A. Szewczul- Week Six- Cultural Boundaries or Consequences of Globalization

This is for prompt option two and I will be focusing on the movie Life and Debt.  Jamaica’s people have most of their products imported because they are cheaper to buy than items produced in their own country.  The idea was to eliminate barriers for local farmers to export their materials, but instead it made them compete on a global level which eventually led to the destruction of most farmers.  Banana farms is one of the few exports that have continued to flourish and their market consists of the UK.  Some European countries who had colonies in the Caribbean, feel that they need to help for the future.  Under the Lomé agreement, the ACP countries get certain privileges because of their colonial past.  A few of those privileges for the banana market are being tariff free for ACP countries and always being guaranteed a market.  Within the film Americans and the people of Chiquita are pressuring the World Trade Organization that the ex-colonial countries are receiving rates that are unconstitutional for everyone else.  The U.S claimed that there was no harm meant toward the Caribbean but toward Europe.  The Caribbean has no access to the American Market, but Chiquita has 95 percent access to the world.  Americans are basically fighting to have all of the banana market without ever giving thought to the Caribbean.  Chiquita doesn’t just do harm to the ACP countries, it also does harm to Latin American countries, where the bananas are produced.  The workers alone receive one dollar a day, quotas are too high, there are no Unions for the workers, sometimes pay is given late, if workers backlash the company just picks up and moves without any notification.  Another problem that has come with the movement of capital for Jamaica is the milk industry.  Jamaica wanted a 50 million US dollar loan from the Inter-American Development Bank, in order to support agriculture and manufacturing. Unfortunately, they had to abandon any local subsidies and lose control or imports on milk powder, meats, etc.  This caused an influx of milk powder and destroyed the industry for fresh milk that was being produced within the country.  The extra milk that was not sold, was dumped and drained into the ground.  This now means that there is no national food security, and when the milk powder becomes too much for Jamaicans there won’t be any fresh milk to go back to.  These are just a few things that have caused risk for the people of Jamaica, there are many more that continue to leave them as a third world country.

2 thoughts on “A. Szewczul- Week Six- Cultural Boundaries or Consequences of Globalization

  1. I liked how you honed in on these two specific examples to showcase how the sheer amount of destruction that greed can justify. Chiquita is willing to compromise local markets and the quality of the lives of its workers for the remaining five percent of market share, and the outside milk industry gladly did away with local subsidies and natural subsistence and substituted it with milk powder. Multinational corporations and the IMF justify this type of ruin through their rhetoric about “free” and “open” markets. But no direct competition between an elephant and a figurative ant of an economy can be either free or open.At one point in the movie, the former director of the IMF says that the people of Jamaica “deserve” to have access to the fast food franchises that the rest of the world enjoys. Yet, ironically, I suppose they don’t “deserve” access to adequate educational and healthcare systems nor a decent salary or standard of living. This type of blatantly erroneous rationalization often accompanies the subjugation of people; some narrative helps justify it-regardless of how baseless and insincere it is. This phenomenon is a remnant of colonialism and slavery- in which the colonizers and the slave masters conceptualized the colonized and the enslaved as inherently inferior and “deserving” of their position in society.

  2. Hey Alysha,

    I really enjoyed you post for the consequences of globalization. The in-depth synopsis of the movie we had to watch was very interesting. if this is something you like, they have a lot of documentaries on netflix that talk about global trade and the negative effects t has on developing countries. A good example is the clothing industry. Fast fashion (really cheap clothes), are made by slave laborers in developing nations. This happens due to the fact that countries are always willing to exploit there workers so corporations will come to said country . The reality of our cheap clothing is pretty grim. The market forces people o be slave labors, and punishes for asking for basic human rights. This is just one aspect of globalization though. Not all of the consequences are bad. Thanks for your informative post!

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