January 17, 2010

My VDARE.com column on Haiti vs. Barbados and the Dominican Republic

Here's are excerpts from my long VDARE.com column on how, earthquakes aside, nurture and nature have been more kind to the Caribbean countries of Barbados and the Dominican Republic than to long-suffering Haiti:

Haiti’s Malthusian poverty is the default state of mankind. Its rapidly growing population is kept fed by the more than 10,000 foreign charitable organizations active in the country.

Commentators have been competing to come up with ever more complex explanations for “Why Haiti Is So Poor.” The single most important cause is probably that Haiti attained its independence in 1805, culminating in a massacre of the remaining whites, before the ending of the slave trade would have cut direct cultural contact with Africa. Wikipedia’s article on the History of Haiti notes [January 17, 2010]:

“At all times, a majority of slaves in the colony were African-born, as the brutal conditions of slavery prevented the population from experiencing growth through natural increase. African culture thus remained strong among slaves to the end of French rule, in particular the folk-religion of Vodou, which commingled Catholic liturgy and ritual with the beliefs and practices of Guinea, Congo, and Dahomey.”

Therefore, despite theoretically being a French-speaking, Roman Catholic, Western Hemisphere country, 21st Century Haiti remains culturally rooted in Africa. Indeed, Haiti isn’t even particularly poor for a country with an African culture: 22 sub-Saharan African countries have lower per capita GDPs than Haiti’s $1,300, with Zimbabwe last at $200. ...

A new book edited by Jared Diamond, Natural Experiments of History, focuses heavily on the comparison of Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic that Diamond began in his last bestseller, Collapse. Diamond, the author of the Pulitzer-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel, is both smart and about 90 percent honest. That makes him the one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind that is contemporary intellectual discourse.

Diamond’s January 15th article in the leftwing U.K. Guardian, A Divided Island: The forces working against Haiti, summarizes his thinking on how Haiti’s quantity and quality of population have hurt Haiti compared to the D.R., which has a moderate per capita GDP of $8,200 versus Haiti's $1,300. Diamond's essay is a dry read, but more frank than most of what you’ve heard:

“But Haiti's area is only slightly more than half of that of the Dominican Republic so that Haiti, with a larger population and smaller area, has double its neighbour's population density.”

(Economist Tyler Cowen blogged yesterday that until a decade ago, when kidnappings became routine, he hadn’t been afraid of crime when he visited Haiti because the overpopulation was so extraordinary: “There's just not enough room for anyone to mug you, at least if you exercise due caution. Nor, for that matter, were there very many beggars, since usually there was no one to beg from.”)

Diamond goes on:

“The combination of that higher population density and lower rainfall was the main factor behind the more rapid deforestation and loss of soil fertility on the Haitian side.”

In Collapse, Diamond praised the D.R.’s old megalomaniacal dictator Rafael Trujillo (1891-1961) for stealing much of the forestland and exploiting it cautiously in a rational manner. Dominican kleptocracy helped avoid the tragedy of the commons that contributed to the ecological ruin of Haiti, where the common folk chop down all trees for cooking fuel.

Diamond goes on to point out—cautiously!—another advantage the D.R. has over Haiti: it’s whiter.

“A second social and political factor is that the Dominican Republic – with its Spanish-speaking population of predominantly European ancestry – was both more receptive and more ­attractive to European immigrants and investors than was Haiti with its Creole-speaking population composed overwhelmingly of black former slaves.”

The relative whiteness of Dominicans isn’t widely understood in the U.S. because we are mostly familiar with the largely black Dominican baseball players, such as Sammy Sosa. But Dominicans generally tend to look more like the American-born Dominican mulatto slugger Alex Rodriguez than the black slugger Manny Ramirez. The current president of the D.R. looks like the fat guy in the Laurel and HardyMuhammad Ali, and he’s the only one of the last five presidents with any clear black ancestry. movies crossed with

Trujillo had an explicit policy of whitening the Dominican Republic’s population through immigration from Europe—and expelling Haitian illegal immigrants. He was the only national leader actively to recruit Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany during the 1930s.

Diamond continues:

“Hence European immigration and investment were negligible and restricted by the constitution in Haiti after 1804 but eventually became important in the Dominican Republic. Those Dominican immigrants included many middle-class businesspeople and skilled professionals who contributed to the country's development.”

To summarize Diamond, Haiti has more people per fertile acre of farmland than the Dominican Republic, and less human capital per capita.

That human capital can be overwhelmingly cultural. Thus another former sugar-growing black Caribbean country, Barbados, independent since 1966 although Queen Elizabeth II remains the official head of state, has a per capita GDP of $18,900, an average life expectancy of 74 years.

As Lawrence Harrison, head of the Cultural Change Institute at Tufts University, told me in 1999:

“The culture of slavery, as well as zero-sum traditional African culture, powerfully sustained by a religion (Voodoo) without an ethical code, are palpable to any foreigner who has lived [in Haiti], as I did for two years. Barbados, which I have visited several times, remained a British colony until 1966, by which time it had substantially absorbed British values, attitudes, and institutions. The Barbadians are sometimes referred to as Black Englishmen or Afro-Saxons.”

