CAZENOVIA, NY – Corporate tax dodges and other manipulations of the U.S. economy will be in the spotlight as former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston, a best-selling author widely known as one of the nation’s foremost muckraking journalists, delivers the next Cazenovia Forum lecture on Friday, April 26th at 7:00 pm in the Morgan Room of Hubbard Hall, located on Seminary Street at Cazenovia College.
Johnston’s lecture, entitled “Monopolists Rising: How Big Business Uses Government to Thwart Competition, Jack Up Prices and Deliver Services Europeans and Asians Laugh At,” is open to the public and is free of charge. As with all Cazenovia Forum events, the speaker will entertain questions from the audience, and a reception will follow.
Over 13 years at The Times, he reported on hidden aspects of executive compensation, showing how top executives built vast fortunes while paying little or no income tax; revealed shortcomings in the pension and retirement savings systems that prompted reforms; exposed abuses of the bankruptcy system; and revealed how the rules of electricity “markets” raise prices rather than lower them. He wrote warnings about the housing bubble years before it popped.
A frequent guest on national television shows, Johnston is the author of a best-selling trilogy on the American economy: “Perfectly Legal,” a book about the American tax system that won the 2004 Investigative Book of the Year Award, “Free Lunch” (on subsidies) and “The Fine Print” (on monopolies and oligopolies). In 2001, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on tax loopholes and abuses, which prompted numerous criminal convictions with long prison sentences, successful civil cases against tax cheats and tax shelter promoters as well as adoption of reforms by Congress and Oregon lawmakers. An anthology he is editing for The New Press will be published this fall under the title “DIVIDED: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality.”
Over the years, Johnston’s reporting has shut down so many tax dodges that Professor Douglas Shackelford of the University of North Carolina’s business school named him the “de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States.”
Other newspapers Johnston was worked for in his 40-year career include the San Jose Mercury, Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times and Philadelphia Inquirer. Since 2009 he has been a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Syracuse University College of Law, where he teaches the property, tax and regulatory law of the ancient world as a way to showing the principles and theory in the law today. He is currently board president of the 4,200-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE).
The Cazenovia Forum is a 501 (c) 3, not-for-profit organization established in 2006 by community members focused on promoting the understanding and discussion of national and international issues. By organizing and underwriting lecture events featuring nationally-known experts, the group intends to further Cazenovia’s commitment to knowledge-seeking and community involvement. The Forum’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.