The Quick Fix: For the Love of God, Give Every Haitian a Green Card
By Bryan Caplan
Rising food prices don’t mean a lot in the U.S., but in places like Haiti, they’re a disaster:
Saint Louis Meriska’s children ate two spoonfuls of rice apiece as their only meal recently and then went without any food the following day. His eyes downcast, his own stomach empty, the unemployed father said forlornly, “They look at me and say, ‘Papa, I’m hungry,’ and I have to look away. It’s humiliating and it makes you angry.”
In Haiti, where three-quarters of the population earns less than $2 a day and one in five children is chronically malnourished, the one business booming amid all the gloom is the selling of patties made of mud, oil and sugar, typically consumed only by the most destitute. “It makes your stomach quiet down.”
Still, the NYT repeats the popular mantra that there’s no “quick fix”:
But experts say there are few quick fixes to a crisis tied to so many factors, from strong demand for food from emerging economies like China’s to rising oil prices to the diversion of food resources to make biofuels.
Well, I’ve got a quick fix. Give every Haitian a green card. Invite the world’s most precious resource – human labor – to leave a dirt-based economy and get an entry-level job in the modern economy. It’s called doing well while doing good. And unlike everything else the world has ever done for Haiti, it works.