Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 26, 1999
IMF ensures workers at lowest possible price
We're Easter people, so we point with hope to the abolishment of slavery in the U.S. and the subsequent civil rights movement of Martin Luther King in the 1960s to prove that the struggle for justice is a slow process but that "we will overcome."
The defeat of the apartheid policy in South Africa bolsters this optimism. We also tend to rank the defeat of communism in this list of accomplishments which resulted in mayhem in Eastern Europe and gave birth to the unopposed Bretton Woods new economic order.
However, slavery has not been abolished but moved further south out of sight in free trade zones and maquillas of the poorest nations of the world. The new economic order is simply the blatant effort of the corporate world, unfettered by socialist resistance to maximize profits by lowering the cost of production.
Since labour constitutes about 80 per cent of production, big transnational conglomerates hunt down the cheapest labour possible. People on the edge of starvation are prepared to work for next to nothing in order to stay alive.
We've allowed this genocidal policy to flourish like the good Germans allowed concentration camps during the Nazi regime.
Free trade zones are deregulated to allow transnat-ionals to produce and sell their products free of tariffs and taxes and free from the enforcement of labour and environmental laws.
Domestic markets are flooded with cheap imported goods against which local producers cannot compete. People have no alternative but to line up for a job at the foreign-owned maquillas for a dollar a day.
The abhorrent conditions under which people (90 per cent are young women) live, work and die are the result of the economic structures imposed on poor countries by the mercenary henchmen of the new economic order, the IMF and the World Bank in collaboration with the World Trade Organization, GATT and the G7.
Structural adjustment programs (SAP) and the more severe extended structural adjustment facility agreements (ESAFs) are intended to ensure first and foremost that debtor nations will be able to make their debt payments to foreign financial institutions.
The supposed economic recovery scheme requires governments to reduce and eliminate essential services such as health and education and subsidies on basic foods or programs to provide potable water.
The net result is an alarming increase in the rate of unemployment, illiteracy, malnutrition, epidemics of known and unidentified disease, loss of production through sickness, environmental destruction, massive displacement of farmers and woeful social conditions which lead to civil unrest.
Paradoxically, the IMF and World Bank with their stated aim of global stability have been responsible for toppling more governments than Marx and Lenin put together. The problem is that in all their scientific calculations they don't consider the negative costs of their economic recovery schemes. The bottom line is: do the banks get paid?
Graham Hancock writes in Lords of Poverty: "Long after the experts and professionals have packed their bags and their cute ethnic souvenirs, boarded their aircraft and fled northwards, the ill-conceived development projects that they have been responsible for continue to wreck the lives of the poor."
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