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The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money Hardcover – July 11, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When it comes to the corporations that dominate the US economy, says Carney, there's no difference between Big Business Republicans and Tax-and-Spend Democrats. No matter who's in charge, Big Government and Big Business team up to create a quasi-fascist collective designed to extract maximum revenue from the common citizen. Carney has a host of facts to back up this theory, covering the history of Big Business and Big Government, the tradition of corporate welfare in America, profiles of such private offenders as Phillip Morris and Enron, and the "green" cheat of "environmentalism for profit." Even the heavy taxes and regulation under which large corporations operate is, paradoxically, largely to their benefit, in Carney's view; such impediments serve as barriers to competition, keeping out rivals and allowing monopolies and oligopolies to thrive-and the extra expense, in what becomes a familiar pattern, is simply passed on to the consumer. Though Carney's dire prognosis seems grim, this is an absorbing look at the disconcertingly cozy (and profitable) relationship that has developed between regulator and regulated in America.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


1st place book winner of the 2008 Templeton Enterprise Award

"...so good that you might even consider putting it under the tree of the liberals on your Christmas list....they will likely find it fascinating how big business uses government to its advantage. Furthermore, they will likely find The Big Ripoff hard to put down due to Carney's compelling style of writing.... Carney smashes the conventional wisdom that big business is inherently pro-free market and anti-government."—from "Santa Government" by David Hogberg (American Spectator, December 15, 2006)

"This book should be read by every Northern Virginia taxpayer for a chapter aptly titled "You Get Taxed, They Get Rich" in which Carney illustrates this dynamic by examining how former Gov. Mark Warner pushed through the largest tax increase in the commonwealth’s history. Warner, now a presidential hopeful, was helped by the state’s top business leaders, who themselves spent more than $7 million lobbying for higher taxes, instead of the other way around." (The Washington DC Examiner)

"Bashing big business is traditionally a left-wing indulgence, but it need not be. Political reporter Timothy Carney, a small-government conservative, takes up the task with relish in the "The Big Ripoff." Along the way, he produces a spirited and eminently readable indictment of the unsavory alliance between corporate and congressional America." (The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2006)

"...makes a good case that the American people might be better served with less taxpayer subsidization and governmental protection of big business." (The Boston Globe)


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (July 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471789070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471789079
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An important book, particularly before election time. Carney uncovers the millions (maybe billions) of dollars that go directly to big business, compliments of our elected officials (of both flavors), and how big business lobbies government to protect its interests at the expense of smaller business and individuals. It's one thing for government to tax people to provide for the needy, but I don't see how Boeing can ever be described as "needy." Maybe government gets too much money from taxpayers, and politicians need a reminder that they are there to serve and protect -- individuals. Not to take our money to give to the likes of Boeing and ADM and other big companies! You will be shocked, as we all should be. Hopefully this book will inspire some action on the part of voters.
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Format: Hardcover
For those who always thought business was a supporter of free-market policies - get ready to have your eyes opened. Mr. Carney does a great job of connecting the dots between polices that seem, on the surface anti-business, but instead help one or two major institutions (usually ones that have a long standing relationship with those in power). After reading this book it makes you want to standup - go over to a window and yell "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!"
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Format: Hardcover
Many times I complain when I see a large portion of my paycheck stripped of income. Occasionally I declare in a frustrated tone, "where is my money going?". As shown in Timothy P. Carney's book The Big Rip off, our money lands in the pockets of big business from our government through our tax dollars.

Before reading The Big Ripoff, I discovered the largest supporter of the Kyoto Protocol was Enron. I began wondering if this was good for our environment, or was it just making a select few rich. But not having the time to research the subject I let my curiosity simmer.

Carney has taken time to research the age old question "what does the government do with my tax dollars?". Carney will open your eyes to many corporate welfare programs and abuses of eminent domain by politicians for the benefit of companies. Furthermore, you will learn that big companies are the most adamant supporters of more government regulation because it restricts smaller less powerful companies from entering their field.

I suggest everyone should read this before they vote in the next election. You will learn that the piles of cash the government gives to big corporations is not determined by the political party, but by the political system itself.

If you wish to discover how and why your hard earned tax dollars are sent to these large companies, you need to read this book. You will be shocked in what you learn. You will also be delighted to find a bibliography helping you discover resources for your own research.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a misconception by many that:

- Big business wants free markets
- Government protects us from big business
- Government regulations are intended to restrict big business
- Big business is more aligned with the political right than the political left

This book meticulously chronicles the mechanism by which big business partners with government in order to:

- subsidize its operations
- create its own government customers, both foreign and domestic
- eliminate the free market, and replace it with a corrupt one
- tilt the playing field so that small business has no chance
- control who wins elections

By the end, you realize that the government's primary function is to redistribute wealth from the middle class to the corporate class. You also realize we don't actually live in a free market. In a free market, the businesses that succeed are the ones who customers decide are providing value. In our system, the businesses that succeed are the ones who effectively suck money from taxpayers via the government, regardless of what they provide to the health of society.

This book is important because its message is unique. It is not the same tired old republican theories about trickle down economics or left-wing theories about the evils of the market. Thank you, Tim Carney, for advancing the debate past the usual left/right myths.
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Format: Hardcover
I was drawn to this book becauase I saw Robert Novak's Foreword. I was blown away how honest and fair Carney was in The Big Ripoff. One thing is apparent after reading this book. People for big government will not like this book because he calls for an end to government regulation of businesses. Carney's thought process can be illustrated like this: less gov't= better business practices. I loved his points that show a blatent intent to profit by businesses by supporting government regulations or protocols. For instance, Enron supporting the Kyoto protocol because it would give them a chance for more business. Then business lobbyists working with Congress. Dare I say Jack Abramahoff.

Carney also attacks the myth that Republicans are the party of the rich. Carney accomplishes this by facts and scenarios outlining contributions. Carney also shows that both parties deal with Big Business. The only reason Republicans have been in the news more goes back to who is in power.

The rest of the book shows some interesting ties between certain companies and big business. If you want a book that shows the truth and also makes you feel helpless then get the Big Ripoff. His stories of the companies are enough merit to purchase this one.
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