Corporate Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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Butterball Workers Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges
2012-02-16, ABC News
Six workers at a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina face criminal charges after an undercover video revealed alleged animal abuse, and a state employee who tipped off Butterball before a police raid on the farm has pled guilty to obstruction of justice. Butterball ... accounts for 20 percent of total turkey production in the U.S.. Mercy for Animals [is] the animal rights group that shot the undercover video. "Unfortunately, every time we send an investigator they emerge with shocking evidence of animal abuse," said MFA executive director Nathan Runkle. "Before ending up in restaurants and grocery stores, turkeys killed for Butterball are routinely crowded into filthy warehouses, neglected to die from infected, bloody wounds, and thrown, kicked, and beaten by factory farm workers." In addition, Dr. Sarah Mason, a veterinarian at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, was suspended from her job ... and was sentenced to 45 days in the Hoke County jail after pleading guilty to obstructing justice and obstructing a public officer. Mason admitted calling a friend who worked at Butterball prior to the raid. Though she initially denied talking to the Butterball employee, Dr. Mason later admitted telling him about the existence of the Mercy for Animals video showing alleged abuse. In the video, workers can be seen kicking and stomping on turkeys, as well as dragging them by their wings and necks. The video also shows injured birds with open wounds and exposed flesh. Butterball ... has said it was "shocked" by the undercover video, is taking the animal cruelty investigation seriously.
Note: For two excellent and fun short videos showing both the problem and solutions for cruel factory farming, click here and here. For lots more little-known, excellent information to promote your health, click here.
Monsanto found guilty of chemical poisoning in France
2012-02-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A French court has declared the US biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides. In the first such case heard in court in France, the grain grower Paul Francois, 47, said he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto's Lasso weedkiller in 2004. He blames Monsanto for not providing adequate warnings on the product label. "It is a historic decision in so far as it is the first time that a [pesticide] maker is found guilty of such a poisoning," Francois Lafforgue, Francois's lawyer, told Reuters. Francois and other farmers suffering from illness set up an association last year to make a case that their health problems should be linked to their use of crop protection products. The agricultural branch of the French social security system says that since 1996, it has gathered farmers' reports of sickness potentially related to pesticides, with about 200 alerts a year. The Francois case goes back to a period of intensive use of crop-protection chemicals in the European Union. The EU and its member countries have since banned a large number of substances considered dangerous.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Eight arrests as Murdoch 'throws staff to the wolves'
2012-02-12, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Police swooped on eight individuals between 6am and 8am yesterday, arresting the five Sun journalists, two Ministry of Defence staff and a police officer. The arrests came hard on the heels of five related arrests two weeks ago when four senior Sun journalists and a police officer were questioned in connection with bribery allegations. The latest astonishing development ... prompted fury among the newspaper's staff, amid allegations that those arrested had been "thrown to the wolves" in an effort to bolster the embattled News Corp empire, and, particularly, to rekindle its hopes of taking over BSkyB. The police were acting on information provided by News International, owner of The Sun and Times newspapers. The investigation broke new ground yesterday: for the first time, the arrests broadened beyond payments to police, with a female member of the MoD and a member of the armed forces also held while their homes were searched. The journalists arrested were Geoff Webster, The Sun's deputy editor; John Kay, a former chief reporter who joined the title in 1974; Nick Parker, chief foreign correspondent; John Edwards, picture editor; and John Sturgis, a reporter.
Note: The fact that the The Sun's deputy editor and chief foreign correspondent were arrested along with a female member of the MoD and a member of the armed forces is astounding. Could the predictions of David Wilcock of mass arrests of key people involved in major corruption be coming true? Wilcock has written a thoroughly researched and amazingly deep and penetrating paper on all that is going on at this link.
