The Covid-19 pandemic should be a rallying call to change an economic system that spends billions each year on the tools of war but can’t produce a decent healthcare system, bestselling author John Perkins told RT.
Perkins is best known for his book ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,’ in which he describes how American corporate elites plunder other nations to enrich themselves.
The economic system that puts immediate gains above all else, which Perkins calls an “economy of death” may be as lethal to common Americans as to people in Latin America or Eastern Asia, he said in an interview with RT Spanish. One only needs to look at the death toll of the Covid-19 epidemic in the US to see the proof.
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“Our annual military budget is something between $600 billion and $700 billion. But we’ve just spent about $3 trillion to fight coronavirus. If we had spent half of that military budget over the last 10 years creating a better healthcare system in this country, we would all be better off now. The world would be better off,” he said.
The big flaw of the current arrangement is that corporations don’t suffer financially for inflicting long-term damage.
“In a way, it boils down to the driving force behind the ‘death economy,’ which is to maximize the short-term profits regardless of social or environmental costs,” Perkins said.
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Changing the equation would require a shift in public policy that would incentivize investment in projects with long-term public benefits. Unfortunately, the US government’s priorities are pretty far from that goal, judging by the bloated defense budget, the author believes.
“Fifty-four percent of my taxpayer dollars in the discretionary budget in the US go to the military industry. You know, to kill people, basically,” he said. “Imagine if that money or some large portion of that money was instead paid [to improve the lives of people].