May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Jan. 14, 2011 / 9 Shevat, 5771
Haiti's Tourniquet Isn't Healing the Wound
Nine-five percent of the debris from the Haitian earthquake one year ago hasn't been moved.
In other words, billions of dollars later, with none other than Bill Clinton serving as the foreman for a massive international cleanup and reconstruction effort, most of the country pretty much looks exactly the way it did when dust and screams still filled the air.
Except, of course, for all of the tent cities.
More than a million people remain homeless. The good news? The Red Cross is building 300 semi-permanent wood homes. That would be sufficient if they could each serve a family of 3,300 people, semi-permanently.
To get a sense of Haiti's dysfunction, Fox News' Steve Harrigan reports that some 64 brand-new trucks donated after the earthquake by the United States to be used by aid organizations remain parked at the airport. Apparently nobody will pay the steep import tax on the vehicles, so they sit idle, overgrown with weeds.
Even before the earthquake, Haiti was not only the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, it was one of the few nations in the world to get poorer over the last 50 years. And this is despite the fact it has had some 10,000 international aid organizations working there for decades.
As I've written before, one of Haiti's biggest problems is that it has a culture of poverty. Some cultures add value, some don't. For instance, a low-skilled Mexican worker becomes 10 to 20 times more productive simply by crossing the border into the United States. It's not that there aren't entrepreneurs or hard workers in Haiti, but the system holds them down rather than unleashes them.
Most of the wealth of any society rests in what economists call "intangible capital" -- not the stuff of gold mines and factories, but the laws, knowledge and customs that define a given society. Social planners love to invoke the Marshall Plan, whereby America helped rebuild Western Europe after World War II, as proof that foreign aid can create prosperity almost overnight. What is left out of the discussion is that while Europe's roads and bridges may have been smashed, its intangible capital remained relatively intact.
You can hardly say the same thing about Haiti, which has seen its storehouse of intangible capital devalued for generations. Many ambitious Haitians of means leave the country. Worse, those who stay home are thwarted when they try to break through the cycle of dependency created by indisputably well-meaning aid agencies.
In a reported essay for Slate, Maura R. O'Connor asks, "Does International Aid Keep Haiti Poor?" That's a tougher question than it sounds, but it's sure as hell clear international aid has done nothing to make Haiti rich.
Aid seems to be a tourniquet on a mortal wound. Take the tourniquet off and the bleeding will get dangerously worse. Leave it on and the wound can never be treated.
O'Connor writes that Haitians increasingly see the foreign-aid industry as exactly that, an industry. "There is a vicious paradigm to it: If everything is OK, the NGO has no mission. Maybe that begs some questions," Georges Sassine, a businessman and president of the Haitian Association of Industrialists, told Slate.
For instance, American agricultural aid keeps millions of Haitians from starvation or malnourishment. But thanks to the "Bumpers Amendment" -- named for former Arkansas Democratic Senator Dale Bumpers -- we forbid any agricultural aid for crops that would compete with those of our own farmers. So Haiti, which could grow rice or sugar quite easily, grows mangoes and lettuce. Never mind that sugar subsidies in the U.S. are an economic, environmental and political scandal in their own right.
O'Connor writes that the overwhelming sentiment among Haitians themselves, according to surveys, is for the country to break free of the international aid community's embrace. They still want help, but they're sick of having the aid "process" run out of New York treat Haitians like minor variables in a spreadsheet.
It is tempting to argue that benign neglect alone is the answer. But benign neglect amidst such chaos, including a cholera epidemic, probably wouldn't be all that benign.
Still, you have to ask: How many more decades of "help" making things worse do we need before it's time to take off the tourniquet?
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column
include "/home/jwreview/public_html/t-ssi/jwr_squaread_300x250.php"; ?>
Jonah Goldberg Archives
© 2006 TMS
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K