(Still, that raises the question of why Barbados has a lower crime rate and a higher literacy rate than some other ex-British colonies like Jamaica. Robert MacNeil’s PBS series The Story Of English suggested that selection played a role in Barbados' more genteel culture: “[Barbados] was the first main port of call for the slave ships. It is said that unruly slaves from the least domesticated tribes were progressively shipped up the ‘claw’ of the West Indies until they reached Jamaica.” [p. 220])

Barbadian blacks were cut off from fresh infusions of African culture when the British Parliament voted the end of the slave trade in 1807. Sugar plantation owners could no longer afford to work their slaves to death and replace them with new slaves from Africa. The British government carried out an orderly emancipation, with compensation for slaveowners, in the 1830s.

Although 90 percent of Barbados’ population is said to be “Afro-Bajan”, Barbados has a fairly large mixed race middle class who typically call themselves “white” (for example, the Barbadian pop singer Rihanna, who is considered black in America, recently complained I Was Bullied At School For Being White) and espouse traditional white standards.

Ironically, more than few of these West Indians who call themselves white in the Islands have gone into the civil rights business as black leaders in the U.S. For example, President Obama’s “African-American” Attorney General Eric Holder called America “a nation of cowards” last year for not talking enough about race, is a light-skinned Bajan-American (something he wasn't brave enough to mention in his famous speech about race).

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

76 comments:

Winston Smith said...

How does the DR keep all those Haitians out?

Steve Sailer said...

"How does the DR keep all those Haitians out?"

Jared Diamond's tree-hugging hero Trujillo massacred a lot of poor Haitian illegal immigrants in 1937.

Richard Hoste said...

Isn't Barbados wealthy because all the tourist money coming in is only distributed amongst 200K people or so? How much would Anglo culture do for them if there were 10 million people there?

Sort of like Libya vs. Iran with oil revenue.

ERM said...

Fine, but Robert MacNeil appears not to be dead.

Steve Sailer said...

"Fine, but Robert MacNeil appears not to be dead."

Yeah, but he's not on TV anymore, and not being on TV is practically like being dead.

Okay, okay, thanks, I'll fix it.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Diamond goes on to point out—cautiously!—another advantage the D.R. has over Haiti: it’s whiter.

Proof that diversity is good for you!

Anyone got any better ideas?

Droit de Seigneur (aka, Prima Nocta). The trouble with Haiti is that it's full of Haitians. If we can't drive them out, we'll breed them out.

Isn't Barbados wealthy because all the tourist money coming in is only distributed amongst 200K people or so?

With all the emphasis on the success of Barbados it's important to mention that it's basically a city state - a population of about 280,000 people. We routinely ignore European city-states like Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Monaco when discussing political and economic conditions in Europe. Likewise for Barbados.

It's also important to note that while Barbados might be a relative paradise, it might not be an absolute one. The pictures I've seen don't show a particularly rich country, and it's adult AIDs rate, at 1.2%, is quite high.

Blumenthal said...

Al Fin's explanation:

"A few commenters timidly suggested that perhaps something intrinsic to Haitians themselves contributed to poverty in Haiti, but the idea was dimissed as being "beyond the pale."

The average IQ of the Caribbean nations' populations is close to 75. According to Wikipedia, the average IQ of Jamaicans is 72. The GDP of nations correlates very will with the average IQ -- so much so, that only educated fools could go on and on in comments about the poverty of a nation such as Haiti without seriously discussing the average IQ (and other heritable factors).

Haiti has been violently independent since its inception as a nation of self-liberated slaves from West Africa. Independent except when it comes to foreign aid and foreign weapons to the ruling classes, and other militant groups. Haitian immigrants have contributed significant crime to New York City, Boston, Quebec, and other parts of North America -- but little else.

So why is Haiti so poor? Who in their right minds could imagine an independent Haiti as anything else -- this side of the singularity and the nanotech revolution? Read the comments at the top link, and consider the extravagance of so may wasted educations"

http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-is-haiti-so-poor.html

Anonymous said...

Steve, I know you're a fan of Albion's Seed. Barbados is like a southern slave state that was settled by New England puritans. In 1751, George Washington visited the island for two months. It was his only trip outside the US.

Harry Baldwin said...

Steve Sailer said...Jared Diamond's tree-hugging hero Trujillo massacred a lot of poor Haitian illegal immigrants in 1937.

According to Wikipedia, between 10,000 and 20,000 Haitians were killed by Trujillo's army with machetes rather than bullets. Still, it's hard to see how the DR polices the border adequately considering the disparity in quality of life. Do they have some sort of "No Man's Land"? Do they check people's papers constantly? The population of the DR is 11 percent black, so it's not like any individual Haitian would obviously stand out. I tried to learn something about this situation through Google searches, without much success. There was an article about some seriously injured Haitians being allowed to cross the border, but it was clear the DR was limiting admissions.

Also, did the DR suffer earthquake damage? There is little coverage of that.

Dutch Boy said...

The West Indian planters could afford to work their slaves (white and black) to death because their proximity to Africa made purchasing replacements cheap and the British authorities were eager to ship their poor or unfortunate to the West Indies (often on legal pretexts or in collusion with kidnappers). American planters could not afford this luxury (esp. after the revolution cut off the supply of white indentured servants). They relied on the natural increase of slaves themselves to replenish their labor supply (thus the 300,000 Africans imported to the 13 colonies became 5.5 million by 1861).

Anonymous said...

Harry Baldwin,

Dominicans speak Spanish, and Haitians speak "kreyol." A Haitian couldn't buy an apple in the Dominican Republic without making himself conspicuous.

