Empire Has The World In A Death Grip
24, 2016 "Information
- In my archives there is a column or two that
introduces the reader to
important book, Confessions of an Economic Hit
Man. An EHM is an operative who sells the
leadership of a developing country on an economic
plan or massive development project. The Hit Man
convinces a country’s government that borrowing
large sums of money from US financial institutions
in order to finance the project will raise the
country’s living standards. The borrower is assured
that the project will increase Gross Domestic
Product and tax revenues and that these increases
will allow the loan to be repaid.
the plan is designed to over-estimate the benefits
so that the indebted country cannot pay the
principal and interest. As Perkins’ puts it, the
plans are based on “distorted financial analyses,
inflated projections, and rigged accounting,” and if
the deception doesn’t work, “threats and bribes” are
used to close the deal.
step in the deception is the appearance of the
International Monetary Fund. The IMF tells the
indebted country that the IMF will save its credit
rating by lending the money with which to repay the
country’s creditors. The IMF loan is not a form of
aid. It merely replaces the country’s indebtedness
to banks with indebtedness to the IMF.
the IMF, the country has to accept an austerity plan
and agree to sell national assets to private
investors. Austerity means cuts in social pensions,
social services, employment and wages, and the
budget savings are used to repay the IMF.
Privatization means selling oil, mineral and public
infrastructure in order to repay the IMF. The deal
usually imposes an agreement to vote with the US in
the UN and to accept US military bases.
Occasionally a country’s leader refuses the plan or
the austerity and privatization. If bribes don’t
work, the US sends in the jackals—assassins who
remove the obstacle to the looting process.
book caused a sensation. It showed that the United
States’ attitude of helpfulness toward poorer
countries was only a pretext for schemes to loot the
countries. Perkins’ book sold more than a million
copies and stayed on the New York Times bestseller
list for 73 weeks.
the book has
with the addition of 14 new chapters and a 30-page
listing of Hit Man activity during the years
shows that despite his revelations, the situation is
worse than ever and has spread into the West itself.
The populations of Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain,
Italy, and the United States itself are now being
looted by Hit Man activity.
book shows that the US is “exceptional” only in the
unbridled violence it applies to others who get in
its way. One of the new chapters tells the story of
France-Albert Rene, president of Seychelles, who
threatened to reveal the illegal and inhumane
eviction of the residents of Diego Garcia by Britain
and Washington so that the island could be converted
into an air base from which Washington could bomb
noncompliant countries in the Middle East, Asia, and
Africa. Washington sent in a team of jackels to
murder the president of Seychelles, but the
assassins were foiled. All but one were captured,
tried and sentenced to execution or prison, but a
multi-million dollar bribe to Rene freed them. Rene
got the message and became compliant.
original printing of his book, Perkins tells the
stories of how jackals arranged airplane crashes to
get rid of Panama’s non-compliant president, Omar
Torrijos, and Ecuador’s non-compliant president,
Jaime Roldos. When Rafael Correa became president of
Ecuador, he refused to pay some of the illegitimate
debts that had been piled on Ecuador, closed the
United States’ largest military base in Latin
America, forced the renegotiation of exploitative
oil contracts, ordered the central bank to use funds
deposited in US banks for domestic projects, and
consistently opposed Washington’s hegemonic control
over Latin America.
marked himself for overthrow or assassination.
However, Washington had just overthrown in a
military coup the democratically elected Honduran
president, Manuel Zelaya, whose policies favored the
people of Honduras over those of foreign interests.
Concerned that two military coups in succession
against reformist presidents would be noticed, to
get rid of Correa the CIA turned to the Ecuadoran
police. Led by a graduate of Washington’s School of
the Americas, the police moved to overthrow Correa
but were overpowered by the Ecuadoran military.
However, Correa got the message. He reversed his
policies toward American oil companies and announced
that he would auction off huge blocks of Eucador’s
rain forests to the oil companies. He closed down,
Fundacion Pachamama, an organization with which a
reformed Perkins was associated that worked to
preserve Ecuador’s rain forests and indigenous
banks backed up by the World Bank are even worse
looters than the oil and timber companies. Perkins
writes: “Over the past three decades, sixty of the
world’s poorest countries have paid $550 billion in
principal and interest on loans of $540 billion, yet
they still owe a whopping $523 billion on those same
loans. The cost of servicing that debt is more than
these countries spend on health or education and is
twenty times the amount they receive annually in
foreign aid. In addition, World Bank projects have
brought untold suffering to some of the planet’s
poorest people. In the past ten years alone, such
projects have forced an estimated 3.4 million people
out of their homes; the governments in these
countries have beaten, tortured, and killed
opponents of World Bank projects.”
describes how Boeing plundered Washington state
taxpayers. Using lobbyists, bribes, and blackmail
threats to move production facilities to another
state, Boeing succeeded in having the Washington
state legislature give the corporation a tax break
that diverted $8.7 billion into Boeings’ coffers
from health care, education and other social
services. The massive subsidies legislated for the
benefit of corporations are another form of rent
extraction and Hit Man activity.
a guilty conscience and still suffers from his role
as a Hit Man for the evil empire, which has now
turned to the plunder of American citizens. He has
done everything he can to make amends, but he
reports that the system of exploitation has
multiplied many times and is now so commonplace that
it no longer has to be hidden. Perkins writes:
change is that this EHM system, today, is also at
work in the United States and other economically
developed countries. It is everywhere. And there are
many more variations on each of these tools. There
are hundreds of thousands more EHMs spread around
the world. They have created a truly global empire.
