Although some comparisons between Haiti’s 7.0 earthquake in January and Chile’s 8.8 quake this weekend have attributed the massive differences in devastation and lives lost (230,000 vs. some 700 respectively) to different enforcement of building codes and planning, the real reason for Chile’s superior ability to endure the disaster has everything to do with its vastly higher level of economic freedom, reliable rule of law, and the much higher level of prosperity that results. Here are three good articles that make those points:
Bret Stephens on “How Milton Friedman Saved Chile”
John Stossel on “A Tale of Two Quakes”
Anne Applebaum, “Chile and Haiti: A Look at Earthquakes and Politics”
And here’s a piece I wrote on Haiti explaining how economic freedom could have dramatically reduced death and destruction there.