pauldierden said:

may i ask you a question about communism? my dad always told me that communism can't function in real life and that it leads to human rights abuses, but he also thinks free market capitalism is the solution to all the world's problems. he also says

that under communism, no individuality is allowed, that you get no freedom, no opportunity to express yourself. i don’t really believe him, but at the same time the belief is hard to shake bc i learned it at such a young age.

Every current capitalist society has lead to human rights abuses. He can’t name one capitalist society that hasn’t. Capitalism  allows people to die by underpaying them and then not giving them healthcare, by letting more unowned, unrented, unlived in houses stand there, unused than homeless people on the streets, by operating on oppression, racism, sexism, etc. Capitalism requires there be poor people who suffer. The system is also built to fail. Every few years we’ve had a recession in the US. The longest time of economic prosperity we had was ten years during the 90s. Marx foresaw this in his Communist Manifesto: he foresaw that capitalist societies would have recessions every ten years—he was actually generous with that prediction.

Capitalism is called capitalism because our society runs on the value of capital that is produced by the working class/proletariat and appropriated by the capitalist. A capitalist is defined as a person who hires wage laborers they pay an hourly wage or salary, but who makes money off the profits of their business. The capitalist profits off the labors of other people. The capitalist does not need to work nearly so hard as the working class, but the capitalist is the one who earns the profits: the working class does not. This is why you have fat cat ceos making millions or billions of dollars by barely working, and people who work 9-5 nearly their whole lives making barely a liveable wage (if liveable). The capitalist system is built on exploitation. Businesses care most about growing profits and about keeping their workers underpaid, underpowered, struggling and dependent on them, even when their CEO’s are rich and self-sustaining. Further, this obsession with ceaseless growth will result in the end of resources on our planet because we continue to grow our GDP and businesses exponentially and every president within recent memory has stated this express purpose. This also results in globalization and imperialism: American businesses wish to consume and invade other cultures—they can never be big enough or have enough profits. They exploit workers in other countries to save money, which deprives american workers of jobs, but much, much worse, they underpay and abuse and exploit workers overseas.

There’s a lot more to be said about why capitalism is a broken system and why it depends on racism, sexism, heteronormativity, classism and other oppressive forces. I’ve brought up Eve Sedgwick in the past who is a q***r scholar and feminist who has written about heteronormativity and sexism under capitalist society (often in it’s relationship to bourgeois family structure and gender roles). I briefly mentioned imperialism: capitalism has been a driving force behind colonialism and warfare as well. Our economy has flourished during times of war: the military industrial complex and prison industrial complex are key aspects to our capitalist society. But I could go on forever about these things—I encourage you to study them.

I would ask your father what about communism would prevent people from expressing themselves or prevent individuality? Socialism and communism are economic systems, they are not system of governance. There’s no reason you couldn’t have a democratic socialist society. Although, under Marx’s theory eventually, there would be no government and everything would be owned and run by the people (not all socialists operate under those beliefs, but yeah). The USSR and The People’s Republic of China are the examples pro-capitalists/anti-communists like to give, but currently China is not communist, and the USSR did not fit the profile for Marx’s ideas re communism. It was an agricultural society, not an industrialized one, so it arguably did not have the means of production necessary to create a successful communist society. Further, the USSR had prominent members in power who abused their power and were totalitarian and deprived others of rights, that’s not how a socialist or communist society is supposed to work at all.

There’s also the fact, as I’ve addressed earlier, that communism can operate in an authoritarian state or libertarian state (libertarian meaning socially liberal state), as this political compass site explains. Although, it’s important to understand that a libertarian capitalist state is not an equal or free society because gaps in power and ability to survive are integral to capitalism. A free market has never provided equality for any society in the world in the history of humanity (that we know of). Without economic equality there can be no real social equality or freedom.

Also, your father (and possibly you as well) probably are mixing up private property with personal property. In a communist system, individuals don’t own land but they own books, clothes, etc and can buy things. The difference is people’s basic needs would be provided for (homes, food, etc), and everyone would be paid fairly, and the system would not be based on class. You wouldn’t have any grossly wealthy people anymore, you wouldn’t have financial gaps between people, but everyone would be able to live and work.

