Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Corporate welfare dwarfs profits

Astonishing statistic from George Monbiot:
In his book Perverse Subsidies, published in 2001, Professor Norman Myers estimates that when you add the direct payments US corporations receive to the wider costs they oblige society to carry, you come up with a figure of $2.6 trillion, or roughly five times as much as the profits they make. As well as the $362bn the OECD countries were paying for farming when his book was published (or rather, as we have seen, for activities masquerading as farming) they were shelling out about $71bn on fossil fuels and nuclear power and a staggering $1.1 trillion on road transport. Worldwide, governments pay companies $25bn a year to destroy the Earth's fisheries, and $14bn to wreck our forests.
Echoes the results of the investigation by Greg Palast of the energy industry and corporate influence more generally.

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