Mr. President, I have a Plan for Haiti
February 1, 2010
Mr. President, I have a Plan for Haiti.
It seems Haiti and America have much in common. If we compare America to the current situation in Haiti we can come up with a workable solution for both countries.
Haiti had a horrific disaster, a 7.0 Earthquake. It caused much human devastation.
America is in the middle of a disaster of it’s own, our banking system almost collapsed. This has caused economic devastation.
Haiti needs immediate Medical assistance. Haitians have no Medicine, no Doctors, and no Hospitals.
America has many who need Medical assistance. America has Medicine, Doctors, and Hospitals, but no Insurance and no money to buy it.
Haitians have no homes. An earthquake destroyed them, and people are homeless.
Many Americans have no homes. They have been foreclosed upon and people are homeless.
Haitians have no food. Supplies are on the way; Port-O-Prince has a small airport damaged by the earthquake, and only so many planes can land in a day, but at least food and supplies are on the way.
America grows much food and has many people on Food Stamps because they can not afford to buy food.
Haitians are the poorest of poor countries and not many are educated.
Until recently America was one of the richest of rich countries and law requires education of the young.
Haiti has 1 million who are unemployed and much rebuilding to do.
America has 18 million who are unemployed and no work to do.
Haiti has a very small government and many Haitian Government officials have left Haiti to come to Florida, leaving no one in charge to run their country.
America has a very large government and many Americans are not happy, we have too much government trying to be in charge, and there is no one left to really run the country.
So, Mr. President, I have an idea:
During the Iraq war our government gave a no bid contract to Halliburton to build a Tent city for our soldiers in Iraq. It had sleeping quarters, a mess hall, latrine and recreational area. This can be done again, but in Haiti.
During your State of the Union Address, you said you were going to concentrate on JOBS this year. The stimulus money last year was mostly spent on JOBS that lasted anywhere from a week to maybe 5 months. When I think of Stimulating the Economy I think long term, not just for a week, a month or 5 months. Garage type sales like Cash for Clunkers, just does not do the JOB. America needs JOBS that turn into Careers. We need innovation. We need entrepreneurs. We need to manufacture again.
I have heard that many Haitian government officials have left the island and are now in Florida. Well, I started thinking to whom are we going to hand all this donated money over to? Why not pay American Volunteers, along with any supplies or equipment they may need and send them to Haiti to help rebuild the country and use Stimulus money to pay them? America can handle the money disbursements from our country, instead of handing $167 Million over to some new self-appointed leader in Haiti, who will squander the money by building himself a Palace and buying a grand life-style on our tax dollars, or should I say China’s dollars. Considering how long it will take for us to pay China back, I want some bang for our tax dollars.
We need long term JOB Stimulus. Americans don’t want borrowed, Stimulus money to the tune of $700+ Billion to be used for very short term, basically minimum wage or very close to minimum wage jobs. Americans want long-term work. They want careers. At least for the Volunteers we could create JOBS that last for a few years, and they can send the money home to their families to be spent, thus creating or should I say Stimulating the Economy.
My plan, if you so chose to do this, would be to get some bids from companies that specialize in rebuilding disaster areas, like we did in Iraq and send them to Haiti. Give the contract to one or even two companies and let them go to work. They can build maybe 3-4 fully equipped Tent cities.
Use the Internet and TV, and run PSA (Public Service Announcements) asking for Volunteers; unemployed, born in America, experts only, in the fields of Demolition, Construction, Fire Fighting, Police, Medicine, Cooks, Day Care and Education.
Out of 18 Million unemployed Americans we should be able to rustle up a few thousand Volunteers who are willing to go to Haiti and help re-build Port-O-Prince for these people. It would not be much different than joining the Army. All Volunteers must have clean records, and FBI background checks before being hired.
1) This would be a long-term JOB. Haiti will not be rebuilt in a day, week, month or year. It could take a few years to rebuild Port-O-Prince.
2) Give each American Volunteer, a Health Insurance Policy (slight injuries or non-serious illness can be taken care of in Haiti, with no need for Insurance) but for serious injuries or illnesses the American Volunteers will need to return to the US and the Health Ins. can be used there. The insurance policy will be paid for by the government, (right up your alley) until the employee is done with his JOB or finished with treatment for any major injuries or illness received while on the JOB. If continued medical treatment is needed, then he will keep the insurance until he is healthy again.
3) Each American Volunteer will have a $250,000 Life Ins. Policy, paid for by the government, in case of death, while on the JOB. This too will be for the duration of the JOB and then cancelled.
4) All American Volunteers will be transported by US military planes to and from the US and Haiti.
