Friday, January 29, 2016

Money Is the Answer, Money is the Problem--Haiti #7

A marriage therapist once told my sister she'd much rather work with wealthy couples than poor couples. It wasn't because she knew she'd get paid, it was because rich people already knew their problems couldn't be solved with money. Poor people tended to believe that money could save their marriage when the therapist knew it couldn't.

One Haitian story proves that money can be more curse than help.

A family ran an orphanage in Haiti before the 2010 earthquake. When the earthquake hit, this one particular orphanage received extensive publicity in the United States. Over $500,000 was sent directly to the family. Haiti has a transparent coconut-vine and apparently everyone knew of the family's windfall. Their little boy was kidnapped. Several people came forward to extort money with empty promises of returning the child.

He was never found.

When I go to the grocery store, fill my tank with gas, go out to lunch, pay my bills, I find that money is extremely important. But over and over again we see that money alone doesn't solve problems. It is the people in charge of the money that solve the problems that can be solved with money. If the trusted recipient is corrupt, problems are never solved.

Billions of dollars went to Yasser Arafat to help the Palestinians. I was intensely disappointed when I learned his wife lived in Paris, in a hotel with a daily cost of over $15,000. Yasser's personal fortune before his death was estimated at 350 million to 7 billion. And how are the Palestinians doing? How much of that intended money actually went to education, housing and improving their lives? Would they still be launching rocks and rockets if the allocated money had actually been used as intended?

We've all heard and believed the old adage, "Money is the root of all evil," but I disagree. Money can be the root of all that is good: charity, education, nutrition, decent housing. I would say the love of money, more than the love of mankind--that is the root of all evil.