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Ỵ, a domestic servant in Saigon, 2018
Ỵ, a domestic servant in Saigon, 2018

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My first book, Fake House (2000), was dedicated to “the unchosen,” and by that, I meant all those who are not particularly blessed at birth or during life, just ordinary people, in short, with their daily exertion and endurance. Further, I’ve always considered losing to be our common bond and bedrock, for no matter how smug you may be at the moment, you’ll be laid out by a sucker punch soon enough. Being born into a war-wracked lesser country undoubtedly made it easier to think this way.

Though I spent more than three decades in the shining city on a hill, the indispensable, greatest nation ever, I was still mostly surrounded by the unchosen, such as Tony, who died at 56, just months after being fired from his restaurant job, with his last apartment freezing from unpaid bills, or 66-year-old Chuck, who’s carless and has but a tiny room in a group home, as he suffers through his divorce and alimony payments, or 55-year-old Beth, whose crepe restaurant has gone belly up, so for economic reasons can’t dump a husband who chronically cheats on her with both men and women.

A 35-year-old Philly friend who’s been semi-homeless for the last two years just told me she doesn’t even have a phone any more, so must wait for up to an hour at the library to use a computer for 30 minutes, a predicament that severely limits her ability to find a job. She barely survives by cleaning houses.

Surely, all these American tales of woes must pale next to Vietnamese ones, you must be thinking, for it must be horrific to be poor in such a poor country, no?

In Vietnam, the rich and poor are generally not segregated, for if a family’s economic situation improves, they won’t move to a better neighborhood, but build a better house, right where they’ve always been. A ramshackle wooden shack may morph into a three-story brick building, then a five-story virtual palace, with an ostentatious wrought iron gate, while in the next lot, a modest dwelling has only gotten new paint jobs, if that, over decades.

Since almost no neighborhoods are strictly residential, poor people also show up everywhere as restaurant, shop or factory employees. Daily, they also swarm through to sell nearly everything, so in my Saigon neighborhood, for example, I often see the same fruit seller, with a toddler sitting in a basket on her pushcart. Buying a kilo of rambutans, a regular customer teased her boy, “I’m going to catch you, put you in my purse then sell you!”

At my morning coffee spot, I often sit near an old woman who makes about three bucks a day, selling lottery tickets. One of her relatives owns a box making factory, however, so she has a place to sleep, two meals a day, plus $22 a month from this relation.

You’ll also find many poor people living in middle and upper class homes, as domestic servants. Long inquisitive about these servants’ plights, I’ve written about them in prose and poetry, in English and Vietnamese, so let’s meet one.

A Teochew from backward Vĩnh Châu, down the southern coast, Ỵ has ten brothers and sisters. Her recently deceased dad was a lifelong drunk who regularly beat her mother, sometimes with a piece of bamboo, to the point of drawing blood. The family has a bit of land, on which they grow rice, sweet potatoes and bananas.

When Ỵ was in second grade, her people got into a knife fight with some neighbors, which landed one of her brothers in jail for a year. “My brother thought they had killed my father, so he grabbed a meat cleaver, the kind you use to chop ducks, you know, and hacked a guy on the shoulder. His arm nearly fell off. There was so much blood, blood everywhere. Panicking, my brother dropped the cleaver, but then my father grabbed it to hack another guy, severing his Achilles tendon.”

Too terrified to walk past these neighbors’ house thereafter, Ỵ quit school, so she’s basically illiterate. Though she can read numbers well enough to use a cellphone, Ỵ signs her name with an X. On top of her native Teochew, she’s also fluent in Vietnamese and Cambodian, however.

Folks in Vĩnh Châu are apparently quite comfortable with knives. One of Ỵ’s uncles was jailed for killing his own mother, “He hacked grandma on the chest, and nearly cut her left breast off. In prison, the other inmates beat him nearly to death, because they knew why he was there. Although my uncle was allowed to go home, he died soon afterwards.”

These rural donnybrooks are quite charming, no? Perhaps they can be packaged with local religious festivals, pseudo traditional music concerts, elephant or sampan rides and some jivey folkloric dances.

In 1998, Ỵ went to Saigon at age 16, “A bus ticket from Vĩnh Châu was only 40,000 dongs [$2.50 at the time], and I stayed in this room with four other people,” rent free, and where she was also fed, thanks to kindly “big sister” from home. “My big sister was trying to find me work. Each day, I went to Bình Phú Park, and just sat there. A man rode up and asked if I wanted to work in a restaurant, but I barely understood him. I didn’t really know Vietnamese then. Plus, I was afraid he was up to no good. I said, ‘You better talk to my big sister,’ and he actually did, so I was hired for 350,000 a month [$23]!”

“But he fed you, no?”

“Yes, and he gave me a place to sleep.”

ORDER IT NOW

When Ỵ reached 17, her parents decided she should marry a Taiwanese, for that would fetch at least $900, and though six Taiwanese actually wanted to marry her, something always went wrong, “With three of them, our age differences [in multiples of 3] didn’t work,” meaning they portend back luck. “One man was simply too fat. Another was probably lame, as he sat perfectly still and never got off his chair during our meeting.” Ỵ laughed. “The sixth, I agreed to marry, but then I changed my mind, for I’d heard too many horrible stories about Vietnamese women who had gone to Taiwan.”

With old, morbidly obese or crippled Taiwanese out of her life, Ỵ fell in love with a Vĩnh Châu lad, a dark, strapping Cambodian, which horrified her parents, but they married anyway. At the beginning, Ỵ’s husband worked hard enough, then he just sat home and sulked after his father yelled at him for always being a coolie, never a boss.

“We lived with his family. We had rice, but nothing to eat with it. His mom bought everything on credit, until no one would sell to her. Once, six of us shared one packet of instant noodles. I ate so little, I didn’t even have milk for our baby.”

While still pregnant, Ỵ worked in the rice paddies, for just 20,000 dongs a day [$1.25 in 2004], and she had to catch field rats so her husband and his buddies had something to munch on as they got trashed on the cheapest rice wine. After her son was born, Ỵ bought a stolen motorbike for just $40, and used it to drive around to buy and sell longans, rambutans and other fruits, whatever was in season.

At least Y’s husband never beat her, “He only fought other men when he was drunk. I beat him! I’d hit him on the head with my flip flop!”

Pregnant again, Ỵ finally left her useless husband to return to Saigon, where she’s toiled as a daycare employee, factory grunt and domestic servant, what she’s doing now at age 36.

“At this house on Hậu Giang Street, I was paid 11,500,000 [$496] a month, but I had to take care of two kids, and work until midnight. I worked until I trembled. It was like I was working and sobbing at the same time, and my mistress would suddenly accuse me of stealing, and it was always something ridiculous, a floor mat, a bra! If you’re going to steal, it might as well be something valuable, like a piece of jewelry. At other times, my mistress would cheer up and give me a bonus. I had to endure that household because I was raising two kids by myself.”

At her current job, Ỵ’s only paid $345 a month, but she’s much happier. Each day, she cooks, does a bit of laundry, looks after a baby and sometimes massages her mistress’ legs. As for food, she has never eaten better, and has even dined at a few upscale restaurants, with her mistress’ family.

