"No government of the left has done as much for the poor as capitalism has. Even when it comes to the redistribution of income, the left talks the talk but the free market walks the walk. What do the poor most need? They need to stop being poor. And how can that be done, on a mass scale, except by an economy that creates vastly more wealth? Yet the political left has long had a remarkable lack of interest in how wealth is created. As far as they are concerned, wealth exists somehow and the only interesting question is how to redistribute it." ~ Thomas Sowell
Does Obama Hate Black People?
Not even an earthquake in a very poor country is enough for the federal administrators to show compassion. The Obama regime will make no change to its immigration policy in light of the utter devastation in Haiti. The Coast Guard will interdict those trying to enter the U.S. illegally by sea. Only those with special circumstances will be granted special permission: orphans who have ties (not just normal orphans, mind you) to family members already living in the U.S., or those with medical reasons.
Says Raymond Joseph, ambassador to Haiti: “If you think you will reach the U.S. and all the doors will be open to you, that’s not at all the case. And they will intercept you right on the water and send you back home where you came from.”
I for one cannot imagine what it must be like for most in Haiti now, but we can try. Thanks to near-textbook-perfect socialism, that country is a dump. With high mortality rates and low life expectancy, Haitians do not have much to look forward to. Poverty is rampant. Services are squalid. Education? Hah! Health care? Hah again. Employment? Good luck. And now imagine that most of your family, including your extended family—remember that even squalid housing is a luxury so you have to share with many others—dies immediately after the earthquake and the rest died or are dying of disease or starvation. Decades of hard socialism have resulted in low capital investment and accumulation of material wealth, and thus no savings for the vast majority. Sadly, this means that Haitians cannot help each other in their time of need. Quite literally, they have nothing. Help has had to come from other countries*.
Now you have no family, no home, no job, and what little possessions you had are also gone—down to whatever you can carry on your person. But do not for a second think that you could float your way to the “land of the free.” Getting a visa is expensive for a Haitian and involves waiting and dealing with bureaucracy. The government is virtually shut down anyway. There is no way out of the immediate misery and impending doom, at least not to the U.S. The feds will not allow you to travel unless you go through the official channels, invitations from family and friends notwithstanding. Kind of cruel and not unusual, isn’t it? Instead of helping the tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the wretched refuse and the homeless Haitians, they are turned away.
About the only good thing that Obama has done here is granting temporary protected status to Haitians in the U.S. illegally as of January 12th. Though that is at least something, no such help is given to those trying to enter the country after that date, not to mention that temporary relief is barely useful to those trying to make a living. After all, it’s hard to have peace of mind or have a family and stable conditions if you have to constantly live with the fear of deportation.
Now, the Air Force has been bringing some folks to the U.S., yet a majority of them are U.S. citizens or have links to the United States. However, this is a drop in the bucket. How many people in this country, even in the middle of a recession, would be willing to offer housing and some form of employment to those in need? The market could handle this already. Companies around the world could openly offer employment to Haitians and bring entire families together. Flights could be chartered and transportation arranged in a matter of hours. But there are state barriers to all of this: from minimum wage laws and work permits to identification requirements and licenses—all conspire to increase the cost of labor.
Haitian socialism has caused widespread involuntary primitivism, which in turn caused poverty and therefore the inability to mitigate earthquake damage. The man-made disaster—severe statism—only exacerbated the natural disaster. Unfortunately, American border and labor socialism means a loss in the breadth and depth of the division of labor, resulting in goods and services that are not as efficient or as plentiful as they could have otherwise been.
Ultimately it all goes back to government control of migration. The state has a monopoly on deciding who enters the country. It cares not even if there are invitations for labor and housing.
Mr. Obama, Abolish migration controls. Tear down the bureaucratic wall. Have some compassion.
* Of course, the U.S is not a paragon of liberty, but think about what happened after Katrina. You had a massive influx of supplies from other cities and states. These supplies could have only existed because of previous saving and production. But it was not just material supplies.; there was an influx of labor. I am aware that there has been plenty of state interference here, of course, but the point stands. At least some folks wanted to rebuild homes and businesses. Imagine how much worse off New Orleans would be if the state of Louisiana had not allowed anyone to come in to live or work.