speed talks about her experience after moving from china to oakland at the age of ten. she expected to live a better life in california. but instead of oakland to be broken city. this is about one hour and ten minutes. >> imagine being a fourth grader that left a rather isolated existence and was told about a faraway place called disneyland. she had heard exciting things about it. but she really couldn't comprehend the magnitude of such a place.
figuratively speaking when ying ma and her family entered from china she thought she was heading to disneyland. but confronted her was a cry from the magic kingdom. it wasn't a foreign language and culture that was proven more difficult. rather it was the shocking racism, isolation and disdain that she encountered in her own backyard of oakland. her story is an example of what made america great. courage to confront hard shot and abuse, determination to move past and gratitude to a country that made it possible for anyone to succeed and discover one's self worth. ..
>> she has also written articles for the "wall street journal," national tribune, los angeles times, "the weekly standard," and others. currently, ms. ma is a vice president of the advisory firm, and she's the policy adviser of the heartland institute, a free market think tank. it is my pleasure to introduce ying ma.
[applause] >> thank you, all, thank you so much. rita, thank you very much for the kind introduction. i want to say thanks to all the volunteers who made this event happen, special thanks to rita for all her hard work, coordination in recent months, and, howard, thank you for having me here. it's an honor for me to tell you a bit about my book and my story, but whenever i talk about my book, i have a tendency to think of another author, and that author is president barack obama. as you may recall, the liberal media raved about barack obama's writing abilities in the 2008 election. back then, senator obama's resumé was really quite short,
and his supporters said, with a straight face, that he was just marvelous because he wrote two books about himself. at first, i thought this was some kind of a joke. when senator obama became president obama, i realized that it was no joke at all, and i decided that i seriously needed to get with the program and start believing in the dreamy barack obama world of yes, we can. i thought what i needed to do was write two books about myself -- [laughter] maybe, i, too, can be president of the united states. [applause] so i sat down and wrote a book about myself called "chinese girl in the ghetto," and when people ask what the book is about these days, i politely
tell them it's about my family's journey of communism china to inner city california, and it's about my journey of getting to know freedom, but what i'm really thinking, usually, what's really on my mind is that i need to hurry up and write another book about myself, and when i do, maybe i can go to all those places that barack obama has been able to go. yes, we can. [laughter] i'm joking, of course. i was not born in this country, so i can't become president. [laughter] donald trump kept my hopes up for a very long time. [laughter] he kept telling me and everybody else that barack obama was not born in the country either, so when barack obama finally
released his birth certificate in the 2012 elections, i was pretty devastated. all my hopes for the white house were dashed. it's a feeling that i'm sure senator marco rubio will be familiar with in 2016. in any case, when it became clear that writing another book was not going to do anything for my political ambitions, i decided to focus on telling people about the book that i have written, and i think it's a book that's -- that was worth writing for its own sake, and let me tell you a little bit about it. my story is an immigrant story, a legal immigrant story -- [laughter] [applause] i was born in china at a time when the country had been devastated by decades of totalitarian communist rule. my family lived in an apartment that had no running water, no
mod earn toilet facilities, no washer, no drier, and none of the other amenities we take for granted here in the west, and, in fact, we lived in a place that was considered to be quite modern and quite enviable for folks in china because we lived in a city, and we did not have to do that big back breaking farm labor. back then issue everyone who could leave china for america wanted to leave. everyone who couldn't leave wanted to leave too. when my family had the opportunity to come to america, we immediately took it. we moved to oakland, california knowing almost nothing about it. we showed up there because we had relatives, and we wanted to be close to our family members. yet, instead of finding an america where the streets were paveeded with gold, we found
crumbling schools, unpaved streets, and racist people. that was because we had arrived in inner city america, the heart of the welfare state. one by one, the horrors of the ghetto showed themselves to us. poverty and urban decay plagued our new city. store fronts had shattered windows. streets were marked with potholes. bridges and tunnels were splashed with grafetti. the streets downtown, even near city hall, were often streets that smelled of urine. homeless men and women aggressively pan handed, and that's when they were nice to you, and they costed tourists and residents alike. crime plagued our new city as well. drug dealing seemed much more prevalent at times than
employment. muggings took place in plain sight. gunshots rang at night regularly interrupting my tv watching. racism also ruled my town. asians, and it didn't matter if we were chinese, vietnamese, korean, filipinos, but we had one name, and that was chinaman. that was the case in school, on the streets, on the bus, and seemingly anywhere and everywhere. on the sidewalks, teenagers had a habit of entertaining themselves by creeping up behind frail and elderly asian imgrants and then frightening by screaming at the top of their lungs their worst imitation of the chinese language. more than not, racial slurs were backed by the threat of violence. sometimes followed by violence itself. because the racism of the
