The Economic Hit Men
23 July 2015
Fr. Shay Cullen
The Greek left-wing government has struggled and wrestled against compromising their principles not to give in to the stringent demands of their creditors. They failed and have had to enact tough austerity laws that will bring hardship on the ordinary citizen.
They have opposed giving into the demands of the creditors because the ordinary Greek citizen never incurred those debts. The amount owed now stands at 356 billion euro and increasing by one thousand euro every second as the interest continues to be added to the debt.
In many countries in the developing and developed world burdened with foreign debt, it is the wealthy ruling families that dominate the congress or parliament and get laws passed with loopholes that give them a way out of paying their taxes.
In the United States the billionaire Warren Buffet said that his secretary pays more tax than he does. He was pointing out that the Republicans, the party of the rich and big business, passed laws with backdoors so the corporate tax rate was greatly reduced or totally exempted some industries and corporations, usually those involved in providing for “National Security,” like the arms manufacturers. Taxation of middle class was increased.
In Greece and elsewhere, national debt is left unpaid because tax collection is notoriously corrupt and many of the rich are exempt. The massive corporations have assisted in the election of their political puppets and they pass laws exempting the big corporations from paying tax.
They too are the big borrowers that cause the debt and the law mandates the state- the taxpayers- must pay back the loans. The rich who got their loans have skipped town and are nowhere to be found.
Of course rich countries made it a policy to get poor countries, endowed with minerals and natural recourses, to take the offered loans with huge interest rates or onerous conditions. There were kickbacks to the government officials who negotiated the loans. Much of these were promptly stolen and stashed abroad.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the private investment banks fronting for multinational corporations played this dirty game. They have changed but not much. It was a form of enslaving nations in the web of debt. If the ruling elite refused to pay, the dark enforcers showed up, assassins came to eliminate the reluctant leader.
They could threaten to close the banks, cause economic mayhem, social unrest, military coups, or send in mercenary bands of killers to foment unrest and get rid of presidents and even oligarchies who did not obey their dictates.
Private loans guaranteed by the state must be paid back from the national treasury or the government is forced to turn over natural resources to the favored multinational corporations.
The power of the debt collectors was enormous and we can see it happening in Greece today. The massive financial institutions employed “hit men,” or representatives to go to the vulnerable nations and work with the corrupt politicians and business elite to set up the nation to take the unjust and corruption-ridden loans and force the taxpayers to pay it back. They are called “economic hitmen.”
John Perkins was one such hit man. He had qualms of conscience when famine, hunger and poverty grew instead of a prosperous economy. He saw human suffering and economic ruin, human trafficking and other forms of slavery as the direct result of corrupt un-payable debts.
Greece is just one of the latest victims. In his book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” he revealed how the dirty global game is played.
In many countries that have fallen into the debt trap, democracy is just a façade of the ruling families. But in Greece a people’s government, not connected to the ruling elite and representing the common person, got elected when it became clear that the poor ordinary citizen was left holding the debt.
Austerity means that the welfare and pension of the citizens have to be cut and other social welfare benefits for the elderly and the retired.
However there are no demands from the IMF, the World Bank or the European Central Bank for the Greek government to pass laws to nationalize the corrupt corporations or seize the property of the elite that got the loans and never paid them back. Perhaps they should, and then sell off the corporations to pay the debts.
The laws usually say that the government (meaning the tax-paying citizens) has to take pension cuts, lower welfare and less medical benefits to pay it back. The rich borrowers have siphoned off the funds into offshore accounts and escape with the plunder.
In the Philippines, with due credit to the Aquino administration, some of the plunderers have been arrested when it was discovered they set up fake charities and transferred government funds to them. They in turn paid the money back to the politicians.
There was and still is a ruling oligarchy in Greece. They are temporally out of power. These few massively rich ruled everybody else. In the Philippines it’s similar. An estimated 140 massive families and their relatives and cronies are imbedded in every province, cities and towns. They rule the more than 110,000,000 Filipinos.
They also pressure officials to do business with them, open the mining sector, build polluting coal-fired generation plants, allow GMO seed and many other forms of exploitation against the interests of the people.
The Greek people are suffering the same punishment for not paying the unjust debts, which are the result of corruption of the elite.