Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
The Price of Oil
on 2 March 2012
John Perkins the 2004 New York Times bestselling author of "Confessions of an Economic Him Man" helped me understand the questions: "Why is Anti-Americanism growing around the world? How did America become a Superpower with minimal military action like former Empires?"
Perkins'job as the Chief Economist for Chas. T. Main, an international consulting firm, was to convince strategic countries to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development and to ensure that U.S. corporations got the projects. Upon default of the loans The United States Government, World Bank, International Monetary Fund IMF, and other U.S. dominated aid agencies then have access to the countries' resources (especially oil), strategic land and the installation of military bases. Perkins says that international economists are in essence highly paid "Economic Hit Man" (EHM) hired by international corporations to hide the U.S. governments' involvement.
In the 1980s U.S. corporations became legal international companies to minimize rules and regulations. Perkins calls the big banks, corporations and government a "corporatocracy."
He says the majority of people in the debtor countries benefit little. For example when the wealthy ruling families in Ecuador accepted a billion-dollar loan (backed by the promise of oil revenues), to build roads, hydroelectric dams, industrial parks and other power projects they brought the country to virtual bankruptcy. In three decades the poverty level grew from 50 to 70 percent, unemployment increased by 15 to 17 percent, public debt increased from $240 to $16 billion and the natural resources allocated to the poor declined from 20 to 6 percent.
Although oil accounts for almost half of Ecuador's exports since Texaco and Shell discovered petroleum in the Amazon in the 60s the oil companies receive $75 for every $100 of crude oil taken. Three quarters of the remaining $25 goes to pay off the debt by selling Ecuador's rain forest to the oil companies.
The people of Ecuador are afraid of the oil companies as they are destroying the forests and poisoning the rivers. The Trans-Andian pipeline leaked over a half million barrels of oil into the rain forest-more than twice the amount spilled by Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Many people, animals and vast areas of the rain forest have died. Thirty thousand indigenous people hired American lawyers to file a $1 billion lawsuit against ChevronTexeco Corp. for dumping 4 million gallons of oil-contaminated wastewater, heavy metals and carcinogens into the rivers. The 350 uncovered waste pits continue to kill both people and animals.
In August 1979 Jaime Roldós became the first elected president after a long line of dictators. In May 1981 he warned the US foreign interests he would force them to leave if they did not help the Ecuador people and use the natural resources responsibly. He died in the fiery airplane crash a few weeks later. Newpapers blazed "CIA assassination" and Perkins said the circumstances supported the allegations. He says U.S. assassins are called "jackals" by the international consulting firms.
Osvaldo Hurtado took over as Equador's president and launched an ambitious program to increase oil drilling by Texico and other foreign companies in the Gulf of Guayaquil and the Amazon basin.
Perkins says most countries including Indonesia, Guatemala, Chile, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Panama are beholden to the U.S. global empire and have suffered a similar fate. Third world debt has grown to more than $2.5 trillion. The top one percent of third world households account for 70-90% of the wealth and real estate while over half the people of the world survive on less than $2.00 a day about the same they received in the 1970s.
When Perkins finally admitted that only a few people profit when a country has a debt burden and felt guilt that U.S. foreign policies were alienating many nations and ultimately led to the U.S. attacks on September 11 he left Chas. T. Main.
He decided he could no longer be a part of a system that uses fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, assassinations and war to foster impoverishment of millions of people across the planet, where citizens are used for cheap labor and deprived of health benefits, education and social services.
He recommends that U.S. apply the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all people of the world not just Americans as history shows that communism and terrorism are predictable reactions to oppression and exploitation. In the long run no one benefits from world starvation, diseases, deforestation and water and air pollution. He also believes big corporations, banks and government can decrease terrorism if they used their resources to end poverty, disease, starvation and wars.