perpetrators simply did not fit neatly into the politically correct narrative that our culture so often prizes, mainstream america paid no attention or simply looked away. in the ghetto, there was a general breakdown of law and order. overwhelming absence of personal responsibility, and a widespread sense of entitlement. the welfare state was prevalent and supposed to help, but it only made the place more dysfunctional. it provided food stamps, but it could not stem hunger. it offered welfare checks, but it could not promote economic growth or create jobs. it excused laziness, turned a blind eye to gang banging, and condoned a breakdown of the family unit. worst of all, it instilled a sense of entitlement in its subjects, and it took away their
pride, sneered at their dignity, and smashed their initiative. thankfully, for my family, we didn't participate in the welfare state. this was in part because we spoke almost no english when we showed up in america, and with had no idea where or how to apply for welfare benefits. [laughter] we didn't even know that welfare benefits existedded for people like us, and back then, they definitely existed because this was the days before welfare reform of 1996 and before illegal immigrants in the country did not have to have been here for five years before they became eligible for government money. maybe we didn't take advantage of these welfare programs because we were not that bright. we never bothered to even inquire about these benefits because it didn't occur to us, or it had not occurred to us
that by coming to the united states we should hold out our hands and ask our federal or state government for money. our ignorance was a blessing in disguise because that met we had to fight our way out of poverty the old-fashioned way. we worked. we had limited financial resources, so my parents worked at menial jobs for long hours in the beginning for less than minimum wage. we wore clothing from good will or handed down from our relatives. we used second, third, or fourth hand furniture, and at first, my brother and i slept on half of the bed. he slept on the box springs, and i slept on the mattress. he insisted i got the better end of the bargain. there was hardship and sacrifice. the mother who was once a
well-respected schoolteacher, adored by her kids, became a seamstress at a sweat shop. the father, who was once a senior mechanic trailedded by a group of apprentices, became a kitchen help for chinese owned restaurant where the owners regularly verbally abused their employees. the children studied day and night rather than being on the streets using drugs or otherwise poorly behaving. our family saved for home ownership instead of splurging on long vacations, fancy clothing, or even better snacks. because my parents couldn't speak english, and my brother and i learned english much more quickly than they did, we took them to the hospital when they were sick, filled out job applications for them when they were looking for work, and we accompanied them to the unemployment office when they were laid off, and we handled,
with the utility companies, usually doesn'ts many years older than we were, when they overcharged us. through it all, we did not demand that the government level the playing field by giving us handouts or freebies. we accepted that life was unfair, and that not everyone could be born rich or even born in this country. we certainly didn't occupy public buildings or parks. we didn't urinate on streets. we didn't violate city ordnances. we did not distort public park property or steal private property, even when things did not go our way. we thought it was wrong to feel entitled to government or other people's money. we also didn't demand that america somehow give us preferences in the form of racial and ethnic quotas.
in fact, being asian in california pretty much met we didn't receive any of those quotas and preferences, but racial quotas and preferences were dulled out lavishly to sons and daughters of dentists, doctors, and other middle class professionals who belonged to racial categories that were far more in fashion in our society. regardless, in the end, we prevailed. we prevailed over the welfare state. we got out. we didn't do it alone. the kindness of the american people always impressed me and impresses all immigrants to this country, and we remain grateful to those who offered a helping hand and warm smile. recently, when i was reading an op-ed in the "wall street journal," written by governor jeb bush, i thought of my family's journey out of the ghetto.
in his op-ed, governor bush said, "today, the sad reality is that if you're born poor, if your parents didn't go to college, if you don't know your father, and if i english is not spoken at home, odds are against you. you are likely to stay poor today more than any other time since world war ii." what struck me about this op-ed was all but one prerequisites for being deemed to poverty applied to me. fortunately, i know my father. i was born poor. my parents p didn't go to college. english was not and still is not spoken at home. the odds were stacked against me. folks like president barack obama has been eager to harp on those odds for political purposes. in the narrative he peddled for the last four to five years, the little people at the bottom of our society simply don't get a
fair shake. according to him, millionaires and billionaires or the richest 1% have edged out everyone else from opportunities for success. america's economy has become a club for this privileged few, and unless government, barack obama's government, intervenes heavily in the economy, the poor and the middle class will never thrive. in this paradigm, mr. obama's paradigm, i had no business getting out of the ghetto, at least not without receiving a welfare check. this is because mr. obama doesn't just peddle benefits of the wealthier state. he really peddles the welfare state mentality, this mentality that's worse than the welfare state itself. it dissolves all individuals of personal responsibility and assigns them to grievance and
