificed himself by serving one four-year term only, opting not to run for re-election!
    • Raised the statutory requirements for the American Presidency, such as the minimum age to 55 and only after having served a full-term as state governor.
    • Introduced strict term-limits for Congress. It is now one term of six years for both the House and Senate. No re-elections!
  3. Approach: Deng started with the economic reform, saving China’s political system as a by-product. Romney did it the other way: he started with the political reform, saving America’s economy as a by-product. Edge: Even.
  4. Legacy: Both Romney and Deng left their jobs with their respective countries well positioned for the future. Edge: Even.

Overall, Romney and Deng are even: 1 and 1.

4. Discussion

Deng’s place in history is well set: Deng proved to be the greatest man in China's [recent] history. I believe he would prove to be one of the greatest "peaceful" transformational leaders in human history.

Romney’s place in history is still tenuous and in the making ...

Governor Romney, you have a powerful choice: Heed sound advice (An Open Letter to Mitt Romney) to become the next President and then be one of the greatest American Presidents ever; or remain a nobody, including being just a spot filler President by luck!

5. Closing

Mr. Romney, be great! The path to greatness has already been shown to you! For all our sakes, please listen and just do it!



America simply cannot afford another term of Barack Obama, nor a Romney Presidency that is less than the greatest!

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Previous articles by Frank Li

About the Author

Frank LiFrank Li is the Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action.

Dr. Li writes extensively and uniquely on politics, for which he has been called "a modern-day Thomas Jefferson" (see page 31).

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