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Commentary: The road map for peace and prosperity for any and all nations on earth!
Published on July 28, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Jean H Charles

This proposition seems a utopia, but indeed it is possible. The leader of the nation must follow three simple rules:

1. Enrich the population existentially, as it is, with its deficiencies and its strength;

2. Educate the population to the highest degree possible; and

3. Elevate the population to the dimension of its divine destiny accepted for the nation by its founding fathers

Enrich the population existentially

I will use examples from different nations on earth to illustrate my point. Living now in Haiti has taught me several truths one of them is: you harvest what you have sowed! For the past 60 years – 30 years under a dictatorial regime and 30 years under different regimes of faux democracy – the majority of the citizens of Haiti have been deprived of the rudiments of a solid education and formation. As such the bulk of those around 60 years old as well as those around 30 years old are not employed to the best of their abilities.

Jean H Charles LLB, MSW, JD, is a regular contributor to the opinion section of Caribbean News Now.  He can be reached at
Visit the capital, any other cities or the countryside of the nation, the spectacle is the same, large numbers of men and women are busy selling , fruits, vegetable, used clothing or gadgets on the street with a stock not amounting to US$100. It is a very poor population busy surviving day by day. The international proposition of employment offered to that population mainly in the textile industry does not amount for a better living condition.

To wit, a big fight is going on right now in the country between the manufacturers and the workers for an increase in the daily salary set at 300 gourdes or $4.83 for a full eight hours of work. The workers claimed 800 gourdes or $12.90 for a full eight hours of work. The Commission set up by the government arrived only at a compromise figure of 350 gourdes or $5.64 for the day’s work.

Whether it is 350 gourdes ($5.64) or 800 gourdes ($12.80) for a day’s work, it is utterly insufficient for a family to lead a decent way of life in a country where the cost of living is much higher than in an industrialized nation. In fact, the essential amenities of life such as drinking water, electricity, convenient and efficient transportation are provided for all; say in the United States, at a price which is reachable.

In Haiti it is like, as one of its own presidents, the late Rene Preval, has put it: swim to get out at own risk. Each individual has to provide himself with his own generator or source of energy as well as his own tank of water. Drinking water has to be bought every day by the gallon.

This fight of Scylla to Chablis will continue, with manufacturers threatening to leave the country for a better pasture and the workers continuing to disrupt the daily production of a normal course of business. There will be a massive exodus to the Dominican Republic, Chile, and the United States or possibly to Taiwan, as this nation has just informed that the citizens of Haiti do not need a visa to visit that country.

The solution is to enrich the workers existentially as they are, uneducated, ill prepared and unsophisticated. I have written a letter to a former director of the Haiti Industrial Park laying down the proposition that the Haitian government through its civil society could enter into competition with the foreign textile industry. It would line up its workers at the industrial park to assemble, prepare and ship from Haiti, organic and nostalgic produce and commodities to its own Diaspora, the wider Caribbean Diaspora as well as the well to do Whole Food health conscious consumers, the whole gamut of spices, citrus, exotic fruits, including the ubiquitous Francis mango. Money will come back to Haiti and its workers by planeload whence the wholesaler gets its commission after sale. Albeit a personal acquaintance, my line of thought left him cold as an annoying beggar.

He did not respond with even an acknowledgment of receipt of the letter.

I attended to a meeting at the White House under President Bill Clinton, organized after the return of Jean Bertrand Aristide to power in 1994, to give direction where Haiti was going in terms of development. The roadmap for Haiti was that it should not engage in agricultural production, this line was reserved for Mexico. Haiti should engage in the textile industry. I was surprised and indeed incensed at that marching order!

It is still in force some 25 years later.

The story is the same for any nation, be it the United States, the Dominican Republic or Jamaica. They must search for their own existential niche to lift their underprivileged population to wealth and prosperity. The United States, with a minority population of some 50 million people out of 350 million people, has been trying for five decades (1964) to help blacks and Puerto Ricans reach middle class status. It has not been a winning proposition under either a Democrat of a Republican administration.