I would argue dismantling kierarchy is impossible with capitalism in place. The capitalism system depends on inequality and the exploitation and/or oppression of people of color, women, people of low socio-economic status, lgbtqa people, disabled people, etc.

I would read Marx. His Communist Manifesto is advanced, but it’s short. He’s written a lot of other stuff, too, that I’ve yet to read. You can also follow some communist and socialist bloggers on tumblr to learn more about it. I’m also still learning about communism and capitalism, so if anyone more knowledgeable than me wants to add anything/correct me, let me know.

Mental illness is our most pressing health problem
By Martin Wolf

Given the considerable economic costs to society, treatment would pay for itself

Depression and anxiety cause more misery than physical illness, poverty or unemployment. They also impose huge economic costs. Yet they are amenable to effective and relatively cheap treatments. In the UK, however, fewer than a third of adult sufferers are treated, compared with 90 per cent of those with diabetes. Only a quarter of children with these mental illnesses receive effective treatment. This undertreatment is unjust and hugely inefficient. It is largely due to continued prejudice and a lack of awareness of the existence of effective treatments. This terrible failure must end now.

This, in sum, is the argument of a compelling new book, Thrive: The Power of Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies, by Professor Richard Layard of the London School of Economics and Professor David Clark of Oxford. The former is a well-known economist. The latter is a psychologist and one of the world’s leading experts on cognitive behavioural therapies. While I am able to assess the economic arguments, I cannot judge the claims made for CBT. But, the authors note, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which is responsible for assessing the effectiveness of treatments for the National Health Service, recommends its use. That makes the undersupply of these services remarkable, if not shocking.

In Britain one in six adults suffers from depression or crippling anxiety disorders. The same is true in the US and continental Europe. These conditions can be disabling. Indeed, their impact on a person’s ability to function in society is on average 50 per cent more disabling than that of angina, asthma, arthritis or diabetes. For sufferers, mental illness is the “enemy within” – an assault on the self more agonising than most physical ailments. Moreover, according to the World Health Organisation, mental illnesses account for 38 per cent of all ill health in high-income countries. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and diabetes together account for only 22 per cent in these countries. Yet, perhaps because of the stigma of mental illnesses, health systems and employers largely ignore the severity of these effects.

Above all, mental ill health is today overwhelmingly the most important form of sickness affecting children and adults of working age. As the impact of infectious diseases has largely vanished, physical illness predominantly affects the elderly. This means that the economic consequences of mental illness are vastly greater than those of physical illness, not to mention the life-long damage done by mental illness in childhood. An extraordinarily high proportion of those in prison, for example, suffer from mental illness. About 90 per cent of those who kill themselves also suffer from mental illness. Suicide is a silent plague: “As many people in the world die from suicide as from homicide and warfare combined.” In 2000, 815,000 people killed themselves.

Moreover, the authors stress, mental illness makes it far more difficult to treat physical illnesses. People with mental illnesses find it hard to stick to their treatment plans. In addition, the consequences of mental illness contribute significantly to physical maladies.

In all, the case for treating mental illness at least as energetically as physical illness is overwhelming. The question, though, is whether that is possible. The book argues that today drugs and, even more, CBT have been proved in rigorous clinical trials to be effective. This is a matter of a properly scientific approach to development and testing treatments.

Mental ill health is today overwhelmingly the most important form of sickness affecting children and adults of working age

“For some conditions,” argue the authors – citing depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bulimia – “we have treatments that lead to sustained recovery in half or more people, with many others seeing worthwhile improvements.” This is not perfect. But it is immensely better than nothing. Moreover, such treatments can also be effective in treating children as young as eight. The most encouraging aspect of all is that, it turns out, we are the captains of our souls. It is possible, it seems, to help people in agony regain lost control.

Given the economic costs to society, including those caused by unemployment, disability, poor performance at work and imprisonment, the costs of treatment would pay for themselves. The cost of therapy is also not high: about the same as six months’ treatment of diabetes routinely supplied by health systems today. Yet the commitment of most high-income countries to provide universal healthcare is grossly violated in the case of mental illnesses for no good reason and at vast economic, social and personal cost. This, argue the authors persuasively, is a scandal.

