< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Recommended Reading

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Recommended Reading


I just read a great book by John Perkins called Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Perkins, a former chief economist at a Boston consulting firm, says he was an "economic hit man" for 10 years., His main job was to convince foreign countries to go along with huge loans for infrastructure development and to make sure these projects were contracted by US corporations. Perkins claims these loans were structured so that the country would be unable to pay the money back under the original terms, leaving them constantly in debt to the US and World Bank. The book is a quick and interesting read for those who are interested.

--Tom Hayes

2 Comments:

Blogger centurion said...

I just read a great book called Confessions of an Idiot: John Perkins is a Liar. Honestly I don't think the United States, at least since the Cold War has ended, would have anything to gain from keeping third-world nations in debt to us, since the result of that debt is poverty and economic instability. Cold War times may have been different since contracts by American companies would have given the U.S. an edge in having an influence in a particular state or region. But we have evidently had entirely different goals since those days since we have seen the results that indebtedness can have on a developing nation.

1:29 PM  
Blogger JB said...

It is quite easy to accuse John Perkins of being a liar and then provide no evidence to back up your claim. Of course, if he is just a fraud, then the companies and individuals he condemns in his book would have grounds to sue him for slander -- so far that hasn't happened. If you are capable, you should tell the blog why you believe he is a liar.


You say the United States would have nothing to gain from keeping third-world nations in debt to us; why then did it take so long for the United States to begin dropping the debt of African countries after it became painstakingly clear that their debt payments to the United States were playing a huge role in the destituteness of those countries? If you believe the United States is opposed to poverty in the third-world, then perhaps you should ask yourself why the U.S. gives far less in direct foreign aid as a percentage of GDP than other rich nations.

After you accuse Perkins of being liar (with no evidence to back up your claim), you state that the United States, since the Cold War ended, no longer employs "economic hitmen." Obviously you have a gross misunderstanding of what Perkins accomplished. When John Perkins worked as an "economic hitman", he not only ensured that third-world countries were heavily indebted to the United States, he also ensured that third-world markets would be open to American business interests. Why would you believe that these desires no longer remain? The institutions that employed and utilized people like John Perkins have not changed (i.e. several of George W. Bush's advisors are relics of the Reagan administration); why then should we expect them to function differently now?

3:16 PM  

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