18 January 2010

Haiti and Emigration

Following up on the idea of founding a new Haitian state in Africa, I just read a post by Reihan Salam suggesting that we all just help Haitians move elsewhere. In effect, the state of Haiti is a "zombie" (which is an unfortunate thing to call Haiti of all countries), and that the people of Haiti do much better when they move to other countries. (In fact, 1/4 of all Haitians not living in poverty live in the US.)

This ties into an idea a friend of mine has long espoused: "bus ticket countries." In other words, the best thing that could be done for the residents of certain areas would be to give them a one-way bus ticket to go someplace else.

I tend to resist such defeatist ideas, but in some cases, one has to wonder. If nothing else, the utter (peaceful) depopulation of certain areas would give others the opportunity to start the country from scratch, without the pressures that come from history and path-dependency. Of course, no country (save, evidently, Senegal) will just open its arms and allow the entire population of Haiti to just move in. For now, this will probably remain academic.

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