Originally posted by Niccawhois
The IMF has made every effort to help impoverished nations by eliminating massive quantity's of BOGUS DEBT wracked up by 3rd world nations!
Your going to have to try hard to stop inventing "facts" to prove your pov...
I'm quoting you, because, well, that's probably the silliest post I've ever seen in my time here on ATS. However, I'm trying to cover both you and
Chapter one: Colonialism.
Now, as we all know, Europe was not colonized by Indians and Africans; it went the other way. I'm just going to jump over an attempt at explaining why
(Jared Diamond wrote a lovely 600-page book about it, if you're really interested). Colonialism wasn't about poor folks trying to make nice little mom
and pop homesteads, despite the sound of the name. Sure some of them showed up, but primarily it was a governmental effort to claim a territory and
collude with companies from the colonizing nation to pump as much wealth and resources out of this acquired territory as possible. That is, it was
about meeting the bottom line, and most definitely not
, as some Victorian and early 20th-century writers proposed, "readying the savages for
civilization" (after all, they were getting by fine before colonization)
Now the net effect of this sort of system is impoverishment of the locals. Native economic systems were uprooted and destroyed (often literally, as
most were agrarian in nature) and replaced with systems that were highly profitable for the colonizer in the short term, but unsustainable in the long
term. The local power structures were also destroyed, replaced with political designs more to the liking of the colonizing power. In the case of the
British, this usually meant giving some minority group total authority, while the Belgians just moved their own people in, and the French tended to
just bribe authorities, etc.
When these colonies became no longer economically sustainable - either due to their resources being stripped or the colonizing power being unable to
afford them (whether due to popular uprising or simply money problems) these colonies were, to put it simply, abandoned.
Well, maybe not "abandoned." Almost every former colony had to accept the debts accrued by the former regime as a condition of independence. In some
cases, these debts were enormous
. Tack that onto an already broken or unsustainable economy, and you've got problems, obviously.
Haiti's a good example of this. Formerly a gigantic slave plantation owned by the french empire, Haiti declared its independence after a slave revolt.
Good for them, right? Well, the problem was, France would only agree to not unload every cannon it owned on Haiti, if the Haitians agreed to pay the
debts of their former owners, as well as all property damages caused by the revolt - with interest. The perverse thing? "property damages" included
the monetary worth of the former slaves, themselves. France was backed in this by Spain, which did not want a slave revolt to spread to Cuba, and by
the United States, for the same reason. And since Haiti's economy at the time was bound around sugar cane... and all the buyers of sugar decided they
liked Cuban sugar better than Hatian right after this revolt... Well... Did you know Haiti is still
trying to pay off this debt, that France
STILL demands of them, that the United States STILL backs? basically every cent generated in Haiti is still going towards buying the freedom of their
Which brings us to the IMF.
Chapter 2: the International Monetary Fund.
Originally, the IMF was set up to help nations broken down in World War 2 bring themselves back up to snuff. The idea was they would borrow from
member states, rebuild, and then pay back the loan. Honestly not a bad idea, on paper it makes a nice shock absorber and could prevent the sort of
economic spirals that led to the rise of Fascist and Leninist movements in Europe.
One feature of the IMF is that the nations that contribute more money have more voting power; For instance, the United States, with the most money in
the IMF, has 371,743 votes, while Venezuela only has 26,841. Another feature is that IMF decisions require an 85% supermajority; this will become
important in a moment.
Now, the trouble starts with the plain fact; the IMF is basically an investment bank, not
a charity. As such it seeks to make a return on its
investment in the form of interest. Now, perhaps this is not a problem when you're providing loans to a nation that already
has a very strong
and diverse economic base and political system (Actually it can fail there, too; see Argentina and Chile)
But what happens when you apply this standard to a nation that has just thrown off a hundred and fifty years of colonialism? A debt spiral happens.
Let's say you're Mozambique. You just threw out the Portuguese. Out of spite, they basically tore up all the infrastructure in the country; dynamited
the airport runways, filled the sewer systems with concrete, that sort of thing. Additionally, most of your nation's wealth was invested into
Portuguese companies and banks, leaving the treasury of your nation absolutely bone-dry. Now if you're at all active in the market, you know having no
credit is just as bad as having bad credit, so Mozambique can't rely on drawing foreign trade to boost its economy on a simple "trust me." So they
turn to the only place they can, the IMF, which of course, is there supposedly fpr just such an occasion.
