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Emily makes an important argument that the local knowledge and culture must be harnessed as a decentralized process of reconstruction.

For the long term, also, we have to get the institutions right. But even so, we have to get the culture right -- respect for clearly defined property rights (enforcement can only go so far), appreciation of the entrepreneurship and the profit-loss system, and so on. That might pose the greatest challenge in restructuring their system. And I expect that we will hear outrage from the Left that we are trying to force capitalist exploitation upon a weak people.

In my own blog I commented that it would be very good if the aid groups in Haiti would hand out cash, with a rubber stamped hand to acknowledge receipt of aid, like for voting, and then the goods coming in should be set up in markets, which can be done on the flea market concept fairly quickly, and that the police and military should protect the markets. Then goods sold and traded as people want, not as aid groups think. But anything like a food market destroyed should be stripped bare -- not looting at all -- before it rotted and decayed. It makes no sense to save property like bananas or cans of milk from a destroyed market when the shop keeper may even be dead -- better to distribute it first -- since the time lag in getting the first true supplies in takes a few days.
Yes, it is "fake" money, for it all comes from outside the nation, but the goods are all "fake" too since they are all from outside the nation. It is money from the clouds and goods from the sky -- all of which will be distributed -- all of it for distribution -- but if put into a market concept quickly -- cash for goods -- then the people will have a better time getting what they know they need. And not have to take what they are given. Talk about a confidence builder. And there will be far more order in the delivery of the goods. Everyone knows how to go to a market, even in Haiti.
If we can set up a temporary field hospital we can set up a temporary field market.

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