encourages and justifies their sense of entitlement. since the election of last november, republicans have been hyperventlating about how much more effectively mr. obama and his party can relate to the urban poor and minorities. he's willing to point out that the odds are always stacked against the poor. it's not supposed to be easy to get out of poverty. that's why you work harder, you pursue your opportunities more aggressively, and you learn to be nimble and entrepreneurial. this is a reality that conservatives simply should not be ashamed or afraid to point out. in the conservative paradigm, our paradigm, free men and women make choices, take responsibility for our live, and we extract ourselves from less
than stellar circumstances. that's how i got out of the ghetto, despite the odds. the welfare state does not just exist in the ghetto. the ghetto is plaged with big government, racial strife, and a breakdown of law order, but if you take away the latter two, take away the high crime rates or the racial strife, big government is all over in this country, and you find the welfare state everywhere. the welfare state really is not just about welfare but about government intrusion from the top and entitlement mentality from the bottom. we live in a country where collectively we spend more money than we have and the takersment to take more from the makers. we have a president who uses every opportunity he can to tell
successful americans that fairness and progress can only occur when those who have the money give more of it via higher taxes to those who have less. taking and spending other people's money is what barack obama call our shared commitment to each other. americans agree with him. at least enough of us agreed with him to reelect him as president last year. unpleasant as it may be, the reality is that it is always always difficult to convince people to say no to free money. it's difficult to convention them to opt for the uncertainty of free markets and free enterprise and walk away from government subsidies. i may have emerged from the get toe without receiving welfare benefits, but it was purely an
accident. if i had known that welfare programs existed and that my parents qualified for the welfare programs, i would have brought them myself to the relevant government offices, filled out the applications, served as their translater, interfered with bureaucrats, and at age 10, 11, 12, 13, whatever it was, i would have ensured they got the free money. i never had to do any of that in oakland, but, certainly, like other poor people, i had friends and family who did avail themselves of government benefits, and if my parents, and i would be the first to help them apply, and most people find it hard to say no to free money, and most of us simply don't. we all respond to monetary incentives. of course, we know there's no
such thing as free money. our government is funded by people who work, create well, pay taxes, and funneledded by those who borrow debt of approximately $17 trillion. we know the welfare state does not just hand out checks or food stamps. it hands out amnesty for illegal imgrants, free contraceptives for women, and if you are at the receiving ends of the goodies, it's very hard to say no, so the key is not toke giving out goodies in the first place. i know i'm suppose to provide an uplifting story tonight, but the truth is, we simply cannot defeat the welfare state on our own. in the grand scheme of things, it makes little difference my
family and i made it out of the ghetto without receiving benefits. we were lucky and escaped the tentacles of the welfare state. to truly defeat the welfare state, however, we have to defeat the welfare state's mentalities and roll back policies that incentivize dependency and foster a sense of entitlement. when we do that, we'll have a real story to tell about defeating the welfare state, and that would be a truly great story. until then, i would merely leave you with this quote from my book. it's from the introduction. in china, i could not avoid randomness, ambiguity, or weight of authoritarianism, but in the loving embrace of my family and loyal friends, i remain upbeat, cheerful, and happy. in the ghetto, i forgot what it
meant to be joyful, but even in the ghetto, people have a chance to walk away from some of the worst attributes of the free society into its finest virtues. it is this belief that lies at the heart of my journey of getting to know freedom. i hope that in the end, freedom defeats the welfare state and its entitlement and mentality. thank you. thank you very much. [applause] >> those who want to follow my work, the website is yingma.org. that's y-i-n-g-m-a-dot-o-r-g. >> i'll have people passing out cards, another here, and take
them to the person and they read them for the speakers, so if you have questions, raise your hand, and we'll get you a card. thank you. >> ready for the first question? >> yes, i am. >> would you include in your remarks a child's life in china between ages 8 and 18 could be a better one than in the city of oakland? >> not necessarily. i think that every -- i think that for people of my generation in china, no matter how happy they were in chinaings they were given a chance to the united states, they would come, and having gone through what i went through in oakland, i don't regret coming to america. i think that one lesson i would draw is that freedom is not
