I've been reading about austerity imposed by the IMF and World Bank for many years. Lately it has been imposed upon European countries, and they don't like it! Just like Jamaica didn't like it. In Feb 2010 I wrote:
"The devastating economic effects of the 1973 oil embargo hurt even more in poor countries like Haiti and Jamaica, which had to import all their oil. Watch the excellent documentary Life and Debt to learn more about Jamaica's debt crisis that ensued after the embargo."
But I did not mention the austerity imposed upon Jamaica by the IMF and World Bank after the crisis. Watch the documentary to learn more.
Also in that post I quoted a Wikipedia article about the 1973 oil embargo without linking to it (I just updated it with the link).
Europeans have decided that austerity is not working, while Republicans in America think the US govt should practice some austerity. Actually I think the US govt should practice some austerity, especially in the area of "defense" spending. But not right now, at a time when laying off soldiers would hurt the economy further. It's an election year!
I remember Iraq in the 70s, when the govt in Baghdad was benefiting from the spike in oil prices. The regime enriched themselves, of course, but they also spent money on infrastructure and education. My father benefited directly from that policy. I give credit to President Ahmed Hassan al Bakr. But the Baath party was a socialist party, after all, and it wasn't the first socialist party to gain power. The Iraqi Communist Party, led by Abdul Karim Qasim, gained power in the 50s. There was great progress in Iraq in those days. I wish Iraq could be like that again.
PS: The Wiki article to which I linked about Ahmed Hassan al Bakr says: "During his rule, Iraq was blossoming; high economic growth due to high oil international oil prices strengthened Iraq's role in the Arab world and increased the people's Standard_of_living"