From morning until night, though, Ỵ can’t do whatever she wants, beyond making a few quick phone calls, and she gets just one day off a month. She sleeps with the baby in an air-conditioned room that’s rigged up with a camera, so even in bed, Ỵ can be monitored. When her father died, however, Ỵ was allowed to go home for a week, with pay.

On her cellphone, Ỵ showed me a half dead man lying on a hammock, “My father ate so many dogs, he looked just like a charred dog at the end!” Ỵ grinned. Ever demanding, the dying son of a bitch insisted that Western, Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodian music be played at his funeral, and 13 cars be hired to carry guests without vehicles.

You might expect someone with such a frightful biography to be rather sullen or bitter, but Ỵ is constantly cheerful and laughing. With so many stories of extreme hardship due to war, imperialism, idiotic ideology, bad government and/or, simply, the misfortune of being born into a wretched family, self-pity is just not indulged in Vietnam. In any case, Y’s happy that her 15-year-old son is working in a factory near Saigon, and her 13-year-old daughter has been a domestic servant for two years. The pretty, small-voiced and tiny girl is also apprenticing at the same factory.

Although Y’s son finished 6th grade, her daughter never made it past 4th, “She was afraid to go to school after her 11-year-old cousin was raped and killed!”

I grimaced, “How old was the rapist?!”

“Twenty something.”

“And how far was the school?”

“Four, five kilometers [thee miles]. These country roads are desolate. Like all the other kids, my daughter rode a bike to school. You don’t know how crazy it is down there. A guy would ride by, grab a girl’s long hair and cut it off, to sell her hair!”

Ỵ has many changes of clothes, tasteful fake eyebrows, persuasive false teeth and a used cellphone, bought for just $15. Two years ago, she purchased her second stolen motorbike, this time for $65. Most domestic servants can only afford bicycles.

Though Ỵ rarely gets online, she does have a FaceBook page, and among her dozen virtual friends is some Nigerian guy, who has written her, “You are so beautiful,” “I’m in love with you,” “I want to marry you.” I’m certain Africa is not in Ỵ’s future.

Though still poor, Ỵ and her kids have seen their lives improved through the years, a development that gives them hope, and they have no fear of being homeless, unlike many Americans. With their extensive network of family and friends, somebody will always provide them with a spot to sleep, with a roof over it, even if it’s of rusting tin. Moreover, they won’t freeze to death should they somehow end up on the sidewalk, for it’s always summer in Saigon.

A Vietnamese factory worker typically earns between $260 and $300 a month, but his rent should be $43 or much less, depending on how many people he wants to share his tiny room with. Though earning and spending so little, he can still whoop it up fairly regularly with his buddies, as well as save. It’s this standard of living that American workers must consent to, if they want to compete globally.

ORDER IT NOW

About 25 years ago, I happened to sit next a corporate lawyer on an Amtrak train. From her, I learnt about an American toy company that had moved some of its production to Haiti, for its cheap labor, but this proved a total disaster. “Haitian workers aren’t as disciplined as you would like, and their education system is a mess.” Of course it’s all relative, but if you’re too expensive, slack, dumb, doped up, pissed off, mentally ill or disunited, then you’re fucked, relatively speaking, and that’s why the sun will rise tomorrow in the Orient. As Americans war against each other over their hidden masters’ latest decoy, Orientals will still have their jobs.

Everyone knows about the US’ runaway trade imbalance with China, but it’s also incurring a massive deficit with Vietnam, which in 2017 alone totaled $38 billion. As with so much else, Americans are oblivious to their nation’s true poverty, but this bankruptcy will hit them like a surprise roundhouse kick upside the head, soon enough.

In my Saigon neighborhood, there was an oddly dapper man who repaired and sold shoes, and I used to see him each morning, sitting behind his pitiful array of beat up loafers, wingtips and sandals. Suddenly, the man disappeared, and I thought he was just temporarily sick, but he’s really gone, for good.

“He owes so many people so much money, he had to run away,” I’ve been told.

If only deadbeat Sammy can do the same.

Linh Dinh’s latest books are Postcards from the End of America (non-fiction) and A Mere Rica (poetry). He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Poverty, Vietnam 
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  1. Sir, I think you are really finding your voice.

  2. Linh is being a disingenuous with the comparison, though clearly the future is Asia in economic terms.

    Americans are not victims of a backward culture but a callous 1% and a low minimum wage. This is why America is different than Australia (Where Linh’s family SHOULD have relocated) or Canada as well as run-of-the-mill post-industrialism.

    The GOP expertly manipulates issues of taxes and minorities to ensure they can make tax cuts for corporations and declare wars that poor will volunteer for.

    “Building bigger houses”

    Whites in Detroit might do this if “better neighborhood” was not code for leaving a district that has been transformed into an internal third world of violence and chaos and rape.

    In point of fact houses in Detroit or Flint or other rustbelt cities are far bigger than suburban tract houses but anyone who could flee farther than the gas money that ghetto blacks or Mestizos are prepared to spend does so.

    If you built a castle in your average inner city, what do you think would happen? Build a damn moat along with it and fill it with saltwater crocodiles? Would your property be worth anything no matter what the acreage. My grandmother owned a condo that she bought in 1986 for $400,000. It sold for just under $70,000 in 2006 when she was moved into a rest home. My aunt moved into a trailer in rural California and considered herself lucky.

    “He owes money and he had run away”

    This has been known to happen in Philly’s Little Italy and anywhere else there are Italian-Americans.

    “I had to take care of two kids”

    This is what happens to the white hicks and the Mexicans and the blacks. They have a child young between 19 and 25 while the middle-class is at college. They struggle to support their children. The man is immature, uneducated and quickly loses interest in playing house. Usually the young marriages end up in broken homes or abusive ones.

    Plenty of middle-class kids like Linh’s other example are f*ckups. But a white suburban male f*ckup lives at home at 22, smokes pot all day and masturbates to pornography on his computer in his basement. Young women his community write him off as a loser and don’t have a family with him. In the suburbs, the out-of-wedlock birth rate is low.

    “Americans are oblivious to their poverty”

    Clinton was a homeless foreigner in Cebu. He slept on the beaches and cadged rice from locals. A hotel allowed him to store his things. He had been a steelworker in Connecticut and was a contractor in Iraq. By the time I knew him, his money had long run out. I asked him why he stayed in Cebu.

    He explained that Connecticut was cold and the park was dangerous since the blacks had moved into his city. His condo had gone to his wife in the divorce and in any event, it was small and there was no room for him there. During his divorce, he’d been jailed for stalking his wife, so he could not go near it anyhow.

    At 55, sleeping in a freezing park in Connecticut, he was raw meat for psychos and street gangs.

    In Cebu, he could blend on the beach.

    Finally, he wanted “some self-respect in front of my kids”.

    As for the violence of drunken men, you had to be in Phoenix at the height of meth’s popularity in the 90′s to see how bad the tweakers were at that time. In the efficiency apartment I briefly rented, a 19 year old tweaker-just released from a reform school-began to follow me around. He did not live there. He did not live anywhere, because his mother had thrown him out. But he hung around the complex with some other guys he knew and for some reason fixated on me.

