Thursday, June 04, 2015

Bro.Feed: What Happened to the Rt. Hon.Michael Manley's Organic Competency Development Agenda?

systemicdisorder |  A small country immiserates itself under orders of international lenders; unemployment and poverty rise, the debt burden increases and investment is starved in favor of paying interest on loans. If this sounds familiar, it is, but the country here is Jamaica.

So disastrous has austerity been for Jamaica that its per capita gross domestic product is lower than it was 20 years ago, the worst performance of any country in the Western Hemisphere. In just three years, from the end of 2011 to the end of 2014, real wages have fallen 17 percent and are expected to fall further in 2015, according to the country’s central bank, the Bank of Jamaica.
Such is the magic of austerity, or “structural adjustment programs,” to use the official euphemism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

A new paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, “Partners in Austerity: Jamaica, the United States and the International Monetary Fund,” reports that the amount of money Jamaica will use to pay interest (not even the principal) on its debt will be more than four times what it will spend on capital expenditures in 2015 and 2016. And despite a new loan, the country actually paid more to the IMF than it received in disbursements from the IMF during 2014!

As a further sign of the times, the current pro-austerity government of Jamaica is led by the National People’s Party, the party of former democratic socialist President Michael Manley. President Manley took office in 1972 on promises to combat social inequality and injustice, and he is credited with enacting legislation intended to establish a national minimum wage, pay equality for women, maternity leave with pay, the right of workers to join trade unions, free education to the university level, and education reforms that enabled students and teachers to be represented on school boards.
He also became an international figure advocating for progressive programs to be implemented elsewhere. Naturally, this did not sit well with the United States government. When President Manley stood with Angola against the invasion by the apartheid South African régime and supported Cuban assistance to Angola, he defied a warning from U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The CIA presence in the Jamaican capital, Kingston, was doubled.

A Jamaica Observer commentary noted parallels between the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile and unrest in Jamaica later in the 1970s:
“The imperialists applied the same ‘successful’ Chile model of destabilisation in Jamaica. They applied the same strategy of ‘making the economy scream,’ creating artificial shortages of basic items, promoting violence, including the savage murder of 150 people in a home for the elderly. Violence erupted in Jamaica as was never seen before in the ‘shock and awe’ tactics mastered by the imperialists whenever they want to create fundamental change in someone else’s country. Manley and Jamaica yielded under the pressure and eventually took the IMF route.”
Replacing human development with austerity
The conservative who took office in 1980 reversed President Manley’s programs. By the time that President Manley returned to office in 1989, he had moved well to the right under the impact of changing world geopolitical circumstances and the dominance of neoliberal ideology. As an obituary in The Economist dryly put it, “He did as the IMF told him, liberalised foreign exchange and speeded up the privatisation of state enterprises.”

The one-size-fits-all program, a condition of IMF and World Bank loans, includes currency devaluation (making imports more expensive), mass privatization of state assets (usually done at fire-sale prices), cuts to wages and the prioritization of the profits of foreign capital over a country’s own welfare. The 2001 film Life and Debt, produced and directed by Stephanie Black, depicted a country on its knees thanks to “structural adjustment.” The film’s Web site sets up the picture then this way:
“The port of Kingston is lined with high-security factories, made available to foreign garment companies at low rent. These factories are offered with the additional incentive of the foreign companies being allowed to bring in shiploads of material there tax-free, to have them sewn and assembled and then immediately transported out to foreign markets. Over 10,000 women currently work for foreign companies under sub-standard work conditions. The Jamaican government, in order to ensure the employment offered, has agreed to the stipulation that no unionization is permitted in the Free Trade Zones. Previously, when the women have spoken out and attempted to organize to improve their wages and working conditions, they have been fired and their names included on a blacklist ensuring that they never work again.”


Constructive_Feedback said...


You should read the message board posts on "The Jamaican Gleaner".

There are key players that we need to focus upon:

2) The Political Parties In Jamaica that practice "100% Brinkmanship"
3) The Flock Of Sheep that align themselves to their respective PARTY rather than THE INTERESTS OF THE NATION
4) The International Monetary Fund
5) The United States and Britain
6) The Jamaican Expats living in the USA and UK
7) The Rank & File Inside Of Jamaica whose notions of Economics and their "Access To Resources" (fuel) are abstracted - and they will riot if you attempt to impose economic discipline

You are indeed correct that Jamaica is a train wreck at this point.
As much as I agree that the IMF is an example of "Vulture Capitalism" (when it has a nation that yields itself up to be scavenged) the antics within Jamaica (the politicians and parties) must accept their share of the blame.