Most of us know people afflicted by mental illness. All know its devastating consequences. Indeed, the authors argue that the failure to tackle mental illness is one of the reasons unhappiness is so prevalent in societies that are so rich by historical standards. If the claims made for these treatments are correct, our failure to provide them is not just a crime but a blunder. We must not let outworn prejudice stop us from taking needed action.

For more mental health resources, Click Here to access the Serious Mental Illness Blog.

Click Here to access original SMI Blog content

'We've persuaded ourselves that residential isolation of low-income black children is only de facto—the accident of economic circumstance, personal preference, and private discrimination. Unless we relearn how residential segregation is de jure—racially motivated public policy—we can't remedy school segregation that flows from neighborhood isolation.'


xxxdeadbirdxxx asked you: What good comes if a person that can only run a cash register with menu pictures on it starts making 15$ an hour?

A person who works, no matter where they work or what they do, should be paid a living wage.  I was raised to believe that all work is inherently valuable and as such, the person doing it should be respected and paid a decent wage.  The good that comes from $15 an hour is that we as tax payers no longer foot the bill for the corporation who aren’t paying a living wage.  Right now, we are supporting people who are working full time because these greedy companies don’t want to pay their employees a decent wage.  It needs to stop.  If they want the privilege of running a business, they need to respect their workers and pay a livable wage.  People would not need food stamps or medicaid if we forced the greedy corporations to pay their employees enough to live on and be able to afford insurance through the exchanges.  It’s demeaning to a person to be working your ass off and STILL need government assistance.  Not everyone can be a corporate executive or even afford college but they still deserve a living wage.  I don’t understand why people have such a hard time understanding this.

Một số học giả tin rằng Việt Nam sẽ có cơ hội lớn nếu biết “Đi tắt đón đầu”! Chẳng lẽ họ tin rằng, các dân tộc khác sẽ đi đường vòng, để riêng Việt Nam đi đường tắt hay sao? Thực tế, con đường tiến bộ của nhân loại là đường thẳng và chẳng có con đường nào ngắn hơn đường thẳng, kể cả cái mà chúng ta ảo tưởng là đường tắt.

Những người lạc quan thì luôn nhấn mạnh ưu thế “Dân tộc Việt Nam thông minh” để xây dựng chiến lược phát triển cho Việt Nam. Tôi không muốn tranh luận về đề tài này, mà chỉ đặt muốn đặt câu hỏi: “Vậy có dân tộc nào không thông minh không”?

Nhiều người có trách nhiệm suốt ngày lo lắng về nguy cơ tụt hậu của Việt Nam. Tôi không hiểu tại sao phải lo lắng về nguy cơ này, vì thực tế Việt Nam đã tụt ở tít phía sau.

Có lẽ chúng ta phải dũng cảm nhìn vào sự thật: người Việt Nam không to khỏe như nhiều dân tộc khác, người Việt Nam chưa chắc đã thông minh hơn các dân tộc khác, nhân loại đang đi chung một con đường tiến bộ và chúng ta đang tụt lại ở phía sau. Cơ hội của Viêt Nam vươn lên thật sự rất ít.

Cách duy nhất để đuổi kịp và vượt một ai đó trong bối cảnh này là: họ đi một ngày 8 giờ, thì chúng ta phải đi 10-12 giờ, họ ăn ngon thì chúng ta chỉ ăn no, họ mặc đẹp thì chúng ta chỉ mặc ấm.

"Hãy làm việc thật chăm chỉ và thực hành tiết kiệm toàn diện". Khẩu hiệu này nên là điểm nhấn quan trọng nhất trong chiến lược phát triển của Việt Nam trong nhiều năm tới.

(Chia sẻ này dựa trên nghiên cứu kinh nghiệm của Nhật Bản, vươn lên từ đống tro tàn sau thế chiến thứ hai, thành cường quốc kinh tế thứ hai thế giới)….





Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman’s tool is values; the bureaucrat’s tool is fear.
—   Ayn Rand

New Post has been published on

The place of fungi in Aboriginal economic practices

We were privileged at this year’s Fungimap Conference to have so many informative and fascinating speakers. Among them was Dr Gary Presland, an authority on Aboriginal history and natural history in Melbourne, Australia and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Dr Presland has kindly permitted us to republish his talk here. [Eds.]


