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Big K
31 Jul 08,, 01:03
"Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" (http://http://www.johnperkins.org/index.html)

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins--the shocking real-life story of how America built an empire on third world debt (http://www.economichitman.com)

just finished it.

i felt "de ja vu"

what are your thoughts?

erik
31 Jul 08,, 08:24
I had to read this book in my first year, first semester of college. My english teacher wanted me to read this book and write a brief essay about it... and here it is.

"In the book, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” one-time showbiz game show host Chuck Barris contends he was a hit man for the CIA in the late 60s and 70s. This at the same time as filming “The Gong Show” every day in Los Angeles. Apparently he was able to fly to foreign countries, do the killing, and get back in time for the 8 a.m. taping of his show. It’s entertaining reading, but complete fiction - which brings us to John Perkins’ book, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.” The basis of Perkins book is that the U.S. thrives best when it works to make other countries poor. The problem with that assertion is that American foreign policy refutes that throughout history. Although bashing this country is in vogue, no one bothered to ask Perkins why the U.S. would go to so much effort to make these countries poor, and then forgive their debts. I n 2004, President Bush, cancelled the debt of the world’s 18 poorest countries, including $17 billion to Nigeria, which was ruled by military dictators who seized power from 1966-1979 and 1983-1998. They weren’t a Democracy - they lost tens of billions of dollars and the U.S. wiped their debt out after they became a Democracy in 1999. That’s a pretty nice thing to do for a country that is as insignificant as Nigeria (much like we tried to liberate Iraq).

Yet Perkins writes that such debt ensures the loyalty of these poor countries. Then why would Bush give up that leverage and forgive the debt, something numerous past presidents have a history of doing?

The beauty of this country is that anyone can say anything and not end up in a prison, having their feet hit by a baseball bat. What I’ve learned in my four years in high school, is that people are allowed to believe what they want to believe, but that doesn’t make it the truth. It’s easy to dupe confused liberals who hate this country with wild and fantastic claims like the ones Perkins makes. But once scrutinized, it is easy to see the holes in the logic.

The U.S. organization behind the misdeeds he writes about - the National Security Agency - is not even involved in economics. It is restricted to protecting U.S. government communication systems and collecting communications from foreign entities. Now, they may have been tapping the phones of the leaders of such foreign countries, but surely they couldn’t have been involved in clandestine economic activities. That is unless a very large phone bill sent that country bankrupt.

And in reality, we all know that there is one man that did almost bring down the economic vitality of a country, nearly sending its citizens into poverty by his actions. But Jimmy Carter never wrote a book about how he managed to get inflation and interest rates in record highs before being replaced by the greatest modern president this country has ever had, Ronald Reagan.

In conclusion, the author shows his bias against this great country by whining that half the money spent on Iraq by the U.S. could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitation services and basic education to this planet. I must question: Why is it this country’s duty to provide that for other countries who’d rather run up debt? Has anyone bothered to ask Nigeria why it runs up so much debt and still fails to provide the quality of life essentials the author thinks the U.S. is responsible for? It seems fairer to question the home country about why it can’t provide such basics, but still finds a way to spend $17 billion it doesn’t have.

Perkins asks, “We wonder why terrorists attack us?” I wonder. Why don’t the terrorists attack Nigeria? Surely Nigeria should be responsible for its citizens. Why attack the U.S. for the failure of other countries? It is upon that upside-down, nonsensical illogic that all liberalism is based.

It’s the same problem with torture. Which country is the most criticized in this world for torture? The U.S. And yet, everyone realizes that countries in the middle east routinely use it and yet are not questioned or criticized by the liberal media.

I find it laughable that the author calls the U.S. the first “truly global empire.” Apparently, he must have went to a pretty liberal group of schools that didn’t teach history until the Vietnam war. One of the most famous historical sayings is, “The sun never sets on the British empire.” In 1937, England had land possessions in each of the 24 time zones on this planet. The U.S. needs to invade about 18 more countries if we are to meet Perkins’ faulty accusations. So we have a lot of catching up to do.


The ironic thing is that Perkins is now among the elite rich in this country he so criticizes because he duped the far left into believing his lies. But as the saying goes, “No one has ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the liberal American.” It’s also ironic that Perkins claims that his personal friend, Jaime Roldos, was killed by the U.S. when Roldos was well known for trying to set up a Democracy. Then, Perkins contradicts himself by criticizing the US effort to make Iraq a Democracy. He implies we killed one president for trying to spread Democracy and then assails the U.S. for going to war to start Democracy in Iraq.

