In Search Of The Red Cross’ $500 Million In Haiti Relief

Go Lean Commentary

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste” – familiar expression coined by American Economist Paul Romer.

This expression is prominent in the introduction of the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The motives of the book publishers are to exploit the post-2008 economic crises to forge change in the Caribbean region. But in this case, it appears that another party has utilized a Caribbean crisis to exploit the public for monies for their own coffers; that party is the American Red Cross.

Immediately after the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010 many Non-Government Organizations (NGO), including the American Red Cross, embarked on fundraising campaigns to raise money for the response, relief and rebuilding of Haiti. The Red Cross held a Telethon, complete with text message fundraising:

Text [the word] Haiti to 90999

… and boom, $10 would be billed to the respondent’s mobile phone account and encumbered for the American Red Cross’s Aid to Haiti. (Note: this writer contributed via text message in 2010).

$500 Million In Haiti Relief - Photo 1

How successful was this fundraising campaign? US$500 million! How successful was the relief and rebuilding of Haiti campaign? Still waiting…

VIDEO – Report highlights Red Cross aid failures in Haiti

Published on Jun 3, 2015 – Following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the American Red Cross raised close to 500 million dollars and promised to help rebuild the country’s communities. A new report by ProPublica and NPR unearth a number of confidential memos and insider accounts that stand in sharp contrast to the public picture painted by the organization. CBSN spoke to co-author of the report, Justin Elliott.

This consideration aligns with the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies of the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The declaration is that the Caribbean must be front-and-center in providing for our own solutions. The alternative, someone else taking the lead for our solution seems to be lacking…every time!

For us in the Caribbean, we need to grow up and more responsible ourselves! We need to stand up and be counted!

The Go Lean book declares (Page 115):

“Haiti should not be a perennial beggar; the Caribbean should not be perennial beggars, but we do need capital/money, especially to get started”.

There was the opportunity to raise $500 million to get started. We lost out!

Instead the American Red Cross provided the “adult supervision” and what do we have to show for it? According to the following AUDIO Podcast, next to nothing; (6 houses):

Appendix AUDIO Podcast: NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ –

By Laura Sullivan – When a devastating earthquake leveled Haiti in 2010, millions of people donated to the American Red Cross. The charity raised almost half a billion dollars. It was one of its most successful fundraising efforts ever.
The American Red Cross vowed to help Haitians rebuild, but after five years the Red Cross’ legacy in Haiti is not new roads, or schools, or hundreds of new homes. It’s difficult to know where all the money went.
Source: National Public Radio (NPR) – Radio Podcast for Fresh Air; posted 06/03/2015; retrieved from:

This is just another example of Crony-Capitalism.

This is not only the Go Lean commentary, but rather many of the general public voiced this same concern on the cited NPR website; see sample here:

Public Comment by “TheUnPossible” on June 3, 2015: Perhaps they should do what they do best. Serve coffee, give-out blankets and draw blood. This reminds me of a lot of the other high-profile charities like Susan G. Komen and United Way that just become a black-hole for donations. They’re like a church. They get people to give them tons of cash and promise salvation if people just believe in them.

Public Comment by “Unpartisan” on June 3, 2015: They’re like a church. They get people to give them tons of cash and promise salvation if people just believe in them.” Sounds like many politicians and government agencies as well, good analogy.

Public Comment by “James Hulsey” on June 3, 2015: I haven’t trusted the American Red Cross since 9/11, when they were fundraising for 9/11 relief efforts and then shunted the extra money into their general fund.

Public Comment by “TravelingOne” on June 4, 2015: No – the Red Cross:… And one of the reasons they no longer get any money from me; nor does United Way (UW) however.

Public Comment by “DCRich” on June 4, 2015: Local UW chapters often are worse. They coerce poorly paid employees of agencies they support to contribute with the implication that support to the agency is influenced by this. They try to engage new agencies with the same kind of appeal. Most of their money goes to orgs that have no trouble fundraising on their own like the Y and Scouts. Basically, they’re a middleman that allows the business community to interfere with and take credit or the work of “charity”. Giving money directly to some org[anization] you actually know something about is better than giving a cut to UW or CFC [(Combined Federal Campaign) for federal government employees].

The book and subsequent blogs posit that the Caribbean must not be vulnerable to American Crony-Capitalistic forces.

“We can do bad all by ourselves”.

The dread of Crony-Capitalism was highlighted and detailed in many previous blog commentaries; see Appendix below. Now we have to add the reality of Big Charity to the landscape; referring to the big organizations that fleece the public under the guise of charities but retain vast majorities of the funding as administrative costs, thusly benefiting mostly the charities’ executives and staff rather than the intended benefactors.

The Caribbean must do better! We need a Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on this issue.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean pursues the quest to elevate the Caribbean region through economic, security and governance empowerments. This includes oversight and guidance for NGO’s in the region. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to provide better stewardship for the Caribbean homeland. The book describes that NGO’s are Caribbean stakeholders. Even though many of the 30 member-states may be considered independent nations, the premise of the book is that there must be an ethos of interdependence, rather than just independence. This all relates to governance, the need for technocratic – and better – stewardship of regional Caribbean society. This point was also pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 & 14) with these acknowledgements and statements:

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xxxiii. Whereas lessons can be learned and applied from the study of the recent history of other societies, the Federation must formalize statutes and organizational dimensions to avoid the pitfalls of [other] communities.

$500 Million In Haiti Relief - Photo 2This is the quest of CU/Go Lean roadmap: to provide new guards for a more competent Caribbean administration … by governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations. (NGO would be promoted, audited and overseen by CU administrators).

