From the Ghetto

In news on 2009/12/09 at 01:49

“Haitians are just poor capitalists”

Port au Prince, Haiti

Frau Fiber and Rodrique her translator where seen on the Grand Rue waiting for a Tap Tap, to the iron market, in search for a straw hat to protect her from the Haitian sun.  A Tap Tap is the Port au Prince public bus system that is privately operated by individual drivers; with their own vibrantly decorated vehicles, many of which bear slogans praising god’s love!  This private system is good for the riders as it keeps the price competitive, only 5 goudes, or about 10 cents US.  Upon arrival they were met with an array of items for sale, meat, produce, voodoo candles, herbs and Haitian handy crafts.  Upon departure Frau Fiber’s was seen wearing the perfect hat to keep the sun off, Frau Fiber was quoted as saying “Shopping in the Iron Market has been one of the many mediated experiences I have experienced during my stay in Haiti”.

In the five days sense her arrival, Frau Fiber has observed an immense amount of unregulated trade, where the street vendor prevails.  When discussing this with Rodrique, he said, “Haitians are just poor capitalists.”  Although she is discovering not all Haitians are poor. Frau Fiber finds herself becoming infected with this capitalistic attitude, as she discovers what ways of developing textile production jobs in Haiti, merging as she pepe (US apparel waste) and fair wages.  How is a fair wage defined, minimum wage is Haiti has just been raised to 5.50 a day, and she’s paying her workers between 7-50, depending on the skill level.

It’s challenging to be a textile activist and a global apparel entrepenure.

  1. I’m now questioning whether this minimum wage increase is actually true. There seems to be have discussion back in May, but other googling suggests the wage was compromised down to 3 dollars a day in August, and I can’t find any major source suggesting the new minimum wage actually is 5.50. Do you know where you heard this? It was on the table, but may not have made it. It is fascinating in and of itself that this is apparently a difficult question to answer online.

  2. BTW this seems to me a really good story / comment on the situation.

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