In conclusion, Ecuador exports 387,000 barrels of oil a day. If the U.S. took every drop of that oil, it would account for less than 3 percent of its oil imports. That’s not enough to raise the price of gas two cents. If Ecuador were to cut off all oil to the U.S., it’s slack could easily be replaced by US oil reserves, or Saudi Arabia, which routinely exports additional oil to pick up for slacking OPEC countries. Because of this, it seems rather ridiculous our country would spend so much time trying to topple a man who is attempting to spread Democracy in his country, while we go to war to do that in other countries.

I hope the next Humanities assignments you give to future students is based more on facts - such as Spiderman 3. Now Spiderman could bring down the economy of a third world country, no doubt."


I obviously added some sarcasim in there. I didn't really have time to read the book and write a 10 page essay on it, while working on 5 other papers, so I just gave a brief, explanation of my views on the book.

By the way, I met the guy. He came to my highschool to "speak" with us.

editec
30 May 11,, 12:42
It served the purpose of simplifying the complex scam of international development.

I mean, look at how many people complain about how the USA gives "AID" to nations never knowing how that "AID" is really a debt tarbaby designed to capture the foreign national economies and ensnare them with debt that is not sustainable.

DOR
31 May 11,, 02:53
The book was written about Perkins' experience in the 1960s - 1980s, and as someone who has been an international economist all my adult life, a lot of it rings true. However, he does put the worst possible spin on just about everything.

Reminds me of Jung Chang's bio of Mao.

Double Edge
31 May 11,, 09:45
That was certainly an entertaining essay by erik, wonder what grade he receieved for it :)

Remember watching a clip about this some time back. The problem of course is its very difficult to seperate fact from fiction and bias. It kinda rings true and depending on your political bent is either totally honest or utter fiction.

It did make me wonder whether 'economic hit man' was indeed a real profession or just fiction.

How can one man bring down the economy of a country :confused:

If he was a ruler of a powerful country or a misguided one from his own country maybe but just not any other person.

editec
31 May 11,, 14:19
How can on bring down the economy of a country?

You're kidding, right?

Double Edge
31 May 11,, 19:39
Care to enlighten us ?

Blue
06 Jun 11,, 04:53
[QUOTE=erik;524113]I had to read this book in my first year, first semester of college. My english teacher wanted me to read this book and write a brief essay about it... and here it is. Were you graded on it? How did it rate?


"In the book, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” one-time showbiz game show host Chuck Barris contends he was a hit man for the CIA in the late 60s and 70s. This at the same time as filming “The Gong Show” every day in Los Angeles. Apparently he was able to fly to foreign countries, do the killing, and get back in time for the 8 a.m. taping of his show. It’s entertaining reading, but complete fiction Really? Can you prove that?


- which brings us to John Perkins’ book, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.” The basis of Perkins book is that the U.S. thrives best when it works to make other countries poor. You didn't read shit! He clearly says that they exploit the natural resources of said countries to support the American economy or whichever one is the flavor of the day.


The problem with that assertion is that American foreign policy refutes that throughout history. Oh yeah...that's all believable.


Although bashing this country is in vogue, no one bothered to ask Perkins why the U.S. would go to so much effort to make these countries poor, and then forgive their debts. I n 2004, President Bush, cancelled the debt of the world’s 18 poorest countries, including $17 billion to Nigeria, which was ruled by military dictators who seized power from 1966-1979 and 1983-1998. They weren’t a Democracy - they lost tens of billions of dollars and the U.S. wiped their debt out after they became a Democracy in 1999. That’s a pretty nice thing to do for a country that is as insignificant as Nigeria (much like we tried to liberate Iraq). How long did we work to make Nigeria a democracy? You don't know anything about anything. I was training with Nigerian Officers as guests at Bragg in 1987.

You don't KNOW anything!

USSWisconsin
06 Jun 11,, 05:38
Perhaps that was the right thing to write to do well in the class, but it sounds very forgiving to America, no country is that benevolent, IMO. I remember a video I bought on how to get "A's". A significant part of it revolved on pleasing the grader. Writing things that would demonstrate agreement and conformity to their teachings, visiting frequently during office hours and chatting with them after class, letting them feel good about their impact on you the student. They even suggested baking the professor a strawberry pie. :biggrin:

JAD_333
06 Jun 11,, 07:46
[QUOTE] Were you graded on it? How did it rate?

Really? Can you prove that?

You didn't read shit! He clearly says that they exploit the natural resources of said countries to support the American economy or whichever one is the flavor of the day.

Oh yeah...that's all believable.

How long did we work to make Nigeria a democracy? You don't know anything about anything. I was training with Nigerian Officers as guests at Bragg in 1987.

You don't KNOW anything!


7th:

Cut the guy some slack, will ya. Tell us what you know about Nigeria and whatever else you disagree with. Just saying he doesn't KNOW shit doesn't prove anything.