    Another resident was a black pimp who knocked on my door with skinny white hillbilly girls he was trying to peddle.

    • Replies: @ken
  3. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:

    Linh, Thanks for an awesome article. I was in Saigon over the weekend and I rented a bicycle to do a mini tour of the city and some surrounding villages. I could certainly tell that human life has lower value in Vietnam, but I speak zero Vietnamese so I had no idea of the terrible back stories.

    Saigon is a pretty awful city, with dangerous stressful traffic, pollution, constant noise, and a lack of beauty. It reminded me of Jakarta or Bandung. On the other hand, the villages had terrible roads (only 40 km from the center!) but the houses were pretty and the people were friendly.

    Linh, what is the cause of Vietnam’s plight? Overpopulation, Communism, The War, or simply their innate culture?

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  4. Biff says:

    It’s this standard of living that American workers must consent to, if they want to compete globally.

    In America, to work a ‘just above’ minimum wage job, and then have to pay for housing, utilities, transportation, healthcare, food, insurance(practically mandatory on many levels), and taxes(they want their cut) your swimming with your boots on barely treading water at all, or often just going into the red. This also includes some people who took out student loans to get an education thinking it would lead to a better job, but things just didn’t work out and then add loan payments with fees and intrest to the monthly bills. It’s a nickel and dimed society where the costs are everywhere just to get by.
    And remember; in America, paying for healthcare doesn’t always equate to “getting” healthcare.

    In order to live in America and get by on a ‘just above’ minimum wage job, you have to live like a third world’er – three people to one bedroom. The Mexican laborers often do just that.

    I used to live in a coveted area of America that looks affluent – front range of Colorado, and before I left, the amount of visible homeless people was staggering. Over the last few years I was there the numbers grew exponentially, and the demographics is mostly white. I guess they would rather be homeless than having to live three to a room, working a crap job.

    Things will not improve.

  5. Pangloss says:

    How true ! Linh Dinh has found his voice . His crossing back and forth from Vietnam to Philly is a literary tour de force . Dude we love you !

  6. WHITE EXPAT TAKE

    There’s nothing more grim and depressing than the Rustbelt cities running from Philly through to Southeast Michigan.

    Couple of things-

    A) The bad areas of the US are far more dangerous than anywhere in Asia for whites. If you are a white who was born into a working middle class ethnic community like my Polish friend in Flint and your parents did not sell their house in time, you’re life is in far greater danger than in Saigon.

    B) You can get laid. In the US you can make disgusting porn with 18 year old girls but if you try to pay a woman for sex you go to jail. This seems ridiculous to any foreigner in Asia.

    C) I have not watched anything but BBC for 20 years. White people in the US apparently have nothing better to do than watch Sarah Silverman or other unpleasant Jewish comediennes and then complain about how filthy-mouthed they are. I have no interest or exposure in the US media because I think it is stupid. So this does not affect my mindset, which whites accuse Jews of doing.

    D) My kids go to a public school. It is much safer than the public schools were in the Detroit area. I heard tales of white girls being dragged into Boy’s toilets and black beasts sticking their heads in toilets after a Negro teen had taken a shit in it. You never here of that sort of thing in Asian schools. Whites are not pummeled trying to get to Calculus class. They are not introduced to meth or coke at age 14.

    E) You are not paying for some dim club slut who was impregnated by a worthless Hood Rat or Whigger.

    F) No public outbursts by 350 pound she-beasts in Popeye’s or BLM protests.

    G) You can get laid.

    H) The weather is nice.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  7. Biff says:
    @Ruediger Walter

    Yep, stories, and that’s what we’re here for.

  8. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Is your wife local? How long have you been married and how old are your kids? What do you do for a living now? Your life sounds interesting. Perhaps we should get Linh to write you up :-D

  9. I wonder what the point is of articles like this.
    Does the author know about books as
    John Prebble, ‘The Highland Clearances’, London 1969
    Maurice Beresford, ‘The Lost Villages of England’, 1969, London
    Life of ordinary people also in Europe was not great fun, possibly because of that the belief in an great afterlife.
    But somehow common people in European countries, not all of them, succeeded in improving their lives.
    One of my great grandfathers is a good example, around 1880 an illiterate peat worker, not much more than a slave, in 1913 able to have a farm built for him and his family.
    Of course, developments were on his side, social democracy advanced in the Netherlands, as it did in for example Germany, but this advance did not drop out of heaven, my great grandfather was a strike leader in 1880, resisting military police on horseback with drawn sabres.

  10. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Biff

    Too much regulation, too much taxation, and very unproductive government spending.

    White Americans are still per-capita more productive than Vietnamese, but the difference is not enough to support the increased standard of living that the government has mandated.

    At the moment, the best bet for any white American is pretty much GTFO. Take stock of who you are and what you have, and get to a country where you can best be useful. Better to go now and get a foothold before you have to compete with ever increasing waves of white refugees.

  11. @Anonymous

    I would not share my personal details on the internet.

    My background was in graphic arts and I simply stumbled into a job in publishing in Dubai through a high school friend who was already abroad.

    Dubai was an exciting place in the late 90′s. An international city. But moreover, I was surprised at what a radical improvement over Phoenix. There were no blacks or Mexicans or rednecks. You could ride public transport without outbursts from 250 pound she-beasts or Cholos.

    Also, I did some work in India. Then I moved to Philippines where I was employed for 3 years. Finally, enough money saved and some inheritance from the sale of my grandmother’s house I moved to another part of Asia to marry.

    So I moved overseas accidentally but quickly discovered it was nicer than most places in the US.

    Because I left the US so young, I never married or mortgaged a house or anything else in America.

    As a result, I gradually dismissed the US and even feel some contempt for it. A country where foul-mouthed middle-aged nymphomaniacs like Sarah Silverman captivate everyone and the slutty daughters of some Armenian lawyer who might have been a part of the OJ murder are now national figures.

    Things have gotten way, way worse since the late nineties when I left.

    Having nothing to return to and seeing the direction the US was headed, I never returned. I was grateful for it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Patricus
  12. Too much regulation, too much taxation, and very unproductive government spending.

    Too much debt, both public and private, and too much reliance on militarism too. Also, counterproductive government spending especially subsidies and bailouts for banks, corporations, and foreign countries.

  13. @Anonymous

    ANONYMOUS

    Considering the amount of taxation the money is not spent on infrastructure or technology. Flint Michigan cannot even have clean drinking water.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  14. Biff says:
    @Anonymous

    Too much regulation, too much taxation,

    Nailed it.

    At the moment, the best bet for any white American is pretty much GTFO.

    Done and done.

  15. @jilles dykstra

    I wonder what the point is of articles like this.

    It would help to read to the end,

    “He owes so many people so much money, he had to run away,” I’ve been told.

    If only deadbeat Sammy can do the same.

    Several other messages in these vignettes as well. Ever read Steinbeck?

  16. @Biff

    If you’re a working middle class white in America you’re more likely to have a First world standard of living in Asia than back home.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  17. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    I don’t think Linh is trying to make us feel sorry for them. On the contrary, he describes their lives in objective terms and concedes that they benefit from close family ties and a certain freedom that Americans don’t.

