“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Haiti And Bankers.

with 8 comments

The problems faced by the Haitians are almost indescribable.

Haiti hardly had a barely functioning government before the earthquake, terrible infrastructure, mass unemployment and poverty, and then to be hit by a monumental earthquake. What words are there to describe it?

I can’t, but Left Foot Forward has plenty of useful links and coverage.

However, it occurs to me that Haiti should be the recipient of a massive “Marshall plan”, all for its self.

To rebuild that country, not only from a political dimension, but the very roads and arteries of the nation, providing much-needed work and infrastructure. It would help if some countries with specialist knowledge of earthquake control and management could contribute their expertise, as it is certainly possible that another earthquake could take place in the foreseeable future and without special preparations any work that is done now could be lost.

But all that would require cash.

Plenty of money to rebuild the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

I have a suggestion, a Banker’s bonus Haitian tax, set at the 75% bracket.

In the West, many of these Bankers set to receive lucrative bonuses are already rich men (and a few women). They are doubtless in the top 5% of earners in any country. Making masses of money, for themselves on a yearly basis, throughout the good and bad years.

I am sure that many of them are humanitarians, but are probably too shy or fearful of peer pressure to admit that they don’t really need those massive bonuses, that are being shoved down their gob now.

So a Banker’s bonus Haitian tax will save them the embarrassment and generate billions and billions to rebuild Haiti, what a thoroughly worthwhile enterprise.

Update 1: It seems that others had the same idea.

Update 2: Over at NPR, Want To Make Use Of $47 Billion To Spare? Help Haiti. I think that must be the lower figure, as it probably excludes British and European Bankers, etc.

Update 3: There is a Facebook group on this very topic, Bankers Bonuses to Haiti.

Written by modernityblog

17/01/2010 at 22:02

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

8 Responses

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  1. I think actors who make over $1 million per movie should pony up as well.


    17/01/2010 at 22:41

  2. And BBC personalities.


    17/01/2010 at 23:16

  3. You’ll get no argument from me!


    17/01/2010 at 23:52

  4. I didn’t think so. 🙂

    How much foreign aid has flowed into Haiti the last 20 years, btw. Fat lot of good it did.

    I have a bad feeling about this, mod. I’m glad people are rushing in to help. But it’s a matter of time before a Haitian is killed by a bullet fired by an American Soldier or Marine, and then things start to get ugly. The fact is, Haiti has lived in a state of slow motion anarchy since it’s independence, and that anarchy is the cause of it’s poverty. Not bankers.

    Perhaps taxes should be raised on bankers, but the fact that you are pointing to Haiti as an excuse to do so suggests to me the case is a poor one.


    18/01/2010 at 00:07

  5. If we are both honest, it’s a bit of everything, you can’t have good governance when you haven’t got streets or lighting, or when people are living in shacks.

    So you need infrastructure building, giving people jobs, the idea of working and benefiting from their own labour, effectively you need to recreate the whole country, with all those things that took hundreds of years in America and elsewhere, done in five to 10 years there.

    Poverty, lack of education and no opportunities will only create anarchy.

    Plus, I think the American move to get rid of the previous president, Aristide, was a bad one.


    18/01/2010 at 01:11

  6. Considering that there are little or no saftey or building codes in Port-au-Prince, a city that sits on a fault line and it was recently reported that nearly 60% of all buildings in Port-au-Prince are considered subpar in their structure it would seem a good dose of western style building codes are very much needed.

    Andrew Murphy

    18/01/2010 at 01:49

  7. There’s a facebook group “Banker Bonuses for Haiti”. Please visit and join if you want. Perhaps with enough numbers the banks and bankers will slip from their alternate reality to ours. Their claim is that their pay needs to be a thousand times that of a highly skilled surgeon because they are so talented. OK. Show us your talent in fixing Haiti’s problems. Show us how you can craft a nifty financial instrument that won’t collapse in an earthquake. Show us how you can short a contract while simultaneously selling it can create a sustainable economy in Haiti. Please, show us how talented and generous you are. We need your help!


    19/01/2010 at 16:09

  8. Let us ALL pray for Haiti and not be critical of any assistance given by any nation.

    Samantha Mathews

    07/02/2010 at 06:33

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