Seven Ripoffs That Capitalists Would Like to Keep Out of the Media
By Paul Buchheit / truth-out.org

Tax-avoiding, consumer-exploiting big business leaders are largely responsible for these abuses. Congress just lets it happen. Corporate heads and members of Congress seem incapable of relating to the people that are being victimized, and the mainstream media seems to have lost the ability to express the views of lower-income Americans.

1. Corporations Profit from Food Stamps

It's odd to think about billion-dollar financial institutions objecting to cuts in the SNAP program, but some of them are administrators of the program, collecting fees from a benefit meant for children and other needy Americans, and enjoying subsidies of state tax money for that could be performed by the states themselves. They want more people on food stamps, not less. Three corporations have cornered the market: JP Morgan, Xerox, and eFunds Corp.

According to a JP Morgan spokesman, the food stamp program "is a very important business to JP Morgan. It's an important business in terms of its size and scale...The good news from JP Morgan's perspective is the infrastructure that we built has been able to cope with that increase in volume.."


2. Crash the Economy, Get Your Money Back. Die with a Student Loan, Stay in Debt.

The financial industry has manipulated the bankruptcy laws to ensure that high-risk derivatives, which devastated the market in 2008, have FIRST CLAIM over savings deposit insurance, pension funds, and everything else.

But the same banker-friendly "bankruptcy reform" has ensured that college graduates keep their student loans till they die. And sometimes even after that, as the debt is assumed by their co-signing parents.


3. Almost 70% of Corporations Are Not Required to Pay ANY Federal Taxes

And that's even before tax avoidance kicks in. The 'nontaxable' designation exempts 69% of U.S. corporations from taxes, thus sparing them the expense of hiring tax lawyers to contrive tax avoidance strategies.

The Wall Street Journal states, "The percentage of U.S. corporations organized as nontaxable businesses has grown from about 24% in 1986 to about 69% as of 2008, according to the latest-available Internal Revenue Service data. The percentage of all firms is far higher when partnerships and sole proprietors are included."

In recent years the businesses taking advantage of the exemption include law firms, hedge funds, real estate partnerships, venture capital firms, and investment banks.


4. Lotteries Pay for Corporate Tax Avoidance

This means revenue comes from the poorest residents of a community rather than from billion-dollar corporations. Many of the lottery players don't realize how bad the odds are. Fill out $2 tickets for 12 hours a day for 50 years and you'll have half a chance of winning.

Some astonishing facts reveal the extent of the problem. Low-income households spend anywhere from five to nine percent of their earnings on lotteries. A Pennsylvania survey found that nearly half of low-income residents planned to gamble at a newly-opened casino. America's gambling losses in 2007 were nine times greater than just 25 years before.


5. The National Football League Pays No Federal Taxes

One of the most profitable organizations in America, with billions in tickets, TV rights, and merchandise sales, and with an NFL Commissioner who earned more money than the CEOs of Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, and AT&T, is considered a non-profit. It has a tax-exempt status.

It gets even worse. While the individual teams themselves are not exempt from federal taxes, they enjoy multi-million-dollar subsidies from their states for new and refurbished stadiums. Fans - and non-fans - of the Washington Redskins, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Minnesota Vikings, the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are among those who pay taxes for their hometown football fields. New Orleans taxpayers paid for leather stadium seats. For the Dallas Cowboys, a $6 million property tax bill was waived.

A Harvard University urban planning study determined that 70 percent of the capital cost of NFL stadiums has been provided by taxpayers, rather than by NFL owners.


6. Live on Park Avenue, Get a Farm Subsidy

A disturbing but fascinating report called "Farm Subsidies and the Big Dogs" lists Washington, DC, Chicago, and New York City, in that order, as the worst offenders.

--- In New York, "Many entities receive the federal subsidies at their downtown office buildings, such as 30 Rockefeller Plaza, or at their million dollar residential condos."

--- In Chicago, "Nearly every neighborhood in the city receives federal farm subsidy payments - including the Gold Coast, Downtown-Loop, Lincoln Park, and even the President's neighbors in Hyde Park."

--- In Washington, "Even U.S. Senators are receiving farm subsidy checks."

Perhaps more of us should become farmers. In Florida, according to Forbes, "anyone could legally qualify their land as farmland by stocking it with a few cows." Wealthy heir Mark Rockefeller received $342,000 to NOT farm, to allow his Idaho land to return to its natural state.