That's one of the ways Trujillo's men identified who to chop up. They asked anyone they suspected of being Haitian to say certain words that would betray a Haitian accent, sort of a modern day 'shibboleth.'

-bushrod

Anonymous said...

I believe according to I.Q. and the wealth of nations, the average black in Haiti has an I.Q. of only somewhere around 67-75.

Anonymous said...

You can say anything you want, but I just can't see Haiti being the way it is with any people OTHER then blacks. It is basically just like Africa itself. Africans create African-like conditions. If Haiti was populated by Japanese, Koreans, Jewish people or Scandinavians it just wouldn't be like how it is now, regardless of what historical events had occured 200+ years ago.

Statsaholic said...

Rafael Trujillo is my hero now.

Luke Lea said...

Couldn't Obama do a "Nixon goes to China" in terms of proposing that Haiti be put under an internationally manned, British-style "colonial" administration, but under another name?

I bet most Hatians would go for it. I know I would if I were in their shoes.

Dutch Boy said...

Mr. Lea might get his wish: the US military is running Haiti now. Unfortunately, it's been done before by the USMC and when they left everything went back to hell in a handbasket.

Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion: I really do not know how these kinds of things work(I'm not even Christian), but how about all Catholics who believe in HBD and population-control boycott their church until it reverses its disastrous position on family planning in the 3rd World?

Love your suggestion at the end, Steve...

ogunsiron said...

As this blog's resident haitian I'll chime in :

Harry Baldwin said...

... According to Wikipedia, between 10,000 and 20,000 Haitians were killed by Trujillo's army with machetes rather than bullets... The population of the DR is 11 percent black, so it's not like any individual Haitian would obviously stand out.
-----
The legend has it that the dominican soldiers would show a handful of parsley to anyone they suspected of being haitian and ask what it was. Parsley in spanish is perejil and haitians were usually incapable of pronouncing it the dominican way, because of their creole accent. This is similar to the shibboleth thing in the bible.

The authorities in haiti at the time were part of the mulatto class. They did absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada. In fact, it seems to me that trujillo visited haiti shortly afterwards and then president Dartiguenave (a mulatto ) didn't raise hell or anything like that. Reading about this convinced me that in haiti there is not one people but at least 2, who have been at war since the beginning.

blumenthal said :
... Independent except when it comes to foreign aid and foreign weapons to the ruling classes, and other militant groups. Haitian immigrants have contributed significant crime to New York City, Boston, Quebec, and other parts of North America -- but little else.
-----
Was there such a thing as international aid before WWII ? The country has always been dirt poor but it was less so 50 or more years ago. At least it had some kind of economy and they actually grew what they ate. As for crime, any is too much but I'm actually surprised at how low the murder rate is in montreal, given the huge number of haitians here.

With that said, of course I agree that the root of the problem is low IQ.

About white immigration : Around the turn of the 20th century there was a small but extremely influential german community in haiti. They've mixed into the local mulatto community but their names are still around. If you're familiar with haitians you will have noticed ( and were probably puzzled) how often they have names like Ernst, Frantz and Hans, etc. French whites were very very much unwelcome (though french culture fascinated) and excluded from the island but other whites (germans, english and danish as far as i know) did come and grow rich. Arabs came too and got rich. Another haitian tidbit : There was a small jewish community there and they mixed into the local arab palestinian community. pretty funny.
---
Luke Lea said...

Couldn't Obama do a "Nixon goes to China" in terms of proposing that Haiti be put under an internationally manned, British-style "colonial" administration, but under another name?

I bet most Hatians would go for it...

----
Quite a few haitians even regret ever becoming independent. My opinion about it though is that haitian independence was an event which had no choice happening anyways. If you care, you can read about the way the black people of haiti were treated under slavery. The average life expectancy of an african slave was 10 years. The french cycled thru hundred of 1000s of them until the revolt. There was no way to live together. It was inevitable. The rest of haiti's history is a disaster but what the hell were they supposed to do anyways ? Just remain slaves ? Sometimes every option is rotten. They had to choose one.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

I was reading an article this evening dated 1993 where they reference Haiti's population as being 6.5 million, it's now nearly 9 million, and keep in mind of course immigration is like zero and emigration not insubstantial. Kinda hits home how quickly it has grown.

"10,000 foreign charitable organizations" HOLY CRAP that's a lot.

-Ireland at #11 on the GDP list, nearly on par with USA at $45 grand? Wow, I knew they were doing well but not that well.

-I see a lot of people - the NYT article you link to for example - claiming that of course white people are to blame for Haiti because the USA propped up Duvalier. I looked it up tonight, it's not particularly true, from wikipedia:

"The invasion of US Marines on Haitian soil in 1915, followed by incessant violent repressions of political dissent, and American-installed puppet rulers, left a powerful impression on the young Duvalier...In 1961 the United States cut off most of its economic assistance to the country...(It was not restored until 1970)...Papa Doc often rebuked the United States for its friendly relations with the Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo while leaving the "poor negro Republic out in the cold." Duvalier's repression often provoked an unfavorable response from the Kennedy administration. The United States attempted to seek a moderate alternative in hopes of preventing another Cuban-style revolution. U.S. pressure and sanctions against Haiti eased in 1962, as the administration grudgingly accepted Duvalier as a bulwark against communism in the Caribbean...Duvalier later claimed Kennedy's assassination resulted from a curse that he had placed on him."