5) American Volunteers can get a ride on US military planes back to the US every 6 months for a week and then return to Haiti (the JOB).
6) They will be paid the going rate for their type JOBS from Stimulus money and the donated money will pay for equipment and supplies.
7) Equipment from the USA will be transported by American military to Haiti.
8) Haitian men can be hired as paid employees and assist the US workers.
9) First, well-planned Tent cities will be built outside of town, and laid out properly for long-term use. This will be home for the Haitians until Port-0-Prince is rebuilt.
a) Sleeping quarters, Large Mess Hall areas Latrines, Day Care areas Schools and Recreational areas for the young, and a Medical center should be established at each tent city. All Tent cities will also have a Police Post.
b) A Shower area will be built, running water, and electrical should also be setup and/or re-connected.
c) An area for washing clothes will also be needed.
d) Haitian men will help with building the tent village and then the rebuilding of the city, to keep them busy and out of trouble.
e) Mess Halls can have cooking pits, and Bar-b-Q’s made from oil drums, ovens and running water etc.
f) Haitian women can help in the Mess Hall, with cooking and food preparation.
g) Haitian women can run Day Care facilities and Orphanages
h) There will be Police Protection for all, and especially for the women.
i) There could be a school and church area built in each Tent city also.
Though long term, but not permanent (1-5yrs.), the Tent City will need to be professionally built by experts.
10) Does anyone realize that Haiti is an Island? Haiti is surrounded by Water loaded with Fish (protein). This Fish is FREE food and in an unending supply. We can hire Deep Sea Fishing boats from Maine and the East coast fishing area, that have been basically put out of business by all the importing America is doing, and pay them to come to Haiti and catch fish. They too, get the Health Ins. Policies, and Life Insurance.
11) If the ports are damaged from the earthquake, then US transport Helicopters can pick up containers filled with fish and dry ice right off the boats, and drop them near Mess Halls in each Tent city. They can then return the containers to the boats to be refilled with fish. Haitians can help clean and prepare the fish.
12) American Volunteers can set up large garden areas to grow food for the Tent cities and Haitian workers can run it.
These tent cities are a necessity so that the Haitians will have a place to live until the job of rebuilding their Capitol is done. There will be a need for more than one Tent city considering how many people are homeless.
Housing for the American Volunteers will also be necessary.
An American Volunteer group could go to Haiti and begin building the American Volunteers Tent City, which needs to be separate and at a distance from the Haitian Tent Cities.
I understand Euro countries have donated $500 Million dollars. They too can send unemployed workers and join the US. Globalization at it’s best.
America could actually end up with a department in let’s say Home Land Security, for trained American Volunteers, starting with unemployed workers who will go to disaster areas around the world on an on going basis. They can be called the Rescue & Recovery Volunteers of America all paid for by Stimulus money and any donations for now and in the future the money the USA usually donates to such disasters can go directly to America’s R&R unit. At least we will know what the money is being spent on.
This, in my opinion, is a win-win situation. This will be a win for the unemployed Americans, who would like nothing more than to have a job to go to everyday. Americans will have the satisfaction of helping those who cannot help themselves. While helping Haitians rebuild their country and their lives, Americans will be helping to rebuild America and American lives. Americans will be able to turn a hopeless situation into one of HOPE, not only for Haitians but for Americans too.
Without sounding too self-righteous, I don’t want to hear that it can’t be done; I just want to know when America can get started? Remember people from around the world have risked their lives, for years, to come to this Country, the land where, they think, all things are possible. So, please do not tell this American that it is impossible, because I know that this is not true. I have NOT seen nor heard of a better idea coming out of Washington yet that will create JOBS, Stimulate the Economy and actually help put America on the Road to Recovery. This plan will work. My idea is detailed and transparent.
This plan will let the World know that America is a Country that does not give up. America may be down for the count but our people ALWAYS find the will to go on, ALWAYS find the strength to stand up, dust ourselves off and begin anew. Here is America’s chance to show the world that the Power behind the engine (America’s People) is fired up and ready to go.
I recall how the Haitians stood up and yelled “USA-USA” when after many days, rescue workers pulled someone out from under the rubble who was still clinging to life. Unlike some other countries, Haitians actually want America there to help them. How can we not?
Hillary Clinton was right, many years ago, when she said, “It takes a Village”. It will take a lot of people to rebuild Haiti’s Capitol.
This would definitely be a game changer for the White House and this administration. It would be a bold move on your part Mr. President, and it’s an original idea. Something we sorely need in this country.
I can see the Headlines now. America shall Rise Again
A Patriotic and Unemployed American