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Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)

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Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) Cover

ISBN13: 9781591841913
ISBN10: 1591841917
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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The issue of inequality has irrefutably returned to the fore, riding on the anger against Wall Street following the 2008 financial crisis and the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of the superrich. How bad is it? According to Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Cay Johnston, most Americans, in inflation-adjusted terms, are now back to the average income of 1966. Divided (New Press) collects the writings of leading scholars, activists, and journalists to provide an illuminating, multifaceted look at inequality in America.

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Johnston, a New York Times investigative reporter, has spent his 40-year career exposing collusion between government officials and private sector entities as they enrich the rich and ignore consequences for middle-class laborers and the poor. In Perfectly Legal, he focused on hidden inequities in the tax system. This volume is a broader examination of collusion and unfairness, ranging from subsidies for professional sports stadiums to secret payouts to multinational corporate chief executives. At the base of Johnston's journalistic indictment are the highly paid lobbyists working Congress, state legislatures, county commissions, city councils and government regulatory agencies. Johnston also cites the culpability of George W. Bush in his roles as professional baseball team owner, Texas governor and U.S. president, and targets well-known tycoons such as Donald Trump, Warren Buffett and George Steinbrenner as well as lesser-recognized beneficiaries who own golf courses and insurance companies and energy consortiums. Heroes appear occasionally, such as Remy Welling, an Internal Revenue Service investigator who blew the whistle on improper tax breaks for the wealthy and lost her job. Johnston writes compellingly to show how government-private sector collusion affects the middle class and the poor." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Bestselling author and acclaimed journalist Johnston shows how for the past three decades, the government began to offer favorable treatment to certain groups. But for every subsidy and regulatory change that helps one person, another pays the price.

Synopsis:

Free Lunch answers the great mystery of our time: How did our strong and growing economy give way to job uncertainty, debt, bankruptcy, and fear for millions of Americans? Acclaimed reporter David Cay Johnston reveals how government policies and spending have reached deep into the wallets of the many to benefit the top 1% of the wealthiest.

He shows exactly who has been getting free lunches from the government?from $100 million to Warren Buffett, to $1.3 billion to the owners of the Yankees and Mets. But of course there?s really no such thing as a free lunch. The taxpayer always picks up the bill. With his in depth 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, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, has been called the "de facto chief tax enforcement of the United Stated". 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 teaches at Syracuse University College of Law. He lives in Rochester, New York. Visit davidcayjohnston.com

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

andredelepierre, February 12, 2008 (view all comments by andredelepierre)
I've found the book in the English bookstore in LIlle France. The book is full of hard data about the plundering of public money by US companies to build their empires.
Of particular interest to me : how football moguls grab public money to build the stadiums
I would only suggest M Johnston to come to France and research how the soccer business here is taking money from our pockets, thanks to credulous city officials, to build huge football stadiums with our taxes.

Fabulous salaries for players, high dividends for the shareholders are only possible because these people do not invest one euro of their own money to build the workplace of their employees.

Definitely a must !
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(14 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
leslie obrien, February 5, 2008 (view all comments by leslie obrien)
I received this book as a gift and would read sections of it aloud, often shouting. My husband finally took it away from me and would only allow me to read it for short periods of time as I would immediately start yelling and quoting from the book.

It's shocking! It's horrible! If you are prone to throw things, don't read it with breakables nearby, but definitely buy it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(19 of 30 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781591841913
Subtitle:
How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and StickYou with the Bill)
Author:
Johnston, David Cay
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover
Subject:
Government & Business
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Subsidies
Subject:
Business Ethics
Subject:
Subsidies -- United States.
Subject:
Business Writing
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20071227
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Business » Business Law
Business » Ethics
Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Economics » US Economy

Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Portfolio - English 9781591841913 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Johnston, a New York Times investigative reporter, has spent his 40-year career exposing collusion between government officials and private sector entities as they enrich the rich and ignore consequences for middle-class laborers and the poor. In Perfectly Legal, he focused on hidden inequities in the tax system. This volume is a broader examination of collusion and unfairness, ranging from subsidies for professional sports stadiums to secret payouts to multinational corporate chief executives. At the base of Johnston's journalistic indictment are the highly paid lobbyists working Congress, state legislatures, county commissions, city councils and government regulatory agencies. Johnston also cites the culpability of George W. Bush in his roles as professional baseball team owner, Texas governor and U.S. president, and targets well-known tycoons such as Donald Trump, Warren Buffett and George Steinbrenner as well as lesser-recognized beneficiaries who own golf courses and insurance companies and energy consortiums. Heroes appear occasionally, such as Remy Welling, an Internal Revenue Service investigator who blew the whistle on improper tax breaks for the wealthy and lost her job. Johnston writes compellingly to show how government-private sector collusion affects the middle class and the poor." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Bestselling author and acclaimed journalist Johnston shows how for the past three decades, the government began to offer favorable treatment to certain groups. But for every subsidy and regulatory change that helps one person, another pays the price.
"Synopsis" by ,
Free Lunch answers the great mystery of our time: How did our strong and growing economy give way to job uncertainty, debt, bankruptcy, and fear for millions of Americans? Acclaimed reporter David Cay Johnston reveals how government policies and spending have reached deep into the wallets of the many to benefit the top 1% of the wealthiest.

He shows exactly who has been getting free lunches from the government?from $100 million to Warren Buffett, to $1.3 billion to the owners of the Yankees and Mets. But of course there?s really no such thing as a free lunch. The taxpayer always picks up the bill. With his in depth 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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