A new study reveals that 25 of the nation’s largest corporations paid more money to their CEOs last year than they did to the federal government in income taxes. Often using overseas tax havens, many of the corporations managed to make billions in profits but paid little to nothing in federal taxes. In many cases the companies received large tax rebates. The list includes some of the country’s best known companies, such as Ford, Coca-Cola, Verizon, General Electric and eBay. The same study found that the ratio of CEO pay to that of the average worker in the United States jumped to 325-to-1 last year. We speak to the study’s co-author, Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and director of its program on Inequality and the Common Good. “What these companies do is they use a variety of tax loopholes, corporate loopholes to gain down their taxes. These are what I would call the champions in the tax gymnastics department,” says Collins.
Buying and selling political influence is a consensual crime with a radically different nature.
The West in general passively believes the narrative of its secret services in favor of state control. How can we avoid this trend toward authoritarianism?