Home > agriculture subsidies, aid, corruption, Haiti, property, rule of law, tragedy of commons > [Update] Some food for thought on who (US/UN/others/Haitians) and what is responsible for making and keeping Haiti poor

[Update] Some food for thought on who (US/UN/others/Haitians) and what is responsible for making and keeping Haiti poor

[Note: Richard Ebeling`s piece on the Jan. 19 Mises Daily page (“Real Economic Reform for a Hurting Haiti“) is the most thoughtful libertarian take so far.]

I found these four pieces (two post-quake, two before) interesting.

Haiti Didn’t Become a Poor Nation All on Its Own — The U.S’s Hidden Role in the Disaster  (Carl Lindskoog, AlterNet, January 15, 2010)

Exporting Misery to Haiti: How Rice, Pigs, and US Policy Undermined the Haitian Economy (James Ridgeway, Reader Supported News, Jan.18)

Haiti: the land where children eat mud (Caitlin Moran, Times Online, May 17, 2009) (a fairly graphic report, with references to international debt, starting with France)

Of course, there is plenty of blame to be shared by Haiti`s rulers, as poor Haitians obviously desperately need what most of us take
for granted (and what Dominicans on the other half of the island have):
property rights and some semblance of rule of law.  Most of the country is a government-“owned” commons (that is,
unprotected), and the state of property rights protection of the rest
of the land is extremely poor. Apparently the nation faces a widespread tragedy of the commons situation.

See this very insightful analysis:  Apocalypso: Haiti’s Chosen Poverty (Joe Katzman, WindsofChange.Net, January 7, 2005).

It is heart-warming to see the current level of interest in the US and elsewhere in helping the Haitians. But the very real question is, how can the tragedy of the commons be ended in Haiti?

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