    • Replies: @Akbar Ali
  18. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    I moved to another part of Asia to marry.

    So where was this? Where do you live now? I got the feeling you lived in the Philippines, perhaps Cebu. That’s an odd choice to settle down though, since The Philippines is dysfunctional and more suited to middle aged men chasing young girls. The Axis of Success in Asia seems to be Singapore/Malaysia/Hong Kong/Taiwan/big city China.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  19. @Anonymous

    Working middle class whites are MUCH safer in Asia than in the US cities. The guy in Colorado forgot to mention that whites making nearly-minimum wage and living three to an apartment like college kids are always in the harms way of Cholos and Hoodrats.

    Some of the quasi-patriots here will talk about moving to small towns and how safe these are but I would choose a thriving Asian metropolis to some hick town where you have to own a 4 wheel drive in order to drive 10 miles down a dirt road with potholes to get to the nearest Wal-Mart.

    Much is made about corruption but rural hick police in the US run their counties like tinpot Banana Republic dictators, as the film First Blood depicted.

    Overall, if you can come up with $1000 a month, you are far better off in Asia.

    Nobody cares about PC in Asia and Asians would laugh at it.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  20. @Ruediger Walter

    This is not much worse than what the average minimum wage worker faces in the US. I held terrible jobs in college and some of the poor f*cked f*ckers in Mt Pleasant Michigan were locals who were my age now-in their 40′s-working telemarketing jobs and busing tables in Big Boys and at the rock-bottom of the US service-sector conditions are next to awful.

    I’m actually surprised that Mexicans save enough to send anything back to Tijuana.

    • Replies: @Patricus
  21. @jilles dykstra

    In those days, they simply decamped for North America or Australia.

    Europe was a land of emigrants from 1600 to 1945 when WWII ended.

    The fact that Scots would climb over their own mother to get to Central West Virginia or Nova Scotia demonstrates this fact.

    Things might have been worse in Europe except that industrialization and the steamboat managed to thin out the desperation.

  22. @Anonymous

    I don’t live in Cebu and have not for several years.

    In Dubai I became attracted to Cebu-in my 30′s-because a colleague wanted to do business with me there and I had a free room in his place.

    For three years I worked in Cebu.

    But to answer your question-

    If you were to marry a black or Mexican woman living in poverty in the US and moved into their districts you’d be FAR more likely to be killed than the odd foreigner in Philippines. It is far more dangerous in Flint or Detroit or barrios of the United States than it is in Cebu.

    Police corrupt? I’d rather be around Filipino cops who can be bought for $50 and you’re more likely to get into a bad situation in a small city or town in the US with a Sheriff like the Rambo character if like Stallone you get on the wrong side of him.

    Dysfunctional?

    I knew several African-Americans on modest pensions who simply chose a bungalow on a beach to being trapped in a black neighborhood. Filipinos cannot usually AFFORD guns.

    Drugs? No idea your nationality but stand outside any urban Greyhound station in America. You will be approached by 10 guys who try to sell you crack. Phoenix in 1998 was so full of rednecks going apeshit on crystal meth that I wish Duterte had shot all of them.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @Anonymous
  23. @Anonymous

    Learn Russian, and apply for residency there in retirement?

    Although it might be a tough language to learn as an older adult. Saw a comment on here that noted Russian’s classification as one tier more difficult for English-speakers to learn than German is.

  24. Patricus says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Wow. So sorry to learn about your tough times in the US. I’ve lived here 65 years and managed to eat and drink regularly and mostly prosper. There have been some lean times such as in recessions.

    It is possible to fall down and stay there if you choose to live in Detroit or Baltimore. Sell something and get a bus to elsewhere.

    It would be insane to move to Asia or Africa. Those people have been around for millenia but never approached the North American prosperity, technology and relative freedom. Somehow I am skeptical they will lead the future. Americans will rebound as they always have. It is happening now. It happened in the 1980s and 90s. It happens over and over again and we have managed to surpass all others while dubious characters remind us how rotten we are, how lacking in culture and so on.

    Our detractors are bitter and jealous losers. Bet on the USA and you will do well.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Rev. Spooner
  25. @Jeff Stryker

    Dysfunctional?

    I have to laugh at the smug ‘merkins who seem to love to point out the dysfunctional aspects of other places while turning blind eyes away from the dysfunction in their own country. The US is in many ways and on many levels, about as dysfunctional as it gets, and there are those who wonder why LD writes what he does.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
    , @Biff
  26. Patricus says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Congratulations citizen of the world. Those are words meaning nobody from nowhere.

  27. @Jeff Stryker

    Some of the quasi-patriots here will talk about moving to small towns and how safe these are but

    , most of them are dreaming. I wouldn’t be surprised if the deaths in rural areas due to crack and what not are on a per capita par with inner city America. A lot of the small towns are social cesspools in more ways than one.

  28. Alfa158 says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I’m surprised to hear that. I found that Russian was actually easier to learn than German. The Cyrillic alphabet didn’t really present a problem and I found Russian grammar easier than German. French is the language I really had a struggle with.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  29. “Bitter and jealous losers”

    This what a man who has never lived in another country would think.

    The overall standard of living is higher in Sydney or Tokyo or Dubai.

    “Insane to move to Asia or Africa”

    Most sane people if forced to choose between parachuting into Flint or Chicago or Tokyo or Singapore would choose the latter.

    Definitely large parts of the US interior are not more modern or prosperous than Asia.

    “North American freedom”

    You’re much freer in most of Asia. For example, you can get laid.

    “Technology and prosperity”

    Half the towns in the US interior and Rust belt are falling apart. Nobody can drink the water in Flint.

    “It happened in the 1980′s and 1990′s”

    I was born in 1974 and I actually agree that the Reagan Revolution turned things around from the Ford-Carter era. That was mostly psychological though. Hedonism, drugs, hippies, disco, cynicism, Watergate, the Iran hostages etc.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  30. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    White expats are the worst.

    They are horrible in Latin American countries, they are even worse in Asian countires.

    These are usually losers in America or some other Western shithole who couldn’t make it. So they go to some third world country and suddenly become experts in not only their new country but all of the faults of the country they fled.

    These expats are never able to be happy because the stink of failure from their old life still haunts them.

    I can spot Jeff Strykers a mile away and so can everyone else.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
    , @ken
    , @Anonymous
  31. @jacques sheete

    Personally, the closest I came to serious physical injury were spur-of-the-moment instances in Detroit and Phoenix with blacks and Mexicans.

    The first time was a black who took offense to me making a phone call in the seedy lobby of a hotel with a bar who followed me out into the parking lot chasing me in his car waving a gun saying he would kill me if he saw me again.

    The second were two Cholos in Phoenix in broad daylight who just saw me waiting for a bus.

    This does not happen in Dubai or in my experience, in Asia.

  32. And yet people keep having babies and perpetuating the absurd folly that is life on Earth. Even me. Go figure…

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  33. @Anonymous

    I left the US at 25, my entire career was more or less spent abroad.

    I’d say was too young to fail in my own country. Only been out of university 1 yr when I moved to Dubai.

