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At Behest of IMF, Jamaicans Face Most Harsh Austerity Policies In World: Report


#1

At Behest of IMF, Jamaicans Face Most Harsh Austerity Policies In World: Report

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Thanks to policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund and embraced by the domestic government, the Caribbean nation of Jamaica—saddled with poverty and international debt—has the most severe austerity budget on the planet, a new report from the U.S.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research reveals.


#2

Nothing like drawing blood out of a corpse or beating a dead horse.. The income inequality and rampant abject poverty that are endemic in Jamaica make austerity policies completely absurd. Were it not for the tourist trade, Jamaica would be completely destitute. Even with all its lush tropical splendor and beautiful beaches (co-opted for the most part by private resorts), the poverty cannot be masked or avoided.


#3

It is the tourist trade that helps render Jamaica (and other islands in the Caribbean) poor. The industry is a by-product of the first rounds of Structural Adhustment Jamaica underwent during the 1970s and 80s. The tourist trade, unlike agriculture and artisinal fishing (the traditional forms of employment), is capital-intensive and requires little labour. This means it is the rich who invest and own the beach fronts, the hotels and docks for cruise ships.

Since its independence in the 1960s, Jamaica has been plundered by the Canadian firm Alcan, for its bauxite. But resource extraction industries are even more capital-intensive, reliant on even fewer labourers. In fact, few SAPs promoted labour-intesive activities. Why? Because a working population (especially in a Commonwealth Caribbean context where literacy is fairly high) would be better able to affect policy as its taxes render the islands less reliant on outside "aid", customs duties and/or the property taxes levied on tourism and extraction industries.


#4

The plan is to turn Jamaica into an exclusive playground for the world's elite. A small percentage of the native population will be useful as servants. The rest? I imagine some excuse will be found to eradicate them. Putting on the financial squeeze to incite the Jamaicans to give them that excuse sounds about par for the course we are headed on.

I remember a movie I saw 20 or more years ago about black humans being used as game in a hunting reserve for the rich...


#5

Please! why does everyone refuse to see the wood in the trees?
There is one, and only one, cause of all our economic woes. During the early 1900's our stupid/corrupt politicians signed away our Sovereign "rights" , that allowed us to print and issue our own interest free, debt free money; and since then we have all become "debt slaves". Our rights to print and issue our own money out of thin air were ceded to private banking Corporations, thus now, we borrow all our money from them, and they simply print it out of thin air, and charge us interest for the privilege. Given the nature of our economic cycles, the booms and busts, it is virtually impossible for us ever to repay all such debts, especially since, when they print our borrowings, they do not also print the money to cover the interest repayments. This particular economic consequence was recorded centuries ago in the well known fable about the boy who possessed a goose that laid "golden" eggs; he sold the goose for a paltry sum and forever thereafter he was destitute.

The remedy for our problems is simple; we abrogate any agreement previously made, reclaim our Sovereign "rights" to print and issue our own debt free interest free money.

This will enable us to stop income-taxing of individuals; we may pay everyone that needs it a social wage, based on a break even computation, this will eliminate poverty and deprivation; those in receipt of the Social wage will be encouraged into employment, without loss of this Social wage, and to work for any employer for additional income, mutually agreed between them. this gives control of work and income to the "workman". Employers will gain a workforce of people willing to accept much lower wages than previously paid, thus making the employer production cost significantly lower; plus, the employer no longer collects taxes for the Government. The employer Corporation/business will pay tax annually as usual. The collection of V.A.T. or G.S.T., consumer taxes will cease.

All Government expenditures will be provided by the planned issue of our own debt free interest free money using legislation approved by Parliament. Health, Education, University courses, Infrastructure of all kinds, etc. etc.

Provided that all of these expenditures are actually "spent" into circulation they will not create inflation; inflation will occur, for instance, when too much money chases too few "goods". The Government must own and run it's own Bank, just like the original Commonwealth Bank. No Private Bank or Corporation will be permitted to create money, under any guise; our financial system will revert to one of "sound " money. Sound money is that which turns around sound borrowing and lending, controlled by being liquid cash, backed by the ownership of assets, and strict criteria keeping them in balance; borrowing and lending outside of these criteria, characterised as "high risk", will be permitted between parties willing to accept such risk, and then, only when it involves their own wholly owned assets.

Interest rates in the private sector will be set by the private sector. The floating exchange rate will be converted into "fixed" rates decided by Government, and as decided between Sovereign Nations and embodied in trade agreements. Our currency will not be traded on "Exchanges", our Nation will be immunised against the manipulated predations of the "Market".

The foregoing explains the broad brush strokes involved, but in summary we would have a Nation with little or no foreign debt, a Nation whose domestic economy sits on a solid unshakeable base, a Nation better able to compete in the wider World, a Nation without poverty whose peoples are empowered to think and work for themselves, a Nation rescued from the avarice of the "Money Lenders", and above all, a Government able to be free and Independent, instead of being owned by Corporate money and influence. This is named "The Universal Economy" because it will operate anywhere.

For those who doubt the efficacy of this proposal, I suggest they study the United States example. The clever banking Corporations engineered the U.S. dollar to be the Worlds reserve currency. Ever since the U.S. has been printing money out of thin air, the only Nation to do so, now they have military bases in more than one hundred and seven Nations, they have engineered regime change and wars in countless Nations, and recently have printed trillions of dollars, called quantitative easing, and poured it into foreign banks and financial Institutions trying to prevent the next meltdown; but it is not working because their printed money was not spent into circulation, instead it inflated the prices of shares and real estate, the bust cometh.


#6

We all knew this about Jamaica 16 years ago. Recall the film "Life and Debt."

Of all the catastrophes that followed the way the US reacted to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, it was the way the entire global economic justice movement caved and allowed it to get totally displaced by antiwar "anti-Bush" activity. It now need to be completely rebuilt from scratch.

How many even recognize the slogan "Another World is Possible!"?


#7

Yes, the movie is called "Ferguson, Mo."