How Not To Fix the Haitian Economy, Courtesy of Naomi Klein, et al.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the Index of Economic Freedom ranks Haiti 141st out of 179 countries in its 2010 world table. For a country that was supposedly ruined by the free market (see dumb blog posts here, here, and here), it sure ranks low on the most basic indices of what constitutes an economically free country. “Reforms to improve the business and investment climates have had little effect,” says the Index, and “Rampant corruption and an inefficient judicial system are serious obstacles to entrepreneurial activity.” Funny, that. But what if, rather than reforming a rotten system, we just bilk the French taxpayer out of billions of euros, for the imperialist sins of their great-great-great-great-great grandparents?

According to people who have been consistently wrong about economics (Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, José Bové, Alain Badiou), Haiti can pull itself up by its bootstraps and become self-sufficient by sending the French foreign ministry a bill for 90 million gold francs, which the Kommie Krew estimates at around 17 billion euros.

The New York Times reports that the group of “activists,” determined to keep Haiti a poor, economically backwards country reliant on outside assistance, published an open letter to French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Liberation. You can read the entire letter here. The Times notes that of the $5 billion promised in foreign aid to Haiti, only five countries have honored their commitment:

In March, international donors pledged to provide Haiti with just over $5 billion to help in its reconstruction. Earlier this month, Bill Clinton, who is helping to coordinate aid to Haiti, told The Associated Press that so far just five countries had made good on their promises and that less than 10 percent of that money had been delivered.

I missed this at the time, but the dumbest comment on Haiti goes to the director of Canadian Bacon:

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  • ||

    They aren't totally wrong. France required Haiti to repay it for many decades for having the audacity to have a slave rebellion. The french wanted to be compensated for the loss of their "property", so they extorted a kind of reverse slave-reparations from Haiti well into the 20th century.

    I'm not unsympathetic to any cause that involved forcing France to pay the money back to Haiti, adjusted for inflation, with interest.

  • KiwiDave||

    Fine, as a moral matter. But the idea that transfer payments will transform Haiti into a functioning economy, when that has not worked for any LDC, is pure madness.

  • Shannon Love||

    My francophobia lends me to support anything that sticks it to the French for their abysmal colonial actions all the way up to the 1960s. Sometimes I think American foreign policy can be summed up as a long series of cleaning up after the French.

    However, it is pointless to dump a bunch of money political and social system that simply cannot manage it. Without uncorrupt government, independent and uncorrupt courts, a free press and accounting standards, that money won't even touch ground in Haiti before ending up in Swiss bank accounts.

    No matter how badly the French screwed up, it doesn't change the fact that Haiti is dysfunctional. Haiti is like a drug addict that has a wretched childhood. You can reasonably say the childhood caused the drug addiction but you wouldn't solve the problem by giving an addict a lot of money. Indeed, it might be the easiest way to kill them.

    Money isn't magic. It does not good if you can't manage it. A lot of lottery winners crash and burn because they don't know how to manage that much money.

  • ||

    I don't disagree.

  • robc||

    Required?

    Clearly Haiti doesnt no how to overthrow a european master.

  • robc||

    know, even.

  • Rudan||

    The way I feel about this is the same way I feel about countries like India demanding former colonial rulers return stolen historical artifacts back. It's very cute and nice morally, but in all practicality it's sort of retarded.

  • Psychic Octopus||

    Because of the other problems mentioned, it would be way better if the money went direct to infrasctructure (essentially, that the French themselves did some infrastructure building) rather than donating it. Of course, the lefties would say that is imperialistic and only benefits the French.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    France, 1917: Fuck you to Allemagne! Vive les réparations!
    France, 1800-1950: Fuck you to Haiti! Vive les réparations!

    France be lovin' theyselves some reparations. I don't agree with the country paying Haiti for the sins of their ancestors any more than I think american blacks deserve a paycheck for the crime of slavery, though.

  • ||

    That fails to take into account that Haitians were made to pay for the "sin" of their ancesotors having rebelled against slavery for several generations. I can't remember the exact numbers, but it was upwards of 80 years that it took them to pay back their former masters for the loss of all those slaves.

  • ||

    Hazel,

    The terms of a treaty between two sovereign states shouldn't just get arbitrarily undone or reversed at the whim of 3rd parties several generations after the fact.

    At the time, it was the best the new Haitian government could negotiate, given that the French were immeasurably stronger militarily. Had they not agreed to the 'reparations' payment, their new republic might not have survived much longer.

    You should also keep in mind, were it not for those same French, the fledgling American republic might have found itself in a rather weaker bargaining position with the British circa 1783.

  • ||

    I should point out that France continued to hold Haiti to the terms of that treaty long after slavery was abolished IN FRANCE.