Anonymous said...

"Haitian immigrants have contributed significant crime to New York City, Boston, Quebec,"

The young (white) people I talk to don't bother going to clubs in Montreal anymore because of the Haitians, they have their own private raves.

Topiary Utopia said...

"In Collapse, Diamond praised the D.R.’s old megalomaniacal dictator Rafael Trujillo (1891-1961) for stealing much of the forestland and exploiting it cautiously in a rational manner. Dominican kleptocracy helped avoid the tragedy of the commons that contributed to the ecological ruin of Haiti, where the common folk chop down all trees for cooking fuel."

That's very interesting. I wonder if the medieval lord's traditional exclusive right to the products of the forest served to prevent a similar tragedy of the commons.

Anonymous said...

I know this is way off-topic, but what a dreadful mistake slavery was - for everybody. Had France treated Haiti like Quebec and just sent good hard-working French families there, rather then allowing plantation-style agriculture sustained by slave labor how different things would be today. Haiti would be a nice little tropical Quebec and not a basketcase. The Africans would also not have had to have endured slavery. It would have been a win-win situation.

Limey Oik said...

Still, that raises the question of why Barbados has a lower crime rate and a higher literacy rate than some other ex-British colonies like Jamaica.

I think that is a very interesting question.

I've heard of English speaking Black West Indians from other islands expressing low opinions of Jamaicans - "they're all thieves".

Sugar plantation owners could no longer afford to work their slaves to death and replace them with new slaves from Africa.

Have a look at the case of William Hodge, a planter and slave owner who was executed for the murder of one of his slaves in 1811.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_William_Hodge

Interestingly, Hodge's grandson went on to become the first black man to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Hodge

As is often the case, actual history paints a complex picture.

Another interesting thing, for me, is the amount of historical revisionism (with perhaps a bias) going on on those wiki pages.

This is the first time I've looked at them in ages.

The execution of Hodge has been re-written to indicate his execution wasn't much to do with justice being served, but more about feuding between Whites.

And, unless I've missed it, also missing is the rather heart warming story of the plantation owners who gave their plantation to the slaves in 1776.

Hmmnnn...

Anonymous said...

So we'll take all the Haitians into America and resettle the island with white people.

l said...

Bill Clinton says Haiti's earthquake presents the "best situation" to rebuild Haiti from the ground up. And, as Obama's special envoy, he'll be in charge.(Punchline: " everybody knows I don't tolerate corruption.")

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2010/01/bill_clinton_haitis_rebirth_an.html

Rush Limbaugh got a lot of crap for musing that the earthquake was a "made-to-order" event for do-gooder interventionists. Oh well.

bjdouble said...

Graham Greene's Journey without Maps is a good account of what life was like in poor African towns in West Africa before civilization. And his the Comedians is a good account of life in Haiti under Duvalier. I don't think he ever made a connection between the two, he wasn't a social scientist . . . But he is very honest about the misery of what life was like in a place like Liberia.

dearieme said...

"I wonder if the medieval lord's traditional exclusive right to the products of the forest served to prevent a similar tragedy of the commons." Where was that? Certainly not in England.

Truth said...

"Rafael Trujillo is my hero now."

Right on the same pantheon with Hitler and Mao, I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

Winston Smith - How does the DR keep all those Haitians out?

Ive just looked at Google maps, you can't zoom in all the way but difference Haiti/DR is quite stark, you can see the border as a physical fact, just the difference in agriculture. Guessing there must at leas be fence as well.

BenjaminL said...

A lengthy and detailed outline is here:

http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/misctopic/leftover/whypoor.htm

Anonymous said...

This is a article that shows the limitation of Internet research.

Haiti outside of Port-au-Prince can be very different. I've been to a city about 50km south called Jacmel. It is incredibly safe. Crime is so under control that I once saw a Haitian girl in a mini skirt walking alone to the club at 1am. It is also the cleanest city I've seen in the third world. (Search for pictures on flickr.)

The orderliness of Jacmel throws in doubt far fetched theories about slave selection from 200 years ago.

I also don't see a large mixed race class in Barbados.

KingM said...

"Let’s make long lasting Depo Provera contraceptive injections free to Haitian women."

Better yet, pay each woman $1,000 to get a shot. You could solve the problem with a few billion dollars.

With 10,000 aid organizations in Haiti, isn't there one of them that isn't so politically correct that they can't attempt this?

Zeenon said...

@Anon (for French settlement in Haiti): The problem with sending Frenchmen to Haiti was that they died like flies. The Blacks were more resistant to the tropical diseases.

Anonymous said...

IQ and Global Inequality
en.wikipedia.org

"*" Denotes estimated National IQ

Dominican Republic, 2002: 84*
Dominican Republic, 2006: 82

Barbados, 2002: 78
Barbados, 2006: 80

Haiti, 2002: 72*
Haiti, 2006: 67*


Granted, Haiti is so poor that Lynn & Vanhanen can't even find reliable data to use, but if these guesstimates are at all accurate, then the Dominican Republic is a good standard deviation smarter than Haiti.

OhioStater said...

Wow Steve. Outstanding article full of so many uncommon facts! I think it is the best you've ever written!

As far as the substance, it seems like you are saying Haiti is a nature vs nurture situation. Genetically, Haiti is the same as West African countries and Barbados, but the prosperity increases as adoption of western values increases.

