Sunday, April 15, 2012
Vietnam and "Easygoing Communism"
Above is a video of a tour guide explaining that Vietnam's combination of capitalism, communism and freedom of religion is what he calls, "easygoing communism." Based on our discussions with various people in Vietnam, the economic system sounds similar to what we find in the U.S., with private ownership of most land and businesses, and a progressive income tax system that begins at 5% and goes up to 35% for those making over $500,000 a year.
The above video shows our tour of a house-turned-coffee-factory. There are weasels on hand for making the premium "weasel poo coffee." (Look it up--it's called Kopi Luwak.)
It's easier to have nearly zero unemployment when a guy sitting on the side of the street trying to sell street massages to tourists counts as "employed." Above, see a series of videos showing a guy succeeding at just that job. By the way, if Shane seems a little hostile toward the guy in the videos, it's because while Shane sat at a table for lunch that day, the same guy grabbed Shane from behind and started rubbing Shane's shoulders. Shane told the guy to stop and said he didn't want a massage. The guy stopped, but then demanded money for the two-second, unsolicited "massage." Judging by the painful-looking red marks on the tourist's back, Shane was happy his massage only lasted two seconds.
Presumably because of the lack of intellectual property protection, many businesses have only the most generic names. For example, notice the generic names of the two restaurants shown in the above video. Of course, as you can tell from the very nice family owners of the restaurant pictured in the video, as well as our loyalty to that particular restaurant, the lack of a distinctive name did not mean that the restaurant itself was generic.