Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jamaica Life and Debt

Last night our local Amnesty International chapter showed the movie Life and Debt, a documentary about Jamaica's experience with the IMF and the World Bank. I found this movie to be excellent in its portrayal of the relationship between a developing country and the IMF - including the outcomes and, hopefully, unintended consequences that result. The approach taken in the documentary is to contrast the experience of tourists who arrive in a beautiful Caribbean destination resort and the lives of the people whose country is indebted to the IMF. What appears to be a systematic dismantling of the local economy, by the terms imposed by the international community, perpetuates a cycle of debt and poverty. Unfortunately it would appear that the interests of American and multinational corporations reign while the hopes, dreams, and prosperity of individuals, families and communities are disposable.
Is there not enough that has been learned following decades of failed policy that the time has arrived for new approaches can be considered. In the world of organizations and quality there is a truism - the definition of insanity is trying the same things while expecting different results. Different results need new thinking - thinking that is grounded in whole system approaches and community. I am sure that when people who have been working to examine alternative ways of viewing system level problems are brought together with people who are skilled in facilitating whole system processes along with decision makers who truly want to break the poverty cycle - new thinking can emerge that is a win win win.
Please - we owe it to the people in our world who are trapped in circumstances beyond their ability to influence to try.

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