Hacker News Re-Imagined

Haiti vs. the Dominican Republic

1 hour ago

Created a post 6 points @TeresaaChristie

Haiti vs. the Dominican Republic

@Tabular-Iceberg 45 minutes

Replying to @TeresaaChristie 🎙

It's a marshmallow test on a national scale.

You're a public institution and the taxpayer gives you a marshmallow with the expectation of using it to create some public good. You can eat the whole marshmallow yourself and feel pretty good for a while, but after that you'll have nothing but a heap of dirt (and soon that heap will be washed into the sea).

You can take a bite for yourself and get a dysfunctional society, but at least you and your countrymen get some kind of half decent jobs, food on the table, education and healthcare.

You can just nibble a little on the edge, and you get western society.

What happens if you save the whole marshmallow? Who knows.


@smcl 29 minutes

I think many people would take issue with the first two points raised:

1. External debt

Sure Haiti finished paying France a decade before its economy began to diverge with the Dominican Republic. But what could it have been spending this on for the over a hundred years it was repaying this sum? If the Dominican Republic didn't have such a (frankly ridiculously unfair) debt, is it possible it was able to make some investments in infrastructure, for example, that Haiti wouldn't have been?

2. Land mismanagement

The idea that Haitians deforested their part of the island, causing themselves environmental (and therefore economic) problems is is a fairly common myth. It seems that overall the forests are relatively sustainably managed and Haiti has a level of forestation you'd expect: https://www.vice.com/en/article/43qy9n/one-of-the-most-repea...


About Us

site design / logo © 2021 Box Piper