  • Jolie||

    Moynihan, you driveling right-w2ing asshole, economic freedom, among other things, not having to worry about going bankrupt because of medical bills. In this benighted country, a person can have just as much economic freedom a s he or she can buy. Swedes, Canadians, and Germans are infinitely better off than you fucking Americans. Haiti doesn't need your advice, so shove it up your fat libertarian ass.

  • robc||

    No one has ever gone bankrupt paying cash for medical procedures. Or anything else for that matter.

  • Shannon Love||

    Swedes, Canadians, and Germans are infinitely better off than you fucking Americans.

    Yes, they are. That is why the best and brightest Swedes, Canadians, and Germans immigrate to America while nearly no one goes the other way.

    Sweden, Germany and increasingly Canadians are retirement communities. You don't go to a retirement community for startup advice.

  • Rudan||

    Bullshit! Canada has a bunch of prospective citizens every American election.

  • slutmonkey||

    My cousin emigrated to Germany from America, but only because he married a German girl that he had knocked up in France.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    He should have gone with the Germans' favorite "sex" act of Shiza(spelling? It's from South Park) instead of the passe' act of ejaculating into a vagina.

  • Juice||

    Scheisse!

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I'm surprised Warty did no jump on this. That sick fuck.

  • Shannon Love||

    Of topic but...

    Do you notice how much the European powers-that-be use their socialized medical systems as tools of control? Comments like the above make it really clear their parasitic medical system is absolutely central to their political thinking. If people think that system is so defining and so important, how terrified they must be that the politicians will take it away.

    I mean if someone thinks their politically managed medical system is somehow relevant to a discussion of 3rd world debt how ingrained is that medical system to their over all world view?

    I wouldn't mention it except I see comments just like this in threads of many, many different subjects.

    Then again, perhaps, I'm overreacting. Perhaps its all they feel they have to brag about in the senile, corporativist states.

  • ||

    In Canada, we hear this crap about our medical system "defining who we are™" stuff all the time from our douchebag media and politicians.

    Once the socialized medicine system is in place, it will distort your politics forever.

  • Max||

    And increase your lifespan and keep you healthy. But, hey, your stupid right-wing ideology won't make you fat.

  • ||

    But it would still keep you stupid, fuckhead

  • Psychic Octopus||

    Yet, the Japanese are both healthier and longer-living than either the USA or EU/Canada, and their system is closer to the US model than to the EU/Canadian model.

  • Anonymous||

    Although, interestingly enough, there's been a handful of cases recently where Japan's vaunted centenarians have actually been dead for years; no one ever spoke up because that would mean no more pension checks, and no one ever pressed the issue (to, say, ask to actually see the old person instead of taking the families' word about it) because it would be impolite.

  • Mr. Bentley||

    Shame on you. Max doesn't care about facts.

  • ||

    The collectivists like you in North Koreans managed to avert the horror of childhood obesity caused by those evil capitalists

  • Greer||

    In this benighted country, a person can have just as much economic freedom a s he or she can buy.

    Is there anything but an extremely snarky, sarcastic comment to make to this statement that shows nothing but the most extreme ignorace.

    I actually have nothing to say to this.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Yerah, I don't get why that statement is bad. It seems like a tautological statement about what assets or money are.

  • Max||

    Geer is an inarticulate fuck who couldn't put his objection into words if he could think of one.

  • Eric||

    I'm disappointed by the continuing decline in Max's standards. Clearly, attacking the "haves" for taking "economic freedom" (as defined by leftists) away from the "have-nots" would have been a better call on Max's part.

  • Greer||

    OK, fuckhead.

    Jolie says that people have as much FINANCIAL freedom as they can buy. Well, you can't really have ANY financial freedom without money. Money is the instrument with which we have some sort of freedom.

    The freedom may be relative. Warren Buifet could fly anyway in the world, stay in the finest hotel and afford the most expensive whore (the image of Warren with a skinny Thai chick makes this analogy worthwhile). A working class person won't have that freedom, but he can choose to take his children to McDonalds for dinner. He could also choose to feed his kids rice and beans and save the money.

    There is no financial freedom without money. The only other way of having financial freedom would be to work for the politburo so that you can suck off the people who produce for your pleasure.

    Sorry if I'm not articulate enough but that original statement was so completely ignorant that I felt it was probably not worth responding to, but worth pointing out.

  • Greer||

    first paragraph,should say

    Money is the instrument with which we have some sort of financial freedom.

    first sentence, second paragraph should be

    anywhere

    Don't want to be considered inarticulate.

  • Max||

    Too late, you fucking moron.

  • Apogee||

    That's rich, you shitsickle.

  • ||

    So, you can do anything you want, as long as you earn the money to pay all the costs of it.

    Sounds to me like the most-fair system mankind has ever devised.

  • Adam||

    No wonder so many parasites hate the concept!

