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Have a Koch and a Smile:

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So long as the markets are free and the rich stay that way, human suffering and environmental devastation are irrelevant. Beneath the “feel good” facade of baseball, apple-pie, mom, and Chevrolet lurks this sinister reality of the American Way.

Much of humanity is shackled by poverty and besieged by the violence of war. Earth is experiencing a slow, agonizing death. Animal and plant species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Despite these tragic and inevitable consequences, the United States persists in spreading the cancers of Americanized Capitalism and Democracy.

Here's to Saint Charles

America’s wealthiest owe a significant debt of gratitude to their patron saint, Charles G. Koch. Mr. Koch’s Herculean efforts have virtually ensured that the United States’ plutocracy and its complimentary corporatocracy will continue their reign in America’s highly dysfunctional democracy. Blessed with a significant number of Americans still rendered somnambulant by a mass media machine, Koch and his fellow patricians are riding high.

Mr. Koch has virtually endless resources at his disposal to keep “his people” in power. Charles owns 40% of the shares of the largest privately held company in the world. Koch Enterprises generated revenues of $40 billion in 2004. Koch recently acquired gargantuan lumber and paper producer Georgia Pacific, which significantly expands his empire of oil, pipeline, fiber, and chemical enterprises. By shunning public sale of Koch Enterprise stock, Charles Koch has maintained a tight-fisted grip on his company while cloaking its finances behind a veil of secrecy.

It's in their blue blood

Causes enhancing the power of America’s Capitalist elites are a Koch clan obsession. They live to pursue lower taxes on corporations and the wealthy, shifting the burden of subsidizing America’s burgeoning military, oil, pharma, and prison industrial complexes to the middle class and poor.

As they press to defang consumer, labor and environmental protection laws to shelter corporations from liability and increase their profit-making capacity, the Koch family vigorously toils to enhance corporate power.

Consider that Fred Koch, Charles’s father, was a charter member of the John Birch Society, which pushed for the repeal of income taxes and civil rights legislation. Practicing a racist agenda on behalf of the White wealthy elite, the JBS was formed on the pretext of fighting Communism. Fred’s interest in the JBS allegedly stemmed from having witnessed the Purges under Stalin in the 1930’s. Despite his concern for Stalin’s victims, Fred still remained in Russia to make money by upgrading Communist oil refineries. A true Capitalist.

Happiness is not for sale, but in America, power and influence are

David Koch, Charles’ brother, founded the Cato Institute in 1977 and was a presidential candidate in 1980 as a Libertarian. Charles, David and Cato are no friends to America’s working class or minorities. Staunch supporters of social security privatization and property rights, Cato strongly opposes affirmative action and government regulation. With such an obviously biased agenda, it is rather curious that the “liberal” mainstream media often cites Cato as a neutral source.

In 1996, the Cato Institute itself wrote:

"Dozens of huge corporations, eager to roll back government regulatory powers, are among Cato's largest donors."

With the backing of one of the wealthiest families in America, Koch Family Foundations provides funding to several think tanks similar to Cato, each of which “nobly” crusades for the rights of the “oppressed” upper class and fights for the freedom of corporate America.

According to the Nation (in a 1996 article documenting Bob Dole’s incestuous relationship with the Koch group) the reverse Robin Hoods from Wichita, Kansas have "lavished tens of millions of dollars in the past decade on 'free market' advocacy institutions in and around Washington."

In 2004, Koch Industries made $587,000 in campaign donations, more than any other oil company. From 1998 to 2004 the Koch family and its enterprises gave $3.9 million in political contributions. Compare that to the $3.8 million contributed by Exxon Mobile, which is six times the size of Koch. During that same period, the Koch boys spent $2.4 million lobbying Congress to pass “humanitarian” legislation that would repeal the estate tax and significantly reduce the capacity of consumers to sue.

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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