From: Mike Netherland <email@example.com>
Date: Mar 26, 2006 7:59 AM
Subject: Re: "So much waste."
To: Larry A Bailly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Mr. Bailly,
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I think I see the problem, now. Your observations, as you wrote in the article that prompted my letter to you as well as in your response, are excellent and rational. Sadly, it is the conclusions you draw from your observations that seem to attract the most attention.
You are correct when you observe that Haiti's problems won't be solved by sending them more money, however that money is collected. And similarly correct in your assessment that Haitians, like most people, will take the opportunity to better themselves and relieve thier sufferring through hardwork.
However, your conclusion that if only we sent our jobs to Haiti (and other Latin American nations) instead of to Asia, that the Haitians would greatly benefit, is on par with the light-bulb theory which we agree does not adequately address the problem.
Part of your conclusion is correct, though. Obviously, the Haitians would benefit greatly if only corporate America would simply send a factory or two and other captial to our poor neighbors instead of to poor nations in other parts of the world.
But capital investment is attracted, not pushed, Mr. Bailly. Jobs cannot be sent anywhere. They are created through the investment of capital that has been rationally decided to promise the greatest return, however that return is measured, usually in terms of profit.
For example, my state, Maryland, has recently made itself about as attractive to business investment as, well, Haiti. The political majority decided attracting business investment and thus jobs was less important than appearing to be a workers paradise buy forcing certain businesses to pay for health insurance for its workers. The fact that the 800 jobs that Walmart would have "sent" to Maryland will now be "sent" to South Carolina, seems not to worry the Democrats in Maryland who have been and will always be the dominant party in my sad state.
Now, whose fault is it that the poor folks on our eastern shore will have no jobs (and no health care insurance)? Walmart's? Or would you conclude that is it the fault of Maryland voters who continue to elect buffoons to our state legislature?
So how do we make Haiti more attractive to business? How can Haiti attract more capital investment? As you say, a hand up, not a hand-out.