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Free and Strong America

Monday, January 18, 2010

2 on Haiti

Today's article from columnist Vox Day raises some interesting points concerning certain realities about Haiti. Among them he states...

"If Haiti needs anything from the United States, it is the 30,000 Haitians who are presently in the United States illegally, and thanks to the Obama administration, will now be permitted to stay another 18 months. Since the Haitian diaspora is made up of Haiti's most entrepreneurial and productive individuals, Haiti is far more in need of them now than ever. Both the U.S. and Haiti would be much better off if those 30,000 Haitians were given government contracts to return to Haiti and help rebuild it than remaining in the U.S. and adding to the 10 percent unemployment rate.

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...

"But beyond burying the dead, treating the injured and comforting the grieving, indeed, beyond the immediate food, water and shelter needs of the survivors, is the longer term question: Independent since 1804, why is Haiti still so poor, so corrupt, so desperate – and so vulnerable to disaster?

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.


Anonymous said...

Go to www.terraformhaiti.com for some more ideas

Ginx said...

I just want to pretend I didn't read the first one, so I'll just comment on the second.

I heard quite a few snap judgments about American involvement in Haiti immediately following the quake, almost exclusively from left-leaning individuals. It is my understanding that the short tenure of US involvement was actually one of the brighter moments, and that it was Dominican slaughters after we left far worse of an impact. There was some economic exploitation through large loans, though nothing to account for any of their problems.

It is my understanding that there was no resource management (most people note the tree situation) and no regulations regarding the construction of buildings. If anything, Haiti's early government was not "left" enough. I think it will take help from the outside for them to correct themselves, but I believe it is largely an issue of mismanagement within the country.

Tracy said...

That second article really does raise some interesting questions. I agree with Ginx that it seems that much of Haiti's poverty is due to mismanagement within the country.

I do not know however if outside help will empower them to correct themselves. I'd be interested to hear what kind of outside help Ginx has in mind?

Ginx said...

In a nation without resources (due to mismanagement), resources are required from the outside. Aid is already coming in daily to Haiti, even before the earthquake, but there should be aid in the form of experts and specialists who aim to help Haiti manage their future. Too often we just dump money/food on a poor country and wish them luck. We need to teach them how to fish, not just keep giving them fish.

photogr said...

"In a nation without resources (due to mismanagement), resources are required from the outside."

Well said Ginx. Well said. How many times has our government in the past dumped untold millions of dollars into an impovershed country and it never gets to the ones needing it the most? It all ends up in the bank accounts of it's corrupt leaders and the supplies are sold by those same corrupt leaders to the ones needing it the most.

photogr said...

Lets hope FEMA is not involved in Haiti relief. I will pray the Lord has mercy on those poor souls if FEMA is.

JD Curtis said...

Confession: I was in Haiti 2 years ago. People are correct when they say that the place has (or had) the potential to be a tourist Mecca.

Who here can tell us the link between Savannah GA and Haiti? anyone? Buehler? anyone?