Rothschild loses libel case, and reveals secret world of money and politics
2012-02-11, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Nathaniel Rothschild, scion of the banking dynasty and friend of seemingly everyone in the spheres of finance, business and politics, ... has lost his libel case against the Daily Mail, which he sued for "substantial damages" over its account of his and [Lord] Mandelson's extraordinary trip to Russia in January 2005. Mr Rothschild claimed he was subjected to "sustained and unjustified" attacks in the May 2010 article, which portrayed him as a "puppet master", dangling his friend Lord Mandelson in front of the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to ease the passage of colossal business deals. It began on Mr Rothschild's private jet from the World Economic Forum in Davos to Moscow, where they met Mr Deripaska, the aluminium plant manager who became the richest oligarch of them all, and continued on Mr Deripaska's private jet to his chalet in Siberia. The judge rejected the notion that Mr Rothschild and Mr Mandelson had flown out as friends, not business associates, and said Mr Rothschild's behaviour had in part been "inappropriate". "That conduct foreseeably brought Lord Mandelson's public office and personal integrity into disrepute," the judge said. That leading politicians, bankers and businessmen associate with each other in fashions that blur the boundaries between work and pleasure is a secret too great to be maintained with any success, but it doesn't make the details, on the rare occasions they actually emerge, any more palatable.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
EU agrees rules to tame derivatives market
European Union diplomats and the European Parliament agreed ... to overhaul regulation of the roughly $700 trillion derivatives market, a move that will make it easier to control one of the most opaque areas of finance. Under new EU laws, banks, hedge funds and other buyers and sellers of derivatives will be encouraged to move away from the unregulated 'over-the-counter' market, which accounts for almost 95 percent of all trades. In the past, it has been common for multi-million-euro contracts to be recorded by no more than a fax, with only the parties involved aware of the details. This will change under the new law, which would standardise most trading so it happens on open exchanges. Settlement of such deals will be cleared centrally, making them easier to monitor. Those that do not shift to exchanges or a central counterparty such as LCH Clearnet in London, which acts as an intermediary between buyer and seller, will face higher capital charges to reflect the extra risk. Crucially, the new rules mean that all deals must be recorded, whether conducted on or off an exchange. Supervisors hope that will make it easier to monitor the market and intervene, if necessary, to avoid a repeat of the chaos surrounding the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, where it proved difficult to assess exposure to derivatives. By forcing increased transparency, the rules are likely to challenge the half a dozen or so large banks that dominate the market now.
Note: For key reports on the grave risks posed by the unregulated derivatives market, click here.
Petition tells Obama: ‘Cease FDA ties to Monsanto’
2012-01-30, Washington Post blog
A two-year-old Food and Drug Administration appointment is stirring up online protests once more. In 2009, President Obama appointed Michael Taylor as a senior adviser for the FDA. Consumer groups protested the appointment because Taylor had formerly served as a vice president for Monsanto, the controversial agricultural multinational at the forefront of genetically modified food. In recent days, a petition calling for the former Monsanto VP’s ouster is gaining steam. “President Obama, I oppose your appointment of Michael Taylor,” the petition on Signon.org reads. “Taylor is the same person who was Food Safety Czar at the FDA when genetically modified organisms were allowed into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks. This is a travesty.” Signers of the petition argue that Monsanto should not have influence at the FDA because it will hurt farmers and threaten plants and animals. They cite scientific research that has found genetically modified foods could be a cause for chronic illnesses or cancer in the U.S. The petition calls Taylor’s appointment an example of a “fox watching the hen house.”
Note: To sign the petition, click here. For lots more on this danger to public health, click here. For how WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks found himself blacklisted by Monsanto, click here.
UK police arrest Murdoch tabloid staff
British police arrested four current and former staff of Rupert Murdoch's best-selling Sun tabloid plus a policeman ... as part of an investigation into suspected payments by journalists to officers. Police also searched the paper's London offices at publisher News International, News Corp.'s British arm, in a corruption probe linked to a continuing investigation into phone hacking at its now closed News of the World weekly tabloid. The arrests included The Sun's crime editor Mike Sullivan, its head of news Chris Pharo, and former deputy editor Fergus Shanahan Also arrested was the paper's former managing editor Graham Dudman, now a columnist and media writer. Thirteen people have now been arrested over allegations that journalists paid police in return for information. Last week, News International settled a string of legal claims after it admitted that people working for the tabloid had hacked in to the private phones of celebrities and others to find stories. The phone hacking scandal drew attention to the level of political influence held by editors and executives at News International, and other newspapers in Britain. It embarrassed British politicians for their close ties with newspaper executives and also the police, who repeatedly failed to investigate allegations of illegal phone hacking.