The place of fungi in Aboriginal economic practices

 by Dr Gary Presland

 Talk given at Fungimap 7 Conference

 Rawson, 24 May 2013.

Aboriginal economic practices were regular and considered, they were, in fact, an integral part of the human role of maintaining the world as it was given. The movements of Aboriginal people within their estates were time-honoured and measured to take advantage of seasonal occurrence and abundance. But Aborigines were pragmatic and would opportunistically exploit food resources wherever and whenever they were encountered.

It is within these contexts in mind that we should look at the place of fungi in Aboriginal life and economy.

I should say at the beginning, that in Victoria and Tasmania—indeed, in most parts of Australia—there is a dearth of evidence regarding use of fungi by Aboriginal people; looking at Victoria in particular, there are a number of reasons for this:

(1) the rate and extent of disruption to Aboriginal society in  Victoria was such that there was no opportunity to carry out detailed studies on the day-to-day practices of Aboriginal groups in this part of Australia .  There were no anthropologists or the like, that is observers who were trained make sense of a lifestyle that appeared to lack everything that held European society together.

(2) while there was much written during the 19th century about what Aborigines were eating, there is little detail about exactly how it was gathered, when, and where. And there is even less information, of course, relating to species. Moreover, the recorded observations were of a much-changed situation; one in which Indigenous people were fighting to maintain something of their traditional ways and at the same time find a place for themselves in a vastly changed world.

(3) This situation is often exacerbated in the case of Aboriginal use of fungi, and a number of other resources, because the process of gathering the food or material was mostly women’s work.  I say, that not to diminish the economic role of women (which in fact, one can easily show to be paramount), but rather as a comment about the observers. Even those white people who took an interest in Aboriginal matters, paid far less

       attention to what women were doing and more to the activities of men. This was partly because all the observers were themselves men and partly because what the men were doing was more obvious – for eg. hunting, fishing, or cutting bark from trees.

We have, thus, only a partial picture of what Aboriginal people were doing.

What can be said, however, is that within Aboriginal economic practices there were a couple of elements of relevance to any study of Aboriginal use of fungi (Presland 2010). Firstly, seasonal movement was a central feature of the yearly round. Thus bands of perhaps 12 to 20 individuals would work their estates in a way that took them to particular locations at specific times of the year. In Autumn—the time when most fungi were collected—people were moving upwards along river valley, heading toward the higher parts of their territories, where they could shelter from the winter wind and rain.

The second relevant feature of Aboriginal society was that, as hunters and collectors, they applied a sexual division of labour. A part of each day’s economic activity was spent in women gathering plant foods and men hunting game, generally in separate locations. Contrary to popular thought, it was the women who provided the bulk of the day’s foodstuffs, as a result of their gathering. However, almost all the food obtained by either group was brought back to camp for communal consumption.

Considering the size of groups and amount of fungi available suggests that fungi were eaten mostly where and when they were found; we might think of it as something in the way of a snack food. Fruiting bodies may have been taken back to the camp (perhaps if they were abundant) but more likely, they were consumed in the field.

It is probable that there were a number of species—perhaps even a large number—of fungi that were eaten by Aboriginal people. I say eaten because in this part of Australia that’s what observers saw them doing; people weren’t seen using fungi as a source of colour, or as a medication, as recorded in other areas.

Not surprisingly, getting at which species were being used is, in most cases, not an easy matter. As Kalotas (1996) says, in the most-often-referenced piece on the subject of Aboriginal use of fungi, ‘There are only a few fungi in Australia which have been well-documented as being considered edible by Aborigines.’ It is interesting that all of the examples he gives following this quote come from other parts of Australia. However, in this connection he mentions the Beech Orange Cyttaria gunnii.Now, I may be wrong but I think this species fruits in late spring and summer, in which case we have to ask if Aboriginal people were exploiting this source were they doing so in the lower-lying parts of their estates, where nothofagus occurred, or were they moving into high country for the purpose.

