Author Archives: Audrey Hanna

John Perkins. The Secret of the American Empire

The Secret History of the American Empire: The truth about economic Hit Men, Jackals, and how to change the world. Separated into 65 chapters and 5 different sections, covering different countries, the author, John Perkins, takes readers through an unusual memoir. A memoir of foreign and domestic corruption amongst ruling elite and their government. (Read the book and you’ll understand why I say “their”.)

I had a bit of a hard time in the beginning taking this book seriously. The idea that someone could be an “economic hit man”, aiding companies in the bribing and scheming of money and politics to take advantage of third world countries, was a little too far out…Especially upon reading the word “Corpratocracy”, a word I never knew existed, but learned from Perkins’ book was basically everything undermining democracy. In a nut shell, companies control everything. Watch out.

During my experience reading this book I wasn’t surprised to learn of the corporal corruption raping third world countries but I was surprised by the level of espionage involved. Usually spies are saved for conversations of the military or stories and depictions on the big screen. Not often do I learn of modern examples, it’s almost making me consider a career change. I found very interesting Perkins recollection of a beautiful and seductive Colombian spy named Beatrice posed as a journalist and nearly lured Perkins into a situation that might have ended badly…potentially fatally.

What left me stirred about the whole idea of Corpratocracy was the power and weigh held within large companies, their ability to control and manipulate those in office, to get what they want. At one point in Perkins experience a CIA agent made the suggestion to Perkins that President Clinton’s near impeachment due to the scandal of Monica Lewinsky was a set up into which Clinton fell.

What’s scary is if government officials with some influence are undermining Corpratocracy, there a probably plans in action to take those officials down. Plans of rich white men. Rich, greedy, power hungry men. Men with little regard for the millions of lives that are being negatively affected and controlled by the imperialistic wants and desires of wealthy foreigners. Foreigners looking to take advantage of the third world for profit and power gains. It’s no wonder these third world countries can’t rise from poverty, their being swindled 24/7 by men with a lot of money and a lot of power. It’s frighting and enraging. I had never taken into consideration Imperialism still exists. But there are no known countries attached, just greed fueled businessmen.

To perfectly sum up this book “Perkins exposes practices that are the equivalent of a psychopath who tempts a child with candy in order to lure the child into his car, except that instead of one child at a time, these psychopaths rape and ravage whole nations of people; millions suffer because of a greedy few”.

The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals and the Truth About Global Corruption is written by John Perkins and Published by Penguin Group, New York, New York. Copyright 2007.

Quote Source:

Zero, Seven. “Customer Reviews The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World.” Customer Reviews: The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.

The End of Poverty by Jeffery D. Sachs

“The End of Poverty, Economic Possibilities for Our Time”, a three-part book written by American Economist, Jeffery Sachs with the purpose of proposing a world without poverty and the examples of “successful” applied steps to developmental economic structures in failing countries. Sachs currently the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University starts his book with his first hand experiences and analyses of impoverished countries; where they are going wrong; what could be done to change their situation (thought not going the fullest into detail until later in the book); what economically decent or well off countries have done to become successful; and what impoverished countries could structure or incorporate into their land and economies to promote growth.

 Much of the content in The End of Poverty were past experiences of Jeffery Sachs. My favorite part of the book was chapter five, describing his time participating in the economic reforms of Bolivia during their time of hyperinflation. I also appreciated his testimony over the “shock therapy” of Poland during its transition from a communist ruled economy back into Europe’s economy (Chapter six). Sachs too described, the transition of India, China, and Russia, post Cold War. One thing that stood out to me that I hadn’t considered when looking at global economics was the connection between geography (natural resources to an area: rivers, ocean front, timber, ect…) and economic development. When Sachs went into detail of how England became such a power source of Europe due to their isolation as an island and inexpensive sea trade routs, it put geographical importance into perspective for me.

 The foundations of the book cover problems with current poverty stricken countries, successful practices in the past that have taken countries out of economic turmoil and toward economic development, how to implement “successful tactics”, and on a world level what prospering countries (specifically the U.S.) can do as far as foreign aid to take impoverished countries out of their situations. I walked away from this book with the notion that the main purpose of Sachs book was to argue wealthy countries needed to give more in foreign aid. I guess what bothered me most about this book was the lack of tested hypothesis. If the U.S. or any other wealthy nation is to increase foreign aid, I as a citizen, would like to see a success stories of a small villages in Africa receiving a few million and the response/outcome from such a donation. As en example of an impoverished African village, Sachs uses Sauri and the village’s farmers. Sachs took mention of the village’s agricultural struggles (lack of nitrogen rich soil/fertilizers), Sauri’s poor basic health and sanitation, the village’s lack of transportation and communication, and lack of education. Sachs proposed a village like Sauri could see a turn around on a mere $350,000. What I don’t understand is why Sachs has no tested his hypothesis on the village of Sauri if it’s only going to cost $350k?!

 “The End of Poverty” was content rich, but ultimately failed to produce any believable and realistic approaches to solving the World poverty issue by 2025. His principles and ideas revolved around his experiences helping countries out of turmoil, but when looking at countries like Bolivia and Russia, I wouldn’t exactly call them economic success stories. While they might not be viewed as impoverished countries they both remain corrupt, “second world” countries. Perhaps that’s good enough for Sachs; but it’s not good enough to convince me.

 The Book- The End of Poverty, Economic Possibilities of Our Time

The Author: Jeffery D. Sachs

Important Publishing Information:

            ISBN-10: 0143036580

            Publishing Company: Penguin Books

            Reprint Edition (February 28th, 2006)