Punchinello’s Chronicles

March 6, 2009

Should we let Haiti Fail?

Filed under: Survival 101 — Punchinello @ 5:09 pm
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For a couple of months now, we’ve been having discussions in the media about whether or not the automotive giants should fail. Should we allow GM, Chrysler or Ford to go bankrupt? On one side, rational fiscal policies and a bias toward laissez-faire capitalism says yes. On the other, compassion and economic theory regarding the number of dependent jobs says no.

Under all this blathering is basically a developed nation, lots of food, lots of technology, manufacturing, industry, services, education, and infrastructure. Would the employees at GM who lose their jobs also have to eat garbage and go without clothing?

Haiti, on the other hand, is one of the least developed nations (most primitive) on earth. A child dies every hour, most of them not living longer than 5 years. People crawl over garbage piles to find food. Following a hurricane, mothers made patties out of mud and dirty water, feeding those dirt cookies to their children. There was enough desperation that other moms actually paid money for some of those mud pies, believing they could feed their own children.

So we have the Red Cross and other organizations holding benefits and asking for donations. The money is going to help the children. We’re going to give the children an opportunity to simply live, not thrive or grow or develop…just draw a breath each day. How much money has already gone to Haiti? What happened to it?

The political corruption in Haiti is about the worst in all the known world. Whatever money, goods, services, health care and so forth arrives in Haiti, almost none of it reaches the actual population. Following one revolution, the citizens find themselves in just as bad shape as they were under the previous regime.

Do the people of Haiti have any part to play in any of this? Or are they just innocent bystanders, watching what happens around them? Can a population overcome such greed and corruption in an administration with its own military?

At what point should the men and women in the military examine their own humanitarian responsibilities? Do they automatically have to “just follow orders?” Do those military personnel have no connection whatsoever with any of the starving citizens? Are there no family members?

What about education? What about the personal, individual desire and passion to make something out of one’s life? Why is the neighboring Dominican Republic doing better than Haiti? True, only marginally better, but that country is at least trying to move up the scale of human existence.

Should we consider the government of Haiti to be a black hole in financial space? We send money after money after money, food after food after food. And where does it end up? In the hands of the political leaders.

Sounds a lot like GM, right? We send bail-out money, and it gets swallowed up by salaries, healthcare benefits, retirement funding, and executive payments. Does ANY of that money go toward research and development, marketing, or selling inventory? When was the last time you saw a sale on a GM vehicle at 50% off, with the balance made up by bail-out money?

Or how about our taxes going to Washington? We send billions and billions of hard-earned dollars to our politicians, and does it end up doing anything for the infrastructure, educational levels, or business climate?

What we see in Haiti is literally life or death. It’s not about better salaries, more food stamps, or having a TV in every home. It’s not about whether kids should get laptops, or parents should have broadband services. Instead, it’s about the fundamental platform of reality: survival.

That’s where we seem to be heading in the developed nations. We keep pouring money into a massive pit of destruction. We talk about “the children,” demanding healthcare for everyone, money for everyone, food for everyone. And yet we have the richest poor people in the world. We’d be hard-pressed to find examples of American poor having to feed their children mud pies!

Do we have to see death by the thousands before we pay attention to our own “house?” We’re doing exactly the same things in Haiti as we’re doing for the banking and automotive industry. We’re bankrupting the nation, printing worthless money, and pouring it into the most corrupt, despicable business and political structure in recent history.

But if we let GM fail, will there be rotting bodies on the suburban streets of Anytown, USA? Why not send the money we would’ve used to bail-out the car companies over to Haiti? Why not just pour it into the pockets and bank accounts of the political leaders of Zaire, Haiti, Indonesia, or any other wretched nation?

On the other hand, if we’re going to politely request that the citizens of Haiti make even the tiniest effort to FIX the damn country, why not do the same with the banks and collapsing corporations?

What kinds of morons are we, the American people, that we blithely sit back, flip through the cable channels, and simply hand over to Washington every penny we earn and our children will earn? Have we become so utterly stupid that only when we see the end-stages of starvation that it makes any kind of sense?

Apparently so. It’s a mystery!


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