Wednesday, July 30, AD 2014
History is full of ironies and none more so than the development of Vietnam in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Independent journalist Michael Totten, who specializes in covering wars and desperately poor, ill governed countries, gives us refreshing news about Vietnam:
The ruling Communist Party knows better than just about anyone that communist economics are a disaster. Vietnam’s economy has been growing at light speed for a while now. I knew that in advance, and yet it still stunned me. The city trembles with industriousness and entrepreneurship. Small and large businesses are everywhere. Half the residents seem to be in business for themselves. Anything and everything you can possibly imagine is for sale, though it’s not all high-end yet. I saw a Louis Vuitton outlet next to a bootleg CD store, an elegant Western-style café next to low-end bar with hard chairs and no air-conditioning, a Body Shop next to a used clothing store with cast-off second-hand T-shirts from the West, and an art gallery next to a store selling old pots and pans.
Market economies are uneven, no doubt, but they sure as hell beat the alternative. I could hardly believe it, but when I was a kid the Vietnamese stood in long lines on the street to exchange ration coupons for handfuls of rice. Today the country is one of the world’s largest exporters of rice.
Japan and South Korea: watch out. If the economy keeps growing and the political system breaks open, Vietnam will be a country to reckon with.
Go here to read the rest. The Vietnamese have capitalism down pat, which will come as little surprise to anyone who served in South Vietnam and saw a Vietnamese market in operation. Add freedom to the mix and I think that Vietnam and the US will be firm allies, especially if the US relationship with China becomes problematic. Up in Heaven I suspect that Rocky Versace is laughing his tail off about all of this!