When I ask people to DEFINE "FREEDOM" - we have to conclude that modern day Jamaica has not manifest it in their actions.

Prime Minister Simpson drew praise with her intention to remove the "Queen Of England" from "The Head Of State". A symbolic move. Yet if you don't build up the institutions and expectations of what must be done TO BE A FREE STANDING STATE, without dependence upon the "Commonwealth" and its transfer of funds - then this "NATIONALISTIC" move that drew cheers would ultimately prove to be a death nail because of your lack of substance.

Thanks goodness that the Expats send money back into the Jamaican economy or it would have already collapsed.

CNu said...

Are you saying that the Rt.Hon.Bro.Manley was a high-yalla black fox confidence man? Or did he simply lack the testicular fortitude and dirty fighting skills required to combat the CIA/MI-6's 00 agents of systemic chaos and disorder? Did he and his government and party get taken like every single american black nationalist movement got "taken" by Cointelpro back in the day?

I don't really think it's very complicated at all. As a daily fan of Tony's Kansas City blog, I see the machinations of the 2nd/3rd line inheritors of the civil rights movement as they undertake a low-voter turnout political renaissance of sorts with the city council and the school board. A raft of proven grifters and incompetents organized under church roofs, drawing from the legal, educational, failed development, and nationalist fronts is gearing up for an attempt at a grand pocket-lining extravaganza.

Nothing terribly complicated about any of it. They're all nickle and dime, and nary a one of them is serious enough or hard/hard-core enough to go toe-to-toe with the old-line civic community in Kansas City. In the game of economic and political hard ball, which very definitely includes ruining and killing adversaries, these folks have never been and will never be up to the ruthless tasks at hand.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Brother Cnu:

Your insight please.

Why is the International Monetary Fund - which is the villain in the Jamaica story - today asking that the US Federal Reserve Bank hold off on raising interest rates that it charges US Banks, until 2016 - because THE WORLD ECONOMY is too weak right now to absorb these rate increases DRIVEN BY US FISCAL POLICY?

CNu said...

Cause Christiane Legarde has serious struggles with Greece and maintaining the fragile ties that bond the EU - and as we all know - those hotheaded Greeks are seriously prone to riot when they feel like they're being bent over by the banksters.

But what does that have to do with Jamaica? What inquiring minds want to know is, did the Rt.Hon.Bro.Manley sell-out the Jamaican people and would you classify him as a fundamentalist progressive black fox confidence man? If you don't know the answer to this question, then axe the Mrs. for her opinion.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Ahhh you want me to specifically speak about Manley.

After listening to the video at length the first thing that comes to mind (a day later) is: DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM CAN'T WORK AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL.

"Socialism among interested parties who seek to gain advantage by shared sacrifice" while contenting against ANOTHER GROUP or "The Clueless Consumer" inside of an economy boundary - YES.

Manley stated something to the effect of: "I had no idea that people with business interests would be so hostile to SHARING FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE NATIONAL GOOD". (He then went on to wish that he had more business experience in order to relate to their position).

The point that he let on to, while it flew over his head is - IF A AM AN OWNER OF PRODUCTIVE ASSETS and I see YOU calling for "Sharing For The National Good" - 9.5 times out of 10 - there is going to be a NET FLOW OF MY WEALTH from my control into the PUBLIC SQUARE than you will see a "Democratic Socialist" being aware of the VALUABLES that "The Poor" have, that THEY TOO MUCH DONATE TO THE PUBLIC SQUARE.

Here is the deep part CNu:
* While the BUSINESS MAN may be motivated to have the poor donate their LABOR at a favorable rate to HIM


BigDonOne said...

CNu wrote -- " we all know those hotheaded Greeks are seriously prone to riot when they feel like they're being bent over by the banksters..." There he goes [OMG] stereotyping again...

Or is it perfectly acceptable when backed-up by the facts...??

CNu said...

Is "business interests" a euphemism for colonial occupiers in a country such as Jamaica? Independence, however widely celebrated in Jamaica, has in more recent
years been a topic for discussion. In 2011, a survey done showed that
approximately 60% of Jamaicans would push to once again become a British territory; citing years of social and fiscal mismanagement in the country.[30]

CNu said...

lol, I had to whitelist you. For some reason unbeknownst to me, disqus now classifies comments emanating from your username and IP address as spam.