5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Free Lunch well done,
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This review is from: Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) (Hardcover)
Free Lunch is exceptionally well written. Johnston focuses on the subtler government subsidies to the very wealthy, and the ridiculous subsidies to commercial enterprises, as well as to the programs being starved of funds because these subsidies are given. He relies on his own investigative reporting and those of colleagues, often stories not well publicized before.The book is about the winners and the losers, but it is not a simple class based screed, as the losers are often other businesses who face subsidized competition. Not to give too much away, I found some of his examples particularly engaging, including who pays for accidents caused by freight trains and public subsidies that encourage lack of maintenance of railroad equipment. Another engaging example runs through several chapters, detailing massive subsidies for fishing and hunting chains that falsely promise booms to dying towns. His account of federal subsidies to businessmen to fly to fancy golf courses is especially aggravating as the public benefit is impossible to detect.
This is a good read, well researched, with a satisfying focus on the underdog. The combined focus on the the winners and the losers suggests a structure, not a one time event. I for one would like a sequel on what to do about it. Perhaps the upcoming elections will help make a change.