This crisis should not be wasted!

In general, the CU will employ better strategies, tactics and implementations to impact its prime directives; identified with the following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant engines and mitigate internal and external “bad actors”.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean book stresses key community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies necessary to turn-around the eco-systems of Caribbean governance. These points are detailed in the book as follows:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Respond to Incentives in   Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence   Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Consequences of Choices Lie in   the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Security Principles – Whistleblower Protection Page 23
Community Ethos – Security Principles – Intelligence Gathering Page 23
Community Ethos – Security Principles – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Arounds Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations – South Africa TRC Model Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing – Emergency Response Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate all 30 member-states/ 4 languages into a Single Market Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Prepare for the eventuality of natural disasters Page 45
Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change Page 57
Tactical – Ways to Foster a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing the Economy – Post WW II European Marshall Plan/Recovery Model Page 68
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – CU Federal Government versus Member-State Governance Page 71
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – Treasury Department – Shared Property Recording Systems Page 74
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – State Department – Liaison/Oversight for NGO’s Page 80
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – Interior Department – Housing & Urban Authority Page 83
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – Federal Courts – Truth & Reconciliation Commissions Page 90
Implementation – Assemble All Regionally-focus Organizations of All Caribbean Communities Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Homeland   Security Pact Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices – Governance and the Social Contract Page 134
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices – Governance and the Social Contract Page 134
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Housing – Optimizing Property Registration Process Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Natural Disasters Page 184
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Develop a Pre-Fab Housing Industry – One solution ideal for Haiti Page 207
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Foundations – NGO’s can help deliver Social Contract Page 219
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Haiti Page 238
Appendix – Philanthropy Pledge Signatories – Billionaires willing to “give” to an optimized  technocracy Page 292

The Go Lean roadmap seeks to empower and elevate Caribbean societal engines. While it is out-of-scope to impact America, we do not want American institutions (or European or Asian for that matter) exploiting our crisis for their gain.

Charity begins at home. (And should be managed at home). Online crowd-sourcing may be a better tool.

The Go Lean book calls on the Caribbean region to be collectively self-reliant, both proactively and reactively. Natural disasters (i.e. earthquakes and hurricanes) will occur again. Considering our efforts in our disaster response, relief and rebuilding – there will be many opportunities to get it right. Once we do … get it right – with an optimized technocracy – there will be more philanthropic funds and charitable donations to help our Caribbean causes. NGO’s, billionaires and their well-funded foundations are attracted to efficiently managed entities:

Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves – Old Adage.

Our quest is simple, a regional effort to make the Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix – Models of American Crony-Capitalism

Big Defense Many theorists indicate that the “follow the money” approach reveals the Military Industrial Complex work to undermine peace, so as to increase defense spending for military equipment, systems and weapons.
Big Media Cable companies conspire to keep rates high; kill net neutrality; textbook publishers practice price gouging; Hollywood insists on big tax breaks/ subsidies for on-location shooting.
Big Oil While lobbying for continuous tax subsidies, the industry have colluded to artificially keep prices high and garner rocket profits ($38+ Billion every quarter).
Big Box Retail chains impoverish small merchants on Main Street with Antitrust-like tactics, thusly impacting community jobs. e-Commerce, an area of many future prospects, is the best hope of countering these bad business tactics.
Big Pharma Chemo-therapy cost $20,000+/month; and the War against Cancer is imperiled due to industry profit insistence.
Big Tobacco Cigarettes are not natural tobacco but rather latent with chemicals to spruce addiction.
Big Agra Agribusiness concerns bully family farmers and crowd out the market; plus fight common sense food labeling efforts.
Big Data Brokers for internet and demographic data clearly have no regards to privacy concerns.
Big Banks Wall Street’s damage to housing and student loans are incontrovertible.
Big Weather Overblown hype of “Weather Forecasts” to dictate commercial transactions.
Big Real Estate Preserving MLS for Real Estate brokers only, forcing 6% commission rates, when the buyers and sellers can meet without them.
Big Salt Despite the corrosiveness of salt on roads and the environment, it is the only tactic   used to de-ice roads. Immediately after the weather warms, the roads must be re-constructed, thus ensuring a continuous economic cycle.
Big Energy The For-Profit utility companies always lobby against regulations to “clean-up” fossil-fuel (coal) power plants or block small “Green” start-ups from sending excess power to the National Grid. Their motive is to preserve their century-long monopoly and their profits.
Big Legal Even though it is evident that the promotion of Intellectual Property can help   grow economies, the emergence of Patent Trolling parties (mostly lawyers) is squashing innovation. These ones are not focused on future innovations, rather just litigation. They go out and buy patents, then look for anyone that may consume any concepts close to those patents, then sue for settlements, quick gains.
Big Cruise Cruise ships are the last bastion of segregation with descriptors like “modern-day-slavery” and “sweat-ships”. Working conditions are poor and wages are far below anyone’s standards of minimum. Many ship-domestic staff are “tip earners”, paid only about US$50 a month and expected to survive on the generosity of the passengers’ gratuity. The industry staff with personnel from Third World countries, exploiting those with desperate demands. Nowhere else in the modern world is this kind of job discrimination encouraged, accepted or tolerated.
Big Jails The private prison industry seem motivated more by profit than by public safety. They attempt to sue state governments when their occupancy levels go too low; a reduction in crime is bad for business.
Big Housing The American legacy is one of the institutional segregation in American cities. The practice was administered by real estate agents and housing officials executing policies to elevate property values and generational wealth for White families at the expense of a life of squalor for Non-Whites.
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