What they study.

Stone soup recently put together this fascinating list comparing what our leaders studied versus the Chinese. It’s pretty scary stuff. I know our founders intended for serving office to be a temporary, not life-long, affair and it’s just plain scary how much legit building expertise the Chinese have! And I feel like I can say this being a poly sci major myself, we all know the engineering students were just smarter. BUT it may also explain why none of the Chinese guys really seem like people people.

United States (first nine in order of succession, modified Senate pres.)

Barack Obama, President: law

Joe Biden, Vice-President: law

John Boehner, Speaker of the House: business

Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader: law

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State: law

Tim Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury: economics and East Asian studies

Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense: history

Eric Holder, Attorney General: law

Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior: law

(Pelosi majored in poly sci.)

China 9 members of standing committee of politburo

Hu Jintao, President: hydraulic engineering

Wu Bangguo, Chairman of Standing Committee: electrical engineering

Wen Jiabao, Premier: geology and engineering

Jia Qinglin, Chairman of Nat. Com. Of CPPCC: engineering

Li Changchun, head of propaganda/media affairs: electrical engineering

Xi Jinping, Vice President: chemical engineering

Li Keqiang, First Vice Premier: law

He Guoqiang, Secretary of Central Commission for Discipline Inspection: inorganic chemistry

Zhou Yongkang, Secretary of Central Political and Legis. Comm.: geophysical survey

(Apologies for not being able to make this picture look any prettier!)

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

2 responses to “What they study.

  1. Okay, I know there is the temptation to think that a defensive response to studying liberal arts is just an inferiority complex in disguise, but I really don’t think that’s the case here. I think that studying fields like history and philosophy are so invaluable and I think that, in reality, if more Chinese people studied (world) history, the political status of their own country would come into much sharper relief. I definitely think that fields like law and business can get played out–but I just think about the classic works of politicking–The Republic, Politics, The Prince, etc.–those guys were all philosophers and had an incredible sense of human nature and how societies work. I will concede, though, that technical expertise is lacking in the US and that, from everything it seems I hear, if we don’t catch up soon we’re doomed! A very interesting comparison–thanks for posting!

  2. You make some excellent points here and I really appreciate your perspective! It would absolutely be better if some of China’s leaders had a better understanding of their own and the world’s history… unfortunately I don’t think they even attempt to teach an accurate perspective of either–and not that the US is perfect, but we do attempt that. From reading Mao’s biography, it’s really apparent just how much of their own history is completely fabricated… anyways, I think what I was really trying to say was that it would be better for both countries if they had ANY balance at all between legal and technical expertise–and not that I don’t believe in a liberal arts education, because I most certainly do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *