Aid for the Haiti Disaster by Jake Towne

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Aid for the Haiti Disaster by Jake Towne

Words are not sufficient for the immense and unimaginable loss of perhaps 100,000 lives during the recent earthquake in Haiti. The immediate question is what can be done to help. I wrote recently in “Guns or Health Care?” that it was Clara Barton and a group of fellow Americans who founded the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and not the federal government. The Red Cross has already begun operations by contributing $1 million from their International Response Fund and sending stocks of tarps, mosquito nets, and cooking sets to Haiti. I myself made a donation today to the International Response Fund, which can be done here or from the home page, redcross.org. There are other charities working as well.

The federal government has also pledged assistance with our military. While I certainly hope this assistance helps saves lives, Americans should not forget the Hurricane Katrina fiasco so quickly. Our own country was wracked by a serious disaster, though smaller than Haiti’s, and the federal response of FEMA was famously ineffective. Now, I will not question the government’s benevolent intentions to help, but we must recognize that they are incapable of even balancing their own budget, and was within 72 hours of a technical default last month. They have failed for 8+ years, spending billions and billions, to locate the leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group.

As George Washington once said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.” The function of the government is to provide the rule of law and protect liberty, not to redistribute wealth, grant special privileges, or interfere with the lives of individuals and their actions. Government has nothing – it must first tax or plunder resources by force from citizens before redistributing to Haitians or even fellow Americans.

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