10 Quick Easy Steps to Fix Haiti

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1. Default on the IMF loan.

Haiti pays back 300 million dollars per year in loans.

The country has terminal cancer.

The best thing to do is stop paying back the loan and redirect the money into projects to fix the country.

For example, 300 millions dollars would be enough to prepare Tortuga island for tourism.

With the money, the infrastrure of Tortuga can be started.

The rest would be done by investors.

Argentina, a few years ago defaulted on a 80 billion dollar loan. They redirected the money to fix their country.

And, it worked! Haiti should do the same. Tortuga alone can help the rest of the country through its tourism

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were created in 1944 at a conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, and are now based in Washington, DC. The IMF was originally designed to promote international economic cooperation and provide its member countries with short term loans so they could trade with other countries (achieve balance of payments).

Since the debt crisis of the 1980's, the IMF has assumed the role of bailing out countries during financial crises (caused in large part by currency speculation in the global casino economy) with emergency loan packages tied to certain conditions, often referred to as structural adjustment policies (SAPs).

The IMF now acts like a global loan shark, exerting enormous leverage over the economies of more than 60 countries.

These countries have to follow the IMF's policies to get loans, international assistance, and even debt relief.

Thus, the IMF decides how much debtor countries can spend on education, health care, and environmental protection.

The IMF is one of the most powerful institutions on Earth -- yet few know how it works

The IMF has created an immoral system of modern day colonialism that SAPs the poor

The IMF -- along with the WTO and the World Bank -- has put the global economy on a path of greater inequality and environmental destruction.

The IMF's and World Bank's structural adjustment policies (SAPs) ensure debt repayment by requiring countries to cut spending on education and health; eliminate basic food and transportation subsidies; devalue national currencies to make exports cheaper; privatize national assets; and freeze wages.

Such belt-tightening measures increase poverty, reduce countries' ability to develop strong domestic economies and allow multinational corporations to exploit workers and the environment A recent IMF loan package for Argentina, for example, is tied to cuts in doctors' and teachers' salaries and decreases in social security payments..

The IMF has made elites from the Global South more accountable to First World elites than their own people, thus undermining the democratic process

The IMF serves wealthy countries and Wall Street

Unlike a democratic system in which each member country would have an equal vote, rich countries dominate decision-making in the IMF because voting power is determined by the amount of money that each country pays into the IMF's quota system.

It's a system of one dollar, one vote. The U.S. is the largest shareholder with a quota of 18 percent.

Germany, Japan, France, Great Britain, and the US combined control about 38 percent.

The disproportionate amount of power held by wealthy countries means that the interests of bankers, investors and corporations from industrialized countries are put above the needs of the world's poor majority

The IMF is imposing a fundamentally flawed development model

Unlike the path historically followed by the industrialized countries, the IMF forces countries from the Global South to prioritize export production over the development of diversified domestic economies.

Nearly 80 percent of all malnourished children in the developing world live in countries where farmers have been forced to shift from food production for local consumption to the production of export crops destined for wealthy countries.

The IMF also requires countries to eliminate assistance to domestic industries while providing benefits for multinational corporations -- such as forcibly lowering labor costs.

Small businesses and farmers can't compete.

Sweatshop workers in free trade zones set up by the IMF and World Bank earn starvation wages, live in deplorable conditions, and are unable to provide for their families.

The cycle of poverty is perpetuated, not eliminated, as governments' debt to the IMF grows

The IMF is a secretive institution with no accountability

The IMF is funded with taxpayer money, yet it operates behind a veil of secrecy.

Members of affected communities do not participate in designing loan packages.

The IMF works with a select group of central bankers and finance ministers to make polices without input from other government agencies such as health, education and environment departments.

The institution has resisted calls for public scrutiny and independent evaluation

IMF policies promote corporate welfare (Haiti example

To increase exports, countries are encouraged to give tax breaks and subsidies to export industries.

Public assets such as forestland and government utilities (phone, water and electricity companies) are sold off to foreign investors at rock bottom prices.

In Guyana, an Asian owned timber company called Barama received a logging concession that was 1.5 times the total amount of land all the indigenous communities were granted.

Barama also received a five-year tax holiday.

The IMF forced Haiti to open its market to imported, highly subsidized US rice at the same time it prohibited Haiti from subsidizing its own farmers.

