Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Fine study of how the rich exploit the majority

In this brilliantly-researched book, the New York Times' Pulitzer-Prize-winning tax correspondent David Cay Johnston explains how US politics serves to take from the many to enrich the few.

He shows how, for example, President George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Paris Hil...
In this brilliantly-researched book, the New York Times' Pulitzer-Prize-winning tax correspondent David Cay Johnston explains how US politics serves to take from the many to enrich the few.

He shows how, for example, President George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Paris Hilton, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett have got rich by leeching off the taxpayer.

Bush bought the Texas Rangers baseball team, with the help of a public subsidy of $202 million from the city sports authority to build a new stadium. Then he sold it nine years later, at a $164 million profit. Bush got $17 million, on which he paid tax at the capital gains rate of 20 per cent, not, as he should have done, at the compensation rate of 42.5 per cent, saving himself $3.7 million.

Donald Trump benefits from a tax designed to help the old and poor, part of which is now diverted to fund his casinos. Paris Hilton's grandfather got his fortune by overturning his father's will, to take the money from charities that specifically benefited poor children. A fabricated Apple board meeting gained its CEO Steve Jobs an extra $70 million.

Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Company paid just 4 per cent of its US profits in federal corporate income taxes in 2006. The government agreed to let it defer $666 million in taxes in 2007, so by 2035 it will have paid just half of its tax! This is like getting an interest-free loan from the government, that is, from all other taxpayers.

Many firms service the rich by helping them to evade taxes and cheat the great majority who pay their taxes. KPMG, for instance, helped Columbia/HCA cheat the government, when it had a contract to detect such frauds.

The hugely rich get away with murder, yet a guy who steals nine videos worth $150 gets a 50-year jail sentence, with no chance of parole. The Supreme Court upheld this punishment in 2003. The rule of law, anyone?

90 per cent of Americans are no better off than they were in 1973. Average incomes have fallen since then. Of every dollar earned in 2005, the richest ten per cent got 48.5 per cent. Between 1990 and 2003, the net effect of foreign investment in the USA was the destruction of 3.4 million US jobs.

Johnston details rip-offs by student loan companies. "In a world of growing complexity and technological demands, short-changing higher education through rising tuition and high-cost loans is tantamount to a policy of reducing future economic growth so that the few today can have more. It is a kind of hidden tax on the future."

He shows how the US healthcare system prioritises profits at the expense of care. Its administration costs were $123 billion in 2003: it is the world's most expensive health care system, and not the most efficient: the USA ranks only 36th in infant mortality.

He analyses the infamous hedge funds and concludes, "Hedge funds are making a few people spectacularly rich, but they add nothing of value. Each trade that puts a dollar into the pockets of Simons and his investors is a dollar someone else lost. Trading is a zero-sum game."

posted by willyvan on December 17, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Stop Whining - Keep Working At Your Own Goals

As a member of the working class, I purchased this book with my hard-earned money solely to be informed or to be precise, to confirm what I have always suspected. I believe that class system is as old as this world and will always exist in one form or another. What ...
As a member of the working class, I purchased this book with my hard-earned money solely to be informed or to be precise, to confirm what I have always suspected. I believe that class system is as old as this world and will always exist in one form or another. What is unique in our case, as citizens of this United States of America, is that we can move-up to the social ladder just by our wits, willingness and determination. I always believe that as Americans, we can dream of any goals to advance our social status in life. In this GREAT Land, we are FREE to turn that dream into reality. Our history is dotted with remarkable stories of successes that are almost impossible to duplicate anywhere else in the world. Keep working at your goals in life. Whining about the social status of others will NEVER help you to attain your unique personal successes in life.

posted by Anonymous on February 10, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2008

    Stop Whining - Keep Working At Your Own Goals

    As a member of the working class, I purchased this book with my hard-earned money solely to be informed or to be precise, to confirm what I have always suspected. I believe that class system is as old as this world and will always exist in one form or another. What is unique in our case, as citizens of this United States of America, is that we can move-up to the social ladder just by our wits, willingness and determination. I always believe that as Americans, we can dream of any goals to advance our social status in life. In this GREAT Land, we are FREE to turn that dream into reality. Our history is dotted with remarkable stories of successes that are almost impossible to duplicate anywhere else in the world. Keep working at your goals in life. Whining about the social status of others will NEVER help you to attain your unique personal successes in life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good read

    I found this book both informative and frustrating. The book focuses on Govt subsides, for the most part. However, I was disappointed that Johnston makes many claims, but lacks any credital proof to back it up. While I dont necessarily disagree with the content, I would feel better knowing that these claims are based on facts and studies. Rather than blindly taking him at his word. Great book, none the less.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1