Note: If researcher David Wilcock is right, this may be the beginning of mass arrests of key people involved in major corruption in our world. For lots more, see David's very well researched article at this link.
Overall, about 5.6 million people moved their bank accounts in the last quarter of 2011
2012-01-27, Reuters News
More than 600,000 U.S. consumers have moved their money from big banks to community banks or credit unions, thanks to the much-publicized Bank Transfer Day last fall, according to an analysis released by Javelin Strategy & Research. The grassroots campaign to get people to shift out of big banks capitalized on the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement, and picked up further momentum from a Bank of America plan in September to charge customers a $5 per month debit card fee. "It was a meaningful movement of people from big banks into small community banks and credit unions ..." said Jim Van Dyke, founder of Javelin. Historically, people don't switch banks easily, even if they are unhappy, Van Dyke says. Consumers have strong ties to their banks because of direct deposit, automated bill payments and habit -- making change more complex than simply going someplace else. "Individuals are really resistant to moving their money out of banks," Van Dyke says. Overall, about 5.6 million people moved their bank accounts in the last quarter of 2011, Javelin says. Account changes attributed to Bank Transfer Day represented about 11 percent of total moves.
Note: As the article mentions, people rarely change banks, so the fact that 6 million changed banks in three months is quite impressive!
Calif. 'downer' pig ban blocked by Supreme Court
2012-01-24, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
California's ban on the sale of pork from "downer" pigs, those that were too feeble to walk before being slaughtered, can't be enforced because a less stringent federal law regulates slaughterhouse inspections, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously [on January 23]. State lawmakers enacted the ban in 2008 after a Humane Society video showed immobile cows being kicked, dragged, shocked and rammed with forklifts at a warehouse in San Bernardino County. Advocates said meat from those animals was more likely to be diseased. Federal law forbids the sale of meat from animals suffering from serious diseases, a ban that recent regulations extended to cattle that were unable to walk. But federal law allows meat sales from downer pigs and other nonambulatory animals, like sheep and goats, that pass federal inspection. Court challenges from meat processors and packers prevented the California law from taking effect. A federal appeals court upheld the California statute in 2010, but the Obama administration joined the National Meat Association in a successful Supreme Court appeal. The ruling dismayed the Humane Society of the United States, which has unsuccessfully lobbied Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for nationwide rules like California's. "The meat industry has the USDA and Congress in its tight grips," said the society's president, Wayne Pacelle.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
George Soros on the Coming U.S. Class War
2012-01-23, Newsweek Magazine
“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” [George] Soros tells Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.” Soros draws on his past to argue that the global economic crisis is as significant, and unpredictable, as the end of Communism. To Soros, the spectacular debunking of the credo of efficient markets — the notion that markets are rational and can regulate themselves to avert disaster — “is comparable to the collapse of Marxism as a political system.” Understanding, he says, is key. “Unrestrained competition can drive people into actions that they would otherwise regret. The tragedy of our current situation is the unintended consequence of imperfect understanding. A lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional. A lot of people in the financial system did a lot of damage without intending to.” Still, Soros believes the West is struggling to cope with the consequences of evil in the financial world just as former Eastern bloc countries struggled with it politically. Is he really saying that the financial whizzes behind our economic meltdown were not just wrong, but evil? “That’s correct.”
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the criminal practices of the biggest banks and financial firms and the collusion of government agencies, see our "Banking Bailout" newsarticles.
