There’s the world inhabited by Pat Robertson and those deluded by his words
PAT ROBERTSON: And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.” True story. And so, the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.”
And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.
not only is Robertson’s theology the stuff found in outhouses but so is his history – Napoleon III didn’t take the throne in France until 44 years after the slave revolt in Haiti was over and done.
and there’s the real world rational people live in
Economy – overview: Dominican Republic
Although the economy is growing at a respectable rate, high unemployment and underemployment remains an important challenge. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest [b]half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GNP[/b], while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of national income. – World Fact Book
There’s much talk about how Haiti just sucks up the charity and the country never seems to change or improve. Among the multiple reasons for the poverty in Haiti, would be control of the few resources by a tiny elite class, normal in third world nations and various requirements placed on Haiti by the multi-national agencies that supposedly are meant to help poor countries. One of the favourite talking points of the right has been ‘trade liberalisation’ policies – freer trade means increased prosperity. Well, not always
In 1994 the Haitian government entered into a new agreement with the IMF that contained a “medium-term structural adjustment strategy” which “included sweeping trade liberalization measures.” In 1995 when this agreement went into affect, Haiti’s tariffs on rice imports were cut dramatically from 35% to the current level of 3%. By comparison, the Common External Tariff on rice in the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) zone for rice in 1999 was 25%.
Haiti’s extremely low import tariff on rice is part of the trade liberalization policies which earned it a score of 1 on the IMF’s 1999 Index of Trade Restrictive ness, making Haiti the least trade restrictive country in the Caribbean. Yet, in the almost 10 years that have passed, Haiti has also remained the least developed country in the Caribbean despite its openness to trade, critics of trade liberalization have been quick to point out. Following the adoption of these policies local production of rice in Haiti dropped dramatically. Though most people engaged in the debate over trade liberalization in Haiti agree on this point, the different camps come to very different conclusions on what the collapse of rice production means for the Haitian people.
Rice import tariff reductions in Haiti has made it more difficult for local rice producers to compete with imports. An article published in 1999 after evaluating agricultural and food price policy in Haiti concluded that “reducing tariffs on both rice and corn, decreased retail and farm prices and increased consumption and imports.” This is also confirmed by the IMF which in a report 2001 states “Trade liberalization has contributed to a large increase in imports of rice. At the same time, domestic production has gone down substantially.”
Some argue that the resulting flood of relatively cheap rice imports originating mostly from the United States has had a negative impact on Haiti. The decline in the demand for Haitian rice has been devastating to an already desperate rural population. Rice farmers are some of the most vulnerable members of the population; the alternative employment options for farmers in Haiti are extremely limited.
Furthermore, competition between Haitian and American rice growers is not exactly fair. While US rice production is “subsidized through a variety of mechanisms”, the small, struggling domestic rice industry in Haiti receives no support from the government. Rice farmers do not receive export subsidies or other types of domestic support.