    So I was unmarried, had no track record and no debts when I moved overseas,

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  34. @Jeff Stryker

    “North American freedom”

    People who claim that North Americans have anything worth calling “freedom” apparently have extremely low standards for the concept and as you say, need to get out more. The anti-federalists, in fact, knew that the constitution was a huge link in the chain around our necks and they were correct.

    It’s been downhill, freedom wise, since 1788-9. The “Revolution” has long ago been co-opted. From the Alien-Sedition Laws (1798),to the War Between the States, to the Federal Reserve and the income tax,to Wilson’s and FDR’s war socialism ( communism, really), to the “Patriot Act,” anyone braying about American freedom is a candidate for Comedy Central.

    But hey, “muh munny and lookit all the trinkits ah haz! I dun good, and de rest of youse is malcontents ‘n jelliss too!”

  35. Linh Dinh is the best writer on this site. I love his stories on Vietnam.

  36. Truth says:

    But hey, “muh munny and lookit all the trinkits ah haz! I dun good, and de rest of youse is malcontents ‘n jelliss too!”

    LOL

    Nothing better than a melange of ebonics, Puertoriconics, NJ Sicillionics, and Linh-Dinh Whitephillesese to start off the day!

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  37. Joe Dong says:

    What’s the point of this article, we all know that Vietnam is poor and an unpleasant place to live, so why tell us about it?

  38. @Truth

    Puertoriconics

    That part’s for you. I knew you’d understand.

  39. @Sir Launcelot Canning

    And yet people keep having babies and perpetuating the absurd folly that is life on Earth.

    Yup, even the self proclaimed “high IQ” bunch does that. Many “successful” ones as well. Go figure.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  40. Anonymous[216] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    That’s not congruent with your narrative above. Getting chased out of your own country by niggers and Mexicans and not being able to get laid does make you a failure.

    It’s not like you needed 30 years in America to see this. It was already apparent to you and that’s why you left.

    This is easy to see with white expats, by the way, because they all say the same thing to feel like less of a loser.

    • Troll: jacques sheete
  41. Renoman says:

    Great job Linh, thanks.

  42. Agent76 says:

    Aug 16, 2011 The Tale of the Slave – Robert Nozick

    “Anarchy, State and Utopia”. I would recommend re-watching the video to see clearly if Nozick’s question is answerable.

  43. njguy73 says:
    @RadicalCenter

    You ever read Dmitry Orlov? He’s a Russian-born blogger who writes about how the US is headed for collapse and Russia is a good bolthole.

    • Replies: @prusmc
    , @RadicalCenter
  44. prusmc says: • Website
    @njguy73

    Nj
    Could not find a link to Orlov.

    • Replies: @njguy73
  45. Joe Wong says:
    @Anonymous

    Vietnamese has been brain washed by the French and American manufactured toxic pro West and anti-Chinese revisionist history, so their energy is consumed by hatred of China instead of working with China to build a better and more prosper nation.

    The cause of Vietnamese plight is that they don’t have an innate culture, they have lost their Asian root, as their writing script demonstrated, they don’t know whether they are coming or going, they are Asian or they are European, they are confused, so chaos rules.

  46. Joe Wong says:
    @Anonymous

    Donald Trump is waging war against China and Russia to make America great again, please have faith in Donald Trump, he will make America great again.

  47. Joe Wong says:
    @Anonymous

    You are making it up because you are jealous and resentful that Jeff Stryker was able to get away with the decaying American way of life in the USA, because majority white expats in China, HK and Taiwan did exactly opposite to what you said about Jeff Styker, i.e. the white expats in China, HK and Taiwan always bad mouth locals even use fake news to make a point, but praise their hometown as utopia, foreign corresponds, and religion and social NGOs are notorious with cult like zeal.

  48. Biff says: • Website
    @jacques sheete

    I have to laugh at the smug ‘merkins who seem to love to point out the dysfunctional aspects of other places while turning blind eyes away from the dysfunction in their own country.

    Where I used to live in America it was beautiful! Spit shined clean. I had a restaurant(guessing 4 star) in the middle of a tech area – surrounded by Hewlett-Packard, Argo, and several other tech corporations I’ve already forgot. The place was swimming with money.
    My typical customer, and neighbors in the area:
    Late twenties early thirtys tech’y. New house(and I mean newly built too), new car, new wife, new kids, and new credit card. Obviously mortgaged full tilt, and the brand new car has payments due. Most of his paycheck goes to FIRE(finance, Insurance, Real estate).

    Pays for his seven dollar lunch special with that new credit card – one dollar tip.
    Very often they would show up in groups of 8 – 12 people. All would want their own bill, and pay in the same exact way.
    On occasion, in evening they would show up for dinner with the wife and kids – order cheap, demand a lot, and maybe racking up a thirty dollar tab – tip two or three bucks.

    Question: What do you think is going to happen when those jobs disappear?

    Oh, and I guess I should mention the other ten percent(and growing) of my customers who also worked tech jobs. Indians. Lots, and lots of ever growing number of Indians.

  49. ken says:
    @Anonymous

    I read everything this guy says then look out my window, around my neighborhood and across my highly imperfect state and I still think it isn’t nearly the sh*tsville he’s describing. His view of the US is a blend of The Warriors and Max Mad.

  50. Anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:

    At my morning coffee spot, I often sit near an old woman who makes about three bucks a day, selling lottery tickets. One of her relatives owns a box making factory, however, so she has a place to sleep, two meals a day, plus $22 a month from this relation.

    Excellent. Sounds like a well-adjusted, productive, fertile, US (undocumented) citizen. Let’s import millions of those low IQ shitskins into the West so they can carry “we will replace you” signs until they, and their children, perish.

    Everyone knows about the US’ runaway trade imbalance with China, but it’s also incurring a massive deficit with Vietnam, which in 2017 alone totaled $38 billion. As with so much else, Americans are oblivious to their nation’s true poverty, but this bankruptcy will hit them like a surprise roundhouse kick upside the head, soon enough.

    True, and your kind will be in the middle. How does it feel to hate your hosts so much because the Tribe told you to?

    Are you winning in the US? What’s gonna happen according to your tea-leaf reading?

    • Replies: @Old Jew
  51. linh ,i know you’re not old as i am ,but your description of your home country reminds me very very much of the south philly and the 9th st open air market area i grew up in,in the 50s and 60s..we could all afford things then ,and nobody was homeless,even the bums back then had flophouses at night up in china town..yeah this is not the america i grew up in..the deep state here convinced everybody that the’ve been victimized by some other group of people..and the moneyed live in gated communities here..wasn’t all that way in the 50s.and even the 60s and 70s..keep writing buddy.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  52. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    So ironic and yet so true. Middle class white people who can tune in and leave behind their cultural bad habits are well respected and well remunerated.

  53. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Russia’s main advantage is that it has genuine sovereignty. For someone like Edward Snowden or Mark Dougan that eclipses all other considerations.

    For the rest of us, Russia is a second tier choice. It’s a second world country with backwards infrastructure, lots of corruption, and the culture seems pessimistic. Alcoholism is still a rampant problem. Another factor is that white skin doesn’t impart any advantage since the Russians have plenty of that already. It’s not a bad country, and you could well argue it’s better than the USA, but I’d still rank it below Western Europe or the more forward countries in Asia.

