Successes of Socialist Vietnam

Uncle Milton continues his distortions in the comments section:

I’ve been to China, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, the Philippines, and Thailand… whatever they may state on paper is not followed in reality. It sucks to be poor in all of those countries but it sucks somewhat less in Thailand…because if nothing else you can rip off the many tourists with a smile and there actually are subsidized health clinics in Thailand and the Philippines. In addition there are quite a few charitable organizations within and without the catholic church. In theory you have free (sort of) care in Vietnam but you basically have to pay a bribe to be treated. Sorry to be so contentious but what you are saying just doesn’t reflect the reality of these countries.

Those tourists won’t help you in the rural areas, because there are no tourists there. Malnutrition rate: Thailand: 3 Philippines 3 Vietnam: 1 Vietnam also has almost no unemployment, about Being poor in the Philippines really, really sucks. For one thing, they still have a semi-feudal rural economy, so you are basically a serf for some feudal lord. Plus they have some of the worst shantytowns on the planet. Thailand is variable. They recently had a socialist oriented leader in power named Thaksin. He was ousted in a rightwing military coup led by bourgeois forces in Bangkok. His followers are poor rural Thais in the Northeast who speak a language called Isan. The recent street fighting between the Red Shirts (socialist followers of Thaksin) and yellow shirts (Bangkok bourgeois followers of the coup leaders) that led to deaths and injuries in the capital was really just class war, though the capitalist press never told you that. Under Thaksin, Thailand had a pro-people leader. Vietnam, whatever its problems, has a pro-people government. The Philippines has never had one, which is why the National People’s Army (NPA) exists.

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4 thoughts on “Successes of Socialist Vietnam”

  1. To Rob:
    Thailand: 32%
    Philippines 30%
    Vietnam: 17%
    Vietnam also has almost no unemployment, about 1%.

    Simply put..Total BS on Thailand being 32% malnourished…I am not buying these stats Rob.
    Being poor in the Philippines really, really sucks. For one thing, they still have a semi-feudal rural economy, so you are basically a serf for some feudal lord.
    People adapt.. they have pretty extensive squatting in PI… I have been to several squatter villages… running water and electricity. Go to rural Vietnam or the PI and you will see little difference. If anything you in the PI people are heavier (because of the American and Spanish influence in their diet…) the VN diet is excellent but that’s cultural not because of lingering socialism. The biggest problem with the PI is that people make kids early and often… a very rapid growth.. here I will give two thumbs up to both Thailand and VN for solving their growth issues (Thailand in the 80s and VN in the 90s…) VN did the same thing that China did for decades, encouraged large families to out breed the capitalists till they realized they couldn’t feed their people so they instituted a 2 child rule. (Versus China’s one child rule…)
    In Bangkok (the largest city in Thailand..) you have a very extensive (and inexpensive..) public transit system… in HCM city (the largest in VN..) you have zero public transit. You have public transit in Manila but it is not as extensive as BK. Also, you will find fewer homeless people in Thailand than in the US.
    I do think VN will eventually surpass Thailand… mostly because of the Confucian influence.. they are a very hard working people.. Thai’s are rather relaxed. VN is aggressively and extensively capitalist.

  2. To Rob:
    The Philippines has never had one, which is why the National People’s Army (NPA) exists.
    Well as taxi driver once put it to me.. under Marcos… there was only one thief.. Marcos…. now there are many dozens. The PI falls under the same damn Spanish colonial influence that Mexico does… very corrupt police and government…. Believe though VN police are also very corrupt. (I have heard Cuba’s police are not corrupt…)
    I know about Thaksin… no.. I wouldn’t call him Socialist.. more like populist… he made some good moves but the guy was also a crook lining his pockets. (albeit I can say he did some good…)
    It was sort of class war but also he was directing money away from Bangkok… (which is why the opposition was about to field so many people, many of who aren’t that well off..) because they claimed he was buying rural votes with cash.

    “Malnutrition level puts Vietnam in ‘top’ 20
    Thu, Feb 19, 2009
    Asia News Network
    More than 32.6 per cent of children in Vietnam are malnourished, stunted and underweight, making the country one of the world’s 20 worst performers in child nutrition, a report states.
    Malnutrition in children is most common in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), Northwestern area and the northern part of the central area, the Ministry of Health’s National Institute of Nutrition reported.
    Deputy Minister Tran Chi Liem on Monday (February 16) told a national conference on nutrition in Ha Noi that nutrition improvement activities begun last year had reduced the rate of malnutrition in children by one percentage point over the previous year.”
    Your Unicef site by the way shows things improving since 1990… In 1990 for all intents and purposes Vietnam was socialist.. that does not necessarily mean that socialism caused the high infant mortality rates at that time but it also didn’t prevent. (There are of course potentially other factors that caused this that I am probably not aware of, I won’t make the broad sweep that says socialism bad.. other. (Thailand..not really Neoliberal..good..)
    And what does the WHO say about Thailand:
    In the context of universal health coverage, access to MCH services is fairly equitable in Thailand. The remaining challenge is inequity in health outcomes, for which social determinants (e.g. poverty, maternal education and other structural social inequities) are important, although they are often outside the mandate of the health sector.

  4. As I thought there is basic care provided to Thais (and you don’t have to bribe anyone to see a doctor…) Something similar exists in the Philippines by the way. Subsidized health care.. even for dental care. ($1 to get a cavity filled..many charitable organizations around for people who can not even afford that..)

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