Author spotlight: Rinaldo Brutoco

Rinaldo S. Brutoco is the Founding President and CEO of the Santa Barbara-based World Business Academy and a co-founder of JUST Capital. He’s a serial entrepreneur, executive, author, radio host, and futurist who’s published on the role of business in relation to pressing moral, environmental, and social concerns for over 35 years.

Escape from Minority Rule: Insurrection
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   January 21, 2021

Senator Mitt Romney succinctly summarized the events of last Wednesday in one sentence: “What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the President of the United States.” Former President George W. Bush also used “insurrection” to describe the attack on the U.S. Capitol, felt by many to be “the center and sacred symbol of […]

Escaping Minority Rule: The United States Senate
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   January 14, 2021

Do we, as the people of the United States of America, want to be a democracy? This is the fundamental question behind the several articles being grouped under the title “Escaping Minority Rule.” Historically we know the founders wanted to create minority rule and they went to great lengths to ensure that some people (primarily […]

‘Peace on Earth, Good Will to Man’
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 31, 2020

The phrase above originates from the King James Version of the Gospel of Luke, and although gender specific, was meant to refer to all humankind. Hence, a better way to trumpet this phrase is “Peace on Earth Good Will to All.” This week is the most appropriate time of the year to pause and recall […]

Escaping Minority Rule: The Electoral College
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 24, 2020

What do people, especially the news media, mean by “Minority Rule”? Let’s be clear that it doesn’t mean “minority government,” a term used to describe how a national political party (e.g., United Kingdom, France, Israel, etc.) can govern without an absolute majority vote. A minority government in a multi-party system is allowed to form coalitions […]

A Time to Choose
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 17, 2020

This COVID dominated period our global human society is going through gives me a partial sense of what it must have been like during one of the six great prior plagues humanity has endured and survived. The “good news” is that we have the opportunity to choose to put this terrible human tragedy behind us. […]

A Shocking Decision
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 10, 2020

A truly astounding event occurred this past week. It was both unanticipated and shocking at the same time. It was totally “out of left field,” and yet I believe it is an unfortunate harbinger of things to come. What was this incredible decision? It was the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down New York’s restrictions […]

Gratitude and Hope
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 3, 2020

The cover of the November 14 issue of The Economist is a picture of a curving tunnel with bright light at the end emanating from a hypodermic syringe. The words below the image state simply “Suddenly, hope.” It is a powerful image with a dramatic headline. You can’t miss the message: recently released data on […]

A Spaceship Named ‘Resilience’
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 26, 2020

The crew capsule aboard the Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket that NASA successfully blasted into space last weekend achieved an amazing milestone. This incredible event was the remarkable result of the public-private sector partnership between NASA and SpaceX that sent astronauts directly from the U.S. to the International Space Station for the first time in nine […]

Business Leadership and the Paris Accords
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 19, 2020

November 4 was an incredibly important day. Not just because a Joe Biden election victory was so uncertain and the tension in the air was thick enough to cut with a knife, but also because it was the day the USA formally ended its participation in the Paris Climate Accords. This marked the end of […]

Pack the Court?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 12, 2020

What does it mean to “pack the court”? Despite popular misconceptions, the first “court packing” occurred in 1801 when Federalist John Adams stayed up all night signing dozens of judicial appointments in order to pack the entire Federal judiciary so that his successor, Thomas Jefferson, couldn’t appoint any. Many significant “court packing” incidents occurred from […]

Fixing Wall Street: Debt vs. Dividends
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 5, 2020

We frequently hear on public media that “the stock market does not reflect the ‘real’ economy.” That is absolutely correct. The question we should ask ourselves is why doesn’t Wall Street reflect the real economy? Why is Wall Street today at all-time highs when we are now in the worst recession since the Great Depression, […]

Are We Becoming a Gerontocracy?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 29, 2020

Think about it. In 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated at the age of 70, making him the oldest person to assume the presidency. He is running this year against Joe Biden, who will be 78 if inaugurated in 2021, while Trump will be 74. In a campaign where there are massive differences between “the Donald” […]

Fireproofing California
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 21, 2020

As of today, 2 times more acres burned in California this year than last. That isn’t an evolutionary deterioration of our public lands – it is a catastrophic, geometric increase in forest destruction that will continue to get worse on an accelerating curve indefinitely into the future. We have three choices on how to react […]