    Russian language really isn’t that much of a problem. The writing system can be learned in a few days, and one can start off by speaking broken uninflected Russian and then slowly picking up the correct grammar. Lots of Uzbeks can’t speak Russian properly either, but they manage to get by, by relying more on word order and emphasis rather than inflection. Another advantage is that it’s a monolingual country and you’ll be forced to learn it very fast. If you’re a serious immigrant, I think the linguistics would not pose a barrier.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  54. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Patricus

    It would be insane to move to Asia or Africa. Those people have been around for millenia but never approached the North American prosperity, technology and relative freedom.

    India has had many golden ages, as has China. Marco Polo found them to be far more advanced than Europe. As for freedom, it’s always a two-edged sword. You lose the freedom to yell what you want in the streets but you gain the freedom to walk safely at all times of the day.

    Have you been to China? Go there and have a look. It may well change your life.

    Americans will rebound as they always have. It is happening now. It happened in the 1980s and 90s.

    America is unproven. It’s only been around a few hundred years and the dynamics have changed so much since it’s genesis that the current ‘nation’ is completely unprecedented. Your examples are all from within my own lifetime, which is just a drop in the ocean of human history.

  55. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    These are usually losers in America or some other Western shithole who couldn’t make it. So they go to some third world country and suddenly become experts in not only their new country but all of the faults of the country they fled.

    How many have you met, and where did you meet them? If you did your research in Pattaya, you’d get a different result from if you did it in Kuala Lumpur. Most white expats in Thailand are washed up alcoholics with no future, whereas there are plenty of clean high functioning expats performing essential economic functions all over the less touristed placed in Asia.

    Like JS, I also left the West when I was young and before I had built any life there. I just couldn’t stand it any longer and so I set out to find greener pastures on which to build my life. It’s ok, I found them, and life is good. Now I just have a hard time understanding why more Westerners don’t see it the same way!

  56. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s not like you needed 30 years in America to see this. It was already apparent to you and that’s why you left.

    He said 25 years old. That’s only 7 years of adulthood. That’s actually pretty quick on the uptake. Why would any sane person want to enter the rat race in a country full of violent negros, when they could do so in a safer and more productive culture elsewhere? He grabbed his balls, and made the leap. Good show.

  57. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @felix giordano

    I had to search to find out what a flophouse was. Wikipedia had this tidbit:

    A 1958 survey by Christopher Jencks found that homeless men preferred cage hotels over shelters for reasons of privacy and security.[12]

    A similar preference for cage hotels over shelters was reported in turn of the century New York City, where single working men ranked their housing preference in the following order:

    They preferred lodging and boarding houses to cages, cages to dormitories, dormitories to flops, and flops to the city’s shelters. Men could act on these preferences by moving as their incomes increased.[13]

    This is exactly what we need to help the homeless, and exactly what has been removed by the regulation that assumes everyone is middle class to begin with. This is why the West is fucked because, upon attaining greatness, it woke up amnesiac and kicked away the ladder by which it had climbed up, having deemed it to be an eyesore.

    • Replies: @Stonehands
  58. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    But to answer your question-

    That wasn’t my question. You answered a different question. Also, you’re preaching to the choir since I have much the same view you do.

    I was curious where you’re living now and what arrangements have been successful for yourself. I’m curious to note successful behavioral patterns, so I can draw inspiration for my own life.

  59. Akbar Ali says:
    @Anonymous

    Anonymous[321] wrote, “I don’t think Linh is trying to make us feel sorry for them. On the contrary, he describes their lives in objective terms and concedes that they benefit from close family ties and a certain freedom that Americans don’t.”

    You nailed it, that it is the close family which has disappeared in USA, which makes the economy woes unbearable. And, moving away from good old Christianity values, especially HOPE.

    But American are one of the best people in the world. I have no doubt that they will come back to their good roots.

    If Prince of Peace Jesus (as) can feed the whole village of 10,000 with four fish, then there is no doubt USA will take care of their poor.

    Akbar Ali

  60. A 35-year-old Philly friend who’s been semi-homeless for the last two years just told me she doesn’t even have a phone any more, so must wait for up to an hour at the library to use a computer for 30 minutes, a predicament that severely limits her ability to find a job. She barely survives by cleaning houses.

    It depends on the branch and the total number of computers, but if you arrive when the library first opens, there is usually no waiting. Ideally, someone could give her a used laptop or tablet and she would be able to use the free wifi at the library or elsewhere at her convience. A Tracfone and a year’s worth of minutes will only cost about $120/year, if she only uses the phone for work-related calls.

    Part of the reason so many Americans are on drugs and/or homeless is because they were lied to as children. They weren’t taught anything, yet told that they could become anything they wanted. Boston just built a $73 million STEM-focused school for low-income, academically underperforming students. The engineers and scientists produced by this institution will be few an far between.

  61. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Akbar Ali

    But American are one of the best people in the world. I have no doubt that they will come back to their good roots.

    Quite possibly, but how long will it take? Nations change slowly and we could easily be looking at a continued decline for the rest of our lifetimes.

    It’s also entirely uncertain how exactly ‘america’ will be reborn. As one country or as many countries?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  62. Anonymous[224] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s also entirely uncertain how exactly ‘america’ will be reborn. As one country or as many countries?

    One. One huge unskilled labor pool exploited by Israel and China, once the bottom is reached.

    It is all over but for the thrashing of death throes. The US cannot rise again, because it is gone — an empty gunnysack blowing down old railroad tracks. Once Brazil, always Brazil. Trapped in a nonviable national culture of onanistic lotus-eating.

  63. What a kickass piece of work.

  64. Joe Wong says:
    @Akbar Ali

    You are brain washed by the American propaganda beyond repair. Americans are ‘God-fearing’ morally defunct evil ‘puritans’. Look at their history, in their short history they managed to fill it up with war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace that beyond anyone with basic human decency can possible image; yet the Americans claim/believe that whatever the American does it is necessary with good intention. Hence the American has no difficulty committing bombing, killing and waterboarding on the fabricated WMD allegation as humanitarian intervention, or owning slaves while calling themselves democracy, and human right and freedom defender.

    • Replies: @Akbar Ali
  65. Akbar Ali says:
    @Joe Wong

    Joe Wong wrote, “You are brain washed by the American propaganda beyond repair.”

    I believe we are talking about two different things here. American Government, which like all Empires, it is Evil. And, average American People, who like People anywhere in the world are Good People.

    Akbar Ali

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  66. @Alfa158

    Interesting. Do you find the French grammar hard, or the pronunciation?

    I know german fairly well, but have never made a serious effort to learn Russian.

    Here’s a link to that language-difficulty ranking:

    https://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty

    Our kids are learning Mandarin at a very young age, precisely because it’s so difficult to learn well if you wait till adulthood.

  67. @jacques sheete

    Actually, it seems that millions of above-average and higher-IQ people in the USA and other western countries are having no children or one child. I know all too many intelligent, productive, usefully educated people who had none and will have none —including my best friend (journalist), one of my siblings (IT), a female lawyer, and a female doctor. Terribly sad for them and for our nation.

    The effects are already showing and will become more drastic over time.

  68. @Anonymous

    Maybe some Western expats are losers and many are not? Why do we have to paint them all with the same brush?

