January 22, 2012


David Cay Johnston, Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You With the Bill (New York: Portfolio, 2007) ("Three principles can help guide us to make wise decisions about our economic policies. They epitomize the fact that rules define a civilization: "[1] A society that does not embrace a common purpose for its existence has no standard against which to judge itself, making it vulnerable to the corruptions of men who chafe at the limits of law. [2] A society that does not address the needs of its members, especially the vulnerable, weakens itself from within while wasting its most valuable resources, the minds and talents of all its citizens. [3] A society that takes from the many to give to the few undermines its moral basis and must in the end collapse." Id. at 287. From the bookjacket: "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 increases 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. . . " "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 99.9 percent." Occupy America!).

David Cay Johnston, Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else (New York: Portfolio, 2003).