How come most of the wealthiest corporations, banks, and funds in the economy pay less taxes than you do? The evidence couldn’t be more stark. American corporations pay the lowest effective tax rates in the world — and the more powerful they are, like Amazon, the less tax they pay, to the absurd point that by now, the most powerful corporations pay negative tax rates, which means they receive more than they’ll ever give. There’s an obvious reason that companies like Amazon don’t have to pay taxes. They’re the beneficiaries of loopholes so large you could whole planets in them. In Amazon’s case, these are deductions for R&D, property, and stock options. We’ll come back to all that. A sane society would call this money laundering by any other name. But we don’t. So why do those loopholes exist? How did we get here — to a place where you pay more taxes than a trillion dollar company?