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To Cast A Smaller Net

January 3, 2010

I was sitting her this morning with Haiti on my mind.  It has been over twenty years now since I was there. It seems in twenty years, not much has changed.  Truthfully, things have not changed there in many more years than that.  Haiti is the poorest county in all the Americans.  Corruption and desperation seem to be the rule rather than the exception.  Yes, at times nations have helped out in Haiti, the United States has done much for sure.  Still, the country suffers greatly.

Even excluding the post World War II Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, we have spent billions, trillions now, in our aid to countries around the world.  In the end, what has it accomplished?  Not much when you look at the larger scheme of things.  Perhaps its time we take a smaller view of our role.  Perhaps its time we look more to helping those closer to us before we help others.  In essences, it is time for us to cast a smaller net.

We have always taken a shotgun approach to giving aid.   We spread it out all over.  Like a shotgun, we achieve good coverage but lack true penetrating power.  That requires a more concentrated effort, efforts supported over a substantial amount of time.  We need to let other nations worry with the particular problems in their regions while we worry over those in ours.  It’s not like there are not problems enough close by to keep us busy, Haiti for example.  It’s time we us the considerable good will the people of the United State has to work on some particular  problems until they are solved.  Truly solved and not just believed most pressing at the moment.

We worry over issues like free trade with Canada and Mexico all the while allowing China to clean up when it comes to profits.  I mean if we are going to allow companies like Wal-Mart to reap profits from cheap labor, why not get them to target that labor from a place like Haiti?  Why not build up the infrastructure in a responsible way and encourage business there?  I would rather have Haiti profit from it than China.  I would rather the United States be the positive influence there than a country like Venezuela.

Over the last 150 years the United States has done as much harm to our neighbors to the South as good.  It is time we become more benevolent to them, it is time for us to include them in our prosperity.  After all, we benefit from our neighborhood being stronger.  We gain nothing from lining the pockets of China and India with purchasing might.  We have given them a control over us that is truly unhealthy.  Let us raise the standard of living in the countries close to us.  Let other powerful countries do the same in their part of the world.  I think this is what Monroe truly had in mind when he came up with his famous doctrine.

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