Sunday, January 31, 2010

Player Haiti

The devastation in Haiti presents us with a wide spectrum of interesting choices and opinions- none of which are wrong, but none of which are altogether right, either. The fact that the poorest nation in the western hemisphere is finally getting the attention it desperately needs means that the earthquakes that demolished its major cities were a blessing in disguise. While reconstruction efforts will probably remain largely cosmetic, they will still provide marked improvements to that country. Some Americans are outraged that taxpayer funds desperately needed here at home are being sent overseas for humanitarian efforts, though it seems too casual of a response to be anything other than selfishness passing as patriotism; I doubt those same people are continuously petitioning for some of our nation's largesse to still be sent to New Orleans. The flipside of the altruism coin are those who have taken Haiti as a cause celebre, despite ignoring the fact that the country has personified abject poverty for over a half century and may only be slightly better off when the cable news cameras leave. When the President is sending email to the middle class asking them to donate their money towards his efforts to deliver them from their own unemployment, it becomes clear that no individual or institution can provide simple answers on how to prepare for disaster.

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