A US corporation called Early Rice now sells nearly 50 percent of the rice consumed in Haiti

The IMF hurts workers

The IMF and World Bank frequently advise countries to attract foreign investors by weakening their labor laws -- eliminating collective bargaining laws and suppressing wages, for example.

The IMF's mantra of "labor flexibility" permits corporations to fire at whim and move where wages are cheapest.

According to the 1995 UN Trade and Development Report, employers are using this extra "flexibility" in labor laws to shed workers rather than create jobs. In Haiti, the government was told to eliminate a statute in their labor code that mandated increases in the minimum wage when inflation exceeded 10 percent.

By the end of 1997, Haiti's minimum wage was only $2.40 a day. Workers in the U.S. are also hurt by IMF policies because they have to compete with cheap, exploited labor.

The IMF's mismanagement of the Asian financial crisis plunged South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries into deep depression that created 200 million "newly poor." The IMF advised countries to "export their way out of the crisis." Consequently, more than US 12,000 steelworkers were laid off when Asian steel was dumped in the US

The IMF's policies hurt women the most

SAPs make it much more difficult for women to meet their families' basic needs.

When education costs rise due to IMF-imposed fees for the use of public services (so-called "user fees") girls are the first to be withdrawn from schools.

User fees at public clinics and hospitals make healthcare unaffordable to those who need it most. The shift to export agriculture also makes it harder for women to feed their families.

Women have become more exploited as government workplace regulations are rolled back and sweatshops abuses increase

IMF Policies hurt the environment

IMF loans and bailout packages are paving the way for natural resource exploitation on a staggering scale.

The IMF does not consider the environmental impacts of lending policies, and environmental ministries and groups are not included in policy making.

The focus on export growth to earn hard currency to pay back loans has led to an unsustainable liquidation of natural resources.

For example, the Ivory Coast's increased reliance on cocoa exports has led to a loss of two-thirds of the country's forests

The IMF bails out rich bankers, creating a moral hazard and greater instability in the global economy

The IMF routinely pushes countries to deregulate financial systems.

The removal of regulations that might limit speculation has greatly increased capital investment in developing country financial markets.

More than $1.5 trillion crosses borders every day. Most of this capital is invested short-term, putting countries at the whim of financial speculators.

The Mexican 1995 peso crisis was partly a result of these IMF policies.

When the bubble popped, the IMF and US government stepped in to prop up interest and exchange rates, using taxpayer money to bail out Wall Street bankers.

Such bailouts encourage investors to continue making risky, speculative bets, thereby increasing the instability of national economies.

During the bailout of Asian countries, the IMF required governments to assume the bad debts of private banks, thus making the public pay the costs and draining yet more resources away from social programs

IMF bailouts deepen, rather then solve, economic crisis

During financial crises -- such as with Mexico in 1995 and South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, and Russia in 1997 -- the IMF stepped in as the lender of last resort.

Yet the IMF bailouts in the Asian financial crisis did not stop the financial panic -- rather, the crisis deepened and spread to more countries.

The policies imposed as conditions of these loans were bad medicine, causing layoffs in the short run and undermining development in the long run. In South Korea, the IMF sparked a recession by raising interest rates, which led to more bankruptcies and unemployment.

Under the IMF imposed economic reforms after the peso bailout in 1995, the number of Mexicans living in extreme poverty increased more than 50 percent and the national average minimum wage fell 20 percent.

(Global Exchange

2. Use the Haitian diaspora remittances as income flow

The diaspora sends 2 billion dollars per year to their loved one via transfers (e.g., Western Union, CAM); the haitian government can appropriate 10% of the receipts (200 million dollars).

The money can be used for projects to fix the country.

As you all know, some Haitians are very corrupted and can steal the money if they can. The money should not go directly to the government.

There are ways to ensure that the money does actually go to projects to rebuild the country

3. The ports should be free in Haiti.

Follow the Freeport, Bahamas model.

"The only way to stimulate economic development in Haiti and open the door to charitable causes is to establish Haiti as a free port. A free port would allow anybody to import or export anything in or out of the country of Haiti without paying customs taxes

For the past 100 years control of imports and exports has been the exclusive domain of the resident dictator or ruling government.

This determines who operates and controls every monopoly and market within the country of Haiti.

To be what you have never been you must do what you have never done. In Haiti nothing has changed in 100 years.

