Corporate Welfare

Big business sets the agenda for what legislation our elected officials spend their time on at the national, state, and local levels, and even write the legislation and pass it on via lobbyists.

What ever your issue is, you can forget it until there is campaign finance reform.  The best book I know of is Lawrence Lessig’s, in “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It“.  Lessig estimates taxpayers pay about $90 Billion a year to corporations in tax loopholes, tax breaks, tax credits, and so on.  This squelches small businesses, who can’t compete since they don’t have enough money to pay legislators to do the same for them.

And then there’s David Cay Johnston’s book “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use “Plain English” to Rob You Blind“.   If you don’t have time to read a book, listen to  NPR’s Fresh Air interview with Johnston. He says  Americans have paid telecommunication companies extra fees that add up to half a Trillion dollars which these companies were supposed to have used to build a fast and cheap internet, cable, and phone system.  They didn’t. We pay as much as 38 times more than the Japanese for a system that’s up to 10 times slower.

Corporate Welfare in the news

Looking at Some Corporate Tax Loopholes Ordinary Citizens May Envy By ANDREW SORKIN April 14, 2014

Books about corporate welfare

The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan

“Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It” by Jeffrey D. Clements

“Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)” by David Cay Johnston

Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and Cheat Everybody Else by David Cay Johnston

“When Corporations Rule the World” by David C Korten

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