just procrastinating

Monday, January 23, 2006

Can't Judge a Book by It's Cover
I picked up Confessions of an Economic Hit Man at Barnes and Noble last week. Just looking at the cover, it seemed like my kind of book; a man in a suit with a briefcase in some 3rd world country. Could this be James Bond with an MBA? I'm in!

Bad decision. My first mistake was not reading a few pages before I bought it. I would have immediately realized that my impression from the cover was way off. The second mistake was misunderstaning what the woman at the checkout meant when she said, "This book is infuriating." I thought at the time that if she (former hippy-type) said that, then it was exactly what I wanted. Well about 3 pages in, the book started on it's anti-globilization kick and never stopped.

The author, John Perkins, worked as a consultant for Chas T. Main back in the 1970s or as what he referred to as an "Economic Hit Man". The crime that he claims to committ? Chas. T. Main develops electric utilities across the globe and as Chief Economist Perkins inflated the forecasts for electric demand to help third world countries secure loans to pay for the growing electric plant. The demand never met his forecasts so countries were forced to default on their loans, therby becoming a pawn of the American "Empire" or "corporatocray" and forced to do our bidding.

If you buy into that then I suppose you'll like this book and be infuriated like the hippy clerk at Barnes and Noble. I personally think that theory is patronizing and empirically baseless, but I was willing to go along with him for the rest of the book to see if he could convice me. But he couldn't because he didn't even try. His audience, the hate-America-first liberals, takes it as an article of faith that everything we do is wrong and everyone else gets it but us.

And John Perkins is the worst kind of hate-America-first liberal because he actually felt he was doing something wrong, but kept doing it for the money.

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