Skip to comments.Haiti Can Be Rich Again
Posted on 01/09/2012 7:05:07 AM PST by C19fan
HAITI wasnt always the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, though its almost impossible to read about the country today without coming across that phrase. In the two years since the earthquake that devastated it, Haiti has experienced political conflict and its first ever cholera epidemic; hundreds of thousands of the displaced are still living in makeshift tents strewn like dusty flags by the sides of highways. It is easy to forget that, for most of the 19th century, Haiti was a site of agricultural innovation, productivity and economic success.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
BTW, South Korea’s population density is 1.5x Haiti’s, and Japan’s is about the same. I suspect factors other than population density account for Haiti’s basket case status. It ain’t race, either, since the formerly British (and majority black) West Indian possessions are no great shakes, but nothing like Haiti.
Aye, do the math right and you find that Haiti has 29,665 sq feet for ever man, woman and child.
Geez, folks are really piling on, aren’t they?
Well, I for one, appreciate your effort, Hodar, even if it was off by a bit. It still spurred the discussion.
-——It will fall to African levels of poverty -——
I would think Hati fell below African poverty some time ago.
Still, the population is pretty high - but I blame the culture more than anything else. If you look at Africa, the Caribbean islands (ie Jamacia)and pretty much anywhere else, at almost any point in time; you will see the same thing. When you have a culture that promotes violence, demotes education and hard work - you will see this over and over again. There is no cure; it's a cultural issue, a bias that has “self-defeat” built-in.
The comparison with Japan says it all. Longshanks could sum up the problem with Haiti in ten words.
In another recent argument (re: “drain the Mediterranean for farmland”, just need to dump 10 cubic miles of dirt into the Strait of Gibraltar, then pump a quintillion gallons of water - but that’s another gedankenexperiment) I guestimated world agricultural GDP is $135,000 per square mile, or $210/acre and supporting 1 person per 2 acres. (Note the world median income is around $2/person/day.)
For Haiti, about 31% of land is usable (somehow) for agriculture, about 10,000 square miles or 6,400,000 acres. Per prior SWAG numbers, Haiti should be able to support 3.2 million people with an agricultural GDP of $1.35B. Actual agricultural GDP (at least before it got shaken up) was over twice that, divvying up among actual population to $295/person/year, about 70% of their world “fair share”. Ergo, the agricultural output is pretty good (twice the world average revenue per acre), but there are just too many people vying for a small pie.
Hate to say it, but the Sam Kinison solution applies.
It’s the aid that is killing Haiti.
If you send doctors down there, it puts Haitian doctors out of business.
If you send food down there, it puts Haitian farmers out of business.
Reminder: the blacks sold each other into slavery. The arabs ran that slave trade.
It happened hundreds of years ago. Time to get over it.
haiti could be a rich nation—IF PROPERLY LEAD! Corruption has spoiled it like it has spoiled many lands. In this one case maybe Communism might be an improvement.
Prompts me to wonder:
What is the world median oceanfront property value? Thinking price per linear waterline foot here. May want to work out an adjustment ratio for premium over property 1 mile inland so we can address local values in terms of population demand.
Point is to work out what the proper value of Haitian waterfront property is, as they’ve got a lot of it and it takes very little effort to extract its substantial inherent value.
The exercise would be a special case of my ongoing wonder that there isn’t more revenue produced in a variety of tropical paradises.
Haitians are in to Voodoo and African religions.
And yes there are some Christians.
But they all still fear Papa Doc and baby doc, the TomToms and voodoo.
Re: Your comparison of The Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Also, unlike the Haitians, the Dominicans like Americans and aspire to make their country more like America. (at least the way America was pre-Obama)
I found Dominicans to be generally hard working and among those I met are some of the nicest people I have dealt with anywhere in my travels.