WE NEED TO ELIMINATE PUBLIC EDUCATION IN HAITI

This is a public policy matter, and I do expect many to disagree with me. Public education in Haiti needs a total reshuffling; it must be incorporated in a comprehensive plan to reform our economy. We cannot be talking about reforming the economy if we do not address the problems with our education.

We need a new system of education to prepare our kids to compete for the jobs of tomorrow at home and abroad.

Public education is a total failure in Haiti, and things will not get better if we do not change course. We need to take government out of the business of educating our kids and let the private sector take over.

Is Haiti a socialist or a capitalist state? Maybe we need to be clear on the type of economic system we have and the type we really need for Haiti. I am a big proponent of capitalism, for it does make sense to me. Maybe that’s what we need for Haiti. Right now, whether you want to agree with me or not, we have a socialist state; government controls almost everything.  

Before we get further in this, let’s take a moment to explain what the job of government should be in a capitalistic economy.

The role of government in a capitalistic economy is NOT to create jobs and compete against the private sector. It is, rather, to enact policies that would encourage private sector jobs. It should work to strengthen the private sector, and the two must work hand in hand to get things to work for the betterment of our society. So needless to say, we need a strong private sector.

In Haiti, government is the biggest competitor we have in the market, preventing the economy from expanding because it stalls competition. It should not be this way. Government is not to compete against the private sector. It is to set the path for the private sector to walk on.
 
I propose the elimination of all the public schools or state-funded institutions of learning and let the private sector take over them. As we have them right now, they are ineffective and represent a symbol of failure because of a lack of competition within the sector of government. We need to get rid of that.

Government should not be in the business of opening schools. It needs to allow the economically disfavored students to attend private schools or the school of their choosing by making grants and scholarships available to them. Doing so will create a market of schools for them to choose from. Giving them the ability to choose the school of their liking will empower them, and that will fuel the competition needed to get the system to work.

If competition is the engine that gets the economy to move, choice is the ignition that gets it to crank up. When government gets in the game, competition is stalled; the economy automatically stops expanding. On the other hand, when you have the players in the private sector competing against one another, it is good for competition in that it results in quality production or quality education for the students. In such a competitive climate, only the best schools will stand. The subpar or mediocre ones will have to close their doors because they won’t be able to sustain the competitive wave. That’s the phenomenon of the “invisible hand” Adam Smith, the Father of Capitalism, talked about in his masterpiece entitled An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.    

In conclusion, we need to revamp the system of education in Haiti by allowing the private sector to assume its total control. The government should not be in the business of opening and managing schools. It should be there to subvention the economically disadvantaged students by providing them with grants and scholarships to attend the school of their choosing. Such a strategy will automatically fuel competition within the system, which, in turn, will produce the best educated kids to contribute in the economic and social development of their society.

AXAN ABELLARD: JUST MY TWO CENTS

Presidential candidate Axan Abellard of KNDA

First, let me thank you, sir, for having left this video interview on my page on Facebook. At least, it gives me an idea as to where you stand on some of the key issues. You make sense in most of the things you said, but you left me a little perplexed for having not said a word with respect to the integration of the Diaspora in the development of the country and the reform of our system of justice. I understand the time allocated for this video interview may have not been a lot, but I think you missed a golden opportunity. How could you not be addressing these issues?

You talked about a program of job creation, and I think that is great. But how can you possibly think of any developmental plan without reaching out to the Diaspora, especially when we contribute over $2 Billion dollars a year to the country’s economy? We in the Diaspora have our own issues too, sir. We are tired of being economic contributors with no representation. We need to have a say in the internal politics of the country and have our own representation in Congress. And for all that to happen, the Haitian citizenship must be granted to us Haitians who happened to acquire the citizenship of our host countries.

In terms of the military, you are speaking my language -the return of the HAITIAN military to replace the MINUSTAH. I think that’s a must. You score some heavy points with that agenda item. To restore confidence in the foreign investors and the Haitian investors living in the DIASPORA, you have got to put the wave of insecurity under control. And so far, the UN troops currently occupying the country are not doing so. That was great to see you speaking in those terms.

You talked about a specialized intelligence agency to fight the corruptive practices in the public administration. I disagree wholeheartedly with you on that, sir. We don’t need another bureaucracy to fight corruption. We just have to enforce the law. By the way, don’t we have a Court Superieure des Comptes? It should be and it is the responsibility of that institution -to audit and investigate fraudulent practices in the public administration. Here in the US, we have an Inspector General (IG) inside almost every institution serving as watchdog to make sure things are being conducted according to the established internal rules, regulations and policies. So you don’t need another bureaucracy. We already have one. Let me tell you what we need. We need CAPITAL PUNISHMENT for these people. We need to be killing them. Once you prosecute and KILL five of them publicly, you will see if things will not be under control in a matter of weeks. I think you are a little too soft on this issue. I am for tough measures to fight corruption, especially in HAITI where it has become a CANCER. Well, again, I cannot blame you for your softness, for you are a politician running for office, meaning you have got to always be politically correct in your statements.

