Confessions of an Economic Hitman (Video)


Image credit: StudioJOHO
The BP oil spill was a classic example of how corporate greed can undermine sustainability. Nevertheless, it's hard to ignore the fact that many of the solutions proposed here on TreeHugger—from smart grids to electric cars—will need all the resources of Big Business to help make them happen. If we're going to find a way for corporations to contribute to a greener world, we first have to understand the status quo. I've just come across a great cartoon and interview with a "former economic hitman" which lays out just how broken the current system is, and why we have to fix it.The cartoon, created by Studio Joho, is based around a Democracy Now interview with John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling Confessions of An Economic Hit Man, and lays out in stark terms how a cycle of bad loans, debt, and dubious business dealings can help keep entire countries trapped in a cycle of poverty that prevents truly sustainable development.

Crucially Perkins, who worked as a self described "economic hitman" for the international consulting firm of Chas T. Main from 1971 to 1981, doesn't view his critique as evidence of a "failure of capitalism", but rather a failure of a particularly bad, inefficient and predatory form of capitalism. Whatever your views about globalization, big business and corporate governance, it's hard to argue with the closing statement:

"We can not have homeland security unless we understand that the whole planet is our homeland."

Amen to that.

Tags: Activism | Economics | Poverty | United States

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