The most documented fungus exploited by Aborigines was, of course, Laccocephalum mylittae,often referred to in the past as Blackfella’s bread, or native bread.  There are many references in historical sources to this species in both Tasmania and Victoria. The most interesting references from Tasmania are to be found in the journal of George Augustus Robinson.

On 30 May 1829, in commenting on the acuteness of the Aborigines’ sight, Robinson wrote:

                I observed them knock off the fungus from the gum tree, which they eat. It has the appearance of wood and has a sweet flavour not unlike mushroom.   There is another sort of fungus belonging to the same tree but which they do not eat.  There is also another sort of fungus which belongs to the she-oak, resembling sponge, of which they also eat.

Referring to native bread which some of his Aboriginal companions had brought him, Robinson wrote on 2 July 1831:

            The natives procure this fungus from under dead or fallen timber, to which it adheres, and  growing in the ground. In size it is as large as a big turnip and in taste it resembles boiled rice.’  He also mentions ‘another fungus from the peppermint tree …; also a white fungus, quite transparent and resembling jelly.

Three months later, Robinson recorded in his diary (on 25 Oct 1831):

            … the natives showed me a dead tree where there was native bread growing: I saw no signs          myself; they smelt the wood and said the plant was a long way in the ground.

In Victoria, similarly there are a number of references to Aboriginal fungi use in 19th century publications. Brough Smyth (1878) wrote that ‘the native truffle (Mylitta Australis) a subterranean fungus, was much sought after by the natives’.  In a passage about  the feeding of children, he wrote:
                 And while very small—but yet able to move about only on hands and knees—it [a child] has a   little stick put into it s hands and, following the example of elder children, it digs for roots, for the   larvae of ants … and sometimes for the native bread (Mylitta Australis) where it is plentiful, and when the elder children are willing to help the little one.

James Dawson (1881) a western district squatter wrote:

                Mushrooms, and several kinds of fungi, are eaten raw; and a large underground fungus, about the   size of an ordinary turnip, called native bread by white people, is eaten uncooked and is very good.

 One of the tree fungus species which Dawson says was eaten by Aborigines has been identified by Beth Gott (1985) as probably a yellow jelly-fungus species, such as Tremella mesenterica.

 Henry Tisdal, sometime president of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria wrote (1886) that Native Bread (at that time called Mylitta Australis):

                are very common in Gippsland, but they are difficult to be obtained, as they only grow underground, and leave, as far as I know, no distinguishing mark to show their whereabouts. I    say as far as I know, but as Mr. Howitt assures me that they are eaten in large quantities by  Aboriginals, they may have some way of finding them.

Well, it can be taken as read that they did. No doubt, in addition to other strategies, Aborigines would have noticed the relationship between fire and the fruiting of this fungus, and made a point of looking out for it.

The fact that this fungus fruits after fire has led (or more correctly mis-led) some people to suggest that Aboriginal firing was aimed at this result. For example, one contributor to the website Australian bushfoods and native medicine forum saw the connection as ‘yet another reason/symbiotic dynamic involved in Aboriginal burning of country.’

On a page of the website Tall trees and mushrooms we can read the statement ‘One can easily imagine that the Aboriginal people would have swept through areas they had burned a couple of days earlier to harvest the scelorotia, which can be quite numerous.’

It is outside of the scope of this paper to explain how wrong these suggestions are. Suffice to say that the burning practices of Aboriginal people at maximizing the yield of a particular range of herbaceous species.  If people saw the occurrence of Native Bread as a result there should be no doubt that they would take advantage of it, but that was not their main intent.

In conclusion, I cannot pass by an example of a web of interconnections involving a number of species, including a fungus.  Gott (1982) notes that one particularly important food orchid for Aboriginal people on the western plains was Gastrodia sesamoides R.Br., called ‘native potato’. This plant is completely saprophytic, depending on a fungus for its nutrition. Its position is marked only by the early summer flowering stalk, but when not in flower it was located by Victorian Aborigines by observing where bandicoots had dug for it. Dawson (1881) noted this and was told by local Aborigines that the plant was called ‘puewan’.


Australian bushfoods and native medicine forum

Dawson, J (1881) Australian Aborigines (Melbourne: Walter May & Co.)

