I expect everyone has seen and heard the extensive coverage about Haiti. I have just a few comments.

Please consider donating now and again in four to six months. After the emergency there will be a need for rebuilding and Haiti will be fading from the news. I have already donated now and I have set an alarm to remind me to make a donation in a few months. Most of us have a Blackberry, Treo, iPhone, Android or a similar smartphone or PDA. I suggest putting in a calendar reminder for some date four to six months from now; that is what I have done.

The impact of the earthquake on Haiti was compounded by Haiti being a poor country. The discussion of developing countries and what policies should be followed is often a topic that triggers ideological bickering. I will keep my comments brief. Based on what I have read Haiti has the misfortune of an overly bureaucratic and rigid system making it difficult for entrepreneurs to start new businesses. To the extent this is correct then now is a good time to change. Basically I think they need to read the book The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto. It is not a perfect book but it has a number of important points that might help in developing a functioning economy in Haiti.

Another thing which I have read but not had time to verify is that the French sucked a lot of money out of Haiti following Haiti winning its independence. I have read a couple of articles; one is a reprint from Wall Street Journal January 2004 and the other is a recent blog entry.. If this is correct then now might be a good time for France to repay the money; not by mindlessly dumping in the Haitian government to be sucked up corrupt politicians or squandered on silly projects.

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