  • ||

    Agreed. If you can get someone to freely pay you for fair value ... you can do whatever you want in exchange.

  • Psychic Octopus||

    Funny that the first country of choice for Haitians to emigrate is the USA, not Sweden, Canada and Germany.

  • ||

    Gee, funny you should say so, Jolie. As luck would have it, I have several Germans, a Swede, three Canadians, and a Norwegian in my product team at work. All of them work here in western WA by choice (because they can keep more of their money and live the good life for a low price here), and because there are no available jobs in their fields back home.

    I think you have "economic freedom" confused with "complete freedom from any responsibility."

  • ||

    “Reforms to improve the business and investment climates have had little effect,” says the Index, and “Rampant corruption and an inefficient judicial system are serious obstacles to entrepreneurial activity.”

    And is supposedly someone else's fault?

    so they extorted a kind of reverse slave-reparations from Haiti well into the 20th century.

    According to W-pedia, it was paid in 1879, but Haiti had to take out a loan, and that wasn't repaid until 1947 - long enough ago that it has no tangible effect on the current situation.

  • Eric||

    Wait, wasn't Chile that one country that evil fascist Milton Friedman dictated the economic policies of, thus sealing in its corporatist jack-booted thug government, whose economic policies were followed by the democratic government that followed to ill effect? I hate having to keep up with leftist memes.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yes, but now they have a (moderate) lefty female president, so they're totally okay to reference.

    And the fact that it was an (admitted scumbag) dictator who pushed the economy to actually be productive & rich enough to actually have building made of modern building materials can be conveniently ignored.

  • Psychic Octopus||

    They just elected early this year a new president. A man, and the first one from the broad-right coalition since the return to democracy.

    I think the greatest tribute to the dictatorship is the fact that its crimes are now being seriously looked at and prosecuted through the courts. Had the economic (and other reforms) failed, either they wouldn't be touched (because the part of society that approved the coup would still be weary that another coup might be needed in the future) or they would already have been summarily executed in some revolutionary court. Now this is success.

  • Plate-O||

    Maybe they learned from North Korea:

    N Korea seeks $65 trillion in compensation:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....26237.html
  • BakedPenguin||

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration ridiculed North Korea on Friday for claiming $65 trillion from the United States in Korean War damages, saying the communist nation is an economic "basket case" due its own failed policies. (Emphasis added)

    Well, they ought to fuckin' know all about that.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, this:

    "The South Korean GDP is now six times that of North Korea, which is, for all intents and purposes, an economic basket case,"

    Boy, this administration, even when they're basically right, can really fuck up. South Korean GDP is $1.364 trillion, while North Korea's is $40 billion. That's 34 times the size of NK's economy, not 6.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I understood that there was to be no math?

  • BakedPenguin||

    You must be a counter-revolutionary.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Oh boy, I have my own troll now!

  • ||

    I always had faith your rectum would eventually learn to comment.

  • Ron L||

    There's a bit of a problem: Who would ever believe data from NK?

  • BakedPenguin||

    I think it's the CIA's estimate, not North Korea's statistics.

  • Shannon Love||

    I think Haiti suffers from both history and culture.

    While the depredations of the French were bad, quite frankly crushing debt over a 150 years ago doesn't explain persistent poverty now. There are many, many nations that suffered much greater economic and material losses who are nowhere near as poor.

    The real historical blow came at the end of the final rebellion when Haitians murder every single white person on the island from the infants up. It was one of the most thorough ethnic killings in the last 200 years.

    One can to some extent sympathize with the rage that drove that ethic cleansing but the harm it did to Haiti was permanent. It destroyed their human intellectual capital. They had an almost zero literacy rate. They had no middle-class of any kind. The had very few artisans because sugar islands imported almost all manufactured goods. Haiti was left with no one with the technical skills to run a country in the early modern world and they had no one to train up the next generation to do so either. For decades, very few whites, who did have the necessary skills, would immigrate to the island for fear the extermination would happen again. Haiti was permanently stuck without even the minimal intellectual capital of other isle in the region.

    By the time, the memory of that even faded, Haiti had established a political culture that could operate when almost no one could read or had any education. That structure is to complex to describe here but it constantly divides Haitians into those inside gang like groups and those outside. The groups loot everyone else for the benefits of their members until internal competition spirals out of control, the group collapses and another group starts the cycle all over again.

    We can't help Haiti unless we can break the culture. I think letting large numbers of Haitian come to work in US for several years and then returning home might be the best thing we could do for them. We could even subsidize their education while they were here.

    We'd have to make sure they went back though. Otherwise we'd just end up with a lot of hard working Americans and Haiti would still be a wreck.

  • Anonymous||

    Who is this "we" you speak of?

  • Shannon Love||

    Sorry, myself, my buddy Steve and our billions of dollars.