Gott B (1982) The ecology of root use by Aborigines of southern Australia. Archaeology in Oceania 17: 59-67 

Gott B (1985) Plants mentioned in Dawson’s Australian Aborigines. The Artefact 10: 3-14

Kalatos, A C (1996) Aboriginal knowledge and use of fungi Fungi of Australia vol. 1B Introduction — fungi in the environment  (Canberra: Australian Bureau )

Presland, G (2010) First people: the Eastern Kulin of Melbourne, Port Phillip and central Victoria (Melbourne: Melbourne Museum Publishing)

Tall trees and mushrooms

Tisdall, H T (1886) Fungi of north Gippsland. Part II.  The Victorian Naturalist 3: 106–109


Những ngày này, phong trào kêu gọi tẩy chay hàng hóa “made in China” lại xuất hiện đâu đó. Nhưng đó dường chưa phải là thái độ đúng đắn nhất.

Ngày 1/1/2005, nhà báo tự do Sara Bongiorni của Mỹ quyết định thực hiện một thử nghiệm táo bạo: cả gia đình cô sẽ không dùng bất cứ thứ gì dán nhãn “made in China” trong vòng một năm.

“Bỗng nhiên tôi cảm thấy thế là quá đủ rồi. Tôi muốn Trung Quốc biến đi” – cô viết. Sara không lý tưởng đến mức tin rằng có thể vì tẩy chay hàng Trung Quốc mà có thể tạo ra thêm việc làm cho nước Mỹ, hay hướng tới một mục đích vĩ mô nào đó. Họ chỉ muốn thử, xem mình có thể chịu đựng được một cuộc sống không có “made in China” như thế nào.

Cuộc thử nghiệm không thất bại. Nó diễn ra trong đúng một năm như dự kiến. Nhưng mọi thứ thực sự khó khăn. Thay vì những món đồ “made in China” với giá vừa phải, giờ thì vợ chồng Bongiorni phải chi đến 60 USD cho một đôi giày sản xuất ở Italy; chi phí cuộc sống tăng mạnh, nhưng những thứ nhỏ nhặt như nến sinh nhật của chồng Sara cũng không thể tìm mua được; nhà Bongiorni thiếu từ TV, thùng rác đến cái bẫy chuột; và đến mùa Xuân thì cậu con trai 4 tuổi của họ bắt đầu mở một chiến dịch phản đối cha mẹ, quyết tâm ủng hộ hàng Trung Quốc vì nó còn rất ít lựa chọn khi mua đồ chơi.

Sara Bongiorni sau đó đã viết một cuốn sách với nhan đề “Một năm không có Made in China”. Và cuốn sách kết lại bằng một thông điệp không dễ chịu gì, nhưng có lẽ tất cả đều phải chấp nhận: “Thay vì tẩy chay hàng Trung Quốc; sẽ là khôn ngoan hơn khi tồn tại chung với chúng”.

Phát biểu của Sara Bongiorni, cho đến năm 2012 vẫn được Nhân Dân Nhật báo của Trung Quốc trích dẫn lại đầy tự hào, như một thắng lợi, về một thế giới không thể sống thiếu hàng “made in China”. 

Khi Trung Quốc kéo giàn khoan HD-981 vào vùng đặc quyền kinh tế và thềm lục địa của Việt Nam, trong bầu không khí nóng bỏng của mối quan hệ giữa 2 nước, trên mạng xã hội lại bắt đầu xuất hiện những lời kêu gọi “tẩy chay hàng Trung Quốc”.

Ai cũng hiểu rằng giữa việc cả thế giới đang (buộc phải) sử dụng hàng “made in China” và việc Trung Quốc có tài chính để chế tạo một giàn khoan di dộng trị giá 1 tỷ USD để phục vụ công cuộc bành trướng, có liên quan trực tiếp.

Nhưng cuộc “tẩy chay” gần như không thể được thực hiện. Lật bất kỳ chiếc bàn phím nào đã sử dụng để gõ những lời kêu gọi ấy lên, cũng sẽ nhìn thấy chúng “made in China”. 

Sẽ là khôn ngoan hơn, nếu “tồn tại chung” với hàng Trung Quốc. Nhưng “tồn tại chung” như thế nào là hợp lý?