JAD_333
06 Jun 11,, 08:12
The book was written about Perkins' experience in the 1960s - 1980s, and as someone who has been an international economist all my adult life, a lot of it rings true. However, he does put the worst possible spin on just about everything.

I agree with you. The US was (is) a huge economic machine that needed vast amounts of natural resources and markets for its output. Lending money to countries dominated by people with sticky fingers was a system that got the US both. Forgiving debt later amounted to chump change. The US had already made many times over what it loaned. The shame was that a lot of indigenous people lost their land and way of life in the process. But that wasn't the fault of the particular system that Perkins condemns, but of the hunger for resources which continues today in different parts of the world but with more players feeding at the trough, notably China. Capitalism's motto could be "Get out of my way".

Big K
06 Jun 11,, 08:18
well, i live in one of that countries and i clearly see some economic hitmans work (or sometimes jackals work) in my ordinary life....

seems that people who dont have such experience can not even imagine...

Double Edge
06 Jun 11,, 09:52
well, i live in one of that countries and i clearly see some economic hitmans work (or sometimes jackals work) in my ordinary life....

seems that people who dont have such experience can not even imagine...
Care to enlighten us, Kerem.

JAD_333
06 Jun 11,, 16:58
well, i live in one of that countries and i clearly see some economic hitmans work (or sometimes jackals work) in my ordinary life....

seems that people who dont have such experience can not even imagine...

When you boil everything down to the simple realities of economic activity, we notice that exploitation, competition and the profit motive is as common in the smallest business activity as in the largest. When humans are involved, big is just an extension of small.

What does it matter if we die from a thousand small cuts or just one big one? Big attracts more attention then small and sells more books. Reading about the evil big companies commit draws our moral indignation. But what about the repair man who charges us for more time than he worked or the fruit seller who claims his 3-day old peaches were picked this morning.

Blue
06 Jun 11,, 17:09
[QUOTE=7thsfsniper;811663]


7th:

Cut the guy some slack, will ya. Tell us what you know about Nigeria and whatever else you disagree with. Just saying he doesn't KNOW shit doesn't prove anything. Respectfully, I didn't say he didn't know shit. I said he didn't read that book, and that he doesn't know anything(of which he is talking about) which he later admits....
Originally posted by erik....I obviously added some sarcasim in there. I didn't really have time to read the book and write a 10 page essay on it, while working on 5 other papers, so I just gave a brief, explanation of my views on the book.

So his entire statement is BS, I just called him on it. I apologize if I came off too strong asking him prove what he claims to know.

Double Edge
06 Jun 11,, 18:26
But what about the repair man who charges us for more time than he worked
Builder cousin of mine was grousing over this the other day, odd jobs being estimated for x days of labour and him finding out after they got it done in much fewer. He's been in the business over twenty years and yet he tells me he still learns new tricks every week.


or the fruit seller who claims his 3-day old peaches were picked this morning.
Heh, this is rampant over here. There's no grading done at all, so to get good fruits & vegetables, spotting the proper from the bad is a skill worth learning. Thats about 30-40 different ones each with their own personalities, look, feel, weight, texture, smell etc. Took me a few years to figure out. Mangoes are the worst, they can be damaged on the inside ie inedible due to mishanding but look perfect on the outside.

JAD_333
06 Jun 11,, 23:17
[QUOTE=JAD_333;811682] Respectfully, I didn't say he didn't know shit. I said he didn't read that book, and that he doesn't know anything(of which he is talking about) which he later admits....

So his entire statement is BS, I just called him on it. I apologize if I came off too strong asking him prove what he claims to know.

7th

Strictly speaking you are right. Sh*t was used in another context. But you did say, "You don't know anything about anything" and that around these parts means "you don't know sh*t". :biggrin:

Anyway, my main point was, saying he knows nothing but not saying what he ought to know or what you know that would rebut what he doesn't know ...well, you know what I mean.

JAD_333
07 Jun 11,, 00:31
Builder cousin of mine was grousing over this the other day, odd jobs being estimated for x days of labour and him finding out after they got it done in much fewer. He's been in the business over twenty years and yet he tells me he still learns new tricks every week.


Heh, this is rampant over here. There's no grading done at all, so to get good fruits & vegetables, spotting the proper from the bad is a skill worth learning. Thats about 30-40 different ones each with their own personalities, look, feel, weight, texture, smell etc. Took me a few years to figure out. Mangoes are the worst, they can be damaged on the inside ie inedible due to mishanding but look perfect on the outside.

Yeah, I've been a builder for 20 years, and I can imagine what your cousin was up against. I've seen just about every trick that subcontractors, piece-workers, and hourly employees use to try to squeeze more money out of you. My first 2 years were a nightmare. Now it's like you finally learning what fruit and veggies to pick or avoid. I instantly can tell a fair price from an inflated one.

