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Haiti Vs New Orleans

Haiti [1]From the Palm 700P….

Hey Glenn: [2]

London Times: Haiti earthquake: a few more rescues, but aid still slow. [3]“Nobody can go anywhere without security in the city. No aid workers can go anywhere without taking risks with security. That adds to the difficulty of delivering the aid because you not only have to have transport – which is rare – you also have to have some sort of security with you, or you are taking a risk. People are getting angry, people are getting hungry and thirsty.” This is sounding kind of familiar.

As I mentioned before, disaster relief isn’t like ordering a pizza. It’s hard to get aid into a place where the infrastructure has been wrecked and ordinary social order broken down. I’m seeing some people start to go after Obama on this in an obvious echo of the Katrina-based criticism of Bush. I understand the appeal of payback, but I don’t see any evidence that Obama has blown it here; this stuff is just hard. Of course, the press won’t go after him the way they went after Bush, but that’s a given.

Thing is, that’s exactly the point. I said to David in comments earlier this monring: [4]

Haiti in my view can be used as an argument against government ”making things better”.  They have a long history of government largess making things worse. Please note that I do not differentiate between one type of government or another in this case, because all of them have had their hands in that hellhole.

Limbaugh quoting David Brooks, is a real teller.  Brooks has this one almost spot on, a point which is of itself surprising.  Brooks’ point about the Dominican Republic , Haiti’s closest neighbor, doing far better, with the same given conditions and natural resources, to my mind does a great deal to defeat the argument that the reason America is great is because of its natural resources, and not because of the freedoms engendered by our founders..  The direct comparison of Haiti to the Dominican Republic eliminates that argument once and for all.

It also tends to defeat the idea that simply throwing government largess … IE; taxpayer funds at a problem, solves the problem.  Even leaving aside the large amount of aid , financial and otherwise given to the various Haitian governments, the Haitian people remain in some of the worst conditions any were in the world.  America alone has put billions of dollars into the Haitian economy.  Can anyone reading this explain to me how it is made the lives of Haitians better?

That government doesn’t work as advertised but rather makes things worse is, of course,  the message that\’s not going to get through from the current occupants in Washington.

See, here it is….

I think that a case can be made that there’s a direct comparison to what went on in the case of Katrina , versus the case of this earthquake.

Look closely at the comparison that I drew between Haiti and the Dominican Republic and Haiti following the earthquake Which was better prepared for the recovery effort?  The DR, of course, and that mostly because of cultural influences.  Being on the smae island, the two countries share the same resourses. .

I dare to suggest to you that a comparison can be drawn between that Haiti/DR juxtaposition,  and that of New Orleans and the surrounding areas in the gulf of Mexico, who were more or less evenly affected by Katrina. It’s as much a case of decades of the  ‘government is everything’ attitude vs a culture of independence, and freedom and how each mindset operates in extreme conditions. High heat tends to boil things down to their essence in a hurry, after all.

The situation in Haiti reveals many things liberals wish us not to see.

While Glenn makes a great point about how “It’s hard to get aid into a place where the infrastructure has been wrecked and ordinary social order broken down”, that was exactly the situation in New Orleans.  Sorry, but what it is.   That social order was broken long before the hurricane warnings went up.  And the current situation in Haiti, I think, and the complaints about our government’s response to it, leaves bare all the BS arguments put forward about Katrina and our response to it, given the similarity of the conditions, both before and after the natural disaster.

Also, the excuse making over what Obama’s been doing so far leaves bare the MSM’s overt leftist bias.

Haiti, for all the pain it’s going through right now, is an object lesson to us all for what it reveals about big government. I wonder who will learn that lesson.

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#1 Comment By Joyce Cavin On January 25, 2010 @ 3:11 am

Alright, an underdeveloped Haitian civil society. Get the funded NGO’s in there please, learn from the lessons of sub-Saharan Africa. Over site of donated resources is an absolute requisite. My question is at what point is aid more of a hindrance than a help? For example, have the people reorganized school sessions and church services, heck soccer games for the tent cities? Are the Haitians ordering themselves?

#2 Comment By Eric Florack On January 25, 2010 @ 7:50 am

My question is at what point is aid more of a hindrance than a help?

I’m not sure I can fully answer your question, in the brave space of time and data that is allowed me in a comment section. That said, it seems to me that the question can only be answered within the context of actual results. Unfortunately, those results are invariably judged within a cultural context, and given the weight that we in the western world have put on ‘culture neutrality’ the last several decades, (to the point of our own destruction, I believe) such a test cannot be made. As a direct result, we end up supporting with our tax dollars a self destructive culture which by its very nature cannot support itself.

The success or failure of a foreign aid program cannot be measured merely by the number of dollars being tossed around in the name of “help” , it must be measured by the ability of those being “aided” to stand on their own feet after a day has been rendered.

And there are several cultures, and frankly, I think the evidence suggests that the Haitian culture is one of these, where the cycle of poverty cannot be overcome by even the massive influx of cash that the United States has provided for the last several decades.

I would suggest to you that what we see with some countries, and I think Haiti is among these, is the micro cousin of our own welfare culture from a few decades ago, writ large. In both cases, what simply throwing money at a situation does is reinforce the behavior that got them into the trouble in the first place.

What I am suggesting is that our attitudes about “culture neutrality” have to disappear before we can even ask ourselves the question of what is an effective foreign aid program.