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.

Abortion is Not the Issue: The Way to St. Helena
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 17, 2022

Hard to believe though it is, the leaked draft opinion of Justice Samuel Alito is one of the most radical decisions in Supreme Court history. The proposed majority opinion striking down Roe v. Wade is not going to be remembered for its doctrinaire, misogynistic, didactic, and insensitive tone, nor for its incredulous conclusions. No, it […]

Guns and Butter Stagflation or Taxes
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 10, 2022

A macroeconomic argument circulating during World War II stated that the nation couldn’t afford both “guns and butter,” pitting the costs of waging war against luxuries like silk stockings and abundant food choices like creamy milkfat. In fact, this saying originated decades earlier, with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916 as the […]

Freedom Fuel in the USA and Abroad Severing the Umbilical Cord
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 3, 2022

On April 14, this column introduced the concept of “Freedom Fuel.” It outlined the potential unlocked by shifting from a planetary fuel system based on fossil fuels to a system based on the wide availability of hydrogen created by electrolyzing water with renewable energy (so called “Green Hydrogen”) at prices below fossil fuel. As that […]

Inflation, the Economy, and More! A Leviathan Lurking 
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 26, 2022

Most folks are feeling significant pain at the gas pump and the grocery store these days. Remarkably, the cause for that “pain” is the same for both – inflation. The question is, should we all be worried about that issue in isolation, or should we focus on the economic fundamentals that underlie this spurt of […]

Freedom Fuel No “Planet B”
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 19, 2022

1,000,000,000 = 1 billion Euros ($110 billion in U.S. dollars) per day. That’s what Europe sends to Russia in cash every single day. At that rate Russia can finance a war for a very long time. At that rate, Russia can commit unlimited atrocities. And, even though some are afraid to call what Russia is […]

War of the Currents From Transmission Lines to “Freedom Fuel”
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 12, 2022

Forest fires, cyber warfare, sabotage, and plain old utility company incompetence, greed, and malfeasance have brought us to the point where we must abandon the electrical grid. It isn’t safe. It does cause a significant percentage of forest fires here in California, it supports a utility (PG&E) that has been convicted of multiple felonies for […]

“Fortress America”: Electrical Grid Vulnerability It’s Not Just Putin
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 5, 2022

A great many things about the Russian invasion of Ukraine bother us, as well they should: the genocide, the war crimes, the images of starving children intermingled with dead bodies and urban wreckage that hasn’t been seen in Europe since the bombing of Dresden. Through it all, we in the U.S. have imagined ourselves tucked […]

Berlin Redux Take Back the Initiative
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   March 22, 2022

We must do more! What more can we do? These twin phrases have become a refrain throughout western civilization. We are profoundly aware that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine on a genocidal scale. We are tormented by a desire to do something “more” but uncertain what that could be. Or how “something more” […]

The Fog of War We can “Walk and Chew Gum”
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   March 15, 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has captivated, as well it should, our general news coverage, our hearts, our minds, and our ability to clearly see the greater peril which is momentarily being obscured by the war. That is understandable on many levels when we see our fellow human beings, average Ukrainian civilians, targeted as victims of […]

How the Marathon Began And Another Example of Courage for Modern Times
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   March 8, 2022

The first battle of the Greco-Persian wars occurred in 490 B.C. in the town of Marathon, Greece. With Persians attacking cities all along the Greek mainland, and as Athenians braced for their own attack, Athenian General Miltiades took command of a civilian army and marched to Marathon to meet the Persian army. Using superior battle […]

Grab the Garlic! Let’s Reserve Resurrection for Religion
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   March 1, 2022

Here they go again! It never ceases to amaze how far Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), a “public utility,” will go in harming the public interest. Their latest ploy is an attempt to surreptitiously resurrect the nearly 40-year-old Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which is scheduled to close by 2025. They want to bring it back […]

A Reason for Hope: On Conscience and Integrity
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   February 22, 2022

In the political swamp that has ensnared our democratic republic a glimmer of something we haven’t seen for almost six years is on the horizon: the emergence of a fissure in the Republican party, which has lately been in the grips of Mr. Trump’s remarkably single-handed control as it morphed into the Cult of Trump. […]

Irish Fishing vs. Russian Force A Perspective on Masculinity
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   February 15, 2022

A major battle broke out between a bunch of Irish fishermen from County Cork Ireland, and the pride of the Russian navy. You may have missed the news story, so it is worth spending some time looking at what happened, why, and what lessons we can take away from the exchange. The story begins with […]

Green is Good! Healing the Biosphere One Step at a Time
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   February 8, 2022

