Thought of the day

I’m just finishing up a paper for my Global Health/Haiti course and I thought I would think outside the box a little for the final. We have to propose some sort of health initiative and, in part, relate it to one of the Millennium Development Goals. Since the biggest issue underlying any problem in any developing nation not in a religious war (see Nigeria) is poverty (also a problem in Nigeria), I decided to address things from that angle: Build a highway system. I have some very good examples of countries which have done this to great success: The Roman Empire, Germany, the United States, and, currently, China.

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7 Responses

  1. Persians had great roads also. Don’t lose sight of the fact that highways are only superficial and do nothing on their own. You can have all the roads you want, but if there is some other bar to trade, it won’t matter a bit. The Incas suffered from that problem, and where the fuck are they today? They subjugated everyone they came in contact with, and their civilization suffocated under the weight of its own maintenance costs, among other things.

    It’s not highways, but trade, both in ideas and commodities, that is the cure for poverty. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that infrastructure somehow magically dispatches poverty like a legendary knight dispatches a dragon.

  2. How do you like my soap box?

  3. Fortunatly, Haiti is not a landlocked country, which is a huge barrier to trade. Highways sound inevitable in Haiti’s future if it wants growth, and you should know infrastructure is a common factor in ranking of countries for being business friendly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ease_of_doing_business_index

  4. Oh, I certainly do, but there are some serious problems that need to be solved before that. Governmental stability, the rule of law and many other factors are probably more important than roads.

    I’d use that big blue thing all around it as a ready made highway.

  5. Needing to walk 2 hours through the mountains to get to a market tends to be a big barrier to trade.

  6. That’s why the good lord invented roller skates, we were never intended to walk. So says Willy Wonka.

  7. […] plenty of more ways to address the poverty and problems of developing nations – for instance, more infrastructure – but a good place to start is by taking a look at the Millennium Development Goals set forth […]

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