Simple enough, right? Well, no. You can't just take the loan and build. Since the loaner wants their return ASAP, you have to basically use your loan
to pay back the loan, plus interest; you can't invest that money into social or political infrastructure, you have to spend it all developing enough
fast profit to cover your increasing debt. Part of doing this requires - usually mandated as a condition of the loan - to make your nation "business
friendly" - no corporate taxation or obligations, willingness to sell off what public infrastructure you have, no worker organization allowed, etc. Of
course this just means that all of your nation's wealth is, once again, being funneled into foreign hands, leaving you with MAYBE enough to meet your
IMF payment. often not though, in which case you have to buy an extension on the loan... which makes your debt bigger... and bigger... and bigger.
Essentially where developing economies are concerned, the IMF is as much of a loan shark as any mafia boss. And it's just as friendly to those who do
not pay. for instance, South Africa, after Apartheid, found itself in exactly this position; the white power structure of South Africa moved all their
money out, after
writing several clauses into the new economic charter that would prevent the new government from doing ANYTHING about it...
and then also saddled the Apartheid government's debt onto the new government's shoulders. This debt included a last-minute purchase of billions and
billions of dollars worth of military hardware from the United States; the US didn't deliver the gear, since it could not be certain of the new
government, but since the new government had been coerced into taking on the debts of the old, it got saddled with the bill anyway
Africa sought help from the IMF to make up some of its shortfalls... and was told to basically privatize EVERYTHING. The availability of electricity
in South Africa has fallen greatly because of this, for instance; the electrical companies were previously state-owned, but had to be privatized as
per the IMF's bargain; and many areas were immediately shut down because they weren't generating enough profit for the new owners.
So in short. You start out with an empty bank and no prospects. You have to borrow to get those prospects. Your loan includes interest and a deadline.
In order to generate the short-term cash needed to pay this, you have to engage in policy that is outright harmful to your own economic development...
leaving you deeper in the hole, and needing to borrow again, and again, and again. if you default, the nations you conduct trade with will cease to
conduct trade with you, because they're the people you borrowed from in the first place. In some cases, they will even slap sanctions on you, or even
find some way to wage war, stage a coup, what have you (Chile, for example)
Now, I mentioned earlier that the number of votes the US gets, and the supermajority needed for IMF votes was going to be important. Well, the United
States' 371,743 votes on the IMF board give it 16.74% of the total votes. This means, with the 85% supermajority needed, the IMF is effectively set by
United States policy; any decision the IMF members come to can be completely vetoed by the United States alone. And of course, the United States has a
very deeply-ingrained "bottom line" culture. So even if, in some flight pf fancy, the rest of the IMF decided to grant debt forgiveness to its many
dependent nations, the United States - with profit on hte mind - can just say 'nuh uh" and that's that. And when United States policy currently
involves a form of neo-colonialism, well...
So, that's why these nations are dirt-eating poor. They're trapped in a debt spiral created by the organization they thought was there to help them
out, that really exists as a profit-generating tool for a nation that is seeking all the financial benefits of empire with none of the political
obligations. But you may be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with white people"?
Well, like Is aid, it doesn't have anything to do with white people per se. It's just that the people responsible are, themselves, white.
Here's a picture of the current IMF board;
Now you've got that one brown guy in the front center left. I imagine that there's probably a Japanese fellow somewhere in the back. But, aside from
that? Also, as IMF policy is basically directed by US policy... well, the US members of the board are Timothy F. Geithner and Ben S. Bernanke. And
who's responsible for the initial problems of these post-colonial nations? Well, the colonial governments, obviously. Who was in charge of them?
So, yes. These problems were caused by people who are white. Not white people in general, and not because they are white. But they are
and they are
the cause of the problems. And frankly if you guys are honestly arguing that these places are poor because brown people live
there, you have absolutely no room to get your knickers in a bunch when I point this out.
edit on 10/6/2011 by TheWalkingFox because: (no