Is the Post Office Going Broke?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 13, 2020

Exploring the glue that holds our nation together – Part 3 For years, politicians have been accusing the Post Office of being a profligate appendix to the U.S. Federal budget that will continuously require financial support to stay in business. Nothing could be further from the truth. My suspicion is that the real objection to […]

Cards and Letters
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 1, 2020

Exploring the glue that holds our nation together – Part 2 “Keep those cards and letters coming.” Really now, is buying stamps all we can do to save the Post Office? Is delivering cards and letters all we should expect of the Post Office because there is more of a “personal touch” with them than […]

What’s the ‘Big Deal’ with the Post Office?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 24, 2020

Exploring the glue that holds our nation together – Part 1 The Trump Administration is doing everything it can to make it harder for the Post Office to deliver and collect, in a timely manner, the ballots so we can avoid physically going to the polls in COVID times. OK, that sounds pretty ugly. Is […]

Too Late to Buy Gold?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 17, 2020

In the World business Academy’s New Business Paradigms September 2018 podcast, we told listeners to sell whatever stocks they owned and invest their portfolio in one of two gold Exchange Traded Commodities (ETC) funds. At that time gold was trading at $1,231.91 per ounce. We explained that it was not likely that stocks or bonds […]

Wind, Wires, and Fire
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 10, 2020

The devastating Paradise Fire of 2018 was caused by sparking from Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E’s) high-voltage transmission lines that run through all sorts of back country and forests in Northern California. Unfortunately, that tragedy is but one of dozens of fires started from high-voltage transmission lines which, by definition, often run through forests and […]

‘Mother Earth is Having a Fit’
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 3, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was interviewed last Wednesday on CBS by Stephen Colbert and she made this provocative observation: “Mother Earth is having a fit.” It was her way of saying that the climate crisis is real, and it’s here now. Let’s put some substance to that claim. We were all mesmerized as Hurricane Laura […]

No Wasted Crises
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   August 27, 2020

The triple threat we face could make our country stronger than ever You’ve heard the old saying “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” No question, we are ensnared in a crisis, within a crisis, within a crisis. We have the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic with 180,000 dead in the United States as […]

Testing Insanity
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   August 20, 2020

We can’t succeed without a comprehensive national program for COVID testing “Testing Insanity” – Bill Gates, Global Pubic Square What exactly was Bill Gates trying to communicate when Fareed Zakaria interviewed him recently on his CNN GPS show? Zakaria is a serious interviewer who pries information out of his guests. And Gates, well what can […]

Arc of the Moral Universe
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   August 13, 2020

When it comes to criminal justice reform, the compassionate path is also the wisest. President Obama had one quote woven into the carpet of the Oval Office. It read: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That Martin Luther King, Jr. quote has resonated with us down through history […]

Why Are We Here?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 30, 2020

My wife and I have significant comorbidity issues that would be extremely dangerous were we to contract COVID-19. Many of us have been self-quarantined since mid-February with no end in sight. Why are we here? California started way behind New York in experiencing large pandemic infections, only to pass it. Why are we here? Santa […]

A Life Worth Living
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 23, 2020

WOW! It’s yet another week of rising COVID numbers as the country lurches forward and backward without any Federal leadership. This limbo period feels like it may never end. Well, in the dynamic context of conflicting realities of life and death, of abundance and growing homelessness, I’m writing today about living a meaningful life. Possibly […]

Death and Taxes!
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 16, 2020

Benjamin Franklin observed that “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Right now, we are up to our eyeballs in coronavirus deaths (over 140,000 as of today) and equally consumed by taxes. The coronavirus death numbers conclusively prove the necessity for the U.S. to have a better public […]

Conscious Consumption AS Social Activism
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 9, 2020

There is a collective myth of how America started out as a haven for religious freedom. While there’s some truth to that, in fact, America started as a business. The first settlers in Jamestown were commercially organized as The Virginia Company, and granted a charter in 1604 to exploit New World resources for the British […]

Abandon the Protestant Work Ethic
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 2, 2020

I’ve been thinking lately about all the money that’s been flowing into the economy from the CARES Act. The $500+ billion that went to big corporations has been in the news lately – mostly because of the brouhaha over Treasury Secretary Mnuchin refusing to tell the Congress how much he gave, to whom he gave […]

