For Haitians’ Sake, Drop the “Drop the Debt” | David Roodman | Global Development: Views from the Center

the benefits of debt relief over the next few years, however done, will be tiny.


How to square this with the enormity of $1.25 billion? Most of Haiti’s debt is not due for a long time. So a typical dollar written off today might not help Haiti (by lowering debt service) for a decade. That’s why cancellation does little good in the short run. It is not a coherent response to crisis.







A private right of action on price gouging « Knowledge Problem

To that end, “the purpose of this bill is to grant citizens who are victims of illegal price gouging in times of emergency the right to directly sue the responsible party.” The proposal would allow a victim to sue to recover up to “actual damages” or $1000, whichever is greater, and give the court discretion to award a prevailing plaintiff up to $5000 and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

話題になっている法律は、便乗値上げが起きた時に司法(Attorney General)しか訴えを起こせなかったものを、被害者にも可能にするというものだ。「被害者」は「実際の被害」か$1,000のどちらか大きい方で訴えられるようにするそうだ。裁判所はさらに$5,000と弁護士費用を課すこともできるとのこと。

The bill does not specify who is considered a “victim” under the law. I can imagine a few problems that may result.


the definition seems to apply in cases in which the “victim” incurs the hazard, i.e. could have purchased at other prices but chose to buy from a merchant offering the good or service for a much higher price.


what about consumers that would have purchased the good or service but for the unconscionably excessive price at which it is offered?


Well, nothing in New York’s anti-price gouging law requires merchants to remain open for business during market disruptions associated with declared emergencies.  And if remaining open might expose the store to large but hard-to-define liabilities, the store’s owner might reasonably just close up shop.




Don’t give money to Haiti | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters

For one thing, right now there’s very little that can be done with the money. There are myriad bottlenecks and obstacles involved in getting help to the Haitians who need it, but lack of funds is not one of them.

目下、援助のボトルネックは資金ではないという。これはハイチの政府機能がほぼ停止状態であることを考えれば頷ける(参考:Haiti: Rescue, Recovery, and Effective Development Aid)。資金があってもそれが救済相手までのチャンネルがなければ届かない。

What’s more, charities raising money for Haiti right now are going to have to earmark that money to be spent in Haiti and in Haiti only.



But as The Smoking Gun shows, Yele is not the soundest of charitable institutions […]

信頼が揺らいでいる支援団体もあり、最近The Smoking Gunでも話題になったYeleが上げられている。この団体はハイチ専門の支援団体だが不明瞭な会計が疑われている。

It will therefore earmark that money for Haiti, and try to spend it there over the coming years, even as other missions, elsewhere in the world, are still in desperate need of resources.


Do give money to MSF, then, but if you do, make sure that your donation is unrestricted. The charity will do its very best in Haiti either way, but by allowing your money to be spent anywhere, you will help people in dire need all over the world, not just in Haiti. Here’s the message on MSF’s website: