Haiti

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Jan 16, 2010 10:07 am

I've decided to make a donation to the recovery effort in Haiti (through American charities). I was going to do this earlier this week, but I usually try not to be reactionary with my money. I will never donate to the Red Cross because I only donate to 4 star charities:



www.charitynavigator.org



I've decided to donate to doctors without borders and save the children. Both these charities were working in Haiti prior to the disaster and are the right type of charity for this type of disaster.



I hope everyone else who has the means can offer something to help. Even in this terrible economy.

Jan 16, 2010 1:38 pm
BioFreeze:

I've already donated to Haiti by paying taxes on my income. That's enough for me.



Typical Democrat answer.

Jan 16, 2010 2:25 pm

I donated this morning. Watch CNN for 10 minutes and then give some thought to how forutnate we are. Dont see how you cannot want to help.

Jan 16, 2010 9:52 pm
iceco1d:

I donated to the Red Cross's Haiti relief effort.  Not much...but if every American gave $5 (of course,  parents would have to kick in the $5 for their children), we could be sending over $1 billion in aid. 

Either way, I feel bad for the people down there, but everytime I see it on TV, and see Americans talking about it, it gets me fired up about how the rest of the world hates us.  America is full of fat, dumb, greedy, ba$tards...until a crisis hits.  Then it's good ole' USA to the rescue. 

Not a rant about Haiti.  I have sympathy for them regardless; what was the typical attitude towards American's in Haiti prior to the quake?  I really don't know...

When Katrina hit, did we get any financial/manpower support from any other countries?  (really wondering)



People offered during Katrina.  Not much so it might have paid my salary as a soldier for a day.  There were people in the Red Cross from other countries - but once again, majority American.

37% of all donations to the Red Cross come from private United States citizens.  Last year Americans gave $220 million to the Red Cross.  That is three times more than the next closest country - the United Kingdom.

Haiti was a welfare state before the quake.  They were mainly indifferent to the United States.  We provide about $250 million a year in aid to Haiti.  We have also canceled approximately $4.6 billion dollars in debt that Haiti owes.

Despite that aid, most Haitians have a negative view of the United States and it's citizens.

Jan 16, 2010 9:54 pm

And yes, everybody loves Uncle Sam, UNTIL we stop giving aid.  Then we are selfish, evil, fat, dumb, warmongering. 

I still can't get over W actually helping Obama.  I would have told him to go fly a kite.

Jan 18, 2010 9:30 am

My problem with giving money is who to give to? I don't trust the Red Cross any further than I can throw their director. Who, last time i checked makes over 200k a year. With Katrina they got caught using the disaster to raise money for other projects.


I have a problem with many charity organizations. With many, less than 80% of the money raised makes it to research or as aid. 20 years ago the rage investement on Wall Street was Limited Partnerships. Most of these put 80 to 85% of the client's money to work and used the rest to pay for the infrastructure of the partnership. At 80% going into the ground the GPs were accused of ripping off the LPs. The G & A was deemed excessive.  Yet,  80% going into the ground at a charity is OK?  I don't see it! That, and I have a tough time giving my money to people who's management lives better than i do.
 


The other day as i was driving to work I was stopped at a light. There was a guy standing there holding a sign that read "Unemployed will work for food." He didn't look homeless, he looked like a workin' guy. Maybe a longshoreman. As drivers behind me layed on the horn I motioned the guy over and gave him 10 bucks.
 
Five minutes later I'm out of the car and walking toward my office. This young guy comes bopping up the street drinking something from Starbucks and smoking a cigarette. As he approaches he says"Hey man, could you spare a quarter?" I told him i didn't have any money. Which i don't for panhandlers drinking expensive coffee and smoking cigarettes. My usual rule is to look at what kind of shoes they're wearing. More than once I've said, "Your sneakers are more expensive than mine, I don't think so!"
 
The point is, not knowing who you're giving your money to is problematic. Most of my charity money goes to an Autism organization. I trust these people. We all have to make our own decisions on who we trust.
 
 
Lastly, as troubled as i am by what i see in Haiti, this is Haiti were talking about. The Somalia of the Caribbean. One CNN report told of a young girl whose father lives in Miami. The last time she saw him was five years ago. I finshed the report in my own mind by adding "when she watched his raft drift over the horizon towards the United States."
 
I realize how horrible that sounds. Admit you haven't thought the same thing?
 
Haiti is very troubled place. No police , no government anywhere in sight until the goodies started showing up. Now they want our money to rebuild bigger and better. That is, bigger and better for a few. The rest, the millions, will still live the same poverty strewn lives they've always had as those in charge steal everything they can get their hands on.
 
If the government had done as it should have done the the death toll would be fraction of what it is. Cold but true.
 

Jan 18, 2010 9:43 am

Dayum BG!  That's coldest thing I've ever seen you write.  But you are right that you have to be careful who you give money to.

