The economic scene: Links & comments 9/24/13

Add It Up: The Average American Family Pays $6,000 a Year in Subsidies to Big Business by Paul Buchheit for Common Dreams.  (Hat tip to Mike Connelly)

Paul Buchheit calculates that the average American family pays extra taxes amounting to $1,270 a year in extra taxes to offset corporate tax havens, $870 to offset special corporate tax benefits, another $870 to pay for in direct corporate subsidies and grants,  $696 to offset state and local government business “incentives” and $722 to offset subsidized interest rates in loans to Wall Street Banks.  The average family also pays $1,268 a year extra for monopoly-priced drugs, compared to what foreigners pay in a free market, and $350 a year in unnecessary frees for tax-advantaged retirement plans.  None of this would exist in a well-functioning free-market economy.

China’s Ultimate Debt Holders—Not the Borrowers by Sara Hsu for Triple Crisis.  Cross-posted to naked capitalism.

A recession looms in the Chinese economy, which means many of the loans by Chinese banks won’t be paid back.  Economics professor Sara Hsu writes that they are securitizing the loans (selling them like stocks or bonds) with the Chinese government as buyer of last resort.  This is a familiar pattern of rescuing the “too big to fail” banks while abandoning the “too small to save” debtors and unemployed workers.

Unfair Share: How Oil and Gas Drillers Avoid Paying Royalties by Abrahm Lustgarten for ProPublica.

Unethical oil and gas drillers have many techniques for avoiding payments to landowners.   Often they make deductions from royalties for unexplained or bogus expenses.  Oil and gas leases are frequently bought and sold, and sometimes the landowner doesn’t even know whom to contact for payment.

Obama’s Friends in Low Places by Robert Scheer for Common Dreams.

Why pharma’s patents are a drug on the market by Dean Baker for The Guardian.

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