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Zeitgeist: Addendum - Part Two - Page 6

Author: Edward L Winston
Added: August 16th, 2009

This is the sixth page of part two in my series of articles on Zeitgeist: Addendum. Please refer to the introduction if you were lead to this page.

The largest environmental lawsuit in the history of the world today is being brought on behalf of 30,000 Ecuadorian Amazonian people, against Texaco, which is now owned by Chevron, so its against Chevron but for activities conducted by Texaco, they estimate it to be more than eighteen times what the Exxon Valdese dumped into the coast of Alaska. In the case of Ecuador it wasn't an accident, the oil companies did it intentionally, they knew they were doing it to save money out there rather than arranging for a proper disposal.

The damage in Ecuador is thought to be between $8 and $16 billion, though some also believe it to be as high as $27 billion[54][55][56].

Furthermore, a cursory glance at the performance record of the World Bank reveals that the institution, which publicly claims to help poor countries develop and alleviate poverty, has done nothing but increase poverty and the wealth gap, while corporate profits soar. In 1960 the income gap between the 5th of the world's people in the richest countries, versus the 5th in the poorest countries was 30:1. By 1998, it was 74:1.

This increase is primarily due to the massive increase of population from about 3 billion in 1960 to nearly double at 5.7 billion in 1998[57]. Of course, if the increase were only because of population, it should be closer to 60:1, but obviously that's not the case. This is due to the ever increasing amount the top has vs. the bottom, even though (as I'll show below) the bottom necessarily doesn't have much less.

While global GNP rose 40% between 1970 and 1985, those in poverty actually increased by 17%

I'll assume he's talking about the United States. I'm not sure why this is measuring between 1970 and 1985; though since 1985 the increase has not gone up much more and is now at about the same[58][59].

While from 1985 to 2000, those living on less than 1 dollar a day increased by 18%.

From what I can find, those living on less than $1 a day actually fell between 1990 and 2001 by 21%[60].

Even the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress admitted that there is a mere 40% success rate of all World Bank projects.

From what I can find the World Bank has had an 80% success rate over the last 10 years (from 1997 to 2007)[61].

In the late 1960s, the World Bank intervened in Ecuador with large loans. During the next 30 years, poverty grew from 50% to 70%; under or unemployment grew from 15% to 70%; public debt increased from 240 million to 16 billion; while the share of resources allocated to the poor went from 20% to 6%.

In fact, by the year 2000, 50% of Ecuador's national budget had to be allocated for paying its debts.

Currently Ecuador's poverty rate is about 38%; unemployment is about 7.7% (couldn't find underemployment, but it's extremely widespread); the current public debt is about $14.4 Billion[62][63][64]. I'm not really sure what it means by "resources allocated to the poor" so I can't really find that out, nor can I find substantial records to see if the increases in the film are correct, but given that the numbers are off, I imagine that they aren't.

It is important to understand, the World Bank is, in fact, a US bank, supporting US interests. For the United States holds veto power over decisions, as it is largest provider of capital. And where did it get this money? You guessed it. It made it out of thin air through the fractional reserve banking system.

The United States does indeed hold veto power and is the largest suppler, about 55 to 65% of funding to the World Bank. The money does not come from "thin air", it comes from the sale of bonds on the market (just like the Federal Reserve does) and also from about forty donor countries which put in every three years, also through loan repayments[65][66][67][68].

Of the world's top 100 economies, as based on the annual GDP, 51 are corporations. And 47 of that 51 are US based. Wal-Mart, General Motors and Exxon are more economically powerful than Saudi Arabia, Poland, Norway, South Africa, Finland, Indonesia and many others.

These numbers originate from Perkins' book and while there was no ready chart available, I used Perkins' methodology and created my own. In my research I found that 44 are corporations and of those 12 are US based. In my results the only country still listed below any of those companies is South Africa, which falls behind Exxon, Wal-Mart, Royal Dutch Shell, and BP.

And, as protective trade barriers are broken down, currencies tossed together and manipulated in floating markets, and state economies overturned in favor of open competition and global capitalism, the empire expands.

Since my numbers are much lower than theirs, does this mean the empire is contracting?

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