supposed to be easy just because you show up in a free society, a wealthy free society does not mean there's any guarantee, and so a success is not going to be there waiting for you, and i think that for people who live in communist countries, like the former soviet union, for instance, they would much rather have the opportunity to fight for that freedom, to fight for their success, than to be confined to a lifetime of mediocrity and hopelessness. i think it's hard to be an immigrant no matter what. it's hard to leave your friends and family. it's hard to leave a society that you're familiar with, and i think that for kids leaving china today or any other country, that's going to be the case no matter what, but in this country, i think the opportunities becken, and it continues to becken all kinds of people. >> do you have any ideas on how
this ghetto life might change to become less dysfunctional? >> well, since i left, i think oakland has seen some improvements that oakland today is not the same city it used to be. it's dysfunctional on many levels, and we saw that in occupy oakland. i think policies that promote economic growth, policies that are business friendly, i think those help a lot. i think community groups and adults who actually teach children not to think with an entitlement mentality helps as well. i think there's lots of things. part of it is that it is antifree market in oakland, and it's not been all that strong on law and order. those are very important if you want a safe and stable environment, but at the same time, you can't rely on the government to do everything, and
so part of the problem with oakland is that the mentality -- at least when i was growing up there, the mentality was awful, and until you get at the root of that mentality until you teach kids not to think that way anymore, things are not going to change all that much. >> just to follow up on that comment you made, how would you mep someone who is trapped in this mentality get out of it? if you were a friend of theirs. >> well, i would say a few things. number one, don't make any excuses for yourself. when you grow up in a poor environment, unsafe environment, when your family doesn't have a lot of resources, it's very easy to make excuses. it's very easy to say i can't do this, i can't do that, and i can't go places because my family simply has not provided for me, and -- or, you know, my people are oppressed, or
whatnot. don't make excuses for yourself. that's step number one. step number two, don't blame others. there are -- there are certainly bad people out there, and there are always going to be people who don't necessarily wish you well, but there are so many people who will always be there to lend a hand, and if you have the right attitude, people will help you and give you a break, but you have to start by not blaming others. what i saw siewfn in the ghetto was that people started blaming others, blaming history, and pretty soon, you became quite self-destructive, and the key is to get away from that, and then, of course, the third thing, which really is not anything new, is that one has to work hard. you have to take advantage of the opportunities that you have because poor people have fewer opportunity than rich people. that's really how it is. i grew up in a communism country before it liberalized its economy. back then issue everyone had the
same number of opportunities which was not very many, so the key is in a society with opportunities, take advantage of them and apply yourself. >> hiewng did it take for your family to get a visa to get out of china? >> we -- it took approximately four to five years. in fact, i wrote an article recently for foxnews.com called "a legal imgrant's story," and it's on my website, and in that story, i described how incredibly hard it was to jump through the hoops to actually do everything that america asked us to do in order to come here legally, and what is interesting is these days people constantly say that, well, our immigration system is broken. we wanted to come here legally, but we couldn't, or there were just too many obstacles, but the
truth is, a lot of people actually stand in line and wait for a very long time, and they do that because they respect the rule of law, and they also respect the country that they wish to adopt as their home, and in my story, this story i wrote for foxnews doicts titled "a legal immigrant's story," u talk about how hard it was and remember seeing my mom come home from the american consulate, and if she was crying, i knew that our days for immigrating to america had to wait longer, so i think in our debate about comprehensive immigration reform, we should absolutely not forget those people who are legal imgrants and absolutely not let people talk us into forgetting the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. [applause] >> how did you get from a poor
inner city education to cornell university? >> well, i was very nerdy. i read a lot. i newsed to spend -- when i came to the country, i didn't speak english. i spent summers reading chinese novels, very good novels, but most likely my parents, if they knew what was in the novels, would have said they were really inappropriate for my gauge, but they were written by very famous novelists in asia, and, you know, i spent my summers reading the novels. one, because i didn't have access to books like that in china growing up back then under communism rule. you know, people were in the allowed to reading anything colorful or exciting. you read a lot of things that had to do with communism and why communism was great. as i got a little bit older and once i learned english, i spent
time reading english books, and so it was terrible for the eyesight, but the great thing is books take you to all kinds of places that you can't even imagine, and once i started digging into the books, i realized there was a whole new world outside of the ghetto, and i was eager to get out as soon as i could, and one way for me to do that was to study as hard as i could, and that's what i did. >> what are your thoughts about the gang of 8 amnesty bill currently discussed in congress? >> well, i didn't seem to fond of the idea of marco rubio running for president earlier, so i think that probably gives everybody a hint. i think, well, first of all, i hope it fails.
