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Haiti’s Corruption Would Never Stand In America

The article that appeared in the Time Magazine detailed the apparent corruption that people have to deal with in Haiti.  The article opened with the story of a woman who had to spend six dollars to get a coupon for a fifty pound bag of rice.  The problem is that the coupon was from the World Food Program’s distribution plan aimed at women and children.  The program gives the coupons to the community leaders who are supposed to forward them to the women and children of that community.

But the coupons have become a commodity in the Haitian economy.  The coupons are hustled at the stadium, out of the gas station on the corner, any place where you go to meet the right people.  The people of Haiti who had to deal with the loss of their family members, their homes, and all of their worldly possessions are now subject to have their fellow citizens profiting from their pain.

Of course, something like that would never happen in the United States.  People who are poor are never taken advantage of here in America.  The poor always have access to adequate medical care, housing, and nutritious food stuffs.  The poor never have to worry about their utilities or about getting a quality education where they are given every opportunity to achieve their dreams.  And of course, America’s poor never have to worry about law enforcers who are ready to pounce on people who have committed no crime but simply look suspicious or worry about being railroaded by a justice system quick to slam the hammer down on anyone who has to make due with an overwhelmed public defender or an inadequate court appointed attorney.

In America, people in power or positions of authority never take advantage of people who are desperate or are in need of help.  When a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico and simply looks it might be able to threaten one of the offshore oil rigs later in the week, the price of fuel already in the ground at the gas station around the corner never goes up.

The rule of business would never advocate that entrepreneur would charge the maximum price the market will bear.  We don’t have a commodity trading system designed so that people can make huge fortunes based on the fact that the next winter storm will impact people’s wallets when the fuel bill arrives.  We don’t take advantage when a cold spell reaches Florida and significantly damages food crops.  Here in America, we don’t scalp ticket prices to our most popular entertainment idols because we can find some sucker who would be willing to pay through the nose for whatever reason.

When the hurricane devastated our gulf coast, the President of the United States at the time would never suspend the Davis-Bacon Act, the federal law which establishes the requirement that prevailing wages must be paid on all public works projects, temporarily in order to expedite reconstruction by assuring maximum profits for any company willing to accept federal contracts.  At least he wouldn’t do it without a good reason.  So many people who lived in the area at the time lost their jobs and needed money to help put their lives back on track.  Who in America would be willing to take advantage of people when they were in the middle of dealing with such devastation?

Here in America, we never let our need for greed take priority over our need to be paid.  No one profits off of war.  No one profits off of pain.  No one at the insurance company will deny a claim for life saving medical treatment in order to protect the payout to investors and the reward bonuses to management for a job well done.  Nobody in America would put their own selfish gain ahead of the welfare of others or of the community.

I know in America, where the Supreme Court has just opened the door that entitles corporations to spend their treasure to influence elections in order to make even more money, I never have to worry about somebody trying to make a dime off of any pain I, or anyone else, might suffer.

The United States prides itself as a nation free of any corrupting influences and we will always be a people with the moral high ground quick to point a disapproving finger at people we feel are our contemptible lesser.  The very idea of people profiting during a time of crisis is too reprehensible for words.  It’s a good thing all those people corrupted by the dollar only live in places like Haiti.  The way some people tell the story, such people would never be welcomed in America.

Saturday, February 6, 2010 Posted by | Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts | | 2 Comments