The Haitian crisis has drawn a variety of reactions. At one end of the spectrum, Pat Roberson, basing his comments on an urban legend about a national pact with the devil, apparently suggested that Haiti is cursed. (Disclaimer: I haven’t bothered to listen to his actual comments. But I’ve read a statement by a CBN spokesman.)
At the other end of the spectrum we have pundits demanding a Marshall Plan for Haiti.
From what I’ve read, Robertson has actually done a lot of good over the years. The problem is not so much what he does, but what he says. He suffers from the occupational hazard of a false prophet. The self-delusion that he’s so much wiser than ordinary mortals. Kinda like the Pope.
Speaking for myself, I’m all for emergency relief. Private Christian charities which specialize in emergency relief are best. And I’m all for foreign missions. I once attended a church that supported a Haitian mission.
But I don’t support foreign-aid of the “nation-building” variety. Haiti has been on the dole for billions in foreign aid year after year. One country can’t expect to leech off the largesse of another. At some point you need to grow up. Seize control of your national destiny.
Why is Haiti chronically worse off than other Caribbean islands with similar natural resources? Is the Caribbean an especially inhospitable place to live? If Eskimos can manage, why can’t Haitians?
Why is Haiti worse off than the Dominican Republic, which shares the same island? I’m not saying the Dominican Republic is by any means idyllic. It, too, has a very checkered past. But it seems to be faring better than Haiti.
Foreign aid represents the earnings of American workers. Every dollar that goes overseas is one less dollar they have to provide for their own family. Or the private charity of their choice.
American wages are not a piggybank for bureaucrats to dip into whenever they please to redistribute to whatever they deem to be the worthy cause du jour.