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#2143: Re: 2129: Re: Where are the numbers? Poincy replies to Antoine

From: Jean Poincy <caineve@idt.net>

If we make the hectares matter much, Ayiti is doomed with its 1/3
arable land. Which is already eroded on the top of it. It would be ideal
to have greater size of arable land, but the limitation is naturally
imposed. What can one do if not creating artifice to go by? This is
where creativity and efficiency have their role.

	An efficient system is a type of organization of bare resources to
produce benefits to the max. With little that one has how can s/he enjoy
life to its fullest has always been hunting mankind. Those, who don't
sit down and keep asking mother Nature to expand what it has already
given, have done a pretty good job in creating efficient society and
become rich. Those who do the contrary remain in misery, and that's
Ayiti's case.

	It is true that the number does not matter, because Ayiti already has
what it has naturally. Let me repeat, it can not add more nor subtract
from it; unless they decide to go to the other side of the island and
expropriate some duds. If we already know our natural limitation, what
do we do next? Asking for more than what we can have or get up to create
ways to circumvent our limitation. If it's the former it will have to
fall from the sky, but for the latter sweating for it is the way to go.

	The good thing is: with time and proper care the land can gain back its
fertility and becomes again the host of many species. The state of thing
is not an eternal loss. Can we make more than 1/3 of the land become
arable? Well, we would definitely have to ask for some technological
miracles. Does Ayiti have a national research development team? Until it
has, Ayiti has to use other available agricultural techniques quite
successful to others to make its little third productive.

	Yes, Antoine you are quite right that portion can be imported and all
nations do import food. This is something that Ayiti will have to resort
to necessarily. However, to reap the benefit of it, free-trade is the
way to go. Free-trade is not that damaging as one tends to think. As I
stated previously, it is when and only when the nation is not a producer
of some kind of products to face tough international competition. 

	Where there is no competition quality suffers. Free-trade creates the
terrain for competition. If the government decides to make some radical
changes in the economy, it will become competitive enough to outdo
numerous countries in the Caribbean. Free-trade keeps a county on its
toes to produce the best. It spurs a nation's creativity. In the absence
of free-trade everything goes dormant, there is less creation and
economic life becomes stale.

	I do recognize that free-trade can kill Ayiti right now as things are.
Nonetheless not having it would cause Ayiti's premature death. The
country does not produce things to maintain life. How then the people
would go about satisfying their need? Well, we can say stop free-trading
while revamping the system, but the people would have to agree to make
sacrifices.  Do you think they would agree not take their weekend trip
to Miami to shop? I doubt that very much. 

	It can only be by imposing restriction on emigration of nationals. For
that matter, we definitely need Mario Delatour. Or else, high tariff can
be imposed on incoming products; you know how it is with the corruption
factor and even without it the people would be too glad to spend the
extra dollar to get what they want. Matters can become really

	Ayiti is in an economic trap.1) It needs free-trade to make consumption
products it does not produce available so the people can survive. 2) In
great need of financial assistance to which it can't say no right now if
it does not want to sign its death certificate, it must agree with
free-trade as a string attached. The hands of the authorities are tied.
They don't have too much room to maneuver; we need to go easy on them
for that matter. It's just talk to suggest protectionist policies that
Ayiti has to envisage. 

	Considering that Ayiti can't undo free-trade, the only such feasible
policy is agricultural subsidies while reshaping its agricultural
system. But with what the government will make this policy effective?
This is a vicious circle.

	Further, we have to bear in mind that Ayiti has never been a country to
produce food for its people. Its economy has always been geared toward
the world market; which makes the economy a cash crop or assembly
industry export economy. For Ayiti to feed itself the first and foremost
step is to put out a decree (are you listening to me Delatour, Mr. le
President) to convert the cash crop agriculture to food crop
agriculture. Burning the coffee trees would not be a bad idea. Then and
only then Ayiti would start living.

 	When Ayiti became a member of the CARICOM, almost everyone was happy.
Maybe they did not see the implication of it. How will Ayiti be able to
turn its back on free-trade after fighting so hard to become a member?
Do we see the contradiction? To talk against free-trade, we should not
have clapped our hands in the first place when Ayiti became a member of
such an organization. Perceiving free-trade the way we do, Ayiti's
membership in the CARICOM is a blunder.

	After all, yes Ayiti can feed itself without a doubt.  I agree with you
that it's worth trying. We can revisit Ayiti's economic history to find
some foundation elements and blend them with today's better one.
Toussaint, Dessalines and Christophe had the vision when they favored
large plantation. Toussaint and Dessalines never got the time, but
Christophe in a short while proved that vision to be correct. If it
worked, why not paying them a visit? That does not mean solutions are
nowhere else, but doing so would bring value to what Ayiti could do, can
do and will be able to do. Ayiti's source of solution is on the tip of
its nose. Why not emulating Confucius whom had to revisit the philosophy
of the long gone elders to create a new spirit for the Chinese people if
not the whole Asia?

Ayiti has lived, lives and will live