Last week this column skewered the plaintive cry of the character Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street when he propounded that “Greed is good.” In doing so we wrapped up the article by quoting one of the most famous and powerful of all capitalists, Chairman and CEO Larry Fink of BlackRock. The firm Fink […]

Holistic Economics No… Greed is Not Good
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   February 1, 2022

Many people familiar with economic history are familiar with the huge influence that Milton Friedman commanded in our recent economic past. Friedman, an economist and statistician, had an outsized impact on nations around the world through his work heading up the “Chicago School” (referring to the University of Chicago where he taught and led a […]

“Jabberwocky” PG&E and Edison are at it again!
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   January 25, 2022

Investor-Owned Utilities (“Utilities”) are plotting to kill California’s solar program. Apparently, avarice, and the ability to get away with causing 85 percent of area lost in recent forest fires in California, are not enough, and they are now coming up with ways to dramatically reduce all new solar installations in California. Can you believe that […]

It is the Best Possible Year for… A Time for Personal Bravery
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   January 18, 2022

Who was Martin Luther King, Jr? Why do we celebrate a “MLK Holiday” and is he still relevant in 2022? All great questions. Joyfully, the research to explicate those answers took a full day that I will be grateful for the rest of my life. Many of us grew up in the civil rights era. […]

Happy (?) New Year!
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   January 11, 2022

Auld Lang Syne Sometimes referred to as the “New Year’s Anthem,” Auld Lang Syne begins with a markedly rhetorical question: Should old times “be forgot and never brought to mind,” and spends the next several verses confirming the value of times gone by and friendships that were developed to be celebrated into the new year. […]

Celebrating (?) 2021 Remembering an Incredible Year
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 28, 2021

This is one very difficult column to write. It is the end of the year, a time typically filled with Holiday cheer — whether Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just Santa Claus and family. We pause to celebrate the happiness of the season, complete with the exchange of gifts, and to bask in the warm embrace […]

Parental Anxiety: Greed knows no boundaries
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 21, 2021

Almost every parent of a K-12 school age child is really concerned about the incessant school shootings that plague our nation. These have been escalating in violence and complexity over the 23 years since the Columbine massacre in 1999, and it is past time for a national conversation on gun violence and young people. If […]

“Take This Job and Shove It!” Worker Driven Economic Growth
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 14, 2021

Have you heard all the news stories lately about “the Great Resignation” (or as some podcasters are calling it, the “Take this job and shove it” moment)? Tune into CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, or pick up a copy of the Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, or even your […]

Inflation Worries, Wages and the Money Trail: Why panic is unnecessary
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   December 7, 2021

Inflation is on everyone’s mind these days. Currently running at 6.2% (4.6% if you strip out food and energy), inflation is at its highest rate in many decades — since 1990 to be precise. And, although that number is unacceptably high, a historical lens can put things into perspective. From the early 1970s to the […]

Guns, Gosar, Violence and Economics: War Only Enriches Gunsmiths
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 30, 2021

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has galvanized the country, splitting already “warring factions” into something far more dramatic. The travesty of that trial began with the systematic exclusion of Black jurors and was further amplified by a clearly biased and incompetent judge: he openly fought with the prosecution in front of the jury, denied them […]

Secession Revisited: Peace is always cheaper than war
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 23, 2021

Robert Muller, the deceased Santa Barbara resident and globally known United Nations official who many of us admired, famously observed:  “Use every letter you write, Every conversation you have, Every meeting you attend,To express your fundamental beliefs and dreams…”.  I was reminded of this wisdom as I pored over the numerous letters we received from our last […]

“Conscious Uncoupling” Loving separation vs. violent divorce
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 16, 2021

Gwyneth Paltrow famously described her attempts to end a long-term marriage without acrimony as a “conscious uncoupling,” which she explained is a way that a couple can consciously choose to disengage with each other and go their separate ways. No matter what you might think of the talented Ms. Paltrow, or her brand of unusual […]

Marjorie Taylor Greene — Leaving??? Irreconcilable differences?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 9, 2021

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia is one of the wackier folks ever elected to the House of Representatives. Don’t take my word for it: Republican arch-conservative Congresswoman Liz Cheney has said that Greene’s thoughts and words are “sheer lunacy.” Another Republican, Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, said her words were “beyond reprehensible.” Not to […]

Charles Blow is Right! Today’s “Paul Revere Moment”
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   November 2, 2021

Many of you are probably familiar with one or more editorials crafted by New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow. While not as uniformly progressive as some would like, and never a doctrinaire conservative, he usually strikes a tone of being thoughtful, reasonable, and everything but alarmist. Hence, his column from October 17 stands out […]