[applause] at least i hope it fails in the current form. there are all kinds of efforts by different senators recently to try to make amendments to the gang of 8 proposal, to make it better, to strengthen the enforcement mechanisms, but those amendments were all shot down, so in its current form, it's a disaster. it's what it's now gotten to about a thousand pages long. i -- actually wrote another article about this called "immigrating to america is not an entitlement," and it addresses the flaws -- [applause] and it addresses many of the common misperceptions of what immigration is about. my -- i have a number of disagreements, and i suspect those of you in the audience do as well, but i think my number one disagreement with the bill is that it provides provisional
legal status to approximately 1 # 1 million illegal immigrants who are in the country before any significant and meaningful measures of enforcement take place, before the border is actually secure. that's a -- i think that's a huge problem. in addition to that, given i've gone true the immigration process, i suppose i have a liability of a problem with people saying that, well, america's immigration system is broken and, hence, we just get to come here illegally. well, i'm sure that many of you here believe that our tax system is broken too, and that you all believe that you don't want your tax dollars to go to our bloated welfare state, but it doesn't mean that you all the sudden just stop paying taxes, and that if the irs were to come after you, you say, well, i believe our tax system is broken, and, hence, i stopped paying, so --
but that is the situation we have with our immigration system. it is broken. everybody acknowledges that. let's fix it. somehow, simply because of the fact that it's broken, all these people have a claim to being here because they just want to be, because they aspire to be americans. i have no ample other disagreements with it, but i would point you to my article. i think the title tells you how i feel about this issue. >> how do you explain chinese immigrants who come here presumably to escape tyranny and then vote for a liberal democrat? [laughter] progressive politicians are here from china. [laughter] i would say a few things. i'm actually not -- those who
escape tyranny from china come here and immediately vote for liberal democrats. some probably do when they become citizens, but i have not seen enough studies that say that these folks, anticommunism folks, in fact, are more likely to vote democrat than they are republican. what i know is that oftentimes when you get to second or third generation chinese americans, they do tend to be less conservative than their parents because the immigration experience is further away from them, the hardships that their parents or grandparents had to go think are not as relevant to them, and many of the kids, you know, apply themselves at the colleges, and at the colleges, they are brainwashed by liberal professors. [applause]
i think that's part of the problem. what also is part of the problem, folks who are politically active in the asian community, a lot of the actists seen, particularly, on the national level, tend to be more liberal than the people you meet on the streets, than, you know, sort of your average asian asian-american, and recent imgrants for whatever reason these asian-american activists decided unless they adopt the rhetoric of the left wing, the rhetoric of victimology, somehow they failed. many of the activists do not necessarily speak the native languages of their respective communities. they don't necessarily know all that much or all details of the people or all the difficulties of the people they claim to represent, and in many ways, you know, you see a parallel between the asian community and black community.
a lot of black folks say that jesse jackson or al sharpton probably doesn't represent their points of view. somebody like former representative allen west would, in fact, has said that quite a bit. in the asian community, it's an issue not as pronounced i think because the community probably is not as politically active as a whole, but there is also that disconnect from those national self-appointed spokes people of disconnect between them and your average asian-american citizens simply because, you know, simply because the former doesn't always understand the latter all that well, and the latter tends to be a bit more conservative. third thing i would say is that i think immigrant communities tend to be more pragmatic, and because china has undergone 30 years of economic liberalization, it's not the
same communist country as it used to be. it still is repressive in many ways, but i think for a lot of younger chinese, they don't -- they don't necessarily know those awful days of the -- at least they don't know intimately the awful days of the cultural revolution or those days of starvation under chairman mau, and so sometimes they actually can be very nationalistic, and so instead of bearing hostility to communism, they feel nationalistic towards china, and i think, overall, the community isn't -- may not be as ideological, for instance, as the cuban american community, and when people are less ideological and more practical, if you give them or promise them goodies, they are likely to respond that way, so if mitt romney says i'm going to cut the thighs of government, i'm going
to cut -- i'm going to, you know, reform entitlement programs, and, you know, i'm going to do tax reform, but the other side says that means he cuts your benefits, takes a way med tear and so on, people respond to that because for folks, these are pocketbook issues, and part of it is that they could very well swing the other way if you have someone who actually is a more charismatic political candidate, someone who speaks more directly to their concerns, so i've given you a bunch of reasons, i guess. >> [inaudible] >> well, i think immigrants are -- i mean, they are all over the bay area, obviously, full of immigrants. there's a lot of community groups. i think community groups that --
whenever a particular group is close to the local level, i think they tend to understand the needs of the people in that community far better. i mean, there's lots of things you can do. you know, when i was a kid living in oakland, one of the things i benefitedded the most from was a program called the author ash tennis program. i think this was something founded by author ash, he was a tennis star. he was the first african-american to win wimbledon, and he founded this program for inner city kids to learn to play tennis, and, you know, to give them something to do so they wouldn't be out on the streets and to, you know, to have coaches teach them sportsmanship and self-respect, and that was where i learned to play tennis, and the folks who taught in that program, they didn't get paid all that much. i know, you know, if they gave private tennis lessons, they would have been paid more, and
