Livestock in places it simply does not belong: Part 2 by mattsteinglass
March 13, 2007, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Economics, Livestock, Vietnam

Riding my dinky fifty-dollar bicycle out of the basement parking lot of the Hanoi Sheraton the other day, I stopped to admire a sleek roadster with a coke-bottle shape and a back seat so tiny you could just about squeeze into it, sideways, if you were unconscious and made of foam rubber. I haven’t paid attention to cars since I was about 21, and had no idea what this thing was, so I took a look at the logo on the back. I didn’t recognize it; you will no doubt sneer at my ignorance. It looked like this:

AS logo small

But for some reason it seems to me it was just the wings, it didn’t have the words “Aston Martin” written on it.

An Aston Martin, I am told by my reliable friend Mr. Webnets, goes for a minimum of $113,600 in the United States. Vietnam has an auto import tax which unless I am mistaken was recently reduced to 80%. So we’re looking at about $200,000 right there. Per capita GDP in Vietnam is $650 per year.

I have an initial reaction of baffled awe when I see something like this, just thinking about the capacity of the human mind to ignore such colossal inequality. My secondary reaction is: why is it any more obscene for a Vietnamese guy to be riding around in a car that costs more than the lifetime earnings of the average Vietnamese worker, than it is for an American to be doing so? We’re all human beings; why is inequality within one country any more objectionable than inequality across the globe? My third reaction is: why is he spending his money on a sports car that barely even fits through most of the alleyways in Hanoi, that will spend most of its life crawling through swarms of motorbike traffic, and will never exceed 60 mph because there isn’t a road in Vietnam on which you can?

Poor little Aston Martin. Maybe Angelina Jolie will adopt you and set you free to roam the autobahns of Germany. A car can always dream.

Aston Martin, Hanoi Opera House



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2 years ago i watched a program on TV5, the VN ambassador in France was interviewed, and the journalist mentionned the same subject but included the “comunisme” factor”.
And the Ambassador answered that money and comunisme was perfectly compatible, and Ho Chi Minh said (?) that the poors should be rich, and the richs should be more richs”.

And i don’ t know for you, but for my point: I notice that vietnameses folks do not have the same evil concept about money than europeens. In europe, it’s bad to make money, (maybe because of the catholic religion), here it’s seems ok to talk about and to show it. People don’t mind to tell you that they spent $500,000 in their car when the man who wash the car get paid 500,000 vnd.

And if you take a closer look, in Hanoi, everybody got the hype or try to have , some of them with their Nokia wich costs 5 months of salary, others with their Aston. VNnet gots a article actually online which describe the VN culture, and even them said so:

Vietnam Net : Vietnam needs to look at herself before flying

100 years ago, in a book called The Brief History of Vietnam, first published in 1921, author Tran Trong Kim painted the following portrait of the Vietnamese people:

However, they are cunning, and often mock others. They are usually timid, easy to be frightened, and love peace, but on the battlefields, they have courage and discipline. They are superficial, reckless, impatient, boastful, and fond of fame, entertainment and gambling.

But we need to draw the limit between rich vietnamese, and new rich.
By new rich vietnamese, i mean the rich families who were rich before the doi moi. these families got higher grade, higher, education, knwledge, are used to travel, and get use to to manage their inheritance… These kind of folks do not show up, their don’t talk about money, they care but they just don’t act like they won the loto yesterday night. Why? Because they got the cash, in… million of dollars since day 1.

And you got the new rich: like the owner of this car by example.
BTW The car belongs to a Vn entrepreneur,in the construction.

It remind me that a study was made in the american sports. The subject was how these new kids in NBA, NFL… manage their money. The study concluded that 80% of the sportmen will be poor when they will retire. Why? Just because most of them were coming from family who never thaught them how to manage their inheritance, because they never used to have.

Comment by kca

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