  • Paul||

    I think letting large numbers of Haitian come to work in US for several years and then returning home might be the best thing we could do for them. We could even subsidize their education while they were here.

    So, Wyclef Jean for President?

  • cowardly racist||

    Has there been a country run by blacks that was prosperous? Maybe South Africa, but the blacks inherited that and they just haven't had enough time to totally fuck it up.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Specify your time frame...Many of the most prosperous countries/kingdoms/empires in history were run by "blacks."

    Of course, that requires us to define "blacks" and "prosperous" and...

    Anyway...U R an idiot.

  • cowardly racist||

    In the last two hundred years? Is it idiotic to point out inconvenient truths?

  • Neu Mejican||

    The fact that you think you are pointing out a truth makes you an idiot.

  • Paul||

    Of course, that requires us to define "blacks" and "prosperous" and...

    I agree. Robert Segal on NPR kept talking about "blacks" in regard to Katrina. I was all like WTF?!

  • cowardly racist||

    Well, in the context of, "the poor victim" everybody knows what black means, and when affirmative action is applied to exclude poor, but smart, white and Asian kids from college then "blackness" is not so mysterious.

    In his defense, Neu Mejican has always had a hard time recognizing race when such recognition doesn't follow the monologue in his head.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I have trouble recognizing races because I am an adherent of William Herbert Sheldon's somatotyping as the more useful way to categorize individuals.

    It is not "races" that determine your fitness, but your body type. For instance, it is really cultures dominated by mesomorphy that are most likely to fail. Throughout history...the criminality of mesomorphs has caused every country where they dominated to fail to thrive. Only where endomorphs are in control do you see stable thriving economies.

  • ||

    Sheldon failed to produce a personality test that supported his notions statistically. His research did show that a predisposition towards criminality might be influenced by a somatotype high in mesomorphy and intermediate in ectomorphy. In contrast, a predisposition towards suicidality might be influenced by a somatotype high in ectomorphy, and endomorphs were found to be more common in mental institutions. These tendencies might be taken to support a theory of the aggressive and the nervous temperament, but no coherent demonstration of Sheldon's ready-made thesis has been forthcoming.

    I confess that I had never heard of Sheldon, so naturally I went to the recognized font of knowlege, Wiki. Based on what I read, Sheldon's theory seems a lot like phrenology, just read the bumps on a fellow's head and you understand the fellow. Interesting and amusing, but I would not bet much on its predictive value.

  • cowardly racist||

    Take, for example, Zimbabwe, a true basket case economically, politically, and any other way I can think to judge.

    Zimbabwe used to be... Rhodesia, a prosperous country with exports and a measurable GDP. What went wrong with Rhodesia?

  • ||

    Marxism.

  • robc||

    While agreeing with you on your final comment, I dont think "many of the most prosperous..." is a true statement.

    Ive got the Maddison data, if you would like to suggest a country/time and I will give you their per capita GDP in 1990 dollars.

    I have no idea who rules Equitorial Guinea, but they are at 22k, so they may be the all time winner.

  • alan||

    I recommend the Wikipedia page on Somalia. The rise and fall of trade empires over the previous two millennia is one of the less boring entries on the site.

  • Adam||

    Just don't mention to a leftist that the last "functional" government Somalia had was Marxist, and that all of their current problems can be directly traced to that debacle.....

  • Shannon Love||

    Unfortunately, black majority countries are not nation(ethnic) states but colonial remnants whose borders are drawn across ethnic boundaries for the interest of Europeans. This means that the proficient African cultures are subsumed by the non-proficient ones.

    Not all cultures are good at the same thing and some cultures support stable and prosperous countries better than other. An America composed entirely of Scots-Irish (one of my ancestor groups) would probably be much more divided and poor than we are now.

    My favorite is the Ibo who live mostly in Nigeria. They have a consensual, distributed traditional political system, rule of law, an independent traditional judiciary (judges are not political leaders). They value literacy and approve of making a living in trade and commerce.

    Ibo who come to America do very well. They excel academically and prefer technical fields like engineering and business. Recently, many have become star football players (if you see a black guy whose name sounds vaguely Japanese, he's most likely of Ibo descent.)

    Unfortunately, the Ibo are a minority hated by their neighbors for their very success. In the early 60s, they were very nearly wiped out in one of Africa's silent genocides. Any progress they make is often wiped out by this ethnic conflict. Even so, Ibo areas are much better managed even though they have fewer resources.

    I feel confident that a Ibo nation state would be very peaceful and prosperous place.

  • ||

    Thing is, in a normal universe, sucessful cultures conquor and absorb unsucessful ones.

    500 years ago there were no "failed states". Any state that showed signs of failing would immediately be invaded and annexed.

  • ||

    Has there been a country run by blacks that was prosperous?

    The US since 2008? Sure, we've been in a recession, but we're still pretty prosperous.