that was something i benefited from convict. -- from quite a bit. there's programs like that, ways to tutor folks, ways to -- even if you were, let's say, donate, you know, donate clothing or money, i'm sure -- there's lots of groups out there that are there to serve immigrant communities, and, you know, their needs range from everything from food to clothing to, or, you know, sometimes to translations, translation help, to things like, you know, maybe sometimes they need legal services and can't afford them. i mean, there are -- there's a wide range of services that folks need, and i think there's no shortage of groups here in the bay hear that try to help them, and i think getting involved with one of the groups is one way to do it, and another way, i think, a lot of times, you know, it perhaps doesn't
even require participation in some sort of organization; right? i think just being kind and being decent to somebody, treating an immigrant like you would treat one of your friends, i think that often goes along way to make an immigrant feel at home in the country. i think that would be a good place to start. >> do you have any ideas on how to encourage young people in ghettos to seek role models from successful people and other individuals, the backgrounds that might help them? >> well, you know what? i say especially to people in the ghetto, there are role models everywhere. i think our culture has just gotten to politically correct that we often make it seem like if somebody does not share your color or ethnicity or your cultural background, that somehow you can't look up to them, and so, you know, we're constantly saying we have to provide a role model for a particular community, find
people of that race, that gender, that ethnicity. i think it's great to find role models of any gender or ethnicity or culture or race. i think that for young people, we shouldn't -- one of the things that adults or authority figures who deal with young people a lot, what they shouldn't do is infiltrate in young people's heads that somehow the only people to look up to must look like you or sound like you. that's simply not the case. you know, when i was growing up in oakland, one of the instructors who was the kindest to me was, you know, an african-american instructor. he taught me in fifth grade, and, unfortunately, he's passed away since then, but i remember that, you know, this was my second year in the united states, and i knew how to do math well, but i didn't speak english well, and he noticed i worked hard to learn, and i
cared this pocketbook dictionary with me everywhere so that if any time i encountered a word or phrase i didn't understand, i looked it up and see what the chinese translation was, and he went out of his way to, you know, to help me -- one, activists la mate to american society, and also constantly encourage me to do better. that didn't matter to me he was not chinese. it didn't matter to me he was black. he used to tell all the classmates i had, most of the students were black, and he told the black kids all the time they needed not to slack off. they needed to stop making excuses, that they needed to work harder, and it was great that they had a role model like him, but just because you don't have a role model sharing your ethnicity or color doesn't mean you have to stop looking. there's all kinds of people, and i've seen all kinds of folks who have been willing and able to mentor people who didn't share
their genter, ethnicity, or cultural background, and i think that actually -- i think we -- people who mentor you, we have to be willing to want to help, and the first thing is to allow those people who do not look or sound like you to do that. >> diewf two or three recommendations for the city of oakland to improve itself? [laughter] >> you know, that's interesting. i have not thought about that. i have not -- i have not lived there for a while, and i know the city changed quite a bit. you know, and i remember that
under mayor jerry brown, i remember a number of improvements were made, and i appreciate those improvements. i feel like i've been gone for so long that this question is better answered by a resident of oakland who has to deal with the city government as well as other aspects of the city more regularly. i would say that for most -- i mean, for me, for -- when it comes to making changes in inner city areas, i think it's very, very crucial for those areas to become business friendly, to encourage a small business to encourage entrepreneurship, and i have to go back to the mentality, and, you know, the
mentality amongst the cities' residents fostered not by city in the government, but your families, churches, communities, your school, and so i think, you know, for those cities that have inner city areas that require a lot of help i think getting to the root of that mentality is very key. >> many imgrants have dual citizenship and allegiance to the country they came. we recognize dual citizenship. do you think it should change? >> i think that at the moment, dual citizenship is not allowed for everybody, so dual citizenship is not allowed to those who immigrated from the u.s. to china, for instance. i think it's only allowed for those countries who are friendly to us. if you're a dual skis and u.s.
citizen, most likely think you're going to be harmless. if your home country is a country considered to be hostile to the united states, it's, for the most part, it's very -- the government won't actually allow you to hold dual citizenship. you stick with the citizenship that you originally had, or you renaps it and become an american citizen, which, you know, makes perfect sense to me. >> [inaudible] >> ha-ha! well, i would go back to what i said earlier. i think strengthening enforcement mechanisms is very key until you do that, the rest of the talk is just talk.
if you're not going to enforce our borders or deport people on a meaningful basis, so, for instance, right now, there is a union within the immigrations unit, and those offices complain that what the obama administration won't let them do is two things very crucial to their jobs, and one is to actually detain folks who are here illegally and two, deport them, and the obama administration adopted a policy that once you're here, unless you committed some sort of serious crime, you're -- the administration is not going to spend that much time deporting you or spend too many resources on things like that, and so when