Well, though I disagree with your approach, unlike your rival Wilson Jeudy, at least you have a plan. That man plans on building a prison on the island of La gonave to jail the senators and other high government employees who are found guilty of stealing the people’s money. And the rationale behind that is that if the prison is destroyed and the prisoners are trying to escape, they will have the sharks in the sea waiting for them. That’s his plan to fight corruption. lol lol lol 😀 Excuse me, sir, if you see me laughing out so loud. This is the most ludicrous stuff I have ever heard in my life. lol lol lol lol lol 😀 I am sure you are now laughing too.

On the issue of taxation, I commend you for planning on working with our international friends to modernize our system at the General Bureau of Taxation (DGI) and train the staff there to make them more effective in their efforts to bring tax revenues into the country’s treasury. But I think it should be made a CRIME to not pay taxes in Haiti. Once we have the modernized system in place, we need to come up with laws to criminalize tax evasion. Then again, you cannot enforce something when you don’t have the system to do that. That would be foolish, would it not?

I see that you dodged the question on how to restore the authority of the state. You said: “Il faut moderniser l’etat” as though that is going to restore its authority. Yes, the computerization and modernization of our system is important, but I am not sure if it will restore the authority of the state.

I do agree with you on the necessity to strengthen the municipalities. The mayor in a city is the administrator, the president, the head of that city. If everything someone in the cities needs, it must be handled by somebody in Port-au-Prince, then what is the sense of having the local governments? Just have one central administration in Port-au-Prince and have everyone travel there for everything they want. Wait a minute!! Isn’t it the way it is now? What am I talking about? lol

Overall, it was a great interview. Many things you said I disagree with, but I do agree with you for the most part. Good luck, sir! You have a winning message. Just get out there and market it to see if the buyers will be interested in buying it.

P.S. Here are some issues –education, healthcare and agriculture -you slightly touched on but did not really get into details: 

  1. On the issue of public education, you only stated that 40% of our school age kids are not going to school. I would love to know what your plan is to remedy to this gruesome reality.
  2. Health care is a serious situation in Haiti. You mentioned that many pregnant women in labor in Haiti are being transported on the back of a horse to get to the nearest health care center, which, in many instances, is located tens of miles away. I am wondering what you have in your social agenda to fix this health care disparity issue.
  3. I did not hear you say anything about agriculture, a key component in our economy. Just let me know how important that is in your economic agenda. I hope it is somewhere to be found in your plan to reform our economy.

JIM DEMINT: FORNICATING WOMEN & GAYS BE BANNED FROM TEACHING IN PUBLIC SHOOLS

Jim Demint: Republican Senator of South Carolina

When you hear me taking some very strong and bold stands against these Conservative Republicans, I am sure some of you may be wondering why. Please do not assume a second that I am crazy. I pretty much have my own personal and ideological reason.

My fight against my Conservative Republican friends is purely ideological, nothing really personal. I believe they are great people who deserve to be loved and respected. However, I strongly believe they are dead and flat wrong on many issues, especially those having to do with abortion, gay rights, same-sex marriages, the DADT policy addressing the issue of gays and lesbians serving in the military and the list goes on and on and on and on. So today, we are going to zero on a very serious and specific issue -the issue of education and the social test teachers must be subject to in order for them to be allowed to teach kids in America.

 I want you to read this report filed in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal of South Carolina of Sunday, October 03, 2010 reporting about Senator Jim Demint’s plan to socially-engineer public education in this country. Before I get you to read the report, I want you to know that Republican Senator Jim Demint of South Carolina is the godfather of the Tea Party movement.  

The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported: “Demint said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend –she shouldn’t be in the classroom.”

If that man and the rest of his Tea Party gang have their ways, my kids and yours will be indoctrinated with bogus ideologies to hate women, gays, lesbians, and basically American ideas.

According to Republican Senator Jim Demint of South Carolina, if you are gay or lesbian, you have no right to be in the classroom teaching American kids, and the same goes for you unmarried woman sleeping with your boyfriend. Jim Demint wants you to get out of the classroom; you should be out there doing other things, not teaching American kids.

Now, folks, as a Black man in this country, as someone whose people had been discriminated against for centuries solely because we look different than most (and such was legally accepted under the law), I cannot be staying mute, as though this issue does not concern me, in front of such a crooked and outdated rhetoric. Demint’s ideology is so un-American, it is not even funny. Since when had discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation made a comeback? I guess I missed the train on that one. I thought we had buried and put that behind us a while ago? Are we now witnessing the recycling of a sad and shameful past in American history or what? That man had the nerves saying that if you are openly gay or an unmarried woman sleeping with your boyfriend, you are not good enough to be holding certain functions in America.

Now, my fellow Americans, these are the people you want to lead this nation going forward. You have got to be kidding me, really. If you are going to forget everything I said to you today in this piece, I want you to always keep in mind that we cannot be moving ahead looking backward. It is just impossible.