Big Dirty Money details the scandalously common and concrete ways that ordinary Americans suffer when the well-heeled use white collar crime to gain and sustain wealth, social status, and political influence.
Donald Trump is not the ostensible subject of Big Dirty Money, Jennifer Taub’s polemic against America’s failure to curb the destructive criminal tendencies of the very rich. Yet the president, his friends and former Trump campaign and administration officials parade through these pages ... Taub is hardly the first author to call attention to the American justice system’s curious indifference to white-collar crime, apart from occasional spasms of attention triggered by populist indignation ... But Taub explicitly and persuasively places the breakdown of enforcement and accountability in the context of money and class ... Taub poses a simple question and a provocative thesis: Why don’t more prosecutors just lay out the facts about intent and let juries decide?
'White collar crime, like cancer or influenza, comes in many forms,' legal scholar Jennifer Taub writes in her blood-boiling new book, Big Dirty Money, where she examines white-collar crime in America and the ensemble of forces that enable it ...At times, her prose gets bogged down by acronyms and dense legal decisions, but Taub mercifully steps in with quippy analysis ... As I teetered on the brink of despondency, Taub proposes straightforward fixes and ways everyday people can get involved in taking white-collar criminals to task. This book raises the stakes even higher for November and is an exigent read for creating a more just society.
Taub offers a smart overview of white collar crime, a term coined in 1939 by sociologist Edwin Sutherland. She notes that in eras when 'the people' have more influence and control, corporate leaders are held responsible. In the Progressive Era, for instance. In our own time—the Trump era—not so much ... Taub urges reforms, including creation of a new Justice Department division focused on big-money criminals, establishing a nationwide registry of white collar criminal offenders, and staffing up the IRS so it can audit tax evaders and collect billions of dollars in already identified tax receipts ... The author is a realist. 'From prep school and beyond, the elite cover for each other,' she writes. Nonetheless, strengthening government’s ability to act can only help. It might even prevent future Donald Trumps. A timely, eye-opening tale of elite white privilege run amok.