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

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Penguin, 2007 - Business & Economics - 323 pages
7 Reviews
The bestselling author of Perfectly Legal returns with a powerful new exposť

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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Free Lunch

User Review  - dennyn1 - Overstock.com

For the careful follower of national events David Cay Johnstons book pulls together very succinctly the depredations that corporate America and its lobbyists enabled by willingly a captive Federal ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Very, very informative.

Contents

Preface
1
WITHOUT EVEN ASKING
3
MR REAGANS QUESTION
9
TRUST AND CONSEQUENCES
26
CHINESE MAGNETISM
37
SEIZING THE COMMONS
53
PRIDE AND PROFITS
62
YOUR LAND IS MY LAND
77
SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN
162
TROJAN HORSE
168
SIGHTLESS SHERIFFS
177
PAYING TWICE
187
RISING SNOW
201
UNHEALTHY ECONOMICS
208
LESS FOR MORE
214
HOOKED ON DRUGS
235

BOUNTY HUNTERS
85
GOINFISHIN
95
JUST SAY NO
110
BEAUTY AND THE BOUNTY
124
FALSE ALARM
133
HOME ROBBERY
140
INDENTURED SCHOLARS
151
SELLING THE FURNITURE
158
IM BEING TRAPPED
244
NONE DARE CALL IT STEALING
259
NOT SINCE HOOVER
272
What to Do?
283
Acknowledgments
295
Notes
299
Index
309
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize?winning reporter for The New York Times, has hunted down a killer the police failed to catch, exposed LAPD abuses, caused two television stations to lose their licenses over news manipulations, and revealed Donald Trump?s true net worth. He has uncovered so many tax dodges that he has been called the ?de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States.?

His last book, Perfectly Legal, was a New York Times bestseller and honored as Book of the Year by the journalism organization Investigative Reporters and Editors. Over his forty-year career he has won many other honors, including a George Polk Award.

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