The Independent Daily
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An Online Journal of Independent Views & Discussion
June 7, 2013
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Published in Northern Arizona, USAhttp://www.TheIndependentDaily.commailto:editor@TheIndependentDaily.comshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1

The American Dream is Alive and Well (in Vietnam)



The Herald Sun says, “…Less than 6% of (Vietnam’s) 86 million people are over the age of 65: a unique advantage for Vietnam in the global marketplace.” And that the country is, thus, “…enjoying some of the most favorable demographics in the world.”

On behalf of we the people of the United States, “You’re welcome.” You see, something good did come out of killing 2 million of their people; out of superimposing ourselves on their civil war. We just hope Iraq and Afghanistan appreciate the incredible market advantage we’ve leveraged them into in the next 30 years.

But what has Vietnam done with the wonderful opportunity we presented them with?

Much. In 2007 they joined the World Trade Organization, and peeled rubber from the starting line. They haven’t slowed since. To illustrate our point, in 2012 our trade deficit with Vietnam will exceed 16 billion (USD) up from 13, 11, 8, 6 and so on, billions for the years preceding. Unemployment rests at about 2%. A spirited sense of entrepreneurship prevails; Education and Healthcare are foremost on their government’s agenda, and are available to everyone; Individual dreams are being realized as those with the initiative strive to see them come to fruition: Impressive by any standard.

“Sure, but they lead miserable lives: continually monitored by the government, they can’t own their own homes; If they speak out against their government they’re thrown in jail without a fair trial; To start their own businesses they have to endure endless government involvement…” the reader might say.

The authors might ask, “Are you speaking of here in America, or there in Vietnam (because those are the conditions we Americans face today, but to a greater extent)?”

In Vietnam all property is owned by the government and through a fairly simple legal process, absolute control and use is extended to its individual citizen on a permanent basis: just like in America. If you believe otherwise, try this simple experiment: don’t pay your property taxes and find out who ultimately owns your home – with or without a mortgage. (Non-citizens of Vietnam may hold property for a period not in excess of 50 years under current law.)

In Vietnam the government monitors most all communication: in America, the NSA monitors every phone call you make, every email you send and much of your “Snail Mail”.

In Vietnam you may be jailed for dissent…eventually…perhaps. In America we have admitted to clandestine jails and illegal torture where the guarantee of Habeas Corpus no longer applies: not just for foreigners, but for us all. (Especially the authors...)

In Vietnam credit is available to anyone meeting basic criteria, so individual purchases are stimulated and encouraged. The stock market reflects this buoyant consumer sentiment and, like the GDP for Vietnam, is on an ever-upward climb, as is tourism. (Tourism by not just we aged veterans but others, too, who first and foremost have only a vague knowledge of a war, and who see the country instead as a beautiful place to visit, without thinking in terms of killing the host country’s inhabitants.)

What about the great American pastime of car ownership? Certainly they haven’t embraced the inalienable right to consume large amounts of fossil fuels in the name of personal freedom, our last, personal vestige of greed?

Yes. In fact they have the advantage and only now are considering imposing annual fees: the equivalent of our licensing, registration and personal property taxes. Sound familiar? Here’s what’s happened, according to the Saigon GP Daily, “At a meeting with Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association on Friday, several businesses protested against a new proposal by the Ministry of Transport to implement an annual ownership fee on private vehicles.” Thus, it may not come to pass. And, what’s all this about Protesting?

Thank God they’re Communists or we’d really be at a deficit.