In 2009, the United States gave $290 million to Haiti. That was $28.90 for every single one of the 10 million-plus inhabitants of the island nation. It was also $290 million that the U.S. government neither had nor was constitutionally permitted to give. But then, that $290 million only represented about one-five-thousandths of the $1.42 trillion deficit created by the federal government over the course of 2009. It was also, obviously, financial aid that was provided prior to the earthquake that struck Jan. 12.
In the aftermath of the terrible earthquake and the reported large-scale loss of life, charities, celebrities, aid organizations and governments have geared up to pour even more money into Haiti. And while a portion of it will no doubt ameliorate the hellish lives of a small percentage of Haiti’s inhabitants for a short while, it should be recognized that the more significant and lasting result will be to provide funding for an international aid infrastructure that justifies its continued existence by keeping those it supposedly helps in a constant state of poverty and dependency.