Juneteenth: A Holiday that Matters
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 25, 2020

We are writing this piece on June 19, 2020, and wanted to wish everyone Happy Juneteenth! For many of our readers, this might be the first year you’ve heard about the holiday called Juneteenth, but it’s been celebrated around parts of the United States since 1886, with more and more people celebrating it each year. […]

Truth, Justice, and the American Way
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 25, 2020

Writing this column on Juneteenth, I am reminded of Bryan Stevenson’s fabulous 2014 book Just Mercy. In it, he observes that “Capital punishment means, ‘them without capital get the punishment’…” Stevenson ends the description of his first experience with prisoners on Georgia’s death row with this musing, “My short time on death row revealed that […]

The White Solution
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 18, 2020

Last week this column was entitled Half Slave, Half Free and dealt with the reality that people of color are not equal in this country; and, that this condition is a fundamental challenge to our “Union” as envisioned by Abraham Lincoln. Hopefully, after the last two weeks of international protests we are ready to embrace […]

Half Slave, Half Free
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 11, 2020

The two original sins of this nation are the systematic genocide of Native Americans and slavery. Both were the result of overt racism which has become so imbedded in our culture that we’re now left with only this choice: either be racist, or be anti-racist. There is no longer any middle ground. It’s not going […]

“Plastics, Benjamin”: A Letter to the Class of 2020
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 4, 2020

Mike Nichols’ 1967 iconic and classic film, for which he received the Best Director Award among four other Academy Awards, was The Graduate. The film is a masterful exploration of the malaise of college graduation at a time of great social turmoil. A promotional poster captured the tension brilliantly: “This is Benjamin. He’s a little […]

It’s a Wonderful Life (Really?)
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 28, 2020

The American Film Institute honored Frank Capra by selecting his movie It’s A Wonderful Life as the Most Inspirational Film of all time. It was a great pick. Not only has it become a “Christmas Classic” for decades, but Frank Capra is quoted as saying it was his favorite film of all the incredible classics […]

A Trail of Tears
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 21, 2020

In our recent four-part series, “New Federalism in a Post COVID-19 World,” we extensively reviewed the pre-Colonial origins, the subsequent history, and the modern evolution of the Federal government’s relationship with the individual states. That’s what the subject of “Federalism” usually means in a political context, as if the only governmental authorities in the United […]

New Federalism in a Post-COVID World – Part IV
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 14, 2020

We began by examining the growing power of the Federal government, and particularly the executive Branch (the President). We traced the rise of Federal power, for better or worse, from the Articles of Confederation, through the U.S. Constitution, and through World War I up until today with the respective actions of states and the Federal […]

A New Federalism – Part III
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 7, 2020

The last installment in this series covered the rise of U.S. Federalism characterized by a strong federal government from the Great Depression to the 1970s, and the breakdown of that strong centralized role starting with Ronald Reagan and running through to the present day. Why did this happen? How did the Reagan Revolution so successfully […]

A New Federalism – Part II
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 23, 2020

In part one of this four-part series we traced the history of Federalism from the Founding 13 Colonies and the Articles of Confederation through to the Constitution replacing the Articles in 1789. We then saw Federalism evolving through the Civil War up to the present day. This installment looks at Federalism at its best (i.e. […]

A New Federalism Awaits Us in a Post-COVID-19 America
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 16, 2020

First of a four-part series: Up until January, the main concern being touted by political pundits was a fear of executive overreach from the White House. Resulting from several decades of an expanding role in the Executive Branch, an ever more powerful executive has arisen at the expense of Congress’ appropriate role. These fears have […]

Why Good Leaders are the Ones Who Make us Feel Safe
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 9, 2020

In one of his massively watched Ted Talks, management guru Simon Sinek explains why good leaders inspire confidence, and why we feel safe when we have someone in charge of an organization who doesn’t demand trust but inspires it. He takes it back to the nature of humanity as a social species. How when we […]

The Death of an Electric Monopoly
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 2, 2020

For the first time in memory, there is momentum in California to usher in the clean, decentralized energy future that a growing number of Californians believe is necessary to combat climate change and improve community resiliency. It begins with reimagining how electric utilities conduct business. After the 2019 fire season, Public Safety Power Shutoffs resulted […]