OhioStater said...

It seems there is no redeeming value in Haiti to anyone (gold, oil, land), so its likely the colony will fall by default into US hands.

Personally I'd like to see the British get involved. It seems they have done the best job of administering empire and maybe they can help.

Besides the English like any opportunity to out-do the French.

Anonymous said...

"I'm actually surprised at how low the murder rate is in montreal, given the huge number of haitians here."

One theory I have is that in many cases in Canada clear cut cases of murder that would be prosecuted as murder in developed countries are prosecuted as manslaughter. Great comment btw, didn't know a lot of what you told us.

machete said...

Cuba is a poor and awful commie place, but there is law and order. Why? Though it has a lot of blacks, it is a totalitarian police state ruled by iron-fisted whites--who also keep out much of the Hollywood trash culture. Maybe the problem with mulatto rule in Haiti was it wasn't totalistic enough.

peachy said...

"I know this is way off-topic, but what a dreadful mistake slavery was - for everybody. Had France treated Haiti like Quebec and just sent good hard-working French families there, rather then allowing plantation-style agriculture sustained by slave labor how different things would be today. Haiti would be a nice little tropical Quebec and not a basketcase. The Africans would also not have had to have endured slavery. It would have been a win-win situation."

But black Africans are even worse off. They didn't serve as slaves under Europeans, so what's the excuse? If anything, many of them got rich by selling slaves to whites. What did they do with all that wealth?

Also, Africans who kept their indigenous cultures are worse off than those who suffered 'cultural genocide'.

Yes, white enslavement of blacks was bad and unjustifiable(especially for the future well-being of whites), but there seem to be genetic factors in play here. Consider that things in China were awful too. Most Chinese were slaves or tenant farmers who lived worse than American slaves through most of Chinese history. And, 20th century was a bloodbath for the Chinese, with Civil War, WWII, another civil war, then communism which killed up to 60 million. Yet, China is rising again. Vietnam too went through hell under French colonialism, wars of independence, WWII, Vietnam War, communist oppression. But, it too is making progress. But, why not in Africa and Haiti? Why is South AFrica falling apart?
North Korea is a miserable oppressive place where millions have starved, yet there is still social order. And, if the commie system were to be dismantled, one may guess that the current slave population of North Korea would make rapid progress. But, this just doesn't seem to be case with majority black countries.

We have to look at the genes.

help said...

"I was reading an article this evening dated 1993 where they reference Haiti's population as being 6.5 million, it's now nearly 9 million, and keep in mind of course immigration is like zero and emigration not insubstantial. Kinda hits home how quickly it has grown."

Bring a 100,000 Haitians into the US, and they'll double every 20 yrs. The 100,000 will grow to 3.5 million in a 100 yrs.

Mr. Anon said...

"I must say, though, that this has to be about the fourth day in a row that I've read headlines like this insisting that absolute dog-eat-dog carnage is about to break out all over Haiti any moment now.

Presumably, it will, sooner or later, or they wouldn't keep printing the same headlines, but as far as I can tell from reading the fine print, as of Sunday night, this hadn't yet gone through the formality of taking place:"

Then again if it was happening a lot of journos might not know it. A lot of the reporting seems to be done from the safety of the airport in Port-au-Potty.

Victoria said...

One of my first thoughts was whether international pressure will now be on the Dominican Republic to open its borders to the Haitian mob. The D.R. has spent most of its history trying to keep from being pulled down by the undertow of the benighted, hopeless Haitians. Just like the American black middle class, notice how the Haitian middle class simply high tails it away from the "Struggle," in order to maintain its own standard of living.

If Haiti was populated by Japanese, Koreans, Jewish people or Scandinavians it just wouldn't be like how it is now, regardless of what historical events had occured 200+ years ago.

You got that right. What in the world do you do when your culture and its very essence is still tied to Africa? You get the hell out of there, if you can!

Ronduck said...

According to Wikipedia there are 800k to a million Haitian born individuals in the Dominican Republic, and I don't think that number includes their children.

source

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder Says:

I don't buy population control as a solution for Haiti's problems. Barbados, for example, as a higher population density than Haiti. Population control may be one case where are political taboo serves a useful purpose.

Anonymous said...

On haiti and population

http://super-economy.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-help-haiti.html

keypusher said...

Re how does the DR keep Haitians out? -- it doesn't entirely. There are about a million Haitians in the DR, doing (much like Mexicans in the US) the worst jobs, in particular cutting sugar cane.

In general the border regions are inhospitable and mountainous, which holds down cross-border travel. The other big control on immigration is that Dominicans wholeheartedly and unashamedly hate and despise Haitians.

Fred said...

"Rafael Trujillo is my hero now."

For butchering tens of thousands of people? I understand his desire to keep Haitians out, but why not just kick them out instead of murdering them?

"We have to look at the genes."

Also the dysgenic and other effects of Western aid and population-supporting technology (water treatment, antibiotics, disease-resistant seeds, etc.) -- not just on Africa but elsewhere in the third world. If it weren't for these Western innovations, there would be a lot fewer Muslims today, for example, and fewer Muslim nutter terrorists.

Africa in earlier centuries might have been better-run and better-organized. It could be that the social and political structures that worked with relatively small populations couldn't work with far larger ones made possible by modern technology.

Dahlia said...

