Even the best-intentioned interference can trigger harmful effects capable of lasting decades, as we are unfortunately witnessing in the aftermath of the earthquake. Haiti's problems are best left to the Haitians for the simple reason that no one else is capable of solving them. On the other hand, if the Obama administration is absolutely determined to help Haiti, then why not kill two birds with one stone and give 100 percent of the 2009 Goldman Sachs bonus pool, which is being announced today and exists only thanks to federal largesse, to the people of Haiti?"
The other article I wanted to mention today is from Roger Hedgecock. Mr. Hedgecock examines some of the historical reasons for the grinding poverty of Haiti...
Putting aside answers like Pat Robertson's "the Haitians made a pact with the devil" and Danny Glover's "the earth retaliated for the failure of the Copenhagen Conference," why did so many Haitians have to suffer now when another 7.0 earthquake centered in the San Francisco Bay during the World Series in 1989 killed just 63 people?
The standard answer is that Haiti is poor. That's pretty obvious. Per capita GDP is less than $1,300 a year.
The real question is: Why is Haiti so poor? Many other small independent countries in the area have prospered. Next-door neighbor Dominican Republic is a thriving democracy with a growing economy generating about $8,600 per person per year.
Barbados and the Bahamas are small island countries nearby with primarily black populations that enjoy many times the per capita income of Haiti. Barbados boasts a thriving democracy and economy – with its own stock market – and per capita GDP of about $19,000 per year. The Bahamas do even better with per capita GDP of about $28,000.
Some point out that these successful countries were all ex-colonies of Britain, while Haiti had the misfortune to be colonized by France. It could be something to that – but the influence of colonization is a distant and receding memory. There must be other, more recent, reasons for the wide disparity of experience between these nations.
Both articles are thought provoking and I recommend reading them in their entirety if you have the time. Let's not forget to help Haiti through our donations to reputable agencies to at least help them out of this latest crisis. If you are unsure about a charity's reputation for financial accountablility, you can check them out at charitynavigator.org to see if they are legit. After that, I would think it best to let them govern on their own and let them stand or fall on their own political decisions. Then, perhaps they can break the chain of dependency to the West.