We must stop this corporate takeover of American democracy
2012-01-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The corporate barbarians are through the gate of American democracy. Not satisfied with their all-pervasive influence on our culture, economy and legislative processes, they want more. They want it all. Two years ago, the United States supreme court betrayed our Constitution. In its now infamous decision in the Citizens United case, five justices declared that corporations must be treated as if they are actual people under the Constitution when it comes to spending money to influence our elections, allowing them for the first time to draw on the corporate checkbook – in any amount and at any time – to run ads explicitly for or against specific candidates. What's next … a corporate right to vote? When the supreme court says ... that corporations are people, that writing checks from the company's bank account is constitutionally-protected speech and that attempts by the federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger. Corporations are not people with constitutional rights equal to flesh-and-blood human beings. Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
Note: For key reports on the overpowering influence of corporate money on the US political system, click here and here.
A Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant
2012-01-20, New York Times
A federal judge on [January 19] blocked Vermont from forcing the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor to shut down when its license expires in March, saying that the state is trying to regulate nuclear safety, which only the federal government can do. The judge [said] in his ruling that ... state lawmakers and witnesses made clear that their effort to close the plant was "grounded in radiological safety concerns" - the province of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The commission has already granted Vermont Yankee a 20-year license extension. The ruling is almost certain to be appealed by the state and an array of private groups that want the plant shut down because of leaks of radioactive tritium and other issues. Since Entergy bought Vermont Yankee 10 years ago, public opinion has turned sharply against the plant. After several plants around the country suffered leaks of radioactive water into the soil, state officials asked Vermont Yankee executives in 2009 whether their plant might be susceptible to that problem. The executives said that Vermont Yankee had no underground pipes carrying radioactive material. But it did - and the pipes leaked. The State Senate voted 26 to 4 in 2010 not to authorize the needed certificate.
Note: How convenient for the nuclear power industry that federal judges can block state legislation to shut down dangerous nuclear power plants. For more on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
J&J Said to Agree to Pay $1 Billion in Risperdal Marketing Probe
Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $1 billion to the U.S. and most states to resolve a civil investigation into marketing of the antipsychotic Risperdal. Negotiations over a possible criminal plea are still under way. The U.S. government has been investigating Risperdal sales practices since 2004, including allegations the company marketed the drug for unapproved uses. J&J, the world’s largest health products company ... disclosed in August that it reached an agreement to settle a misdemeanor criminal charge related to Risperdal marketing. The company is discussing paying about $400 million more to settle that portion of the investigation. Risperdal, once J&J’s best-selling drug, generated worldwide sales of $24.2 billion from 2003 to 2010, reaching $4.5 billion in 2007. After that, J&J lost patent protection and sales declined. The settlement represents ... about 5.6 percent of the drug’s cumulative sales since 2003. The Food and Drug Administration approved Risperdal in 1993 for psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. That market is limited, and J&J’s Janssen unit sought to sell Risperdal for bipolar disorder, dementia, mood and anxiety disorders and other unapproved uses.
Note: For highly-illuminating reports from reliable sources on the corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.
No magic bullet on the flu
2012-01-15, Los Angeles Times
In 2006 ... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the World Health Organization in Geneva warned of the imminent onset of an avian flu "pandemic" of lethal proportions. The pandemic never occurred. After reviewing studies of Tamiflu during the avian flu scare, Dr. Tom Jefferson ... had concluded in a 2006 report that the drug was effective. "But," said the article, "several years later, another physician challenged that conclusion because 8 of 10 studies in a meta-analysis — a review of studies — that Jefferson relied on had never been published." That prompted Jefferson to seek the raw data. "He was stymied when several authors and the manufacturer gave one excuse after another for why it couldn't supply the actual data. Jefferson's concern turned to outrage when two employees of a communications company … [revealed] they had been paid to ghostwrite some of the Tamiflu studies [and] had been given explicit instructions to ensure that a key message was embedded in the articles: Flu is a threat, and Tamiflu is the answer. "After reanalyzing the raw data finally made available (they still don't have it all), Jefferson and his colleagues published their review [in December 2009], saying that once the unpublished studies were excluded, there was no proof that Tamiflu reduced serious flu complications like pneumonia or death." In short, it appears the pharmaceutical companies had been as cunning in conning the public on matters of health as Wall Street had been on matters of wealth.