  • Apogee||

    That structure is to[o] complex to describe here but it constantly divides Haitians Americans into those inside gang like groups and those outside. The groups loot everyone else for the benefits of their members until internal competition spirals out of control, the group collapses and another group starts the cycle all over again.

    FIFY

  • afm||

    "According to people who have been consistently wrong about economics (Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, José Bové, Alain Badiou) . . . ."

    One of the reasons I read this blog is its general high-mindedness and quality. The statement I've quoted has neither of those traits. Last I checked , it is lazy, shoddy work to make bald assertions and not provide links to back them up. I'm not saying Naomi Klein or anyone else in your list has not been wrong about economics, but your omission of examples (links would suffice here) of that wrongness or explanations of the ways they've been wrong is precisely the sort of thing I come here to avoid.

    Further, your list reminds me of the right-wing pundits who name drop Saul Alinsky, or left-wingers who mentions Grover Norquist, solely for the purpose of rallying the troops. It's intellectually slothful. Even more, it borders on propaganda.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Water is wet. The Pope is Catholic. Bears shit in forested areas. Klein, Chomsky, et alia are economic ignoramuses.

    Some things are axiomatic.

  • DG||

    Fucking Google, how does it work?

  • afm||

    You're right. I'm stupid for expecting people to back their shit up.

  • afm||

    Rather, it's stupid to expect people to back their shit up.

  • Ron L||

    Well, if someone were to reference Marx on this site, do you think it would take cites to prove the point?

  • afm||

    You've obviously missed my point, which I will admit I didn't do the best job of making clear. For your amusement, I'll state it more clearly:

    I come to Reason because, in general, the folks here (the authors, not the commenters) don't blindly assume their side is correct. Rather, they believe their beliefs are correct, and then they argue them and back them up with examples. It's this weird thing called intellectual integrity.

    This particular article strayed from that norm, and I commented on that fact. If I were perusing a blog at NRO or Crooks & Liars, I would not comment on the integrity of an argument. Why? Because I fully expect them to endorse the party line. Here, the trend has been to rely on Reason (pun intended) to prove points.

    Is that really so difficult to understand?

  • Anomalous||

    Just look at the Reason archives to see explanations of why Naomi Klein is wrong.

  • Tony||

    Naomi Klein is wrong because, to paraphrase Jim Carrey in "Liar, Liar," she's devastating to the libertarian case.

  • ||

    Actually she's not. She's a transparantly dishonest Marxist with an axe to grind and an unabiding hatred for capitalism.

  • tarran||

    AFN

    Imagine you were to show up on a blog specializing on the Nazi's.

    Your reading the blog and someone makes a comment that states that there were large numbers of homosexuals in the leadership.

    Now, if you were to angily demand that the writer back up his assertion, they'd probably laugh at you since the guys who really knew the hisotyr would know how Rhoem, Goering, and many of the early Nazi's were gay. It would have been the subject of numerous articles.

    It would be about as controversial as a statement that Hitler was wrong about Jews stabbing Germany in the back in WW I.

    And your angry demand for sources would get you laughed at.

    Here is a piece delving into the poor scholarship (and IMHO willful fraud) in the Shock Doctrine.

    As to Noam Chomsky. This essay pretty much takes him apart.

    Again, the fact that these guys are economic ignorami has been so amply shown by various libertarian thinkers, calling them ignorami requires about as much justification as saying that the sky is blue to people who live above ground.

  • afm||

    First, your use of "your" when you meant "you're" would get you laughed at in any circle that relies on the integrity of the English language.

    Second, while I appreciate your numerous citations, you're missing my point. I appreciate this blog because it's not your typical preaching-to-the-choir drivel I expect at places like NRO and Crooks & Liars. I expect the author of an argument to back his shit up. That usually happens here, but didn't in this case. If you reread my comment, you'll see that I never said anything about the substance of the author's points.

    Third, my "demand for sources" was anything but angry. Disgusted, maybe. Disappointed? Definitely.

    Fourth, your statement, "the fact that these guys are economic ignorami has been so amply shown by various libertarian thinkers," also misses my point. When the libertarian thinkers (with whom I generally agree) have been proven to be absolutely correct, I will agree with you that the "ignorami" stuff is, as you put it, fact. Until then, it's just theory.

  • ||

    "Until then, it's just theory."

    What, like evolution?

    And nitpicking spelling on a blog like this where comments are made on the run is just stupid.

  • afm||

    "And nitpicking spelling on a blog like this where comments are made on the run is just stupid."

    Oh, you mean pointing out something stupid someone's done when that person accused me of being stupid? Please, please, please--forgive my insolence.

  • afm||

    Bravo, though, on managing to mention Nazis (the plural of which does not require an apostrophe, by the way) AND call them gay in your response. This is only, what, the fortieth comment?

