Friday, August 11, 2017

Vietnam, America and the Moral Virtue of Capitalism

Yes, Vietnam has its problems. Its people continue to be led by a one-party government. Its military wields far too much power over the economy and government. The Vietnamese population, though young at the moment, will require greater and more expensive services as it ages. Nevertheless, these challenges are minor compared to what the Vietnamese people are gaining from their dedication to rule-based capitalism. And one day, when capitalism has empowered a strong middle class, Vietnam will follow capitalism to its inevitable destination: democracy.
No theory has done more to reduce poverty and empower social mobility than capitalism. It’s a practical theory that actively makes people’s lives better. No one understands that better than capitalism’s beneficiaries. Just ask the people of Vietnam.

According to two recent Pew research polls, 95 percent of Vietnamese support free market economics and 76 percent have a positive view of the United States. It’s not hard to understand why. Benefiting from a young population of entrepreneurially dynamic citizens, foreign investment and powerhouse export markets (the United States is Vietnam’s top export destination), Vietnam’s economy grew by nearly 6 percent in 2014. This year, Vietnam is on track for gross domestic product growth above 6 percent.

Capitalism, in short, is working wonders for the people of Vietnam. And they’re feeling that wonder in their pockets.

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