Buy a cup of coffee in Manhattan, and the sales tax is 8.875 percent. Buy a share of Exxon on the New York Stock Exchange, and the tax rate is just a hair more than zero. Like other double standards that benefit high finance, the zero tax rate on financial transactions both reveals and reinforces Wall Street's massive power and privilege.
It has been a long time since congressional hearings investigated real corporate and government abuses or serious social problems. But since 1994, the situation has gotten far worse: the oversight machinery is used for partisan purposes or simply left to rot.