  • hmm||

    It's a low blow, but a well deserved low blow. When the general consensus among those breathing and walking at the same time that you're a moron, then those people deemed moron then those people are accepted to be in fact morons.

  • afm||

    "When the general consensus among those breathing and walking at the same time that you're a moron"

    I'm sorry, but this is a moronic comment. The Shock Doctrine has sold a ton of copies. (Lookie here: http://www.amazon.com/Shock-Do.....amp;sr=8-1)

    And let's not forget the fact the majority of "those breathing and walking" aren't going to sit around pondering and debating economic theory.

  • afm||

    Unless you're a Straussian, in which case why am I talking?

  • hmm||

    Your sarcastic hyperbole meter is off. Try walking and breathing as not the literal, but a metaphor for anyone with some intellectual power. So taking that phrase as literal is a bit silly.

    Selling books is an indication of being correct, or not being a hack? That's a tad moronic.

    You seem to be a bit of an intellectual snob. Although I'd say the jury is out on the intellectual part.

    (that's not a literal jury, that's a metaphor for me not being sure you are as generally high-minded as you think you are)

    P.S. I like pie.

  • Shannon Love||

    afm,

    You have to be careful not to come in at mid-conversation. We've been researching and reading about these issues and those people fo years. What apparently sounds shocking and provocative to you (and therefore requiring firm proof) is old hat.

    It's like if you never read anything about quantum physics and you wandered into a group of physicist talking shop. You hear one mention schrodinger's cat and then immediately demand that everyone stop and explain the thought experiment that every first year physics student has heard about.

    Klein, Chomsky et al have shown up enough over the years for us to say they are economic naifs without having to explain why their economic cat is both alive and dead at the same time.

  • afm||

    You're the first person who understands my point, but you don't realize it. Like I've written above, I'm accustomed to the writing here being pretty intellectually honest. That is, they back their shit up. This article didn't. I didn't like it, and I commented on it. Consider my cherry popped, but don't expect me to hold this writer's stuff in as high regard.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Sir,

    Where are your links showing Reason being intellectually honest in the past? I mean for all I know they may not have a history of backing up shit and what not. I would hate to hold them to some standard they never reached. But I'm sure you just got delayed by the other posters and their terrible grammar/usage mistakes.

    BTW:

    You're the first person who understands my point, but you don't realize it.

    What?

  • Apogee||

    No, afm, it is you who doesn't realize the point made.

    The point is that it is your responsibility to do some Reason.com and Hit&Run; searches regarding the subject matter.

    If it comes up blank, then you should ask for some clarification.

    But attempting to load every article down with repetitious "back up" for previously hashed out issues would make this site tedious and boring.

  • ||

    You're the first person who understands my point, but you don't realize it.

    Man, I thought I was arrogant and pretentious, but afm puts me in the shade.

    Its like he's putting on a seminar on how to alienate people and ensure that nobody cares what you say, because you come across as such an asshole.

  • afm||

    Did you read the replies to my initial comment? All I did was reply to a bunch of jerkoff comments with other jerkoff comments. It was intentional, because jerkoffs deserve to be treated as such. I don't care if you like me.

  • Apogee||

    your omission of examples

    No one has the kind of time to compile a list that long.

  • Tman||

    If you need links to understand why Chomsky and Klein are idiots when it comes to economic policies, then clearly most of Reason is going to be wayyyyy over your head.

  • afm||

    Clearly.

    In case you didn't get it, I like Reason because it's not the same old preaching-to-the-choir crap I get at most politically minded blogs. Obviously, you'd prefer to hang out solely with people who agree with because they don't challenge you.

  • ||

    Again. Go read the archives.

    Does every mention of the fact that Naomi Klein is a lying cunt ignoramus need to be sourced when the evidence is already so abundant?

  • Almanian||

    [citation needed]

    /snark

  • afm||

    Does every mention of the fact that those who resort to calling people with whom they disagree "lying cunt[s]" are ridiculous people need to be pointed out?

  • ||

    It's not ridiculous if it's true.

  • afm||

    Ok, cunt.

  • Apogee||

    citation please.

    You seem to view yourself immune from the very disease you detect in others.

  • afm||

    Also, I think you meant to write "waaaaaaaaay" instead of "wayyyyy." Because, you know, simply typing a bunch of letters does not recreate the precise sound you're looking for if you repeat the wrong letter.

  • Neu Mejican||

    over your head

    Not sure "over" is the right word here.

    What's direction is it when you start with a different set of basic assumptions and end up disagreeing?

  • tarran||

    Please,

    ANomi Kl;ein does not start with a different set of assumptions. She lies outright - primarily by omitting facts that completely contradict her thesis and cherry picking the few items that, if you claim post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning.