No one writes books about that stuff unless a big player get caught cheating, and then most of the people who cry foul would cheat you in a heartbeat.

I don't think we grade fruits and veggies either. Bad stuff is usually pretty obvious. Smell and squeeze. :)

Double Edge
07 Jun 11,, 07:51
Yeah, I've been a builder for 20 years, and I can imagine what your cousin was up against. I've seen just about every trick that subcontractors, piece-workers, and hourly employees use to try to squeeze more money out of you. My first 2 years were a nightmare.
A few years go i remember him telling me how he'd get workers doing tile jobs and then near the end they'd just dissapear and extort more money out of him to finish the job. I'd have thought after a few years in the business he'd have figured it out but he said its an ongoing thing, he's speaking relatively of course. It's gotten better as he figured out the old tricks but keeps learning new ones.


Now it's like you finally learning what fruit and veggies to pick or avoid. I instantly can tell a fair price from an inflated one.
Provided you have an idea what the prices are. They fluctuate daily here, a few days after it can vary by tens of percent. Now that everybody's got cellphones the suppliers know how much the prices are in the next town or even state and fix their prices accordingly. So if you go weekly, last weeks prices are only a rough guide.

Food aside, knowing prices in general is crucial. If its not marked on the product then depending on how confident the seller is it can be anything. Though its still a on a different level compared to pressure sales. That was quite an experience. Was in the grand souk in Istanbul and looking around at stuff and wanted to buy a leather jacket. Checked out a few shops, they all know the trick and quote the high prices so you really get no idea what a leather jacket costs in Istanbul at all. All you know is it just has to be less. Picked a shop and then started haggling. Reached a point where he refused to go any lower. Then you walk out, the moment you cross the door he agrees to your price. I learnt that if he does that there's still more to go. There is a psyche element involved here. Learnt that buying leather anything especially in a market when you don't know what leather is can be a bad idea.

Electronics is another minefield. I never let the salesman talk to me at all, if i want to get something, i'll just research what i want then go in and knock him down. The less he speaks to me the more advantage i have. The usual story is he'll tell you he does have that exact model and why don't you check out this other one, which of course you know nothing about features wise nor price and he'll make it sound very good. Nine times out of ten if you buy at that point you are losing.


I don't think we grade fruits and veggies either. Bad stuff is usually pretty obvious. Smell and squeeze. :)
When i was there i could pick stuff with my eyes closed in the supermarkets. It was very easy and it did not matter what time you went, here the earlier in the day the better.

It isn't so much bad from good but better from average. I usually go to the market as there's a selection and its always fresh compared to supermarkets. The problem with fruits& veg is they get plucked before they have time to develop and are artifically ripened. This way there is more shelf life. A big factor here is the climate, its much warmer than where you are so shelf life is shorter. Tell you what we get Washington Apples here, a little smaller than what you see normally but they're always good.


No one writes books about that stuff unless a big player get caught cheating, and then most of the people who cry foul would cheat you in a heartbeat.
Watched a video of the author talking some time back and it came across as a load of CT to me. As DOR mentioned there is a lot of exaggeration, take it with a pinch of salt.

Blue
10 Jun 11,, 05:56
[QUOTE=7thsfsniper;811742]

7th

Strictly speaking you are right. Sh*t was used in another context. But you did say, "You don't know anything about anything" and that around these parts means "you don't know sh*t". :biggrin:

Anyway, my main point was, saying he knows nothing but not saying what he ought to know or what you know that would rebut what he doesn't know ...well, you know what I mean.

My main contention was that he made a definitive statement about a book that he admittedly did not read and in that summary stated this, "Itís entertaining reading, but complete fiction" about Chuck Barris' story. Since he knows so much about the CIA I thought maybe he could englighten us?

I admit I wasn't polite in calling him out and I apologize, but I see he still hasn't englightened us. I on the other hand don't portend to know those things that I don't. I can't state definitively that CB's story is fiction or not. I wasn't there and I have never seen an official denial.

I have however read and studied much about Perkins and his story.

I did also consider this thread a good subject brought up by Big K, and the very first post was 15 paragraphs of baloney.

I will spend more time soon to post, I hope. for now I don't really have much time for the WAB but I try to punch in as often as possible. 15 hour work days 7 days a week leave time for little else.

I just want yo uto know that I wasn't just trying to stir the pot on a noob.

editec
12 Oct 11,, 16:20
Care to enlighten us ?

Enlighten yourself.

You couldn't have actually read that book and ask that silly question.

JAD_333
13 Oct 11,, 00:13
Enlighten yourself.

You couldn't have actually read that book and ask that silly question.

Your post is rude and far too late to make any difference on this thread. Let's not have any more of this.