Why do newspapers publish letters from dumb buggers? Hopefully, it’s to amuse us but knowing the newspaper world I suspect the answer is more likely sloth. Take a recent one in the Herald from a Joy Edwards of Albany.

First, assuming it was not maliciously written by a sworn enemy of Joy to make her look like a half-wit, she challenged an earlier correspondent, Andrew Tichbon, for writing that refugees flee to capitalist societies. As arguably the only capitalist nations left are Saudi Arabia and Quatar, I’ll assume both Joy and Andrew mean market economies.

Now brace yourself for what follows for Joy then makes a world-class screaming goose of herself implying no-one is fleeing from China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and North Vietnam, all of which she described as “non-capitalist countries”.

First there’s no such country as North Vietnam. This astonishing ignorance suggest Joy is probably a school teacher. Nevertheless, if she visited Hanoi she will witness what in my view is the most mind-boggling vibrant market economy in the world in action. It’s why we have few Vietnamese migrants but that certainly wasn’t the case back in 1976 as with the approaching fall of Saigon and the threat of communism (yes, Saigon – try saying Ho Chi Minh city there and no-one will know what you’re talking about.) they fled specifically, to market economies in huge numbers.

Over 2 million people, mainly ethnic Chinese Vietnamese, fled Vietnam in boats, the United Nations estimating between 200,000 and 400,000 losing their lives in the process. Of the survivors, 6,000 ending up in New Zealand, running restaurants and what have you and generally being highly productive.

Joy mentioned Laos, a country I know well.

Over 300,000 fled Laos, crossing the Mekong into a vast refugee camp in Thailand in the 1980s after the supposed Communists took over. New Zealand took about 1400.

Laos has a famously passive culture, but make no mistake, it certainly runs a market economy today as Joy would find if she went there.

And China? Joy’s ignorance is simply unbelievable. Several hundred thousand Chinese have fled in the last two years alone from Hong Kong and to our great benefit, some coming to New Zealand where 250,000 Chinese ethnics now reside.

Currently in Australia there are 600,000 China-born migrants. Today, and more significantly, China survives on a much freer market economy system than here in New Zealand, albeit under a dictatorship.

North Korea, the most oppressive nation on earth, still loses thousands annually, mostly fleeing at risk of their lives to China.

But the most astonishing of Joy’s extraordinary ignorant claims is mentioning Cuba where such is the rate of fleeing migrants since Castro took over, mainly, by the young, it now has one of the oldest populations in the world as a consequence.

With an average weekly wage of NZ$22 it certainly aint paradise and survives only by allowing a limited amount of private business activity to actually produce essential goods and services.

One could make a highly amusing TV show featuring Joy in a question and answer session.

For example,

Questioner: “What race occupies Bulgaria?”

Joy: “Argentinians”.

Questioner: “Which is the most northern island of the main three in New Zealand?”

Joy: “Stewart Island”.

Questioner: “How many legs are involved when hopping?”

Joy: “Three”.

It would be compulsory viewing.



kenandersonemploymentlawconz August 17, 2023 at 11:44 am

Thanks for bring a laugh to my day again Bob.

The quiz reminds me of the Clarke & Dawe skit on European Debt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5QwKEwo4Bc

So true – ‘Letters’ are now the bastion of the ignorant or myopic – with very rare exceptions.

Priceless Sir Bob. You are a literary genius. Your books take pride if pace in my library.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: