Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two Jolts for Capitalism

It's like by sending these two earthquakes the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, or whatever gods there may be wanted to demonstrate to an ignorant humanity the benefits of capitalism.

Chile is Latin America's most capitalist and consequently most developed country. Haiti is Latin America's most backward. But to call it socialist or fascist wouldn't be accurate. Even socialism and fascism imply some sort of order, however brutish. It's more like it's generally corrupt and uncivilized.

With the wealth generated by capitalism, Chileans can afford stronger buildings, heavy equipment, and disaster management infrastructure.

Now let's have a look at how the cold, hard facts stack up.


Haiti — 7.0 Mw

Chile — 8.8 Mw, the world's strongest earthquake in more than five years, about five hundred times stronger than the Haiti quake (scale is logarithmic).


Haiti — 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings collapsed or severely damaged. The earthquake caused major damage to Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, and other settlements in the region. Many notable landmark buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail.

Chile — According to an Associated Press Television News cameraman, some buildings have collapsed in Santiago and there are power outages in parts of the city.


Haiti — 217,000+

Chile — 708+


(All figures from everybody's favorite collectivist joke of a would-be encyclopedia.)

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