The notion that these things are why Haiti is poor is arrant nonsense. In fact I've just read the whole column and virtually the whole thing is nonsense. It starts at the very beginning of the piece, where Brooks confuses GDP growth with poverty alleviation. The two are related but they are not the same. You can have a lot of GDP growth without much poverty alleviation, and vice-versa. This has been obvious for decades. Then there's all this stuff about culture and poverty. It's a convenient device to obscure the way in which global institutional and economic structures (in which we're all complicit) create conditions that facilitate the continuation of poverty and maldistribution. To be sure, there are local differences. The Dominican Republic is much better off than Haiti. But is that because they have different cultures, because the Dominican Republic has "a culture of achievement" and Haiti doesn't? I don't think so. In all likelihood it's a result of complicated histories (including U.S. occupation) and the different ways they are positioned in the regional and global economies, among other things.
"As Lawrence E. Harrison explained in his book 'The Central Liberal Truth,' Haiti, like most of the world’s poorest nations, suffers from a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences. There is the influence of the voodoo religion, which spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile. There are high levels of social mistrust. Responsibility is often not internalized. Child-rearing practices often involve neglect in the early years and harsh retribution when kids hit 9 or 10."
I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about Haiti, except what I see and read in the media. But David Brooks knows nothing about global poverty and its causes and possible solutions. An intelligent seventh-grader could have written a better column than this piece of garbage.