Jamaica, A failed State

Essay by bertofrayUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

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In August 6, 1962 Jamaica dismantled the shackles of motherhood and bade goodbye to England by proclaiming itself an independent nation. At that time the island was one of the most economically viable in the Caribbean because it was rich in natural resources such as sugar and bauxite which was in huge demand worldwide. No one would believe that with such a bright outlook for the future that Jamaica would be in this position today. To say that "Jamaica is a failed state" could easily qualify as one of the greatest understatement of the century.

One only has to look at the present socio economical conditions and make comparison with that of our Caribbean neighbours to realize the potency of my argument. In 1962, Jamaica economical status was superior to those of our English-speaking neighbours following an economic boom which occurred between 1950 and 1960. Real growth rates averaging 0.1%

of GDP throughout the 1990s compare poorly with rates among many of Jamaica's Caribbean neighbours, other middle-income countries and the global average. An excellent indicator of the growth of an economy is a decrease in a country's exchange rate with that of the almighty US dollar. Barbados, our Caribbean neighbours who gained independence in 1966 has produced a far more stabilized economy and this can be shown in comparing the exchange rates of both countries currency with that of the United States dollar. In 1975 Barbados's exchange rate was BDS$1.00 = US$0.50 today it is BDS$2.00 = US$1.00. In stark contrast Jamaica's exchange rate which was at JA$1.00 = US$1.20 in 1969 is presently approximately JA$65.00 = US$1.00. Sure Jamaica possess better infrastrutural facilities than Barbados but that asset has produce the intended result and I am certain that Jamaica would trade it infrastrutural superiority for Barbados's economy in...