Việt Nam được xếp thứ hạng cao trên thế giới về nguồn nhân lực: giá rẻ, tay nghề cao, số lượng lớn. Nhưng chúng ta chưa có một nền sản xuất trong nước đủ mạnh. Một vài mặt hàng hoàn toàn nằm trong trình độ sản xuất của nước ta, trên thị trường phần lớn vẫn thống trị bởi “made in China”: Nông sản, hàng may mặc, đồ nhựa gia dụng,… và với một thái độ nghiêm túc hơn, chúng ta hoàn toàn có thể nghĩ đến linh kiện điện tử, cơ khí hay sản phẩm công nghệ cao nói chung. 

Chúng ta bị ám ảnh bởi 3 chữ “made in China” mà quên đi số phận thực sự của 3 chữ “made in Vietnam”. Cho đến bây giờ, 3 chữ ấy trong tâm thức chính người Việt dường như vẫn chỉ là tên của một chuỗi cửa hàng quần áo, Made in Vietnam.

Mọi thứ bắt đầu từ một thái độ. Hãy nhìn sang Hàn Quốc: có rất nhiều nhà nghiên cứu đồng ý rằng một trong những lý do thành công của “Điều thần kỳ sông Hàn” chính là thái độ với hàng hóa “made in Japan”. Chính vì không muốn sử dụng hàng “made in Japan” mà người Hàn quyết tâm tạo ra một nền sản xuất trong nước cực mạnh. Trong thời gian cầm quyền, tổng thống Park Chung-hee (người được coi là kiến trúc sư của “Điều thần kỳ sông Hàn”) đã nhiều lần nhắc đến Nhật Bản trong các bài diễn văn của ông, rằng “chúng ta phải biến Hàn Quốc trở nên mạnh hơn Nhật Bản”. 

Nếu người Hàn Quốc lựa chọn việc dễ dàng hơn, họ có thể đã lựa chọn hàng hóa “made in Japan” và để người Trung Quốc làm nốt phần việc còn lại. Không Samsung, không Hyundai.

Mọi thứ bắt đầu từ một thái độ. Sẽ là rất đơn giản nếu bạn có một tỷ đồng làm vốn, mở một công ty thương mại và nhập hàng hóa Trung Quốc về bán. Họ có tất cả mọi thứ. Họ có thể sản xuất cho bạn cả nhãn mác của hàng hóa Thái Lan, Mỹ, EU để dán lên sản phẩm. Sẽ vất vả hơn rất nhiều, nếu bạn quyết định mở ra một xưởng sản xuất hoặc một nông trại và quyết tâm tạo ra những mặt hàng “made in Vietnam” với quyết tâm tạo ra một đất nước tự cường.

Những lời kêu gọi tẩy chay là viển vông. Nhưng chung sống như thế nào, đã đến lúc chúng ta phải trả lời một cách hết sức nghiêm túc. Buông xuôi và lệ thuộc, cũng là một cách chung sống. Cùng suy nghĩ về “made in Vietnam”, là một cách khác.

America’s cities are #economic powerhouses. A #reddit user created this map showing the importance of cities to the U.S. economy, and found that the top 23 cities contribute about half of overall U.S. GDP. The orange regions fall in those top 23 metro areas, and the blue region falls outside them. (via atrubetskoy/Reddit)


Wine Ice Cream Lifts Small Biz                                

Used to be, Mercer’s ice cream wasn’t found far from the 60-year-old dairy in Boonville, a town of about 4,500 in central New York. 

Now Mercer’s Dairy owners Ruth Mignerey and Roxaina Hurlburt and their 25 employees ship specialty wine-infused ice cream in a half-dozen flavors, including Cherry Merlot and Riesling, to 14 nations including China, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Seychelles and Trinidad and Tobago. 

More from Bloomberg News report by Jeff Kearns:      

Foreign sales by small companies like Mercer’s are becoming a focus for economic development officials in upstate New York and other U.S. regions who are seeking a bigger slice of record exports to boost growth. Shipments abroad by businesses with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 32.9 percent of the U.S. total in 2012, up from 29.2 percent in 2005, according to Census Bureau data. 

Photographer: Mike Bradley/Bloomberg

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