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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 super-rich. The Occupy movement made the plight of the 99 percent an indelible part of the public consciousness, and concerns about inequality were a decisive factor in the 2012 presidential elections.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. Shockingly, from 2009 to 2011, the top 1 percent got 121 percent of the income gains while the bottom 99 percent saw their income fall. Yet in this most unequal of developed nations, every aspect of inequality remains hotly contested and poorly understood.Divided collects the writings of leading scholars, activists, and journalists to provide an illuminating, multifaceted look at inequality in America, exploring its devastating implications in areas as diverse as education, justice, health care, social mobility, and political representation. Provocative and eminently readable, here is an essential resource for anyone who cares about the future of America--and compelling evidence that inequality can be ignored only at the nation's peril.
David Cay Johnston has made a name for himself as the defender of the common man, naming and shaming the rich and powerful for cheating the system at the expense of everyone else. Now this bestselling author has turned his attention to the sneaky stipulations hidden in the fine print of just about every contract and government rule. The Fine Print is essential reading for anyone who wants to wrestle power back from devious corporations and end their long-standing customer abuse.
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. .
Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)by David Cay Johnston
Johnston shows how, under the guise of deregulation, a new set of regulations went into effect, that thwart competition, depress wages and reward misconduct.
One of the country's top investigative reporters reveals how the richest 1 percent of the country has rigged the tax code and other laws in its favor. Since the mid-1970s, there has been a dramatic shift in America's socioeconomic system, one that has gone virtually unnoticed by the general public. Tax policies and their enforcement have become a disaster, and thanks to discreet lobbying by a segment of the top 1 percent, Washington is reluctant or unable to fix them. The corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the gift tax have been largely ignored by the media. But the cumulative results are remarkable: today someone who earns a yearly salary of $60,000 pays a larger percentage of his income in taxes than the four hundred richest Americans. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston exposes exactly how the middle class is being squeezed to create a widening wealth gap that threatens the stability of the country. By relating the compelling tales of real people across all areas of society, he reveals the truth behind: * "middle class" tax cuts and exactly whom they benefit * how workers are being cheated out of their retirement plans while disgraced CEOs walk away with millions * how some corporations avoid paying anyfederal income tax * how a law meant to prevent cheating by the top 2 percent of Americans no longer affects most of them, but has morphed into a stealth tax on single mothers making just $28,000 * why the working poor are seven times more likely to be audited by the IRS than everyone else * how the IRS became so weak that even when it was handed complete banking records detailing massive cheating by 1,600 people, it prosecuted only 4 percent of them Johnston has been breaking pieces of this story on the front page of The New York Timesfor seven years. With Perfectly Legal, he puts the whole shocking narrative together in a way that will stir up media attention and make readers angry about the state of our country.
Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super-Rich -- and Cheat Everyone Elseby David Cay Johnston
One of the country's top investigative reporters reveals how the richest people within the top 1 percent of the country has rigged the tax code and other laws in its favor. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston has been breaking pieces of this story on the front page of The New York Times for nine years, work for which one business school professor calls him ìthe de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United Statesî. With Perfectly Legal, he puts the whole shocking narrative together in a way that will stir up media attention and make readers angry about the state of our country. And he has sound advice on what to do. Since the mid-1970s, there has been a dramatic shift in who benefits from the American economy and bears the burden of taxes. CEOs, big investors and business owners can delay paying their taxes for years and sometimes escape them almost entirely, while wage earners have their taken from each paycheck. Discreet lobbying by the political donor class has made tax policies and enforcement a disaster. Because of obligations to these donors Washington has been unable, or unwilling, to fix these problems. The news media have largely ignored official favors to those who are supposed to pay the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the gift tax. Millions of families expecting tax cuts are losing some or all of them to a stealth tax that was originally enacted only to apply to the tax-avoiding rich, but that now stings single mothers making as little as $28,000. But the cumulative results are remarkable: the 400 richest Americans pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than someone making $100,000. The 400 richest pay less and less of their income in taxes while the middle class pays more and more. And while the incomes of the very rich skyrocketed over three decades, the average income for the bottom 90 percent fell. Johnston exposes exactly how the middle class is being squeezed to create a widening income gap that threatens the stability of the country. By relating the compelling tales of real people across all areas of society, he reveals the truth behind: * "middle class" tax cuts and exactly whom they benefit * how workers are being cheated out of their retirement plans while disgraced CEOs walk away with hundreds of millions * how some corporations avoid paying any federal income tax * how CEOs fly on vacation in corporate jets for less than you pay for a middle seat in coach ñ and stick you with most of the cost * why the working poor are seven times more likely to be audited by the IRS than everyone else * how the IRS became so weak that even when it was handed complete banking records detailing massive cheating by 1,600 people, it prosecuted only 4 percent of them
A growing chorus of prominent voices in Congress and elsewhere are calling for the expansion of our Social Security system-people who know that Social Security will not "go broke" and does not add a penny to the national debt. Social Security Works! will amplify these voices and offer a powerful antidote to the three-decade-long, billionaire-funded campaign to make us believe that this vital institution is destined to collapse. It isn't.From the Silent Generation to Baby Boomers, from Generation X to Millennials and Generation Z, we all have a stake in understanding the real story about Social Security. Critical to addressing the looming retirement crisis that will affect two- thirds of today's workers, Social Security is a powerful program that can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and help end the upward redistribution of wealth that has resulted in perilous levels of inequality.All Americans deserve to have dignified retirement years as well as an umbrella to protect them and their families in the event of disability or premature death. Sure to be a game-changer, Social Security Works! cogently presents the issues and sets forth both an agenda and a political strategy that will benefit us all. At stake are our values and the kind of country we want for ourselves and for those that follow.
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