Note: For powerful media reports suggesting that both the Avian Flu and Swine Flu were incredibly manipulated to promote fear and boost pharmaceutical sales, click here. For lots more from reliable sources on pharmaceutical corruption, click here.
Goldman’s Tax-Free Building Loan Makes Liberty Bonds Tough Sell
2012-01-11, Bloomberg Businessweek
A tax-free bond program that provided below-market financing to build Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s headquarters is expiring while New York developers say the city’s commercial real estate market still needs support. Congress created the Liberty Bond program in March 2002 with $8 billion in tax-exempt funds to rebuild lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The allocation ran out last month, and the tax exemption ended on Dec. 31 along with dozens of other breaks for manufacturers, energy companies and transit commuters. Critics that include affordable housing advocates say the bonds were little more than a subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Corp. Developers counter that, more than a decade after the attacks, low-cost financing remains necessary to help lower Manhattan’s commercial market recover. “The Liberty Bonds made available to the World Trade Center site are only enough to support rebuilding a little less than 60 percent of the office space lost on 9/11,” Larry Silverstein, the World Trade Center’s developer, said in an e- mail. “In an ideal world, more such resources would be made available to help jump-start construction of the remaining 40 percent of the office space that was destroyed by terrorists.” His company, Silverstein Properties Inc., received almost $3 billion through the Liberty Bond program to help redevelop the World Trade Center site. Goldman financed construction of its headquarters at 200 West St. with about $1.5 billion in Liberty Bond financing. Bank of America’s tower across from Bryant Park was financed with $650 million in Liberty Bonds.
Note: Larry Silverstein can't stop complaining about terrorists despite the billions of dollars he made from the 9/11 attacks. For his admission on television that WTC 7 was brought down by controlled demolition at his command, not by terrorists, click here.
Insurance profits soar after health care overhaul
2012-01-06, San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg News
Insurance companies spent millions of dollars trying to defeat the U.S. health care overhaul, saying it would raise costs and disrupt coverage. Instead, profit margins at the companies widened to levels not seen since before the recession, a Bloomberg Government study shows. Insurers led by WellPoint ... recorded their highest combined quarterly net income of the past decade after the law was signed in 2010, said Peter Gosselin, the study author. "The industry that was the loudest, most persistent critic of this law, the industry whose analysts and executives predicted it would suffer immensely because of the law, has thrived," Gosselin said. Health insurers contributed $86.2 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to oppose the law after Obama administration officials criticized the [corporations'] plans for enriching themselves by raising customer premiums. Companies are changing their business focus to gain from provisions in the law that will expand the size of Medicaid, the $401 billion government health plan for the poor.
Note: Is it surprising that health insurance companies are raking in big profits from the new health care legislation?
Ecuador court upholds $8.6 billion ruling against Chevron
An Ecuadorian appeals court upheld an $8.6 billion ruling against oil giant Chevron stemming from claims that the company had a detrimental impact on Amazonian communities where it operated. The judgment against Chevron is the latest in 19 years of litigation between Amazon residents and Texaco, which was later purchased by Chevron. In addition, the appeals court ruled that Chevron must publicly apologize to Ecuador, and if it fails to do so, the fine will be doubled to nearly $18 billion. The case, Aguinda v. ChevronTexaco, was originally filed in New York in 1993 on behalf of 30,000 inhabitants of Ecuador's Amazon region. The suit was eventually transferred to the Ecuadorian court and Ecuadorian jurisdiction. The lawsuit alleges that Texaco used a variety of substandard production practices in Ecuador that resulted in pollution that decimated several indigenous groups in the area, according to a fact sheet provided by the Amazon Defense Coalition. According to the group, Texaco dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into Amazon waterways, abandoned more than 900 waste pits, burned millions of cubic meters of gases with no controls and spilled more than 17 million gallons of oil due to pipeline ruptures. Cancer and other health problems were reported at higher rates in the area, the group says.
