Bobby Ruffin Jr. was only 14 when a recruiter from Ashford University called. The Birmingham, Michigan, boy thought he'd clicked on a link promising help finding money for college. It was actually just a lead generator for the for-profit, online school's sales staff.
The clamorous Technicolor buzz of the metropolitan Oz has faded into soft sepia-hued urbanity—minus the steady pulse of cars and cabs, the intermittent howl of sirens, and the background human detritus of panhandlers and homeless people. No, Toto, we aren't in Manhattan anymore, but the burgeoning music mecca just across the East River in Brooklyn, where scenesters, bohemians, and the curious alike are flocking like moths to the nascent flame of Williamsburg's rock scene
A year ago, Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, studied the tax returns of 280 corporations. What it found was a Beltway version of a Mafia protection scheme.
From 2008 to 2010, at least 30 Fortune 500 companies—including PepsiCo, Verizon, Wells Fargo, and DuPont—paid more for lobbyists than they did in taxes. They collectively spent $476 million sucking up to Congress, buying protection for tax breaks, loopholes, and special subsidies.