HATIAN HIGH DEATH TOLL WAS THE “CURSE” OF GOVERNMENT 01/20/2010


by Moody Adams
The government of Haiti has to take responsibility for many of the deaths in the country’s earthquakes. The estimate of as many as 200,000 deaths in Haiti is far above the death toll in wealthy nations who have suffered similar earthquakes. The reason is the country is too poor to build stronger houses and infrastructure.

And the reason they are poor is the government has failed to maintain the order necessary for prosperity not to clean up the graft that virtually kills business.

Crime and lawlessness are rampant in Haiti. I was there back in the 70’s and the lawless conditions have only gotten worse than they were then. The U.S. Department of State website, warned long ago, "There are no 'safe' areas in Haiti. ... Kidnapping, killings, armed violence, drug-related shootouts, robberies, home break-ins and car-jacking are all common in Haiti." The government has failed to stand up and stop such lawlessness.

Economist Walter Williams writes, “Corruption is rampant. Haiti ranks 177th out of 179 countries in the 2007 Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. Its reputation as one of the world's most corrupt countries is a major impediment to doing business. Customs officers often demand bribes to clear shipments. The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom says that because of burdensome regulations and bribery, starting a business in Haiti takes an average of 195 days, compared with the world average of 38 days. Getting a business license takes about five times longer than the world average of 234 days – that's over three years.”

As a result of this lawlessness and corruption the country has remained too poor to build structurally strong infrastructure and safer homes, and this led to many deaths that could have been prevented under better conditions.


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