A free port would create a merchant middle class breaking up the existing monopolies of power and lower the cost of food and consumer goods for 8 million of the poorest people in the world

Haiti is a welfare state.

The country cannot feed itself or educate the 4 million school age children.

Haiti needs to open the door to the port so that the good people of the world can give freely to the poor and to allow the spirit of free enterprise to prosper.

Winston Churchill said, "Free enterprise is the horse that pulls the cart of democracy." The election of a president does not create a democracy.

Free enterprise creates democracy.

For 100 years the tiny island of Hong Kong was a free port. Hong Kong is a shining example of the forces of free enterprise and the democracy that free enterprise fosters

There are 1 million Haitians living in America.

A free port would give these Haitian Americans the opportunity to invest in Haiti and help their families still living on the island.

There are thousands of charities, churches and private volunteer organizations that would donate food and supplies to help the poor in Haiti.

These agencies have been locked out by high import taxes.

In 1998 when hurricane Georges devastated the island, the Haitian government would not allow charities to ship relief goods into Haiti tax-free.

With a free port resident Haitian businesses and individuals would for the first time, be able to import capital equipment and goods to build and expand their businesses without paying any import taxes.

Since 1986 there have been 9 governments and a United Nations economic embargo that bankrupted every manufacturing job on the island

The only way to jump start this economy is with a free port. Case in point - For the past 25 years international development agencies have tried to establish programs to stop deforestation in the island country of Haiti.

The primary cause of deforestation is the harvesting of small trees that are used to make charcoal for cooking fuel. On any given day one can observe trucks and sailboats transporting loads of charcoal to the cities.

Any effort to stop the deforestation or plant new trees is undermined by the basic need for cooking fuel. During the 1800's the cities and towns surrounding Boston, New York and Hartford were also deforested because trees were being cut down to supply the cities with cooking and heating fuel. This continued unabated until an alternative fuel was introduced to replace the need for wood. The alternative fuel was coal, then oil and gas. Today there are more trees in the New England states than there were 100 years ago. Similarly in Haiti the only way to stop deforestation is to introduce an alternative fuel that will eliminate the need for wood from trees as cooking fuel. The simple solution is propane.

The problem is not the availability of propane or propane stoves but the high taxes on imports.

In fact, the cost of propane in Haiti is twice the cost of its neighboring country of the Dominican Republic.

A simple cost-free solution to deforestation in Haiti is to allow propane and all propane cooking stoves to be imported into Haiti tax-free

How should the government of Haiti compensate for the loss of income from a free port

Increase taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel

The benefit of a gas tax is that it is easy to collect from the distributors.

Individuals, and businesses that are wealthy enough to own a vehicle are the segment of the population most capable of paying taxes.

These individuals and businesses are then able to pass on their increased costs proportionately to the population through the increased cost of goods and services.

Taxes on fuel do not discriminate against any one group of people.

Taxes on imports always give the powerful and the connected special privileges.

With a free port it won't matter who is president or which party governs because everyone will have free access to free imports and the opportunity to prosper

Establish a flat dock fee of $500 per container or vehicle that is shipped into or out of the country." (George DeTellis Jr., M.B.A. Missionary to Haiti for 20 years

4. End or control corruption

As I said previously, the real reason that Haiti cannot progress is because some people are corrupted.

Every time an investor wants to do something in Haiti, They are asking the investors, "what's in it for me, give me 1 million dollars and I will make it happen".

For example, in 1969, the Gulf corporation wanted to build a 300 million dollar resort on Tortuga, Haiti; the project did not go through.

The Tortuga resort would have been the biggest one at the time in the caribbean.

Same thing for the Hilton Hotel chain that wanted to build an Hilton Airport hotel for Port-au-Prince.

In addition, the Ford Motor company wanted to build highways, roads and sewer system for Haiti.

Yet again, the project did not go through.

Why do Haitians only love themselves and do not want to see the good for their country?

Stop the corruption and the selfishness.

Invite other major airlines into the country.

Invite hotel chains such as Hilton.

Open up the country to investors and free market and you will see that the country will go forward and people do not have to eat mud cookies to survive

5. Haiti has laws but no one seem to want to follow them

There should be an efficient system that will enforce the laws in place.

Only through discipline a country can survive.