you have an immigration policy that does not have a lot of teeth, and that, you know, when people don't think there's severe punishment or severe consequences to coming here illegally, then, you know, obviously, we have a broken system. i believe we should make the country far more friendly to skilled laborers from overseas. there's a lot of people who would provide a lot of help to the economy who provide skills and expertise and every year folks like that who get what's called an hb1 visa, those visas, there's a small quota for them, and usually, you know, all the employers in the country that hire people like that, they run out of visas like that at the very beginning of the year, and that was the case this year. they ran out of those -- they sort of hit the limit of those visas in january, i believe, and
so it makes a lot of sense to make it easier for scientists and mathematicians, and others with high skills to actually come here and provide their expertise to help the economy grow. i think that -- we need to get away from the identity politics that's often being played on immigration policy. unfortunately, it's hard to do because many illegal imgrants currently, the largest groups of illegal imgrants in the country are hispanics and mexicans, and it's hard to separate the two, but key is we have to have people who would be willing and not afraid to say just because we want to enforce our immigration laws and just because we want to secure
borders does not mean we're a bunch of rase -- racists, and i think that's a tone republicans are talking about how we got the tone wrong in the last election. well, one thing we should do is set the right tone, and the tone is we should stop letting people characterize conservatives as racists just because they want to secure the borders. you know, rule of law is something conservatives care a lot about, and we shouldn't give up on that debate or seed the debate to the other side because we lost the election, and, by the way, even if we had that vote in the last election, romney would not have run. i think that there are a lot of folks out there who thought intelligently and slowly about the immigration issue, but what we have right now is, obviously,
things -- a system that does not work well, and we have a proposal, the gang of 8 proposal, that's very imperfect, and we have to get beyond that. >> did you consider running for office? >> i was thinking about running for president until -- and that's why i wrote the book about myself. [laughter] of course, you know, i'm not a natural born citizen, i can't do that anymore. >> should we stop using the term "illegal immigrants" -- >> no, absolutely not. [laughter] [applause] to >> obama got 70% of the asian's votes, not just chinese,
but chinese, filipino, korean, japanese, whatever, what do you think would be the appeal to win this group of people to the conservative washington side? >> you know, i have been asked the question a number of times since the last election. i don't think anybody has done extensive polling or any substantive studies in the asian community to ask why they votedded the way they did so everybody who talked about it really has been taking a guess, and i offered a few educated guesses, one of which i mentioned earlier which was that second or third generation asian-americans often times are a bit more -- they have a tendency to be a bit more liberal or more liberal than their parents or grandparents. i think in governor romney's case, my guess is that it is
possible that his tough rhetoric on china turnedded off a lot of folks in the chinese community. as i said, there's a lot of chinese imgrants who are national deny isti -- nationalistic about china, and there's a lot of americans who disagree with governor romney's proposals on what to do with china, and i don't agree with him 100% on many issues, but i think if you're somebody who is nationalistic about china, your heritage, and you hear a -- the political candidates constantly talk about china, getting tough with china, and i have new doubt that governor romney got tough with the chinese communism regimes, but often times, they don't make the distinction. they think that, you know, they think that governor romney is antichina, and then they think, well, maybe he's antichinese.
that's a guess. they would have to do a study and request folks why they voted the way they did, and in addition to that, as i mentioned earlier, governor romney promised to roll back big government, voted for him, and counted on him to do that, but the immigrant community is not insensitive to monetary incentives, and as i said earlier, there's immigrants who avail themselves of government freebies, and these days, people, i guess, are not as ignorant as my parents or my family was when we came here. people know where to go to find free money. people know where to go to apply for welfare benefits. people know what to do to make themselves appear eligible before government bureaucrats
when they need to apply for means tested benefits, and so people know, and i think that many of the people probably do vote, and when they hear that one candidate is going to roll back the government, they think that, you know, that would affect their pocketbooks meaning fewer benefits for them, so -- and i know people feel that the asian community probably is supposed to be more inclined to be conservative about a community that's hard working and industrious, and in many ways that's true, and just because it's true doesn't mean that people don't want free money or say no to it, and if you're a hard working immigrant, and you come here poor, and the government offers you free money, you take it. you're not going to dpsh it's very unlikely you say no, and i think that actually -- that impacts how people vote as well. >> this may be a question of optimism against pessimism.
if you look down the road 30-40 years, what is your -- what do you think this state of the welfare state will be? >> i think we need to -- i think conservatives need to win elections. they need to run some candidates who are charismatic, articulate, viable, and conservative, free market thinkers, and that we need to take back the white house. we need to take back the senate because if it -- if the government continues to be run, our federal government continues to be run by people who are big government types, the welfare state will become ever more bloated. ..
