It occurs to me that some of my better comments appear on other blogs. Via Disqus (which will be added to my new, much-delayed blogs), here is a comment I made on Fred Wilson's blog on the big outpouring of charitable donations in response to the earthquake in Haiti:
I am curious where all of this money will go. It seems like absolutely enormous amounts of money are being raised for Haiti right now (Whole Foods has its cashiers soliciting donations, for example).
Ideally, Doctors without Borders and other respected charities will get to keep some of these donations for future disasters. There is, in a sense, an inefficient market for charity, and organizations ought to be able to keep some of the surge money they raise for future contingencies (and be honest about that). I remember the controversy after 9/11 when the Red Cross planned to use some of the huge amount of money it raised to build blood banks (if memory serves), but public outcry forced them to spend it all on 9/11, even though government aid was already flooding in. I remember hearing about the challenges the Red Cross had in trying to donate all that money.
Haiti, as a perennial failed state, presents challenges of its own. Once the survivors have been pulled from the rubble, treated and fed; once the dead have been buried -- then what?
The editorial cartoon above, by Peter Brookes, is from the Times Online.