The kidnapping situation can be handle if people in power are serious enough to attack it. For example an anti-kidnapping task force should be set up. When the kidnappers call for drop off point, the calls should be traced and the police should also go to the drop off point to attempt an arrest.

No tourist will want to come to a country if their lives will be in danger

6. Education in Haiti should be free, including college

Through education, the mentality of the population would be changed in one generation's time.

7. Restore the Army

Make sure the soldiers respect the chain of commands and control the corruption.

Take away the United Nations when ready.

This will save additional monies.

I believe about 600 million dollars.

The army should be posted on the 5 small islands of Haiti to protect Haitian territories (e.g., Navassa, Gonave, Tortuga, Ile-a-Vache, etc

B>8. Haiti should be a major exporter in the carribean region

There is no reason for Haiti to be buying such a high level of product from the Dominican Republic.

Haiti should reform its agriculture program.

Haiti should be growing coffe, rice, beans, mangos, plaintains, etc...

This will put the people to work. There are a lot of peasants in the capital and having a good agriculture program would allow them to go back to the provinces.

This will in effect help reduce the amount of Haitians going to seek a better life in the Dominican Republic.

As you know the Dominicans mistreat the Haitians almost to the point as using them as slave workers and giving them slave wages.

Haiti growing its own food and exporting it will bring back pride to the country.

In addition, Haiti should allow international companies to set up factories in the country.

It will also provide for employment.

It is possible that the factories will pay low wages but it is better for the poor to eat than not to eat or being mistreated in the Dominican Republic.

The factories should be taxed.

There are should be a couple of key tolls in the country.

The revenues from the factory tax and toll road would be used toward building roads.

9. Street merchants in the capital Port-au-Prince should be moved under tents

Flea markets should be set up for them in a zone outside of downtown.

This will keep the capital clean.

If tourists come they can at least see that the capital is clean and traffic congestion is kept to a minimum.

10. Encourage the French to rebuild Haiti's infrastructure through the 22 billion dollars it owes Haiti

Let's face it. The French will never pay back the full 22 billion dollars it owes to Haiti in one lump sum. However, Haiti can bring the French to international court and attempt to get them to send engineers and pay for the rebuilding of Haiti's infracture little by little.

Haiti should use diplomacy to deal with this issue.

Another example is the U.S. who are claiming the small island of Navassa belonging to them. The U.S. would clearly lose in international court.

The U.S. wants Navassa because it is rich in Ginko used as a pharmaceutical product.

What Haiti can do is lease Navassa to the U.S. and use the income for the mainland

The 22 billion dollar story

More than two decades after rebellious former slaves vanquished troops from Napoleon's army here in 1803, France's King Charles X made the fledgling republic of Haiti an offer it couldn't refuse

In 1825, as the king's warships cruised just over the horizon from the Haitian capital, a French emissary demanded 150 million gold francs in exchange for recognizing the new republic.

The implicit alternative was invasion and re-enslavement.

It was a huge sum, about five times Haiti's annual export revenue.

Haiti's then-president reluctantly agreed, taking on a crushing debt

Today, amid growing political unrest and a collapsing economy, one of its few glimmers of hope is that long-ago deal. Haiti wants its money back - with interest.

Aided by U.S. and French lawyers, the Haitian government is preparing a legal brief demanding nearly $22 billion in "restitution" for what it regards as an act of gunboat diplomacy.

Banners calling for "Reparations and Restitution" fly over Port-au-Prince's crammed and filthy streets.

"France, pay me my money, $21,685,135,571.48,"

The initial agreement between France and the young republic called on Haiti to pay the whole 150 million francs in five annual payments of 30 million gold francs.

That proved impossible for Haiti, which was forced under the pact to take out a loan from a French bank to pay the first 30 million francs.

In 1838, France agreed to reduce the debt to 60 million francs to be paid over a period of 30 years.

In 1883, Haiti made the final payment

Ira Kurzban, a Miami-based lawyer who handles Haiti's international legal affairs, argues that the treaty was extortionate and illegal even under 1825 international law because the presence of the French fleet constituted a threat to re-enslave the island.

Greg Peters, May 8 2008, 6:10 PM

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It's just like we suspected, you are also GREG PETERS. The person with the investment project from a private company... read more >
Lionnes 2 3 4., 8-May-08 6:47 pm


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