Note: For key reports on corporate corruption from reliable sources, click here.
F.D.A. Finds Short Supply of Attention Deficit Drugs
2012-01-01, New York Times
Medicines to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are in such short supply that hundreds of patients complain daily to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they are unable to find a pharmacy with enough pills to fill their prescriptions. The shortages are a result of a troubled partnership between drug manufacturers and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), with companies trying to maximize their profits and drug-enforcement agents trying to minimize abuse by people. Shortages, particularly of cheaper generics, have become so endemic that some patients say they worry almost constantly about availability. The DEA sets manufacturing quotas that are designed to control supplies and thwart abuse. Every year, the DEA ... allots portions of the expected demand to various companies. How each manufacturer divides its quota among its own ADHD medicines — preparing some as high-priced brands and others as cheaper generics — is left up to the company. Officials at the FDA say the shortages are a result of overly strict quotas set by the DEA, which, for its part, questions whether there really are shortages or whether manufacturers are simply choosing to make more of the expensive pills than the generics, creating supply and demand imbalances.
Note: This curious story reveals an astonishing level of government manipulation of the manufacturing and availability of medications, and corporations appear to go along with it because it keeps profits high. For lots more on government and corportate corruption from reliable sources, click here and here.
Wall Street - a raw deal for the 100 percent
2011-12-29, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
The stunning reality is that five years into the financial meltdown, it's business as usual on Wall Street - outlandish rewards for insiders with downside for almost everyone else. Occupy Wall Street protesters are right - something is wrong - but they're not sure what. Let's revisit the latest debacle - the implosion of yet another Wall Street darling, MF Global. The fallout of its bad bets on European bonds is hitting home hard, even in rural America, where many of its agricultural customers work. As the eighth-largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, MF Global represents just about everything that is wrong on Wall Street. 1. The cult of a Wall Street superstar. 2. Gambling disguised as investing. 3. The bail-me-out syndrome. 4. Enormous conflicts of interest. 5. Leverage on a grand scale. 6. Failure of regulators and the reform law. 7. Misappropriation of client funds. 8. Worthless rating agencies. 9. Golden parachutes soaring high. 10. Breakdown of morality. Wall Street will keep sucking huge sums out of our economy and putting 100 percent of us at risk unless the rules change. Most important, we must stop gambling and start investing again to build valuable companies. The next crisis will make 2008 look like a warm-up. Imagine how big the Occupy camps will be if that happens.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources which provide detailed information on all the problematic dimensions of Wall Street's operations described in the article above, click here.
Money's stranglehold on government is key issue
2011-12-25, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Americans have never much liked government. After all, the nation was conceived in a revolution against government. But the surge of cynicism engulfing America isn't about how big government has become. It's a growing perception that our government is no longer working for average people. It's for big business, Wall Street and the very rich. The richest Americans are taking home a bigger share of total income than at any other time since the 1920s. Their tax payments are down because the Bush tax cuts reduced their top rates to the lowest level in more than half a century, and cut capital gains taxes to 15 percent. Congress hasn't even closed a loophole that allows mutual-fund and private-equity managers to treat their incomes as capital gains. So the 400 richest Americans, whose total wealth exceeds the combined wealth of the bottom 150 million Americans put together, pay an average of 17 percent of their income in taxes. That's lower than the tax rates of most day laborers. And the share of revenues coming from corporations has been dropping. The biggest, like GE, find ways to pay no federal taxes at all. Many shelter their income abroad, and every few years Congress grants them a tax amnesty to bring the money home. Get it? "Big government" isn't the problem. The problem is the big money that's taking over government. Government is doing less of the things most of us want it to do ... and more of the things big corporations, Wall Street and the wealthy want it to do.
Note: The author of this analysis, Robert Reich, is a former U.S. secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.
Explore our full index
to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.