President Donald Trump engaged the black population in his political campaign that he will be able to deliver what all the presidents from President Lyndon Johnson have not delivered to the minorities. He offered a welcoming hand to the Black Caucus; it was not accepted.

At the national meeting of NOAH in Manhattan, where I was present, Omarosa Manigault, the president’s emissary to reach out to the black audience, received a polite but cold welcome and nothing more; it was like thanks, but no thanks. I approached Reverend Al Sharpton, an old friend from our days at City College of New York, to engage President Trump and the black population existentially as they are and watch the chemical reaction!

I did not get a definite yes answer!

In the end, succeeding economically with one’s population will necessitate the Singapore formula: work with what you have while shaking the jar to get a better result, as Claude Steele, provost of Columbia University, has put in his book “Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us”.

Educate the population to the highest degree

I have in a previous essay demonstrated the necessity in this globalized world for each nation to prepare its people to face the reality of a dwindling job market. In spite of the high hope of the nineties that globalization would be the panacea to solve the world economy it has brought, as the Harvard economist Dani Rodnick indicated, job losses and depressed wages. The economic integration that should have brought social integration has instead introduced strangulation, with irreversible political and economic cost.

South Asia, with China in particular, has been the only region of the world that has truly profited from globalization. To get out of that morass, as was set out in my essay on Required Reading, each nation must endow its citizens with the best education possible. Those citizens will themselves create value added jobs that will benefit not only their own country but the entire humanity. The examples abound from Finland to Silicon Valley, California, how the young geeks are discovery or fabricating new apps that make life more exciting for African or European youths.

The government must make excellent schooling not only at the primary or secondary level affordable for all, but technical and professional savvy for the growing population should also be in the political agenda. Les Miserables de la Modernity, the master book that I refer to so often, tells everything any leader should know in building a nation.

Quoting my own writing on the issue

“…each nation should engage into the policy of facilitating and incubating a critical mass of highly educated people with the creativity filled with the native cultural touch that will create sustainable value-added products keen on protecting and enhancing the human species. Leading the proposition to its ultimate solution, each nation should engage into the policy of facilitating and incubating a critical mass of highly educated people with the creativity filled with the native cultural touch that will create sustainable value-added products keen on protecting and enhancing the human species.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo may have understood that principle when he led the New York legislature to abolish recently all fees for New York resident college students with parents earning less than $125,000 per year.

Elevate the nation to it spiritual zenith

A society with well to do and educated citizens with no spiritual values ends up as ancient Rome or Greece – nations that have been! What happened to Corinth, cursed by God for its depraved lifestyle, will happen to the people of any nation that does not respect the principles that all God’s creatures have value and they must be respected.

The United States in its creation laid down a constitution that is a model for the whole world; yet, it was imperfect in denying the full rights of citizenship to the black population. Abraham Lincoln perfected the Union by going to war to include blacks as full citizens. His death two years later left the nation orphaned for 100 years. Dr Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson embraced the task of elevating the nation to its spiritual mission of hospitality for all.

The United States is still in search of a leader who will galvanize the people to stop shooting at each other. The progress achieved by a sector of the black population has been at best crass, at worst very insufficient. The BET culture spread all over the world has polluted the globe. Danney Haiphong, writing for the Black Agenda report in an article titled “Jay-Z and the rest of his class belongs in the dustbin of history”, said, “The existence of black celebrities as well the ascendance of Barack Obama did very little to alleviate the wealth disparity between white America and black America, it would take 228 years for black Americans to access the wealth of white America.”

He added, “Jay-Z ideology has been shaped by the rise of parasitic class that stands in total opposition to the liberation of not just Black Power but of humanity itself.”

The politics of Governor Nelson Rockefeller 30 years ago of long term prison sentences for minor drug use and sale has led countless number of young black men to spend their prime youth in prison. Out of jail now, they are also polluting the country and the rest of the world through the power of the American media with the culture of poverty filled with crass aspiration, ambition and inspiration.

Someone should be working on that issue: to raising the spiritual spirit of the United States and by ricochet the rest of the world?

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis, an odd trio, is at least placing the issue on the table.
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