The documentary titled Life and Debt followed the country as it struggled to create an independent and functioning economy after signing loans with the IMF and World Bank in the 1980’s. Originally these were looked upon as a way for Jamaica to build a country that had a strong hold on both local economy and the international trading market. The film argues that this is almost exactly the opposite of what took place between the early 1980’s and 2000s.
In order for a country to accepted and given a loan or any form of financial help by the IMF and World Bank they must agree to certain terms, kind of like “fine print” of the agreement. In Jamaica’s case this included things like lowering the value of their currency and privation of certain services. The IMF considers these practices important to the revitalization of a country’s economy. This actually made Jamaica’s problems much worse by not allowing for the possibility of failure. In other words, regardless of what happens with a country’s economy under the IMF programming, which has basically come in and completely restructured their economy and society. The country (in this case Jamaica is still responsible for re-paying the money borrowed at very high interest.
Throughout the film we watched as Jamaica’s economy collapsed and unrest within the people began to have a huge on the society. One of the major industries affected was dairy. In this case a demand was created in Jamaica for cheap powdered milk that was produced and shipped from the United States. Suddenly, there was no demand for local fresh milk coming from Jamaica. Fresh milk isn’t a product that keeps and when demand stopped the industry folded. The United States was a big player in the creation of demand for powdered milk a product Jamaica had never experienced before.
A second part to farming industry collapsing in Jamaica was this no subsidizing rules that IMF program on the government. When the Jamaican government was