Washington Consensus: Its Controversy For Countries Like Haiti!

Guyma Noel - December 10 2014, 11:52 AM

Washington Consensus is a set of structural adjustment policies that advocates for a free-market oriented economy.This plan exists since 1980s.

A Margaret Thatcher of England and a Ronald Reagan of the U.S were two of the extreme proponents or advocates of such economic policies.

It is clear that resistance to such a neo-liberal economic plan has caused much trouble in countries like Haiti.

It is an economic plan that has unintended consequences for countries like Haiti because of its lack of ethics or moral responsibilities toward the poor or the "economic others (Skirtz, 2012).

" The countries that adhere to such a neo-liberal plan have had gains despite the fact that huge socioeconomic inequalities have become acute.

Haiti, since under President Aristide, has shown a of resistance to the Washinshing Consensus (i.e. the neo-liberal economic plan. This may explain why Haiti has been unstable since 1986 due the fact that Aristide is one of the guys ( we all know) has been one of the fierce enemies of the free Market (I mention the name of Aristide because of his position against the neo-liberal structural adjustment policies.

Preval is moderate left that at least know how to play the game. Now the Martelly-Lamoth's government clearly adheres to the neo-liberal economic plans of the Washington Consensus, which is overdue for so long of popular resistance.

The notion of "Haiti is Open for business" is a clear disguise of the Washington Consensus.

The politics Martelly-Lamoth in the slogan of "Haiti is Open for Business" should not, I would say, out of a question for debate because it does have some pragmatic reality.

Here is the reason: Instead of fighting too much against the neo-liberal plan, let us look at what is negotiable in it. In other words, let us be realistic and pragmatic to the Geo-political and economic context of the time. At the same time those who who against the free-market neo-liberalism do have a legitimate concern because of its adverse effect on the standard of living of the majority.

When it come to Haiti where there is small group that dominates or monopolize the economic activity of the country, a economic plan to open Haiti for business can be scary, given an already fight for the respect of political and socioeconomic rights of the majority.

Now, I bring the word "pragmatism" here. It means that let us go with what works better.The questions that should be raised are the following: What balance of power does Haiti has not to swallow the neo-liberal economic pills at the international level?

What alternative (s)in terms of economic plan, would make it most likely feasible for Haiti's real take-off where all would benefit?

Would Haiti stay behind because of its protest against the neo-liberal economy?

How can the Haitian civil society and political actors find a real consensus on an economic solution where the corporate investors can still be engaged in making profits, but with moral responsibilities to protect human rights?

More questions can be raised.

But for the sake of being brief, these formulated questions may help start a real conversation.

When it comes to democracy, forget about it. It is a disguised conceptual discourse to help protect corporate interests in countries like Haiti.

Briefly, in my opinion, instead throwing rocks over the place, these political actors should have been engaged in a real debate over this enigmatic issue, which is the economic philosophy that Haiti should be consensually agreed upon. In the logic of certain experts, you cannot separate economy from politics.

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