Should we run to Haiti’s assistance? Common humanity suggests we should.
Well, I consider the situation in Haiti perfectly analogous to that of a drunk who spends every penny on drink, and then collapses starving into the gutter from where we’re meant to rescue him. If we give him money he’ll spend it on drink, if we give him food he’d try to barter it for drink. What would you do with such a person? You need to be able to answer that question before you can say what we should do for Haiti.
Take this from U.S. Representative Porter Goss of Florida,
“We’ve been ripped off in Haiti and I don’t see why we should put more money into it. There’s so much corruption that the only way to make sure aid gets to the people is to fly down there yourself with some food, hand it to a Haitian, and watch him eat it in your presence.”
Here are some further considerations:
At the time of its, ahem, ‘independence’ over 200 years ago, Haiti was a wealthy country – the richest colony in the New World. It has had billions of dollars’ worth of aid from America, from Canada and from Europe over the years.
America rebuilt Haiti’s entire economy and national infrastructure three times during the 20th century, but each time the country reverted to its natural dystopic state. Everything the Americans built was scavenged to pieces, destroyed by arson or by vandalism, or allowed to rot through neglect:
Foreign aid provides almost half of the country’s budget and has done so for years and there are no fewer than 10,000 aid agencies of one form or another working on the ground for years (that’s almost one agency for every 1,000 Haitians!). Yet it remains a poverty and disease-stricken dump, and was so before the earthquake hit. >read MORE…