Any service that was nominally supplied by the government — including electricity, water, and garbage removal — was basically nonexistent.That is, the market hadn't provided it either.
One of the most amusing moments (at least in my eyes) occurred when I was talking with an older engineer from Seattle. Now this was a very cool guy; when he asked if I had read the State Department warning about Haiti, after I said yes he shook my hand and said, "Congratulations, you didn't listen to your government."Brilliant example of responding to incentives:
it occurred to me that maybe the local government was simply nonexistent, as opposed to being merely ineffective. I asked a few people if the government collected tax revenues, and one engineer said something like, "Well I don't know the specific numbers, but they must, because you can see all the unfinished houses." Apparently the tax code was based on completed houses, and so the residents of Leogane would make sure their buildings were in a perpetual state of construction, legally speaking.