    Choamsky, in the meantime, promotes a form of syndicalism that has been an unmitigated disaster every time it has been tried.

    If someone here were to say that women are treated badly under the Wahabist version of Shariah, you wouldn't be claiming that it was a disagreement based on a different set of axioms

  • Max||

    Oh, no! Eliminates facts that completely contradict her thesis and cherry picks the few items that, if you claim post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning, don't? Did Naomi Klein intern at Reason?

  • ||

    Find me a single reason writer who is as dishonest on any lefty topic as Klein is on Milton Friedman.

  • afm||

    Wow. That's like the pundits who, after Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch called Guantanamo the "Gulag of Our Time," said, "Nuh uh! Stalin ran the gulags, and we're not nearly as bad as Stalin."

    No argument about integrity should ever be centered on who is less dishonest.

  • Apogee||

    Are you replying to Max or Hazel? Because it was Max, the shitsickle, who first brought up the vapid comparison.

    Maybe that was over your head.

  • afm||

    "post hoc ergo propter hoc"

    This is funny because using Latin in a comment generally provides a good example of the meaning of the particular Latin phrase I've quoted. It's the because-I've-used-Latin-my statement-deserves-to-be-taken-seriously strategy that some people seem hopelessly addicted to.

  • afm||

    And to save you the trouble:

    The incessantly reappearing-hyphen-to-construct-complex-ideas-that-lack-a-single-word-or-phrase thing is played out, too.

  • tarran||

    I'm confused? Are you claiming that me pointing out that Naomi Klein's "logic" consists almost entirely of post hoc ergo propter hoc statements somehow makes me guilty of the same thing?

    You could argue I am pompous - with some justification: I took 6 years of Latin because I love the language so much, and love a chance to throw the odd phrase now and then into a comment.

    But such an accusation won't get you far. The field of rhetoric was developed, refined and fundamentally fleshed out to almost its final extent in an era when all scholars used Latin. Hence the phrases ad hominem and post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    You may not like seeing the phrase pop up over and over again in discussing Klein's writings, unfortunately, as long as she keeps engaging in such fallacious "reasoning", people are going to be using the widely accepted phrases that identify the fallacies.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Choamsky, in the meantime, promotes a form of syndicalism that has been an unmitigated disaster every time it has been tried.

    When and where was this anarcho-syndacalist society tried?

  • afm||

    If you're referring to me, I did not endorse anyone's set of basic assumptions. I complained about the way an argument was presented. That's all.

  • Paul||

    I can tell you that it's all been downhill since Bacon.

    Just sayin'

  • alan||

    Good enough for me, I'll drink. Plus, all that talk about bacon is making my heart skip a few beats. Waiter . . . more red wine.

  • KPres||

    I love Michael Moore....

    Per capita GDP:

    Chile - $16,000 per year
    Haiti - $1300 per year

    But Chileans have stronger buildings because of the regulations...

    If the Haitians had to pay the extra costs for construction that met the Chilean building codes, they wouldn't have had any building's at all.

  • ||

    Is it even possible to fix the Haitian economy? What is wrong with Haiti?

  • Max||

    I can't imagine what the fuck you mean Wayne. I'll bet you can't either.

  • ||

    Max, I am not surprised at your lack of imagination, but really, can even a pristine leftist such as yourself suggest a way to fix Haiti's economy?

  • Ron L||

    Max|8.23.10 @ 9:49PM|#
    "I can't imagine..."
    You left out that you can't think, either.

  • Y Max iz Max||

    His daddy was a librarian, and his daddy touched him places.

    'Librarian', word is close enough to Libertarian to make his teeth gnash.

    For a similar reason involving his mother, he hates all thespians.

  • leftdog||

    Excuse me!! Haiti has the lowest literacy rate in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti has the lowest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere. The average annual income of a Haitian is $733! These are the successes of the 'unfettered' free market of Haiti. Get real!!

  • hmm||

    Calling Dr. Pauly Krugnuts, Dr. Pauly Krugnuts. You are needed in the Hatian emergency room.

  • Pauly Krugnuts||

    Haiti needs more government spending.

  • John Maynard Keynes||

    And interest rates near 0%.

  • Shannon Love||

    I think that Chomsky et al always default to, "its all the developed world's fault and they should pay up," simply because they are one trick ponies and can't think of anything else to say. There simply to intellectually insular and uncreative to think of any real solutions so they take the easy way and try to play Jiminy Cricket to the developed world.

    I mean seriously, isn't "give them a lot of money" the kind of idea a 13 year old would come up with? Poor people have no money. You make them not poor by giving them money. It's a simplistic and childish and that's all they can peddle.

  • ||

    I was thinking something similar earlier today.

    The Obama administration seems to have no idea how to improve the economy except to have the government spend more stimulus money. Just blow more money. Print more money, and spend it.
    That's it. They have no other ideas.
    And the Democrats answer to just about every other problem is spend more money on it too.