    I have an American acquaintance, from a bright family (parents are german and Polish), who moved to Poland for a job in his mid-20s and never came back. He married a sweet Polish girl, advanced in his career with the same company, has had one child so far and hoping for another, and bought a house there. He works hard and takes good care of them and loves Polish culture. Quite the opposite of a loser.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  69. @Akbar Ali

    There will soon be a majority in the USA for whom “our roots” are not their roots.

  70. @Anonymous

    I don’t have a problem with his decision. But one answer of why a sane person would stay in America is simply this: it’s ours, we love it, and generations of our families contributed to it, benefitted from it, and wouldn’t want all their effort and struggle to be for naught. We don’t want to surrender the rest of this territory and the rest of our culture.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  71. @njguy73

    Thanks, nj guy, I’ll check it out. By the way, North Jersey native here: GO DEVILS!

    • Replies: @Truth
  72. @Anonymous

    Thank you for the thoughtful response; I benefit from people like you who have more familiarity with Russia and the Russian language.

    As for Western Europe, though, I’d never consider retiring in a country whose white population is declining, aging, refusing to defend its land, people, and culture, and being replaced en masse by Africans, Arabs, and/or Muslims (and in the case of my dear Germany and Austria, Turks as well) — and that’s before factoring in the growing violence and intimidation in many white europeans’ daily lives.

    On anything like current trends, why in the world would we expect Sweden, England, France, the Benelux countries, Germany, or Italy to be safe or pleasant places to live 20 or 30 years from now?

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    , @Anonymous
  73. @RadicalCenter

    PS My boy Matteo Salvini gives me a bit of hope for Italy, but not really, given the abysmally low fertility rate of actual Italians.

  74. @Biff

    In America if someone does something stupid or has a spell of bad luck and ends up broke and destitute it’s very hard to recover from that even if they wise up and have the will to better their lives. A person with bad credit working at a survival job at or close to minimum wage is going to have a hell of a time getting out of the poverty rut. Not having access to credit means they will be relentlessly nickel and dimed trying to secure utilities and basic services, and SOL if they can’t scrape up enough cash for security deposits.

    A person living at poverty level spends all their energy in a constant battle to stay afloat and inertia is working against them. If they are single and have family who can help them out they might, with enough determination, have a fighting chance of achieving a dignified life. Saddled with kids or in a dysfunctional relationship…good luck with that. Simply put, America doesn’t believe in second chances. Do something stupid when you’re young and it could cost you the rest of your life.

    Although it goes against the prevailing ideology, everybody knows accident of birth and luck play a significant role in how a person’s life turns out. Nobody can choose their parents, their core personality, innate abilities or the socioeconomic level they are born into. This means a significant minority of the population has the deck stacked against them from birth but American ideology pretends they have the same life chances as someone born into a stable middle-class family.

    A wealthy country that considers even a basic provision like universal single payer healthcare as a slippery slope leading to totalitarian socialism creates a lot of problems for itself.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Jeff Stryker
  75. Truth says:
    @RadicalCenter

    GO DEVILS!

    Did you mean to put the “s” at the end?

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  76. I work in the construction industry in greater Portland Oregon. My favorite clients are a group of Vietnamese general contractors. They remind me of my grandfather’s generation: they work hard, don’t complain, all smoke cigarettes, there are never any women on their job sites, and all are members of an extensive family system that supports itself. Sadly, there are signs of upward mobility, such as doing everything then can to get their kids into the best universities in the country, so in time my guess is that their family network, just as mine has, will die out, and their kids will be just a few more atomized stupid Americans.

  77. Yee says:

    It seems strange that Americans calling people who move to another country “losers”…. Considering all Americans are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. They or their grandpas all “losers” moved to another country.

  78. Joe Wong says:
    @Akbar Ali

    Government and troops do not born out thru the thin air, and they are made up by the people of the nation. USA is a democracy its people claimed, and its governments are elected by the people. You are reflecting the mentality of the US government, i.e. we are good people with good intention no matter what we do including bombing, killing and waterboarding on the fabricated allegation, it is necessary with good intention, and it is always somebody’s fault.

    • Replies: @Akbar Ali
  79. Always look forward to Linh Dinh’s writing. Once again, a very good article.

    Thanks again!

  80. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I’d say that Russia is a mediocre country with a stable outlook, while Western Europe is predominantly good with an uncertain outlook. When we compare the two, we’re extrapolating into the future and I don’t think anyone here can do that with much accuracy.

    Tides change and Eastern Europe has already shown resistance to the Muslim invaders, and Austria is also starting to stand firm. Remember that National Socialism was a very recent and Europe-wide affair. It’s a complete myth that grassroots support was only in the Germanosphere. Should this undercurrent in the European psyche once again break through to the surface, an ethnic cleansing and cultural reset could undo all the work of the Muslim invaders within a few short years.

    I think only a deep reading psychologist like Carl Jung would be in a position to map this out with any accuracy, but he passed away half a century ago and I don’t know anyone alive who can match his prowess.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  81. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Squarebeard

    Reading your post, a voice inside me screams “Go! GTFO! Don’t look back!”.

    Is it really that different to how the Irish left during their famines?

  82. Akbar Ali says:
    @Joe Wong

    Joe Wong wrote, “Government and troops do not born out thru the thin air, and they are made up by the people of the nation.”

    Greetings Joe,

    In a way, I agree with you. Two of my favorite songs:

    Akbar Ali

  83. Old Jew says:
    @Anonymous

    I’ve been reading Lin for the last several years. He hates my “Tribe” with a vengeance.

    ……Nevertheless he hates Philadelphia, too.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  84. LFM says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Coal and Christianity. These were the secrets to industrial success in those parts of Europe that had both. Those parts of Europe without coal, like most of Spain except Catalonia, like Italy, like the south of France, and so forth, remained poor. On the other hand, China, with plenty of coal, did not do much to improve the lot of its people until the late 20th century with the aid of a bastardized Marxism that was itself a form of bastardized Christianity. Japan managed to modernize without either coal or Christianity, but it is the exception to every rule.

  85. Biff says:
    @Anonymous

    White Americans are still per-capita more productive than Vietnamese, but the difference is not enough to support the increased standard of living that the government has mandated.

    After re-reading that, I think you’re onto something. Building codes, and mandated updates on infrastructure prices a lot of people out.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  86. @Anonymous

    …That is what I thought, too.

  87. @RadicalCenter

    EXPATS ARE LOSERS

    You cannot be on probation or parole.

    You cannot be on welfare.

    You cannot have dependents you are unable to pay for.

    You have to have some money/budget

    This cancels out-

    Hood Rats, Cholos (I’ve never seen one abroad) and hardcore white trash…

    Especially the women. I’ve never seen a real ghetto female abroad. Same with a Chola. They just never live abroad.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  88. @Squarebeard

    “Totalitarian socialism”

    Yeah, look how awful Australia and Canada are compared to the US.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  89. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @Biff

    And so many laws besides.

    Vietnamese can sell in the street with no permit and no rent because they are poor so people take pity. Westerners can’t.

    Vietnamese can turn their front room into a shop and sell rice or packaged goods or anything they damned well please. Westerners can’t, because it’s zoned residential.

