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The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind

The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“No other modern country gives corporations the unfettered power found in America to gouge cus­tomers, shortchange workers, and erect barriers to fair play. A big reason is that so little of the news . . . addresses the private, government-approved mechanisms by which price gouging is employed to redistribute income upward.”
 
You are being systematically exploited by powerful corporations every day. These companies squeeze their trusting customers for every last cent, risk their retirement funds, and endanger their lives. And they do it all legally. How? It’s all in the fine print.
 
David Cay Johnston, the bestselling author of Per­fectly Legal and Free Lunch, is famous for exposing the perfidies of our biggest institutions. Now he turns his attention to the ways huge corporations hide sneaky stipulations in just about every contract, often with government permission.
 
Johnston has been known to whip out a utility bill and explain line by line what all that mumbo jumbo actually means (and it doesn’t mean anything good, unless you happen to be the utility company). Within all that jargon, disclosed in accordance with all legal requirements, lie the tools these companies use to rob you blind. Even worse is what’s missing—all the contractually binding clauses that companies hide elsewhere yet still enforce and abuse. Consider, for example, how:
  • An insurance company repeatedly delayed paying for a paralyzed man’s vital care despite court orders to pay up.
  • Laws in nineteen states let companies like Goldman Sachs, General Electric, and Procter & Gamble pocket the state income taxes withheld from their workers’ paychecks for up to twenty-five years.
  • A little-known government rule gives safety waiv­ers to deadly industrial facilities secretly located underneath schools and playgrounds.
  • The “FCC Charge” on your phone bill, which appears to be a government fee, actually goes straight to the phone company.
 
Johnston shares solutions you can use to fight back against the hundreds of obscure fees and taxes that line the pockets of big corporations, and to help end these devious practices once and for all.

Synopsis:

A bestselling authors shocking analysis of the many ways we are victimized by corporations

 

David Cay Johnston, the bestselling author of Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch, is famous for exposing the perfidies of our biggest institutions. Now he turns his attention to the ways huge corporations hide sneaky stipulations in just about every contract, often with government permission.

 

No other modern country gives corporations the unfettered power found in America to gouge customers, shortchange workers, and erect barriers to fair play. Johnston shares solutions you can use to fight back against the obscure fees and taxes, and to help end these devious practices.

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of Perfectly Legal returns with a powerful new exposé

How does a strong and growing economy lend itself to job uncertainty, debt, bankruptcy, and economic fear for a vast number of Americans? Free Lunch provides answers to this great economic mystery of our time, revealing how today?s government policies and spending reach deep into the wallets of the many for the benefit of the wealthy few.

Johnston cuts through the official version of events and shows how, under the guise of deregulation, a whole new set of regulations quietly went into effect? regulations that thwart competition, depress wages, and reward misconduct. From how George W. Bush got rich off a tax increase to a $100 million taxpayer gift to Warren Buffett, Johnston puts a face on all of the dirty little tricks that business and government pull. A lot of people appear to be getting free lunches?but of course there?s no such thing as a free lunch, and someone (you, the taxpayer) is picking up the bill.

Johnston?s many revelations include:

? How we ended up with the most expensive yet inefficient health-care system in the world

? How homeowners? title insurance became a costly, deceitful, yet almost invisible oligopoly

? How our government gives hidden subsidies for posh golf courses

? How Paris Hilton?s grandfather schemed to retake the family fortune from a charity for poor children

? How the Yankees and Mets owners will collect more than $1.3 billion in public funds

In these instances and many more, Free Lunch shows how the lobbyists and lawyers representing the most powerful 0.1 percent of Americans manipulated our government at the expense of the other 99.9 percent.

With his extraordinary reporting, vivid stories, and sharp analysis, Johnston reveals the forces that shape our everyday economic lives?and shows us how we can finally make things better.

About the Author

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter who has been called the “de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States.” His most recent books, Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch, were New York Times bestsellers. He was a reporter for The New York Times for thirteen years and now writes a column for Reuters. He also teaches at Syracuse University College of Law and the Whitman School of Management, and he was recently elected board president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. He lives in Rochester, New York.
 
Visit www.davidcayjohnston.com

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Prologue

Chapter 1: Taxes - They're Not for Everyone

Chapter 2: A Nickel an Hour More

Chapter 3: The Rich Get Fabulously Richer

Chapter 4: Big Payday

Chapter 5: Plane Perks

Chapter 6: When the Old Man Is Dead and Buried

Chapter 7: The Stealth Tax

Chapter 8: How Social Security Taxes Subsidize the Rich

Chapter 9: Preying on the Working Poor

Chapter 10: Handcuffing the Tax Police

Chapter 11: Mr. Rossotti's Customers

Chapter 12: For Want of a Keystroke

Chapter 13: Mr. Kellogg's Favorite Loophole

Chapter 14: Mass Market Tax Evasion

Chapter 15: Getting Off the Hook

Chapter 16: Profiting Off Taxes

Chapter 17: Profits Trump Patriotism

Chapter 18: Letters to Switerzland

Chapter 19: Gimme Shelter

Chapter 20: Only the Rich Deserve a Comfortable Retirement

Chapter 21: Is Reform Possible?

Conclusions

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781591843580
Subtitle:
How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover
Author:
Johnston, David Cay
Subject:
Government & Business
Subject:
Business Writing
Subject:
Taxation - General
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
Business-Accounting and Finance
Subject:
Business-Customer Service
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120918
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w illustrations on pages 31, 34, 36, a
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind
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Product details 320 pages Portfolio - English 9781591843580 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A bestselling authors shocking analysis of the many ways we are victimized by corporations

 

David Cay Johnston, the bestselling author of Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch, is famous for exposing the perfidies of our biggest institutions. Now he turns his attention to the ways huge corporations hide sneaky stipulations in just about every contract, often with government permission.

 

No other modern country gives corporations the unfettered power found in America to gouge customers, shortchange workers, and erect barriers to fair play. Johnston shares solutions you can use to fight back against the obscure fees and taxes, and to help end these devious practices.

"Synopsis" by ,
The bestselling author of Perfectly Legal returns with a powerful new exposé

How does a strong and growing economy lend itself to job uncertainty, debt, bankruptcy, and economic fear for a vast number of Americans? Free Lunch provides answers to this great economic mystery of our time, revealing how today?s government policies and spending reach deep into the wallets of the many for the benefit of the wealthy few.

Johnston cuts through the official version of events and shows how, under the guise of deregulation, a whole new set of regulations quietly went into effect? regulations that thwart competition, depress wages, and reward misconduct. From how George W. Bush got rich off a tax increase to a $100 million taxpayer gift to Warren Buffett, Johnston puts a face on all of the dirty little tricks that business and government pull. A lot of people appear to be getting free lunches?but of course there?s no such thing as a free lunch, and someone (you, the taxpayer) is picking up the bill.

Johnston?s many revelations include:

? How we ended up with the most expensive yet inefficient health-care system in the world

? How homeowners? title insurance became a costly, deceitful, yet almost invisible oligopoly

? How our government gives hidden subsidies for posh golf courses

? How Paris Hilton?s grandfather schemed to retake the family fortune from a charity for poor children

? How the Yankees and Mets owners will collect more than $1.3 billion in public funds

In these instances and many more, Free Lunch shows how the lobbyists and lawyers representing the most powerful 0.1 percent of Americans manipulated our government at the expense of the other 99.9 percent.

With his extraordinary reporting, vivid stories, and sharp analysis, Johnston reveals the forces that shape our everyday economic lives?and shows us how we can finally make things better.

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