"I don't buy population control as a solution for Haiti's problems. Barbados, for example, as a higher population density than Haiti. Population control may be one case where our political taboo serves a useful purpose."

I agree. Agnostic has done work on this and found that whether birth control is provided by donation or the population is left to its own devices, it matters not one iota. If people want to lower (or raise) their birth rate they will and they don't need help doing it.

In other words, if Haitians want three kids per woman, shipping free birth control there won't change that fact.

It is in their best interest (but not ours) to expand their population and exploit other lands and peoples when things get tight at home. Reducing their numbers won't have an effect on their I.Q. and will make their old age miserable (less talented people need their descendants more in their old age). If anything, great and faster genetic change are more likely the larger the population, per The 10,000 Year Explosion.

wagala said...

I recall the world jumped on Bush Sr for not acting swiftly on Somalia when millions were starving. We went in but Clinton had a hellish time getting out.

Haiti could be a replay of that, with various warlords and thugs playing hide-and-seek with the loot coming from all over the world.

Blumenthal said...

"If anything, great and faster genetic change are more likely the larger the population, per The 10,000 Year Explosion."

Right, but don't you also need certain cultural constraints so that more productive people have more children.

http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gclark/Farewell%20to%20Alms/Clark%20-Surnames.pdf

Dahlia said...

Steve,
There is another problem with the "population control" outlook to fix problems that has always bothered me. It reminds me so much of the Abortion Cut Crime theory in that it assumes no impact to culture. It's affected our culture and is still controversial after 80 years (when mainline Protestants accepted birth control), but how does it affect a third world culture? Whatever it does for us, amplify it for them seems to be a pretty good rule.

I tried finding the study that Agnostic discussed, but could not. Hopefully, he can shed light on this. My memory is that two similar third world peoples (different country regions?) were compared. One was inundated with free birth control and educational materials, counselors, etc. The other was left completely alone. When they were examined later (when?) Their birth rates still matched each others.

My take, in essence, is that everything they're doing from a genetic point of view and to a lesser extent, a personal point of view, is perfectly rational. You take it for granted that that part of that island is *theirs". Why should, or would, any people hold themselves to one particular piece of land? That is for losers and a sure way to receive the Darwin award. Due to their low I.Q.s they do not have the luxury we have of sustaining the land they live on; they have their own intellectual tools for dealing with this problem: make a boat and leave.

ogunsiron said...

Blumenthal said...
" ...faster genetic change are more likely the larger the population..."
...
Right, but don't you also need certain cultural constraints so that more productive people have more children.
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I agree with you that a greater amount of mutations isn' all that matters. There has to be a mechanism which allows for normatively "positive" alleles to increase in the population. Because if all we get is more and more variation, then maybe populations get rewarded with an increases in the frequency of very violent, ultra masculine people. Not a good outcome, though it is an example of evolution.
---

Dahlia said...
"I don't buy population control as a solution for Haiti's problems. Barbados, for example, as a higher population density than Haiti.

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Yes but Barbados seems to have left the malthusian world, while haiti is trapped in it. In the malthusian world, too much population is always a problem because the magic of modern economic growth is not happening. Thus, in its present destitute state, haiti could only be helped by population control, imho.
---
Bring a 100,000 Haitians into the US, and they'll double every 20 yrs. The 100,000 will grow to 3.5 million in a 100 yrs
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Not really. Have you noticed how the usa black population is not growing much ? Haitians would converge to the black usa averages of their respective social groups : middle class and higher folks would be having very few kids and a few ghetto rats would be popping them out in batches of 5. But that whole having 11 kids thing would be gone in 1 generation Imho.
---

Anonymous said...
This is a article that shows the limitation of Internet research.

Haiti outside of Port-au-Prince can be very different. I've been to a city about 50km south called Jacmel. It is incredibly safe. Crime is so under control that I once saw a Haitian girl in a mini skirt walking alone to the club at 1am. It is also the cleanest city I've seen in the third world. (Search for pictures on flickr.)

The orderliness of Jacmel throws in doubt far fetched theories about slave selection from 200 years ago.
----
Please choose a nickname anonymous. Interesting stuff. One thing that I've always heard about Jacmel though is that it was a mulatto town, basically. is that what you observed ? The south of haiti has always been considered more mulatto and the north more purely african.

honeypie said...

"Not really. Have you noticed how the usa black population is not growing much ?"

In the early 90s, blacks were 30 million. In around 17 yrs, they became 40 million!! They expanded by 35% in that short period!!

Melykin said...

"Had France treated Haiti like Quebec and just sent good hard-working French families there, rather then allowing plantation-style agriculture sustained by slave labor how different things would be today. Haiti would be a nice little tropical Quebec and not a basketcase."
-----------------------

It would probably have turned out more like Argentina (at best), but that would still a LOT better than how Haiti is now, of course.

Quebec is actually a bit of a basket case itself compared to the rest of Canada. It has a lot of corruption. The other provinces regard Quebec as a spoiled, indulged child--always demanding more than its fair share, and usually getting it. If it was a separate country, it would be a must worse basket case than it is.

For some reason almost every place that was colonized by France seems to have turned out much worse than similar places colonized by other countries, even by Spain. Even Lousiana seems to be a bit of a basket case compared to the other states.

Matra said...

About white immigration : Around the turn of the 20th century there was a small but extremely influential german community in haiti. They've mixed into the local mulatto community but their names are still around.

