Friday, February 05, 2010

Haiti's Future

I'm not going to comment on the increase in the national debt ceiling to $14+ TRILLION bucks. It's inevitable. What is not inevitable, however, is abject national poverty. In my forthcoming book, Fubarnomics: A Lighthearted, Serious Look at America's Economic Ills, I argue that nationwide poverty, like that experienced in Haiti as well as large swathes of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, is always and everywhere the fault of predatory government, of governments, sometimes imperial but often indigenous, that prey upon their citizens rather than protecting their lives, liberty, and property. Natural experiments in North America, Germany, Korea, and elsewhere bolster confidence in this hypothesis, which exposes the fallacies of the flawed "democracy is necessary for growth" theory. Protection of life, liberty, and property are necessary for growth, be the protector a democratic government or an enlightened despot.

With the possible exception of the U.S. military occupation of Japan after World War II, no outside power has yet created a prosperous nation by replacing a predatory government with a less predatory one. The international community should give the idea a try in Haiti, the people of which have very little to lose at this point. The process won't be democratic, especially at first, but get over it. The Haitians will once they see what they are capable of when properly rewarded for working hard and smart.

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