    Vietnamese can sleep in their factory. Westerners can’t, because it’s zoned industrial.

    Vietnamese can start a business from almost nothing and grow it organically. They can sort the paperwork out later. Westerners can’t, because all of the paperwork needs to be in place before the business can serve even one customer.

    Vietnamese can pay all in cash, no need to set up a bank account right away. Westerners can’t.

    Vietnamese can build machines and DIY by buying a foot of PVC tubing from shop A, some stainless steel bolts from shop B, a motor from shop C, and getting it all welded together in shop D. Westerners are told: ‘Sorry, trade customers only’ ‘Sorry, our MOQ is 1,000 units’ ‘Sorry, you can’t enter the workshop floor – health and safety’.

    Vietnamese can carry goods any which way they want. Motorbike, car, lorry. Westerners can’t.

    Vietnamese can allow anyone to drive their car or motorbike to carry goods. Westerners can’t – the insurance has a closed list of people who are allowed to drive the vehicle.

    Vietnamese can drive a vehicle until the wheels fall off. Westerners can’t.

    Vietnamese can hire staff first and then work out safety standards later. Westerners can’t.

    Vietnamese can enter an established market without really offering anything new and still do successful business. Westerners can’t, because it’s all controlled by big brands.

    Vietnamese can undercut big business by cutting corners, breaking rules, keeping small, and flying under the radar. Westerners can’t.

    Vietnamese can learn business by working at their uncle’s shop. Westerners can’t, because they don’t see their uncle very often and anyway he only works in a cube farm.

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @RadicalCenter
  90. Biff says:
    @Anonymous

    That pretty much covers it.

  91. @Yee

    Well, my great grandfather and most of his brothers returned to Wales from Chicago having made a (small) foetune by the age of 40. The US immigrants who stayed there were the ones who didn’t make it (or made it huge).

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  92. @Philip Owen

    Is that why Fred Trump never returned to Germany?

    People immigrated to the US for different reasons than Australia or New Zealand. The former offered the possibility to make a great deal of money, the latter was simply a better place for working class Brits to live.

    Most Americans are from Europe’s basket-cases. Southern Italy, Ireland (Prior to the Celtic Tiger era), Eastern Europe.

    The UK on the other hand was never so impoverished as to really make the US coal mines or factories or sweatshops that attractive. The UK tradespeople usually opted for other Commonwealth countries.

  93. Logan says:

    Very interesting story. Especially in comparison with the pampered social justice warriors of America who consider themselves so oppressed.

    Yet this lifestyle, and considerably worse, was the norm for just about all humanity til at most the last 200 years.

    Perception of economic deprivation is so utterly relative.

    The idiot who went on the killing spree in Santa Barbara a few years back was ashamed and embarrassed by his poverty, being forced to drive a C-class Mercedes convertible rather than an S-class.

    30 years ago I was working for a lady in Santa Fe who was complaining about economic hardship because she was only going to be able to afford a month in Europe that summer instead of two months.

    Etc., etc.

  94. @Truth

    Good catch. I obviously didn’t mean the NHL team that won the Stanley Cup in 1995, 2000, and 2003.

  95. @Yee

    More like great-great-grandfathers and longer for most white Americans, but your point is taken.

  96. @Anonymous

    Fair point about mediocre but stable versus better buy declining.

    But unfortunately, I don’t think western Europe’s future is all that uncertain.

    There’s a always a chance, but realistically, how do Middle-aged and elderly Europeans with little private firearm ownership “ethnically cleanse” young aliens, disproportionately young alien MEN? The difference in median age between white Germans, French, Italians, and Swedes, and their Muslim/african/Arab colonizers is a full TWENTY YEARS (late 20s versus late 40s).

    Demoralized people who are brainwashed to be ashamed of their own culture and identity, don’t have children, and they render themselves thereby unable to fight back and win.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  97. @Old Jew

    Didn’t seem like he hated Philly. That would have been a point in his favor.

  98. @RadicalCenter

    Thank you. Took the words right outta my mouth. It’s ours and our families worked for it and we love it forever.

  99. @njguy73

    Thanks for the tip, I just checked him out for the first time. Found him at cluborlov.blogspot.com, and his series of books called The Collapse Chronicles. Volume five just came out.

  100. @Jeff Stryker

    Jeff, did you read my comment? I gave an example of a friend who is decidedly a NON-loser expat, and I said we shouldn’t paint all expats with the some brush.

  101. @Jeff Stryker

    Jeff, say the wrong thing in Canada, especially in Vancouver where I lived, and you can have your life severely harmed by investigation, a fine, public humiliation, perhaps worse. Especially if the complainant is not white and you are. So yes, there is a creeping loss of liberty and freedom of speech in beloved Canada. Australia I can’t say.

  102. @Anonymous

    Superb examples. What the Hell has happened to my country.

  103. @Biff

    I clicked agree, but as to the college debt, that’s an untenable excuse. There is no “need” for most people to go,into big debt for college in the USA, despite the constant repetition of that canard.

    See Zack Bissonnette’s book, Debt Free U.

    Live with a relative instead of in a dorm or separate apartment if possible (and go to a school where it’s possible).

    Pick a college you can afford. First and foremost, attend an in-state college instead of a private And/or out-of-State college, to minimize the tuition. Too bad if it’s not the location you want, or the climate you want, or a place with a great football team, or the place where one’s poorly-advised and uninformed friends are going with the “benefit” of huge loans.

    If necessary, attend a community college very cheap for the first two years and then transfer to a four-year in-state college to finish the BA or BS degree.

    Cook meals or again, get meals from family, rather than an expensive meal plan from the college or constant fast food and restaurants.

    Don’t blow lots of money on weed, alcohol, a newer car, etc., as great as those things are ;)

    And naturally, work full time for pay in the summers and part-time during the academic year. I worked 25-30 hours per week while excelling at a demanding university.

    I don’t know of anyone, I mean anyone, who has done these things and still has large college loans, if any college loans at all.

    With the “necessity” of big college debt as with so many things both “left” and “right”, people like to believe what they like to believe, and then pity themselves for the predictable consequences of their own easily avoidable, stupid choices.

    By the way, I did NOT follow some of these bits of advice, so I spent years paying off student loans that should never have been “necessary.” But I never complained about the loans, as I soon realized it was my fault!

  104. @Jeff Stryker

    Crooked bankers and brokers get the tax money.

    Military contractors get the tax money so we can attack people who are doing us no harm, and alienate (or further alienate) hundreds of millions of people (some of whom we will then invite here to take revenge on us, e.g. San Bernardino CA 2016 or so).

    And tens of millions of Africans and now Mexicans get the money to subsidize them conceiving multiple children after they know they cannot support the one or two they already have.

    Hence, we “can’t afford” clean drinking water in Flint.
    And we “can’t afford” a national high-speed rail system.
    And we “can’t afford” to repair or replace bridges before they collapse.
    Brilliant.

  105. Corvinus says:
    @RadicalCenter

    “Demoralized people who are brainwashed to be ashamed of their own culture and identity, don’t have children, and they render themselves thereby unable to fight back and win.”

    Another one of your false premises.

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