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In-Depth Interview: Author John Perkins Talks About Economic Hit Men and the Limits of Presidential Power

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John Perkins talks about his new book, New Confesssions of an Economic Hit Man, the limits of presidential power, and his hope for revolutionary change.By far, Perkins is the most popular guest to grace the PBC radio shows and podcasts of the last 10 years.  Fueled by his personal regret for his actions as in international business consultant in the 1970’s, Perkins is determined to expose the work of today’s economic hit men, who have brought their insidious, pro-corporate methods to bear in the US these days.

After defining economic hit men, empire and “jackals” (lifted from a previous interview), Perkins comments on the austerity imposed on Greece, the exploitation of Haiti after the earthquake and Honduras after the 2009 coup backed by Obama and Hillary Clinton, the plight of Puerto Rico under the thumbs of vulture capitalists, and Detroit and Flint.

Perkins describes what he sees as the limits of the power of American presidents, narrowed after the assassination of JFK.  Rather than expect a president to rescue us, Perkins sees consumer power deployed against corporations as the best path to restoring democracy.  His book contains many checklists for activists of every description.

Near the end, we are joined by Randy Hayes, a mutual friend and the founder of Rainforest Action Network and, more recently, Foundation Earth.  Hayes shares the story of a hot tub encounter he and Perkins had with a top executive of Mitsubishi Industries after a difficult negotiation over rain forest protection.

You can visit the Perkins website here, and sign up for his newsletter.  Learn more about the work of the Pachamama Alliance here.