There is a chapter in Riccardo Orizio's Lost White Tribes: Journeys Among The Forgotten about Poles who settled in Haiti. (The two pictures in the book of some of them in the 1990s show some of them to be indistinguishable from the locals, others look lighter skinned). These 'Poles' are the descendants of soldiers sent to Poland by Napoleon's brother-in-law General Leclerc in the early 19th century to put down the slave rebellion. According to Orizio legend has it that these Poles deserted the French revolutionary army and helped Dessalines overthrow French rule. For that reason they are mentioned in the Haitian constitution of 1805:

Article No.12 - 'No white person, of whatever nationality, may set foot upon this territory as a land owner or master, nor may such persons in future acquire any property whatsoever.'

Article No.13 - 'The preceding article does not apply to white women who have been naturalised by the government, nor to their eventual offspring. The provisions of this article also include those of Polish and German birth whom the government has naturalised'

Marlo said...

Burmuda, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas all have greater GDP Per Capita than the Dominican Republic. Do these countries have a greater percentage of mulattos and European descendants than the DR?

HBD logic would lead one to believe that this must be the case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Community

But the fact of the matter is, most Caribbean islands are majority black, and most of them are capable of "holding their own", even Jamaica (under stable political conditions). Haiti is an exception.

Truth said...

"Had France treated Haiti like Quebec and just sent good hard-working French families there,"

Yes, good hard-working French families that wanted to work 16 hours a day without pay and have their children born into slavery...I think it would have worked great!

"Though it has a lot of blacks, it is a totalitarian police state ruled by iron-fisted whites...Maybe the problem with mulatto rule in Haiti was it wasn't totalistic enough.

You have seen photos of Fidel Castro, right?

"Presumably, it will, sooner or later, or they wouldn't keep printing the same headlines, but as far as I can tell from reading the fine print, as of Sunday night, this hadn't yet gone through the formality of taking place:"

Yeah, kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it? (well scratch that, maybe not.)

Pete Murphy said...

The biggest obstacle we face in changing attitudes toward overpopulation is economists. Since the field of economics was branded "the dismal science" after Malthus' theory, economists have been adamant that they would never again consider the subject of overpopulation and continue to insist that man is ingenious enough to overcome any obstacle to further growth. Even worse, economists insist that population growth is vital to economic growth. This is why world leaders continue to ignore population growth in the face of mounting challenges like peak oil, global warming and a whole host of other environmental and resource issues.

But because they are blind to population growth, there's one obstacle they haven't considered: the finiteness of space available on earth. The very act of using space more efficiently creates a problem for which there is no solution: it inevitably begins to drive down per capita consumption and, consequently, per capita employment, leading to rising unemployment and poverty.

If you‘re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, then I invite you to visit my web site at http://PeteMurphy.wordpress.com.

Pete Murphy
Author, "Five Short Blasts"

Big bill said...

No, Truth, Trujillo is a black man, so he would be in the same pantheon as Mugabe, L'Ouverture, Chaka Zulu, and Dessalines, all heroes of their respective peoples. Honored for slaughtering their enemies and ignored for butchering their own kind in even bigger numbers.

Anonymous said...

Again. Knowing how some parts of Haiti like Jacmel are nice. This article is stupid.

Harmonious Jim said...

Best piece I've seen on Haiti. Ten thousand NGOs! Astonishing.

One additional way in which Haiti is like Africa: its farming still relies on the hoe or digging stick, rather than the plow. Raises the question of why they are still stuck with such unproductive technology.

But why is Haiti, though poor, somewhat richer than much of Africa? I suspect its because Haiti gets more remittances from migrants and more aid (all those NGOs) thanks to being closer to the US.

where is my coconut? said...

Burmuda, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas all have greater GDP Per Capita than the Dominican Republic. Do these countries have a greater percentage of mulattos and European descendants than the DR?

HBD logic would lead one to believe that this must be the case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Community

But the fact of the matter is, most Caribbean islands are majority black, and most of them are capable of "holding their own", even Jamaica (under stable political conditions). Haiti is an exception.


Carribbean islands with smaller populations are better off than Jamaica or Haiti. If tourism is main economy in this region, it alone may be able to sustain the peoples of Bermuda or Virgin Islands. It's easier for 300,000 to live off a tourist-derived economy than for a nation of nearly 9 million--like Haiti.

Indeed, all of Africa may be better off if, instead of nations, there were only city-states or aggregates made up of 100,000 to 500,000 people. It may be easier to manage things that way for blacks.

Are most of the hotels and resorts in the Carribbean owned and run by blacks, or are blacks generally employees and lower-level managers working for white owned and run enterprises?

My guess is most of the wealth in the region comes from rich Western tourists. Maybe a black population of 300,000 is less likely to turn into an angry and enraged(and destructive)political force than a black population of several millions.

Or, maybe black populations that 'don't make sudden moves' are better able to attract white tourists and money. Maybe smaller black populations tend to make fewer 'sudden moves'.

How many lightbulbs? said...

"There is a chapter in Riccardo Orizio's Lost White Tribes: Journeys Among The Forgotten about Poles who settled in Haiti."

Chalk up another one for the Polish jokebook.

san soleil said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Community

But the fact of the matter is, most Caribbean islands are majority black, and most of them are capable of "holding their own", even Jamaica (under stable political conditions). Haiti is an exception.