They are working in the open as well as in the
shadows. This system has become so widely and deeply
entrenched that it is the normal way of doing
business and therefore is not alarming to most
been so badly plundered by jobs offshoring and
indebtedness that consumer demand cannot support
profits. Consequently, capitalism has turned to
exploiting the West itself. Faced with rising
resistance, the EHM system has armed itself with
“the PATRIOT Act, the militarization of police
forces, a vast array of new surveillance
technologies, the infiltration and sabotage of the
Occupy movement, and the dramatic expansion of
privatized prisons.” The democratic process has been
subverted by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United
ruling and other court decisions, by
corporate-funded political action committees, and by
organizations such as the American Legislative
Exchange Council financed by the One Percent. Cadres
of lawyers, lobbyists, and strategists are hired to
legalize corruption, and presstitutes work overtime
to convince gullible Americans that elections are
real and represent the workings of democracy.
February 19, 2016 article in OpEdNews, Matt Peppe
reports that the American colony of Puerto Rico is
being driven into the ground in order to satisfy
has been privatized, and the main highways have been
privatized in a 40-year lease owned by a consortium
formed by a Goldman Sachs infrastructure investment
fund. Puerto Ricans now pay private corporations for
the use of infrastructure that tax dollars built.
Recently Puerto Rico’s sales tax was raised 64% to
11.5%. A sales tax increase is equivalent to a rise
in inflation and results in a decline in real
only difference between capitalism and gangsterism
is that capitalism has succeeded in legalizing its
gangsterism and, thus, can strike a harder bargain
than can the Mafia.
shows that the evil empire has the world in the grip
of a “death economy.”
He concludes that “we need a revolution” in order
“to bury the death economy and birth the life
economy.” Don’t look to politicians, neoliberal
economists, and presstitutes for any help.
Public Is Being Looted By Privatization And
24, 2016 "Information
- The privatization movement and the
deregulation movement have turned out to be
Privatization in Britain under the Thatcher
government had its origin in the belief that the
absence of incentivized managers and shareholders
with a stake in the bottom line resulted in
nationalized companies operating inefficiently, with
their losses covered by government like the big
private banks’ losses today. Thatcher’s government
believed that privatizing socialized firms would
reduce the UK budget deficit and take pressure off
the British pound.
privatization is a way that governments can reward
cronies by giving them valuable public resources for
a low price. When the UK government privatized the
postal system, there were news reports that one
postal property in London alone was worth the
purchase price of the entire postal service.
Privatization is also a way that conservatives, who
object to social pensions and national health, can
stop “taxpayer support of welfare.” In the US
conservatives want to privatize Social Security and
Medicare. In the UK conservatives want to privatize
the National Health System.
looks like the UK Conservative government is taking
a step in the direction of privatizing the national
health system, one of the great social reforms in
In the US
there are advocates of privatizing the national
forests. In some ways the forests are already
privatized as private timber companies are allowed
to “harvest” the trees at favorable prices, and
often the government even builds the roads for them.
In the US
deregulation has resulted in high prices and poor
service. When airlines were regulated, they competed
on service. They had spare equipment so that
mechanical problems did not mean cancelled flights.
Stopovers did not involve additional costs.
had a regulated communication monopoly, the service
was excellent and the price was low. Today we have a
large number of unregulated local monopolies, and
the prices are high. The bottom line and managerial
bonuses are more important than service. Customers
experience constant service interruptions.
Maintenance and broadband improvements are
sacrificed to executive salaries.
In the US
and UK public university tuition has risen so high
that the universities have in effect been
privatized. When I went to college there was no such
thing as student loans. In-state tuition was
nominal, and colleges provided inexpensive housing
and meals. Most students in state universities were
residents of the state.
aspects of the US military have been privatized.
Services that the military formerly provided
in-house are now contracted out to private companies
at high costs.
for privatization and deregulation needs to be
reexamined in light of the evidence and the real
reasons they are being pursued.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary
of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate
editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist
for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and
Creators Syndicate. He has had many university
appointments. His internet columns have attracted a
worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are
of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution
of the West,
Neoconservative Threat to World Order.