A Criticism on Globalization

by willspeterson

“Life and Debt” a documentary by Stephanie Black is a film based on the book “A Small Place” by Jamaica Kincaid. The film deals with Jamaica, a developing country, as it struggles to compete in today’s global environment. The international the International Monetary (IMF) and the World Bank are recognized forces facilitating the foreign economy of the world, including Jamaica. The film utilizes small excerpts from “A Small Place” mostly in the beginning of the film. Black shows the impact the IMF and the World Bank has on Jamaica, which is overly negative. The World Bank for example, aims to open up the free market trade in the country of choice. This attempts to include and integrate the economy into the global market, improving the economy. In actuality it tends to weaken the economy as the implementation is not desirable.

Life and Debt takes from both points of views, but tends to be more favourable to the Jamaican peoples and how they are affected by the change. By doing the documentary on a local level, it tends to be truthful, as governments usually are corrupt, or do not share the same sentiments as its people (generalization).  The Free Trade Zone, where workers work for low amount of money, cannot unionize, over fears of unemployment echoes the practices of the IMF. Milk practices after removing import taxes, the business that was thriving in Jamaica lost out to cheaper products because developed countries receive subsidies to keep prices low. Jamaica, unable to do the same, cannot compete.  This is one of the many examples where the developed world has a huge advantage over developing countries, and a fact that countries such as Jamaica will have to deal with it.

This film succeeds in making its reader aware of the dire situations Jamaica has been put in as a result of intervention. Black does this by showing the peoples of Jamaica, struggling to work and live at the same time due to the globalization process that has occurred. It criticizes globalizations one sidedness, benefiting the developed countries during the opening of the free trade market, rendering lesser nations unable to compete.



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