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Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers
- Accountability for Those Who Caused the Crisis
- Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
- Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
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A furious denunciation of coronavirus criminals
The rogues gallery begins with Donald Trump, who deliberately downplayed the coronavirus crisis despite knowing its dangers, as well as his international political allies, above all Boris Johnson. Billionaire politicians like Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler moved stocks at the same time they were telling Americans all was well. Political charlatans like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos undermined public safety in order to advance their agenda. Libertarian "think tanks" like the Ayn Rand Institute decried public expenditures but were first in line to get bailout checks. Pharmaceutical companies gamed the vaccine race, and the most rapacious global corporations like Facebook, Visa, and Pfizer have found the pandemic to be very profitable indeed, vastly enriching the already grotesquely bloated fortunes of trillionaires like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Charles Koch.
Guilty Men closes with a call for a version of the Pecora Commission, initiated by newly elected Franklin Roosevelt, that took aim at what FDR called "speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, and profiteering" that stoked the Depression. The commission led to some of the most far-reaching reforms in US history, as well as sensational hearings that led to the fall of the leading bankers and financiers of that era.
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- Scott Klinger
Largely ignores corporate criminals and profiteers
For one who has casually read the news over the last couple of years, there is not much new here. The story focuses almost exclusively on the shortcomings of elected leaders, mostly Republicans in Trump's orbit, but some Democrats as well. Only two of 17 chapters deal with two corporate profiteers, Pfizer and Amazon, and the later was focused on its abuse of its workers. Scores of corporate misdeeds were left unexplored. Oddly, the conclusion, which told the story of the way the nation dealt with profiteering in earlier times, focused exclusively on the way corporate crooks were held accountable. The book was a huge missed opportunity to tell the real story of COVID profiteering. Hopefully someone else will tell that story.
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