The Real “Right to Life:” Manchin’s Fear of an “Entitlement Society”
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 26, 2021

Roe v. Wade appears to be on its last legs. The current, radical Supreme Court sits poised to riddle Roe with Texas-sized exceptions or to overturn it all together. Ever since Roe was handed down on January 22, 1973, the press has been full of, and our national politics traumatized by, charges and countercharges concerning […]

Western Rivers, the Salton Sea & Us Bill Maher is right on this one
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 12, 2021

Last week’s column (September 30) dealt with Santa Barbara’s worsening water shortage issues – August was the driest year in the last 127 years for which we have good records! All 423,895 of us in Santa Barbara County moved past “Extreme” drought to the worst of the National Weather Service’s five categories of drought: “Exceptional.” […]

Water, Water… and Not a Drop to Drink Santa Barbara’s Solution
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   October 5, 2021

You may recall the 18th century poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is an incredible story of one man’s abuse of nature causing devastation all around him. In the tale, the Ancient Mariner is the navigator of the vessel on which he sailed, and after some misadventures, his ship […]

“Intimidation Politics” Quo Vadis?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 28, 2021

Credit for today’s headline goes to MSNBC commentator Chris Hayes who used the phrase a couple of weeks ago on his nightly broadcast to describe the threat Kevin McCarthy leveled at the business community that week. In case you missed it, McCarthy as the Minority Leader in the House proclaimed that the Republican party, as […]

The “Methane Accelerator” Climate Change is Moving Past the Tipping Point
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 21, 2021

The latest August 2021 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identifies methane as one of the worst greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. This IPCC report is one of many signs that climate change is accelerating, and already producing considerably graver impacts than has been forecasted by all the leading scientific consensus […]

Hypocrisy … to Murder? Cold Politics Trumps Safety in Texas Yet Again
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 7, 2021

By now anyone who follows the news knows Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas contracted COVID-19 even though he has had both the regular two vaccine injections, and to almost everyone’s surprise, has already received a third booster shot. He received the extra shot despite possibly not being in a category authorized to receive it yet. […]

Death and Taxes! Goodbye Lloyd’s of London
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 29, 2021

A common refrain that has echoed around American society for the last 70 years or so goes like this: “Nothing in life is certain, except death and taxes!” Cute, and up until recently a truism that could be counted on. No longer. It turns out there is one other thing that is certain, is inescapable, […]

So Many Words, So Little Action! It’s time for Corporate America to step up its game
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 22, 2021

As almost everyone in the U.S. is now aware, Georgia’s Republican legislators passed legislation to: a) actively suppress voter turnout, making it significantly harder for minorities to vote by adding new vote-by-mail identification requirements, limiting drop boxes, and an assortment of other measures designed to resuscitate “Jim Crow” voting in the state; and, b) provide […]

What’s With Toyota??? Corporate Responsibility is Not Optional
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 15, 2021

The “Sedition Caucus” is defined as those members of the House of Representatives who, after the January 6 insurrection was brought to a halt, voted to stop counting Electoral College votes in the hopes of overturning the 2020 presidential election. Counting these Electoral Ballots is the final legal act prior to initiating the “Peaceful Transfer […]

Twelve-Story Building Collapses! Cloudy With a Chance of Chaos
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 8, 2021

What on earth is going on in Miami? A 40-year-old, 12-story building named the Champlain Towers South (the “Towers”) collapsed into a heap of rubble without any advance warning, a mile from Miami Beach in Surfside, Florida. At this writing, there are at least 11 fatalities, many injuries, and more than 150 people still missing. […]

“Forgive them Father, For They Know Not…” A Goodbye to Patriarchy
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 1, 2021

This column is being written on Father’s Day — as the humorist Jim Gaffigan observed, “the government mandated day of paternal gratitude.” By now, everything conventional that needs to be written already has been. What motivates this column is to look behind the conventional nostrums of the day to the more basic, the more archetypal, […]

100 Years Old and Useless! What Once Was Good Has Become Anachronistically Bad
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 24, 2021

We all were able to witness a television treat last week when we saw three centenarians (folks over 100) appear on camera to share the horror of their childhoods as they witnessed, in person, the Tulsa Race Riots which President Biden more correctly labeled a “massacre.” Those brave individuals who shared their stories spoke to […]

Bon Voyage! Cruise Ships are Lined Up and Ready to Sail…
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 17, 2021

Cruise ships are lined up and ready to sail… maybe. Yes, last week the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance that permits cruise ships to sail from U.S. ports provided that at least 95% of guests and 98% of crew have been vaccinated. This drops the requirement for test voyages without […]