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article imageAuthor John Perkins points to 1976 as pivotal year economically Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Nov 9, 2016 in Lifestyle
No doubt, the U. S. economy is on everyone's mind now that the presidential election is over. Yet as author John Perkins noted, "the fact that someone outside the status quo was elected, says people want change."
The need for change is why the author has embarked on his latest book tour. Tickets were all sold out this past Sunday at the Sonoma Valley Women's Club to hear best-selling author John Perkins speak about his new book 'New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.' The author of more than half a dozen books/essays on the American economy was in town to promote his new book — a revision of the best-selling 'Confessions of an Economic Hit man," which debuted in 2004 before the Recession of 2008.
"We had to turn people way because the turn out was so big," Perkins said. He took a few minutes to chat with this reporter while on assignment for The Sonoma Valley Sun by phone from his home in Massachusetts. When asked what makes this new revision different than his 2004 bestseller, Perkins said "it talks about what we can do to create positive change." His writing comes from years in the financial sector as a chief economist at a major consulting firm with global connections.
Sonoma Mayor Laurie Gallian  John Perkins  Georgia Kelly  Director of Praxis Peace Institute.
Sonoma Mayor Laurie Gallian, John Perkins, Georgia Kelly, Director of Praxis Peace Institute.
Courtesy of author John Perkins and the Praxis Peace Institute
So, I asked him what is one thing (among the several you mention in your new book) that everyday people can do to make an impact? "Be part of a consumer movement," he said. "Write, email, and petition large corporations to make policy changes." He insisted that changing our buying habits is not enough. "People don't realize that corporations run the entire world. Yet they depend upon the everyday consumer and worker to give them their power."
Perkins insists people can turn this around if they pull together and work to make positive change for the world. "The way our economy is today is a 'death economy.' It might have worked in the past but it is not working today. It is broken," he said.
As he told The Press Democrat, which announced his speaking engagement at the Sonoma Valley Women's Club on Sunday, Nov. 6, "our economy began to unravel when economist Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1976." Among the many works and accolades archived, Friedman was an advisor to both President Ronald Reagan and conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. "Friedman's statements and economic philosophy were radical for 1976, said Perkins and helped put our nation on this path." Friedman's political philosophy extolled the virtues of a free market economic system with minimal intervention.
According to Perkins that meant profits gained at any cost, regardless of any negative impact. "Business is supposed to be responsible and provide a decent rate of return," said Perkins. "Not make windfall profits just for the very few, that type of strategy is destructive."
"People in the U.S. can expect more chaos and recessions if we don't change," Perkins said. "Consuming at the rate people are today is bringing society to "ultimate extinction."
Even with this dire outlook, Perkins is confident people at the everyday level can make good things happen. "Look at what people did to stop apartheid in South Africa," he said. "We have made tremendous change through consumer movements."
Perkins noted, "With today's technology, social media, blogs, etc, creating a consumer movement is easier." He strongly believes that people can turn a death economy into a life-sustaining economy if we just work at it. "It is already happening," he added. "People want change. Yet we have to work more at it, pushing a bit farther in our efforts, faster (because time is of the essence) and harder."
He thanked The Praxis Peace Institute for bringing him to Sonoma. He enjoyed speaking and meeting everyone there at the Sonoma Valley Women's Club. And he hopes that his message will be as well received in other places on his speaking tour as he is eager to be a catalyst for positive change. To learn more about author John Perkins, visit his web site and check out his page on Facebook.
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