Hillary: Let Them Eat “Authority”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed fascinating priorities in the immediate aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in saying that a chief effort of the U.S. effort was to “assert authority” and to “reinstate the government.”

On-the-ground private disaster relief organizations such as The Salvation Army understand that Job 1 is to alleviate human suffering. Perhaps the job after that will be to question if reinstating the very governments that have overseen Haitians’ remaining mired in desperate poverty is truly the proper role of a U.S. effort. Having provided $9 billion in aid over the past few years, and with Haiti more reliant than ever on food aid, is the U.S.’s provision of such government aid truly the solution? If so, can anyone point to one example of success achieved by it?

For alternative long-term solutions to development problems, see the Independent Institute’s Center on Global Prosperity, and book, Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Economic Development

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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