I wonder about some of these islands having per capita GDP of $18,000. Could it be that a few people are fabulously rich while most people are very poor?
If you have great concentration of wealth plus a relatively small overall population, that would make per capita GDP look impressive.
Suppose some tycoon in an island of 100,000 people owns 95% of the wealth. Suppose the total GDP is a $1 billion. Divide one billion by 100,000 and per capita GDP comes to $10,000. It seems like a decent sum, but keep in mind that most of the wealth is held by the tycoon. The actual per capita GDP of an average person on that island could be closer to $1,000.

Suppose there's a near-identical island except that the population is 10,000,000 instead of 100,000.
Suppose it earns about the same amount of tourist money as the island with 100,000 people. It too has a tycoon who owns most of the wealth, and the national GDP also comes to $1 billion. But divide it by 10,000,000 and the per capita comes to a mere $100.

So, it could be that a lot of people in the more successful Carribbean Islands aren't doing all that well. It's just that the smaller population makes the per capita GDP look better. And, since there are fewer people, it's manageable for the economy to provide basic services to most people. (A nation with one guy who makes a billion and 100,000 who are beggars will still have a per capita GDP of $10,000.)

There was a lot of talk of the rise of Indonesian economy in the 80s, and the numbers did look impressive. But, it turned out that Chinese in Indonesia, though only 2% of the population, owned up to 75% of all the wealth--mostly by Chinese tycoons than your average Chinese. So, even as the per capita GDP rose, the fact remained that most people still remained mired in poverty.

So, per capita GDP is less instructive than mean GDP.

cocktail said...

"Based on the twin pillars of tourism and offshore finance, the Bahamian economy has prospered since the 1950s."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bahamas

Off-shore finance? Hmm, seems like people running the show may not be blacks, just like the people really running the Indian Casinos are not Indians.

Anonymous said...

Dominicans are mostly "black" by American standards. Few Dominicans are as white looking as A-Rod.

Anonymous said...

Reply to "truth";

As usual with your stupidity you have misrepresented what I said.

I meant NO slavery you fool. Just like there was NO slavery in Quebec.

Quebec was a land of very harsh winters and no distinct advantage for agriculture. But the French there managed to create a self-sufficient economy.

By the way they probably did work 16 hours a day too on their tiny farms. What do you think they did in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sit around and watch TV?

Ronduck said...

Melykin, don't forget Detroit was also a French colony at one time.

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder Says:

Dahlia,

In the conclusion to his book Fatal Misconception Matthew Connelly compares the declines in birth rates in countries with strong population control programs to countries that did little to nothing on the issue, and finds no effect. The main correlate seems to be the female illiteracy rate.

The Unnamed said...

Free birth control appeals to child-averse college students, not to Third World nations where kids are the best social security net you'll ever have.

The contracepting West and countries like China are facing "demographic winter" where aging populations place large burdens on the smaller cohort of young working people.

Marlo said...

"Indeed, all of Africa may be better off if, instead of nations, there were only city-states or aggregates made up of 100,000 to 500,000 people. It may be easier to manage things that way for blacks."

Of course it would be easier.

Any country that doesn't have the capacity or the social/political and economic infrastructure to feed its people would be better off with a smaller population. The same would hold true if we were talking about whites.

"So, per capita GDP is less instructive than mean GDP."

I think you mean Per Capita income? The average amount of money that residents of a country recieve, as opposed to the average value of what they produce. GDP Per Capita is essentially the same thing as "mean" GDP.

Anonymous said...

Selective migration like the case of the settlement of Barbados isn't that likely. Many people overlook that literally not a single other black majority country or territory in the carribean, or any other with a significant black population is as remotely bad as Haiti. Alot of them seem to have appreciably high crime rates, but still pale compared to Haiti.

Jamaica has awful crime, but it's economic status and living standards are worlds above Haiti.

Anonymous said...

"Alot of them seem to have appreciably high crime rates, but still pale compared to Haiti."

And to repeat for a third time. Port au Prince is chaos but there are many small cities in Haiti that are extremely safe and orderly. If you don't believe me, look into Jacmel.

This will probably be too inconvenient to Steve's worldview for him to look into.

corvinus said...

In the early 90s, blacks were 30 million. In around 17 yrs, they became 40 million!! They expanded by 35% in that short period!!

Black birth rates are about replacement level. Also, we get immigration from the Caribbean and Africa. The black population is similar to Argentina's in its size and age structure.

Truth said...

"I meant NO slavery you fool. Just like there was NO slavery in Quebec."

Buddy, with all possible respect, get some old textbooks and use your head.

Quebec: Massive empty land mass from which people can run off and never be found, four month growing season, little in the way of agriculture that can't be grown in France anyway, fishing, hunting, fur trapping economy.

Haiti: Isolated island, 12 month growing season, sugar, cocoa, coffee, exotic fruits, etc. that demand high labor and cannot be grown in France.

Now which one is better off settled by a few hundred fishermen, trappers and their wives, and which is better off assigned to a rich guy to bring in slaves and work the land.

The reason the WhiteMan brought slaves into the Caribbean is because it was a good business decision. It really isn't that complicated.

Anonymous said...

You take it for granted that that part of that island is *theirs". Why should, or would, any people hold themselves to one particular piece of land? That is for losers and a sure way to receive the Darwin award.

Holding themselves to land they consider "theirs", fighting to the death for it, has been a motivation for humanity for much of history. Guess you know better though.