News & Politics

Jonah Goldberg: Haiti Would Be Better Off If It Were Rich

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If you’re wondering, especially since Scott Brown’s victory turned America Republican again, what conservative thinkers have been up to lately, have a gander at National Review editor Jonah Goldberg’s latest column, in which he explains that the earthquake would have been no big deal for Haiti if only they were rich. “The sad truth about Haiti isn’t simply that it is poor,” says Goldberg, “but that it has a poverty culture.” He is vague about what this might mean, but suggests it has to do with a “lack of intangible capital” — the sort of thing that makes Switzerland rich, for example, despite the fact that it has very few precious minerals except the gold and silver certificates foreigners put into its banks.

So why doesn’t Haiti start up some banks? Silly liberals will suggest Haiti “has been exploited, abused, and betrayed ever since its days as a slave colony,” leading to its hellacious and only recently alleviated debt and endemic poverty. Yeah yeah whatever, says Goldberg, “if it alleviates Western guilt to say that Haiti’s poverty stems entirely from a legacy of racism and colonialism, fine.” But that kind of liberal bullshit isn’t getting those Haitian international banks built, is it? Goldberg’s prescription: “Tough love.” Again he is unclear as to what this might mean, but presumably it includes treating Haiti, should it not reform and create banks, like a recidivist teenager, refusing to bail its ass out when it gets itself into earthquakes.


Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism and, from the looks of him, consumes the equivalent of three and a half Haitians a day.

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