This little piggy rigged the market?

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During his interview with reporter Dan Carney (“Dwayne’s World,” July/August), Archer Daniels Midland Chairman Dwayne Andreas jokingly asked a fellow executive, “What do they do for us in Bulgaria? Do they fix the prices? Or is there some kind of a free market?” At least we thought he was joking. As we reported, ADM is an enormous beneficiary of corporate subsidies, like the Agriculture Department’s sugar program, which pushes cola makers to use corn syrup as a sweetener by inflating sugar prices. In July, a criminal antitrust investigation fingered the agribusiness giant for allegedly price-fixing, among other things, the corn syrup used in cola.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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