Minnesotans find tiny victories amid ruin in Haiti

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 12, 2011 - 9:41 AM

To Mark Crea and the hundreds of Minnesotans who have spent time working in the chaos that has defined Haiti for the past year, the simple stuff matters most.

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muladJan. 12, 1112:01 AM

I cringe a little bit hearing about handouts. Some people will always need them, but you can't have an economy if nobody is doing any work. Experts who have studied disasters now know that it's bad to give money, food, and other resources away for too long. An economy is a collective fiction, of course, but it's based around people creating value by doing things or making things. It would be better if the aid agencies required most people to do some sort of work in exchange for the food they receive. People could help clean up the camps, build new structures, or perhaps get some raw materials along with their food which could get turned into clothes, toys, or other things that could be sold or exchanged. The engine of Haiti's economy was shattered even before the earthquake, and it needs sparks coming from all directions in order to be repaired and get fired up again.

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odinmanJan. 12, 11 8:25 AM

I agree mulad. I find it appalling that only 5% of the city has been cleaned up in a years time. If the officials are that corrupt that they cannot or will not do their job...even with billions of aid coming in...then they should be given a tarp and some sticks and told to hit the streets.

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Truckman182Jan. 12, 1110:11 AM

Unfortunately this country has been in shambles since it gained its independence from France. One bad dictator after another stealing from his own people. They produce nothing. Tourism is nonexistent compared to the surrounding countries.

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arcsiniceJan. 12, 1110:11 AM

I wonder what Haiti would be, what the island would look like if it were, as an example, solely inhabited by any European nationality, e.g. Scandinavians, Swiss, Germans, British, French, etc.........?

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Maybrick5Jan. 12, 1110:33 AM

There is something fundammentally wrong with Haiti. Haiti shares the island with the Domincan Republic. Like Haiti, the DR was colonized by Europeans, beginning with Columbus. Native peoples were almost wiped out. There was slavery and exploitation. Then the DR suffered through a series of thugish dictators. But now the DR has a booming ecomony including agriculture, technology and the largest tourist industry in the Carribean. It has relatively low crime, good medical care, schools for its kids,and a respresentative form of government. And it sends a steady stream of ball players to the Major Leagues, Albert Pujols among them. The DR also has armed watchtowers on its border with Haiti to keep the Haitians out. Haiti has the same geography (can you say beautiful tourist beckoning beaches anyone?) and history as the DR. The DR is very successful, Haiti is an absolute cesspool. So what's the difference? What's the one factor the two countries DON'T share? Anybody want to talk about the cultural implications of Christianity versus voodoo? Naw, I thought not...

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MELANIE4774Jan. 12, 1111:00 AM

however admirable Haiti is not our problem, America is, America first, there is plenty to do here

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time4changeJan. 12, 11 2:13 PM

I agree, we can't keep sending money there. At some point their corrupt govt needs to step up and actually help it's people or the people will revolt and change things themselves, but it is not up to us taxpayers to support them. Giving immediate aid after an earthquake is one thing, continuing to borrow money (can you say CHINA?) to give it away is another (can you say HAITI and ISRAEL as well as most of the rest of the world?). Personally, I need my tax money to hang onto my house.

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godlovesyouJan. 27, 11 6:34 PM

Showing love is never wrong. Thank you to those who have gone to Haiti to love people. The rest of you commentators, try to take their example and apply to your neighborhoods and homes. Love is the answer.

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