Name: Stephen A. Thomas - CCLCS
Date: March 14, 2012
Globalization: Definition and Impact on the Caribbean
In a book titled "The Caribbean in the Global Political Economy" (1994), Professor Hilbourne A. Watson suggests that globalization "is an intensive process that conforms to the tendencies and laws of motion of (international) capital." It "occurs in production, distribution, marketing, technology transfer, information telecommunications and other aspects of economic activity." (p.68)
Professor Watson contends that globalization "demands market liberalization and removal of obstacles that restrict the 'free' movement of capital"; it represents "neo-liberalism which is being championed by the United States and multilateral lending institutions" such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
It is in this specific instance that the IMF functions as the economic weapon under the rubric of European supremacy to destabilize and/or overthrow Third World governments that are perceived as being anti-American. The IMF achieves this goal through the imposition of harsh, draconian "conditionality measures" it imposes on these countries when they apply for assistance to solve their balance of payments problems.
These measures include: (1) abolition/liberalization of foreign exchange and import controls (2) devaluation of currency (3) implementation of anti-inflationary programs including (a) control of bank credit, higher interest rate and higher reserve requirements for commercial banks (b) control of government deficit, curbs in government social spending, increases in taxes and in the prices charged by public enterprises and abolition of consumer subsidies (c) control of wage increases and (d) dismantling of price controls and (4) provide greater hospitality to foreign investment/investors.
In addition, emphasis must be placed on enhancing the profit capability of the private sector (domestic capitalists) and foreign investors.
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