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There's GOLD in them thar hills!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Phrossack, May 12, 2012.

  1. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47398045/ns/world_news-americas/

    I'm hopeful for Haiti, which desperately needs good news (and my brother's from there), but that last sentence is my big concern. Historically, when a poor country with a corrupt government is found to have a major resource deposit, bad things happen, namely foreign exploitation, massive corruption, and civil war.
     
  2. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Well, part of the good news is that there's not much ecosystem to preserve, eh?

    I think it could be a real boom, honestly. But it would have to be done without as much corruption as we've seen elsewhere. I wonder if the attention of Bill Clinton, and other famous do-gooders, will help keep the process honest?
     
  3. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    They use cyanide in gold production don't they? I anticipate disaster...
     
  4. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    I let out a guffaw at that last sentence.
     
  5. Babbler

    Babbler Deity

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    I knew it!

    On a serious note, yeah I don't it's going to end well.
     
  6. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    You should worry about this sentence also! Valuable Resources straddling a badly-controlled border is a recipe for trouble.
     
  7. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    This seems like yet another way for them to be exploited from the outside. Also, an abundance in a natural resource that, carefully used, could make them rich, doesn't mean they'll be able to solve their problems if the mining or managment is done in a corrupt fashion. I daresay once the oil era is over, the middle east will be no better off despite its decades of wealth.
     
  8. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    This could either be really really good for them, or really really bad.
     
  9. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    Won't go well. I also won't be surprised if it's a Canadian mining company that winds up swindling them out of their resources; we seem to be uniquely good at that.
     
  10. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Resource extraction like this might be better than nothing, but it rarely results in making the general public all that much better off.
     
  11. ArneHD

    ArneHD Just a little bit mad

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    For Haiti, this will simply bring down the resource curse. I really can see no other outcome. I wonder if that makes me a pessimist or a realist.
     
  12. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Somehow I don't think this will happen.
     
  13. Trev

    Trev Prince

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    Gold is an expensive metal to mine, it is always in pretty low concentrations in the ore, and therefore costs are high to refine it. Gold mines in Australia have gone bust from the high costs, so I cannot see how this could be a massive boon for Haiti unless gold prices soar a lot more, the high cost of extraction means the governments ability to tax royalties and income are not as high as most people would think.
    In Australia the government is putting a supertax on miners to grab extra money, but the miners they have targeted are iron ore and coal miners, apparently not enough money in gold to go after gold miners.
     
  14. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    I have a feeling that Haiti will always be poor.
     
  15. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    A resource boom really can be wealth-creating, though. It doesn't always have to fail
     
  16. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    It seems to always bring disaster upon any country with a weak, corrupt government, though. Haiti has a weak, corrupt government and two centuries of almost unrelenting poverty and misery.
     
  17. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    Well, if nothing else, mining companies would need to build up some infrastructure to get the gold out of the country.
     
  18. Oerdin

    Oerdin Deity

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    No better off? Are you mad? Just go to Dubai to see the level of development which they've been able to achieve with that oil money. 50 years ago it literally was just empty desert now it's one of the world's greatest cities and even when the oil runs out the roads, cities, water plants, and all the other development will remain so it has clearly helped them develop.
     
  19. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    1) Gold has a far lower return on investment than oil and gas.
    2) Not all oil and gas are created equal, and the resources Dubai have are some of the best in the world.
    3) Dubai has a small population compared to the value of the resource, Haiti has a large population compared to the value of the resource.
    4) Most places with a windfall of income don't end up spending it on things which will have value in the future. To a large extent that's even true of Dubai. They've done better than most, and location has allowed them to build substantially on the starting capital from oil and gas. Most other oil and gas exporters are going to end up dirt poor once the resource is exhausted. So it's not really something you can say with certainty will cause them a great benefit.
    5) The permanent corruption and government mismanagement of Haiti can destroy any advantage, even if they struck one of the world's great oil deposits.
     
  20. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    If good oil was found in Hati, I think the US government would either decide there are terrorists in Hati or that nation-building was needed.
     

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