In 2009, the United States gave $290 million to Haiti. That was $28.90 for every single one of the 10 million-plus inhabitants of the island nation. It was also $290 million that the U.S. government neither had nor was constitutionally permitted to give. But then, that $290 million only represented about one-five-thousandths of the $1.42 trillion deficit created by the federal government over the course of 2009. It was also, obviously, financial aid that was provided prior to the earthquake that struck Jan. 12.

In the aftermath of the terrible earthquake and the reported large-scale loss of life, charities, celebrities, aid organizations and governments have geared up to pour even more money into Haiti. And while a portion of it will no doubt ameliorate the hellish lives of a small percentage of Haiti’s inhabitants for a short while, it should be recognized that the more significant and lasting result will be to provide funding for an international aid infrastructure that justifies its continued existence by keeping those it supposedly helps in a constant state of poverty and dependency.

It has been reported that one-third of the $13.5 billion that was raised for the victims of the 2004 tsunami that struck Thailand went to the aid organizations themselves. And more than one billion of the money that passed through those organizations remains unaccounted for. Approximately $500 million that went to Sri Lanka alone is still reported as having been lost. This suggests that even in a depressed global economy, “helping others” is one of the more profitable activities that remains outside of government-insured banking. Of course, if you listen to the commercials, the banks claim to be helping others, too.

So, is there anyone who would dare to imagine that even two-thirds of the $562 million that the United Nations is now claiming it needs to “help” Haiti will make it past the notoriously sticky fingers of the globocrats to be stolen by corrupt Haitian officials? No doubt the private bankers of Panama and Grand Cayman are smiling at the thought of their 2010 bonuses.

The impulse to want to help the people of Haiti, particularly in tragic moments such as these, is entirely understandable. It is good. It is human. But doing something is not always better than doing nothing, and in these particular circumstances, it is also mistaken. There are already 10,000 aid organizations active in Haiti, one for every 1,000 Haitians. How many more are required to make a substantive difference? More importantly, at what point do people begin to recognize that because sending money to Haiti is the root of the problem, it cannot be part of the solution?

If Haiti needs anything from the United States, it is the 30,000 Haitians who are presently in the United States illegally, and thanks to the Obama administration, will now be permitted to stay another 18 months. Since the Haitian diaspora is made up of Haiti’s most entrepreneurial and productive individuals, Haiti is far more in need of them now than ever. Both the U.S. and Haiti would be much better off if those 30,000 Haitians were given government contracts to return to Haiti and help rebuild it than remaining in the U.S. and adding to the 10 percent unemployment rate.

The earthquake is not a sign that people should begin helping Haiti. It is entirely the opposite. It is a powerful warning that people must stop trying to help Haiti. Instead, they must leave the Haitians alone to help themselves, which, of course, it is possible they may not be willing to do after decades of dependence on external support. Recall that the Haitian population went from 5 million in 1982 to 6.8 million in 2000 to 10 million in 2009, so if you think this tragedy was terrible, just wait until the inevitable next one strikes. Unsustainable societies always collapse; they cannot survive indefinitely. International aid does nothing more than prolong the period of life support and ensures that the ultimate collapse will be more catastrophic.

Even the best-intentioned interference can trigger harmful effects capable of lasting decades, as we are unfortunately witnessing in the aftermath of the earthquake. Haiti’s problems are best left to the Haitians for the simple reason that no one else is capable of solving them. On the other hand, if the Obama administration is absolutely determined to help Haiti, then why not kill two birds with one stone and give 100 percent of the 2009 Goldman Sachs bonus pool, which is being announced today and exists only thanks to federal largesse, to the people of Haiti?

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