york times" as well as many other big government types, ever since the financial crisis hits they have been advocating heavy government spending. they want more stimulus spending. they want more infrastructure spending. they wanted all kinds of things and when i got pushback from free-market types and folks who believe in limited government they started using china as their example and they started using china to goad conservatives into this position of having to adopt their rhetoric. china as many of you know has grown dramatically in the past three decades or so. they began undertaking economic growth in 1978. they opened up their economy to the world, but it's still a communist country. it's still politically oppressive and a lot of things
are still run by the state combo which is why commentators these days like to refer to china's economy as a state capitalist economy and folks like barack obama for a long time he kept pointing to the roads and bridges that china was building and saying why are we just sitting here watching them build these roads and bridges, airports and other big infrastructure projects while our infrastructure here is crumbling? he also says why are we sitting here not willing to give renewable energy companies funding while china is just shoving money in these companies directions in china has gotten to a point where now it dominates the solar industry. so for liberals china is kind of , when they look at the chinese government they see something that they would love
to have which is the ability to spend freely without accountability to voters. and it's very exciting to them. [applause] there are no medals in congress. there aren't any tea party types you know and so when i have written about this topic what the research shows and what the facts are is that china started growing dramatically largely because it introduced more free-market mechanisms into the economy not because it became more statist. the chinese economy today is much freer than what it was 32 years ago when they first started their economic liberalization and revolution. and numerous chinese reform minded folkw
government academia or just small to medium-sized enterprises in china, that they all recognized that the hand of the government is intruding and interfering with the economy and it creates all kinds of inefficiencies these days. it creates or supports monopolies that benefit lots of large state-owned enterprises can't do and it industries. so what if lot of reform minded chinese officials and economists , what they advocate as they would like to see further economic reform. in fact this is something that the new chinese leadership has been talking about. this is something that they would like to see too. they believe that in order for their economy to grow in the long run to really get to a modern first world economy they will have to implement some changes. barack obama you know, he
certainly has talked a lot about becoming more statist like china but what a lot of chinese recognize is they did become more free-market. i would say and this is something i say all the time. you shouldn't listen to barack obama for that matter. [applause] >> do you believe that many first-generation chinese the most conservative one's, do not vote? >> i am not sure about that. here in california we make voting easy for chinese immigrants. there are ballots that are translated into chinese so even if you don't speak the language fluently you can go get yourself a chinese ballot and fill in the circles. obviously that is not the case in other states with the smaller
immigrant populations. but, i would to say that here in california it's very easy for immigrants to vote. so many are bilingual. whether immigrants actually vote or not is a different issue and i haven't seen the whole study so i am not totally sure about the voting rates within a particular immigrant population. i mean i'm sure like other, in america there are lots of people who don't vote so it wouldn't surprise me if lots of first-generation immigrants didn't vote either. >> do you think america is still free? >> i think lots of things are relative so when people ask me the question i usually ask well compared to what?
there is an index of economic freedom and so every year hong kong and singapore come out at the very top. compared to hong kong and singapore our economy isn't nearly as free but when it comes to political freedom or other measures, you know we certainly are much freer than modern-day charden a -- china. we are much freer than russia or instance and then i would say that you know i continue to refer to our society as a free society. i think there are ways for our markets to be freer. i think that there is a lot of government intrusion that interferes with that. but you know in recent years as a result of the financial crisis and the economic intervention that has taken place economic activity has certainly gotten less free and certain the passage of obamacare but i remain hopeful that some of
those things can be rolled back. [applause] >> and follow-up question. you came from quonzhou neighboring to hong kong. how do united states freedom of economics compare? >> hong kong has an extremely free economy. hong kong constantly is ranked by conservative or free-market research institutes either as the number one or number two freest economy in the world. so when you talk about it that way our economy definitely is less free compared to hong kong's. >> i think that's it. thank thank you. >> thank you so much. it's been an honor. [applause] >> thank you very much. she will be signing books over here in the corner.
>> joining us on booktv is louise brockett was who is the vice president of norton publishing. what are some of the upcoming titles you have for the fall? >> we are very excited about some of the nonfiction titles we have coming up. we have graham rob who is a distinguished biographer known for his book the discovery of friends the biography of rambo, and many of the figures and he has an exciting book called the discovery of middle-earth which is not about talking as you might think from the title but it's rather about the druid civilization and how that civilization which is almost entirely lost to us because they have no written record actually laid out europe, laid out many of the structures and cities and places that we know of. he thought the romans were responsible for that but really
many of the cities that we know and love to travel to work created by the celtic's and the druids. according to their celestial solstice and their whole understanding of how the universe works. his book will completely shift your paradigm about western europe. we have getting away with murder a book about the assassination of a naseer bhutto by geraldo munoz who was the league commissioner of the investigation into her assassination and the secretary general of the united nations. i think that's going to be a very big look for us. we have an amazing book of classic art. it's a history were called the great war. it's about the battle of -- which was july 1, 1916. it was the bloodiest day of the 20th century. 20,000 british soldiers were killed on this dreadful and
historic day. he has laid it out like the bayou tapestry of the book that i'm olds the 28 feet wide with a panorama of everything that happened that day from the brink of dawn to the fall of night and the terrible carnage on the battlefield. we also have a memoir of louis gutierrez called still dreaming. louis gutierrez is known as the 11th term congressman from chicago and he writes about his life and how he grew up in chicago and travel to puerto rico the homeland of us parents, came to the u.s.. he has eyes benefit of an outsider and therefore he's extremely empathetic to immigrants. he's one of the leading figures in the immigration policy today. he is widely credited for delivered the latino vote to president obama but nevertheless he has been arrested twice outside of the white house for protesting the current immigration policy. i think we have a wide variety of books that will appeal to many of your viewers.
now from london booktv interviewed charles emmerson author of two books 1913 in search of the world before the great war and the future history of the -- this is about half an hour. let's go booktv from london this week is pleased to have with us charles emmerson who has written a couple of bucks his most recent 1913 in, in search of the world before the great war just coming out this year.