    Meanwhile, because Libertarians and free-market Republicans tend to be focused on reducing spending, their policy prescriptions tend to get a lot more creative. We're out here thinking about how incentives are structured in the market. How markets get distorted by government actions. Why the market for a particular product is the way it is. We're tracking down issues like how an inequity in the rules governing a particular market segment leads to a distortion. We're looking at underlying causes, instead of treating the symptoms, basically.

    The left has NONE of that thinking. They can't even see how their own policies lead to perverse incentives. It's almost a willful refusal to believe that economics can't be perfectly controlled. So the answer is always "Hit it harder!" whenever something doesn't "work" the way they want it too. More regulation, more spending, more government. HIT IT HARDER. They won't look below the surface to actuall understand how economies behave because they might discover that they are driven by human desire and not the evil dreaded "greed" and "profits".

  • hopehaiti||

    I cannot wait for France to pay back that money. Thieves

  • hmm||

    Michael Moore. Film maker, economist, geologist, seismologist, doughnutoligist, medical expert and scholar.

    Or just a fat parody of a fat parody of a fat guy ranting and raving.

  • Kevin Carson||

    Hey, I totally agree--free market reform is the way to go.

    As starters, they should repudiate protectionist agreements like the WIPO Copyright Treaty, TRIPS, and the like. Artificial property rights that prevent the diffusion of technology and ideas are especially harmful to the poorest of the poor.

    They might also repudiate all Haitian state debt acquired by authoritarian governments in collusion with World Bank technocrats.

  • ||

    Silly MSM socialists, you're supposed to give money bombs to let Ron Paul rape your wallets! Long live the Ron Paul Revolution!

  • ||

    The concern troll is back! Yay!

  • ||

    Thought this was interesting from the report linked above:

    "Mexico’s labor regulations are rigid. Reform remains stalled. The non-salary cost of employing a worker can be high, and laying off an employee is difficult."

    and

    "Corruption is perceived as significant. Mexico ranks 72nd out of 179 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2008."

    Explains why many of their workers don't even bother and just walk North a few miles.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    I love how people like Naomi Klein come out with their shit about how evil Friedman was. Notice that she waited until after Milton had died to publish this. She knows that, had he still been alive, Friedman would have ripped her and her book to shreds in any serious debate or discussion.

    As George Shultz said, "Everybody loves to argue with Milton, particularly when he isn't there."

  • ||

    I think Haiti suffers from both history and culture.

    Most of it self-produced.

    I love the way everyone ignores - or is completely ignorant of, possibly by choice - Haiti's real, obvious and consistently well-documented problem: the average IQ is only around 72. IOW, the *average person* would be considered seriously retarded or "special needs" by western standards.

    Yeah, yeah, I know it's a "hate fact", and that it's bad manners to mention it. So sue me.

  • ||

    Haiti's real, obvious and consistently well-documented problem:

    Then coughing up a few citations should be no problem.

  • ||

    Here is one that correlates IQ to prosperity:

    http://vdare.com/misc/rushton_african_iq.htm

  • GILMORE||

    to quote myself, and one of my favorite quotes:

    "Haiti: Because Somalians Need Someone to Look Down On"

    Read the history of Haiti @ Wikipedia. Notable for being perpetually REALLY, REALLY fucked up. The most stable and prosperous period - and this is not a joke - was when the US Marines *occupied the country and dismantled their constitution*, put down a rebellion, killing a few thousand or more (no one is sure), forced poor civilians into unpaid work-camps, and rebuilt their entire country's infrastructure, government, and education system. It was basically a racist military occupation where citizens had no say (they were allowed to elect a symbolic president with no powers and no legislature!), people were treated like slaves for public labor projects, and any uprising against the occupying overlords was brutally put down.

    And those were the *good* years. After that, "things went downhill"... Seriously.

    You don't believe me, go read about it. You'd think it was some kind of sick joke. They're probably *proud* of their 149 out of 171 'economic freedom' ranking; dude, we broke 150! And now more than 50% of the population can read! Whoo hoo! We're moving up! We have the highest fertility rate in the hemisphere! But, Whoops! ""Ninety percent of Haiti’s children suffer from waterborne diseases and intestinal parasites."" Well, I suppose that's something to work on... And that IQ stat is not a joke (even though I'd never link to VDare as a 'source') IQ testing is kinda hard when, like, most people can't read, and they live in a pile of garbage and have a strange habit of hacking people apart with machetes when asked too many questions.

    When people say, "there must be something in the water down there", they're REALLY not kidding.

    Michael Moore should be buttered and set loose in the Cité Soleil slums. *That's* a movie I'd watch. I think it would be classified as a 'short film'.

  • Dido||

    @Hazel neither do I!

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