JUDGE GRAY: What Partial Liberty Has Done for Vietnam

March 22, 2016—This past week I had the soul-satisfying experience of taking my adopted son Ky back to the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Danang, Vietnam, which is where we found him in 1973. Unfortunately, Sister Angela (appropriately named as an angel), who had directed the orphanage when Ky was there, had died in 1992. But, fortuitously, Sister Therese was still there, and we had a truly emotional reunion, and she was also able to help Ky find his roots. What a gift all of those blessed nuns have given us!

But this was also a time for perspective as well as retrospective.

After our military troops left in 1975 and the North Vietnamese took over the country in 1978, the new Vietnam government imposed an economic system on the country that, quite simply, didn’t work.

Communism/socialism—whatever people call it—where they “take from those according to their abilities and give to those according to their needs” simply goes against human nature. As the old saying goes, you get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax. So if needy indolence is subsidized and successful entrepreneurship is taxed, guess which prevails? And that is what the government learned.

So in about 1986 the government switched its economic system back to one of free enterprise—and it has thereafter triumphed. And that is a victory for liberty. So now the Vietnamese people are free to do virtually anything—except criticize the government and its pervasive corruption and continuing (but somewhat decreasing) violations of human rights. So part of liberty’s lessons have been learned by the Vietnamese government, and all good people should hope that the remainder can be soon achieved and employed as well.

Are people becoming more libertarian outside of the United States? Share your thoughts with us!

Image credit: 亚南 朱

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