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Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) by David Cay Johnston


Speaker: Ms Chrinstine Loh (陸恭蕙女士)
Moderator: Dr Anthony W. Ferguson (Librarian, HKU)
Date: 29 May 2008 (Thursday)
Time: 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm
Venue: Special Collections, 1/F, Main Library, The University of Hong Kong
Language: English


About the book

book cover Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) by David Cay Johnston

Johnston, a New York Times investigative reporter, has spent his 40-year career exposing collusion between government officials and private sector entities as they enrich the rich and ignore consequences for middle-class laborers and the poor. In Perfectly Legal , he focused on hidden inequities in the tax system. This volume is a broader examination of collusion and unfairness, ranging from subsidies for professional sports stadiums to secret payouts to multinational corporate chief executives. At the base of Johnston's journalistic indictment are the highly paid lobbyists working Congress, state legislatures, county commissions, city councils and government regulatory agencies. Johnston also cites the culpability of George W. Bush in his roles as professional baseball team owner, Texas governor and U.S. president, and targets well-known tycoons such as Donald Trump, Warren Buffett and George Steinbrenner as well as lesser-recognized beneficiaries who own golf courses and insurance companies and energy consortiums. Heroes appear occasionally, such as Remy Welling, an Internal Revenue Service investigator who blew the whistle on improper tax breaks for the wealthy and lost her job. Johnston writes compellingly to show how government-private sector collusion affects the middle class and the poor. (Jan.) From Publishers Weekly Copyright c Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


About the Speaker

Christine Loh is the founder and CEO of Civic Exchange, an independent, non-profit public policy think tank. Loh has an English law degree and a Masters of Law degree in Chinese and Comparative Law. She has been awarded the degree of Doctors of Law, honoris causa, by her alma mater, the University of Hull.

Loh spent 14 years in the commercial world, having held top regional posts in a US multinational company in commodities trading, and subsequently in strategic management for a Hong Kong company.

She was appointed to the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 1992, and then ran two successful elections in 1995 and 1998. She has anchored public affairs radio and television shows, and writes extensively in academic as well as general publications on a variety of subjects. She serves on the boards of a number of local and international non-profit organizations.

She is well known for her policy research work on politics, political economy, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. She written and co-authored three books on the subjects of civic participation, democratic reform and SARS. Loh is also known for her work in designing and facilitating multi-stakeholder processes to widen and deepen understanding on public policy issues.