The New York Sun (which is run by my friend and former partner Seth Lipsky and which sometimes runs my weekly column) has a nifty editorial picking up on the objections in Wall Street Journal letters to the editor to American labor leader Andrew Stern's op-ed piece in the Journal touting the supposed superiority of the Chinese Communist economic model to the American one. It's an editorial worth reading if you don't want America to end up like Communist China. And it's even more newsworthy because of Mr. Stern's ties to both the current president of the United States and, more tenuously but nonetheless astonishingly, the Republican front-runner.
The Obama connection is well known: As National Review reported based on White House visitor records, "during the first six months of Obama's tenure, he visited the White House 21 times — about three times per month," more frequently than anyone else. Mr. Stern was a guest at the November 2009 White House state dinner for the prime minister of India, and President Obama appointed Mr. Stern to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
The Gingrich connection was noticed by Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, who got this quote from Mr. Gingrich's 2007 book, Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works:
Andy Stern, the head of the Service Employees International Union, is the union leader who probably best understands the challenge of the world market and the need to make American union members productive in the face of world competition. Sadly, he is a distinct minority among union leaders.
The Huffington Post report says Mr. Stern and Mr. Gingrich had met several times.
I'm not generally big on guilt by association, and I haven't yet found a way to tell a mixed audience that influential Americans want to make America more like Communist China without having people give me a funny look. Look, there are certainly some admirable things about China — the people work hard and the children study hard and there's a lot of entrepreneurial energy. But it's not these things so much as the government involvement and central planning that Mr. Stern wants America to ape.