Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Haiti has suffered horrific devastation. It didn’t have to.

There was no way to prevent the 7.0 earthquake itself. But estimates of as many as 200,000 dead? That didn’t have to happen.

Economist Donald Boudreaux recalls that in 1989, an equally powerful quake hit the San Francisco Bay area. It caused lots of trouble but killed fewer than 70 people. But Haiti is a much poorer country than the U.S., with weaker buildings and roads, for starters.

Why so poor?

Haiti is not a free society. It’s had one corrupt tyrant after another, recently emerged from the terrorizing rule of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was sent packing in 2004.

Many pundits are saying that the way to strengthen Haitian society over the long haul is torrents of foreign aid. Economist Jeffrey Sachs wants Washington to spend billions on a five-year development plan, which he says it should fund by taxing Wall Street bonuses.

Charity and rescue efforts are wonderful. Government-to-government foreign aid, not so much. Haiti has remained desperately poor despite the massive flow of foreign aid, which, over the years, has mainly subsidized corruption. What Haiti needs is stability. The ability to attract investment. Less propping up of corrupt politicians. Less foreign aid, more freedom.

But a free society is something Haitians will have to build themselves.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

11 Comments

  1. Robin Hall says:

    You are absolutely correct. Government aid is not helpful, except to dictators!

  2. Dear Sirs: NOTHING…should be left to the Haitians, as some tyrant is always seizing power. They should be given the USA constitution under the guise of a Haitian re-write. A two-party system. Anglo-ization. But whatever we do, we should NOT “take-them-in” here, at a time when some many USA citizens are out of work. The “problem” we have is that any buiness multinational big eough to have an economic impact for Haitians stupidly NEVER CARES what the governance is, thinking that its cheaper to buy-off one dictator, than put-up with the regulation of business via many bureaus, which require multiple pay-offs. Socialism won’t help a multi-national, because Socialists, more than capitalists, want to interfere with a business, perhaps seizing it at some point.

  3. J Scarbrough says:

    Let’s not forget the USA’s long history of interfering in Haiti, including propping up some of those same dictators in the name of preventing Communism.

    Tread softly, and maybe we won’t cause more problems than we solve.

  4. Mary Bodily says:

    The comparison for the California quake and the Haitian quake has some very big differences. The 1st: We had a 6.9 magatude quake which is a mear 100 time less shaking power. People don’t often realize the difference of one tenth of a point on the Richter. 2nd: Almost all our land is on good stable ground. Santa Cruz and the beach areas were hit hard. They had a sandy foundation that acts like liquid. But even then our construction made it so we lost only the oldest of buildings.
    3rd: We didn’t sit on our hands and cry. We go busy helping oneanother. With in minutes of the quake people were out there helping their neighbors and starting the cleanup where ever we could. Even though the ground kept shaking ever couple minutes. We are people who are used to working for what we have and not afraid of hard work. I saw inly one person crying in the streets. BUT our quake WAS 100 times less distructive. My perspective from one who was there in the middle of
    things.

  5. Bob Costello says:

    When you say stability what you really mean to say is: rule of law, contacts and security in property rights. People will not put forth effort (or have hope in their future)if they are not security in their ability to keep the fruit of their labor.With Haiti’s political corruption for so many decades that has been no rule of law. Haiti will continue to be a disaster until the people there have some semblance of property rights.

  6. voxoreason says:

    No one noted a key point here: Yes, one of America’s greatest assets is a population that NEVER seems to sit on its collective hands when another country (or even another city in America) suffers some catastrophe, whether an earthquake, tsunami, flooding, terrorist act, whatever, without an outpouring of charitable donations. But…how does this benefit *Obama*?

    Well, he did USE this tragedy to route the suckers…er, charitable through the White House (where personal contact info – name, address, phone number, email, web site, etc – could be collected) to the Red Cross, presumably to help people avoid going to a “fake” Red Cross site.

    One word: Google

    Okay, he can get the contact info for a lot of people, then use it to solicit campaign contributions in 2012, maybe even this year. Count on it. I mean, if you’re THAT stupid, Obama wants YOU! (Please pardon the ambiguity: I mean “your money.”)

    But…the most important aspect: How can Obama take personal credit for the charitable giving of the American people, which certainly didn’t originate with The One? Can’t do ‘er!

    On the other hand, if someone (anyone), perhaps a for-profit organization (or even the non-profits which turn respectable profits, eg, hospitals in Illinois; looking into Obama’s background brings up all kinds of stuff; see “Google,” above), can be TAXED (charitable giving with a gun to its head), THEN Obama can take credit for it!

    Mission accomplished.

    “This is not about me.” Really? Okay, let’s go to the Obama Lie-O-Meter, which is based on the observation that if Obama says something is true, you can bet it’s false, and vice versa.

    EVERYTHING that Obama even mentions is ultimately about Obama. Watch the SOTU tomorrow night, then reverse the meaning of every sentence that utters forth from his mouth, ie, add a “not,” or remove one where present.

    You will come a lot closer to the truth than Obama has or will ever come in his lifetime.

  7. Sachs is obviously a lefty. Five year plans are always favored by those who love centralized planning, ie; Socialism. It didn’t work in the Soviet Union,and it won’t work in Haiti.

  8. Charlie Seng says:

    Of all national correspondents and media, Mr. Jacob is the only one I’ve seen who states the correct way to solve Haiti’s problem. It is a sad thing when we spend most of the time crying about the suffering in Haiti, when the U.S. has been proping up this country for many years.

  9. Joel Glasser says:

    What I find amazing- the US-near haiti-has ( 1 or more) planes (as of Sat.)at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa-loaded but cannot take off- problems with the plane. Israel, thousands of miles away-was able to-within it seems like hours-have emegency people, doctors, field hospital, etc., in haiti. To help the PEOPLE, NOT THE GOVERNMENT. And, do not forget who was the partner of the former dictator Aristide- none other then Joseph P. kennedy 3rd-nephew of Teddy Kennedy. (Source-Wall Street Journal; sorry date not handy).

    So, how could the US do anything?

    perhaps, now the government will start doing something for the people. As for the Red Cross- remmber 9/11?
    The R.C. took in so much money, they then spent (I forgot the amount) but somewhat north of a quarter million on computers, and other items-for their staff (not the people in the field, those in the office). And the salaries? i am sure higher then in the for profit sector.
    I keep my charity at home, where I can see rsults, and there is accountability. Not Washingto or mega ‘charities’. My 5 cents

  10. John Ken says:

    The Obama bashers need to find another forum. This forum should be about helping the people of Haiti. It’s sad to see what a bunch of malcontents do with a forum to help people.

  11. G Hadley says:

    Another of our big mistakes is to allow those Haitians with the gumption to pick and move the USA to do so. It is precisely those people who are needed to overthrow the corrupt dictators and establish property rights and correct the injustices of the rest of the people (the sheep.)

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