Personally, I trust the Red Cross.  While I was in NO, I saw them do a TON of good.  And everybody worked really hard to help people who had no desire to help themselves.

It does appear that they want to build it bigger and better.  Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush were talking about the situation - Clinton said he wants to make Haiti a bigger, better place, Bush says he's concerned with saving lives now and then maybe worry about the rest.  That worries me.

Panhandlers for the most part are scam artists.  I used to stop and talk to the guys who say they are vets - a lot of vets in this area.  I always stop and ask them a few questions about where they served, when, etc.  Then I ask them if they have been to the vet center.  If they haven't, I take them there.  There have been a few that have been legit and we were able to help them get on their feet.  I spare no expense (I keep an account just for things like this) to help them.  However, 9 times out of 10 they are frauds.  We have more "ex-Navy SEALS" than any other state I think.

I believe I will get no work done today.  I should have taken the day off anyway.

Jan 18, 2010 11:15 am

BG- Not disagreeing with you, just a true honest question - so whats the answer - do we let them continue to live impoverished lives down there and kill each other, steal from each other, etc?

This is the typical social environment that breeds extremists. And they are not as far from our shores as say, Afghanistan. Thank God that it is not an islamist based society, or we'd be in real trouble.
Wonder if some enterprising Jihadists from far far away could find a way to take advantage of this situation.
Like i said, I agree with your post on a lot of levels, but its problematic.
I think we have a duty to help these people as part of the human race, when things get that bad.
Jan 18, 2010 2:56 pm

The website I posted in the beginning is absolutely the best place to go before donating money anywhere.

www.charitynavigator.com



They make sure all major charities are run efficiently and that management is paid appropriately. I'm embarrassed to say, I once gave money to covenant house - they got 1 star (aka crap).

Jan 18, 2010 6:26 pm

To be clear, I'm not saying I don't care about what's happened to these people. I do.  But, their problem is similar to the starving people in Africa. Which I believe Comedian Sam Kinison hit the nail on the head.

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0q4o58pKwA&fearture=related
 
We can't save everybody. from themselves or the cruel leaders they live under
Jan 18, 2010 7:09 pm

Although, there is an air of superiority that we are the country with the resources to do this.



Jan 18, 2010 7:24 pm

Dunno, maybe its because Haiti is in our hemisphere, too close to home.

 
Or on a lighter note, maybe i'm just being selfish. If we could clean it up down there, build a few resorts, throw in a casino or two, it would be a great new vacation destination. Aruba's getting too crowded, need a new place.
Jan 18, 2010 8:22 pm
Sportsfreakbob:

I donated this morning. Watch CNN for 10 minutes and then give some thought to how forutnate we are. Dont see how you cannot want to help.

 
We are very fortunate you are right, and I feel for those people down there, but I am giving money every day.  I pay taxes.  Who do you think is paying for all those planes flying down there and providing the supplies that are getting there.  The U.S. with all our problems is one of the most charitable countries on earth, even if we are  bankrupt as a nation.
Jan 19, 2010 11:07 pm

Just for arguments sake, do you guys agree with the policy being pushed through that will let hundreds of thousands of Haitians stay in the states for the next 18 months?  Think there's room?

Jan 19, 2010 11:19 pm
3rdyrp2:

Just for arguments sake, do you guys agree with the policy being pushed through that will let hundreds of thousands of Haitians stay in the states for the next 18 months?  Think there's room?



No.  On both counts.  There is a process to be a resident or a citizen.

Jan 20, 2010 11:38 am

Interesting read on the history of Haiti.  The social, economic and religious make up of this small country would literally make endless debate fodder for this forum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiti

Jan 20, 2010 12:48 pm
 
If we let these people rebuild the country themselves, give them access to financing,  expertise,  they do the work, it would give them a way to pull themselves out of poverty. Kinda like the New Deal where public works projects put many people back to work. Teach them skills, train them. rebuilding the place will take 20 years. That should give them a good start. Meanwhile bring in experts to fix the land and get them back to farming.
 
Of course, then again, there is reality. The reality is these people haven't been able to bootstrap themselves up for the past 200 years. Of course guys like Papa Doc and Baby Doc haven't helped. Corruption is inbred into the infrastructure. And they've really done a number on the environment. Pretty much ruined the place. NO real GDP, no real exports, no drug lords producing weed, coke or H in a place perfect for it. Hopeless!
 
The country needs to be annexed by a country who can bring in a stable government. Starting with that foundation, step by step the place could be turned around. I vote that that government is not us. The Netherlands has done well in the Caribbean. They could turn it into a cruise ship port of call.
Jan 20, 2010 1:22 pm

It HAS cruise ship ports of call.  Port au Prince, Labadee, Port Haitian.  Went there a few times in the late 70's.  It was a scary feeling with armed guerilla's on every street corner.  

Jan 20, 2010 3:08 pm

I'll clarify: A port of call that people want to visit.

Jan 20, 2010 4:05 pm