by Douglas B. Clawson
Haiti became an independent nation on January 1, 1804. Most of its people were satisfied to be subsistence farmers. In 1809 the government began paying its soldiers with small parcels of land, and the division of the country into small farms was complete by 1843. Still today, wherever one looks outside of cities and villages, one sees small fields that provide their owners with just enough to survive.
In and of itself, subsistence farming may not seem like a bad thing for people who don't aspire to have anything more than what they need today. But as the population grows, where do the next generation and the generation after that find land for their subsistence farms? What happens when the land is drained of nutrients, there is no more land to obtain holdings for your sons, and fertilizer is too expensive? This is what a number of Caribbean and African nations wrestle with. All it takes is one bad year of crops to cause long-term harm to their national economy. Read more
by "Uncle Glen"
This morning your letter arrived about your forthcoming debate on infant baptism in Christian doctrine class. At first I wondered why your tone seemed so panic-stricken, but then I realized that your assignment is merely a week away. It seems that procrastination remains a time-honored tradition at my alma mater. Read more