7. Profit Margin Magic: Turning a dollar into $100,000

Which costs the consumer more, printer ink or bottled water? Calculations by DataGenetics reveal that the ink in a $16.99 cartridge comes to almost $3,400 per gallon. The cost of a gallon of cartridge ink would buy enough gasoline to run the average car for over two years.

Water seems to cost less, until the details are factored in. Companies buy public water at almost no cost, treat it in unknown ways, and then sell it back to us at an exorbitant markup. Nestle, for example, pays about two dollars for public water that produces about 100,000 plastic bottles of water.


So This Is Capitalism..

Consumer-exploiting, tax-avoiding, profit-maximizing, responsibility-shirking, winner-take-all capitalism. An economic system which, as Milton Friedman once believed, "distributes the fruits of economic progress among all people."

 

(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Steve Rhodes, ka2rina)

---

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, a writer for progressive publications, and the founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org).

4.0 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, And Most People Haven't Noticed
Gustavo Tanaka · 19,768 views today · Most of us haven't quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. A few months ago, I freed myself from standard-procedure society. I broke the chains of fear that...
A Simple 6 Step Self Compassion Exercise to Combat Depression and Low Self Esteem
5 min · 17,225 views today · It’s all too easy to be extremely tough on ourselves; we need – at points – to get better at self-compassion. Here is an exercise in how to lessen the voices of self-flagellation.
The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet Is Now Carbon Negative
Carolanne Wright · 14,713 views today · Lodged between two of the most populated countries on earth — India and China — Bhutan may be small at 700,000 souls, but it has a mighty role to play in showing the world how...
A World War Has Begun - Break The Silence
John Pilger · 11,612 views today · I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is...
Ikigai - Finding Your Reason for Being
Chip Richards · 10,790 views today · What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning? When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 10,239 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
What You Do for a Living Doesn’t Interest Me- I Want to Know What You Ache For
Oriah · 9,700 views today · It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you...
Britain's Landed Elite, Backed by Money Earned Through Slavery, Are Using Migrants as Scapegoats
Andrew Butler · 7,947 views today · This is Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, a Conservative Member of Parliament for South Dorset. He lives in Charborough House (pictured above) on his the family’s...
Comic: If Bart Simpson and Chris Griffin Went to Couples Therapy as Adults
Panic Volkushka · 6,596 views today · "My dad was an abusive alcoholic, or whatever. He'd go to the bar, come home drunk, find out I'd f-cked up at school, and he'd choke me out."
The Pain You Feel Is Capitalism Dying
Joe Brewer · 5,842 views today · I know it hurts — but what you are feeling (alongside millions of others) is the natural consequence of late-stage capitalism.
Millions of Americans Now Claim Donald Trump Does Not Exist
Richard Heinberg · 4,543 views today · On May 13 the American news media reported that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had recruited U.S. Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer of North...
World Wildlife Fund Partners with Logging Company
Survival International · 2,886 views today · French logging company and official partner of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is deforesting a huge area of rainforest in southeast Cameroon without the consent of local Baka...
We're Living in a Racial Caste System Designed to Divide Us, Benefiting No One But the 1%
11 min · 2,388 views today · This powerful new video by Matthew Cooke is currently spreading like wildfire across the internet, and with good reason. Pulling together disparate stands to create the story...
3 Signs Corporate Work Culture Has Become Toxic to the Human Spirit
Sigmund Fraud · 2,092 views today · Feeling trapped on the corporate ladder? You’re not alone… our work culture has become uncaring, toxic and rather dangerous to our well-being.
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 2,064 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
Concerning "Bernie or Bust"
Michael Emero · 1,892 views today · Have you seen the article going around, with the headline "Will some Democrats refuse to rally behind their nominee?"   It's manipulative spin messing with your head...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into A Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,757 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
If We Gave Men the Same Rape Advice We Give Women, Here's How Absurd It Would Sound
Julianne Ross · 1,343 views today · Earlier this week, a group of male students at North Carolina State University introduced Undercover Colors, a new line of nail polish designed to change color when it comes...
A Non-Exhaustive List of All the Things I Used to Do to Try to Become More Beautiful
Rosemary Donahue · 1,285 views today · I used to get made fun of for my big front teeth. Once, when I got home from school, I found my mom’s nail file and tried to file them down. The edge of the nail file caught...
Nature By Numbers - Exploring The Extraordinary Geometric Patterns Around Us
4 min · 1,096 views today · From shells to sunflowers, dragonfly eyes to bee hives, you can find amazing connected paterns throughout nature. 
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Seven Ripoffs That Capitalists Would Like to Keep Out of the Media