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On Charles Koch plans $200,000 media ad campaign in Wichita


Kate Rogge 4 years, 11 months ago

A PR campaign in Wichita? Isn't that like sleeping with the choir?

chootspa 4 years, 11 months ago

"The campaign promotes the idea that countries with economic freedom have the most wealth." What it doesn't include is the pesky detail of how all that wealth is concentrated at the top.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. They have "economic freedom" in Bangladesh. No or unenforced building codes. Slave wages for desperate people. Koch's dream. Of course then the building collapses. But I'll bet Koch would make sure that his company couldn't be sued, or that he could be charged with murder.

ChuckFInster 4 years, 11 months ago

Actually you are both way off the mark. Countries with strong economic development policies have the fastest growing middle class.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Like China? I would add a picture of their air pollution problem, but for some reason Add photo is not working. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/04/china-air-pollution-2013/63836/

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

Like I said, a country with no previous middle class. Probably also not a coincidence that India is the home Bhopal, the worst industrial accident in history. Maybe you'd also suggest Bangladesh? I hear they have killer garment factories. "Strong economic development policies" indeed.

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

Define "strong economic development policies." It's another ambiguous buzzword like "economic freedom" and means whatever is convenient for it to mean.

The fastest growing middle class is in developing nations where previously there was NO middle class. I doubt you're advocating we decimate the existing middle class in order to replicate those conditions. Well, maybe you are.

ChuckFInster 4 years, 11 months ago

You're right. Strong economic development policies - for people who are willing to work. Fat dumb and happy America is in for a rude awakening. Obama is the icing on the "let them eat - cake"

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

I have no idea what you're even trying to say. It's like you had half of this conversation in your head and forgot to type it out. Please provide some logic and examples. Are you trying to argue that societies that let their poor, elderly, and disabled starve and die are superior to those who allow their citizens to be "fat and happy?"

Stuart Sweeney 4 years, 11 months ago

What a laugh when Mr. Koch says--The people who are more interested in power and their own interest rather than the general interest are threatened by these ideas,” . He has more wealth and power than most ever dream of but still wants more. He forces wages down and straps his accumulated riches on the backs of those he pays so much less than they should be. The way to grow the economy is to spread the wealth so other can support our comsumption based economy!

Brock Masters 4 years, 11 months ago

osur. How does he force wages down? Help me understand how he is doing it.

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

Read the article. The Kochs are advocating for removing the minimum wage, and he's certainly campaigned against raising it, even as inflation lowers the real value.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

He uses his money to buy candidates, instead of letting his money trickle down to his workers in wages and benefits. He could take this money and provide needs based scholarships to university or trade schools. If he already does this, then he could give more scholarships. He could make small business loans with little or no interest to help budding entrepreneurs which would create new jobs, which would lower unemployment, which would require businesses to pay more to compete for good workers. Trust me. Big business does not want unemployment to go down. They can control their workers better.

Brock Masters 4 years, 11 months ago

So do you have any facts to back up your statement that their employees are not well paid and don't receive good benefits?

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 11 months ago

seriously, how much is 7.65 an hour worth today vs. how much was it worth 10 years ago. If wages remain stagnant as Mr. Koch is advocating in his attempt to eliminate/retain the status quo of the minimum wage, wages "effectively" go down. If the Minimum wage kept up with inflation from when it was passed in the 60's it would be over $20 per hour now. That is due to what we call inflation. Minimum wage being as low as it is, is in effect forcing wages down.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"seriously, how much is 7.65 an hour worth"

Seriously, how much is a 16 year old asking if I want fries with that worth?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

What do you think?

It's an odd thing - measuring the worth of a human being in dollar terms.

And, although there may be some teenagers working for pocket change at McD, there are unfortunately a lot of adults supporting themselves who also work there.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"It's an odd thing - measuring the worth of a human being in dollar terms."

Juries don't find it odd.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

But I do, don't you?

It may be the only way to deal with certain issues, like damages in jury trials, but that doesn't make it a good fit. If my wife died, there's not any amount of money in the world that would make up for that for me.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 11 months ago

Narrow your focus a bit. No one is trying to place a value on an entire person's worth, (except in that extreme case of juries placing a value on a deceased person). Just the value of their labor to a certain business. Let me give you an example. Suppose I look at the job market and saw several very high paying jobs out there. Suppose I wanted to be the starting quarterback for the Chiefs, or head of neurosurgery at the K.U. Med. Center. During an interview, they may value my labor to their specific business at zero, and quite frankly, they'd be correct. But that doesn't mean my life is worth zero or that my labor doesn't have value in some other area of employment. it just means I have no value to the Chiefs or to the hospital.

When determining the value of a person's labor to a company such as Wal-Mart or McDonald's or some other low wage job isn't an attempt to diminish a person's value in life. That person may be a wonderful artist or musician. That person may be a student of another trade in which they will provide a wonderful service to humankind. But to Wal-Mart, McDonald's, etc. their value may in fact be very low. In those case, just as with my desire to play professional football or play doctor, it's up to the individual to increase the value of their labor in other areas more appropriate to their skill sets, or leave themselves forever at the mercy of the marketplace.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Well, many people seem to equate worth in general with how much one makes.

And, Liberty's question was "How much is a 16 year old asking if I want fries with that worth?"

You also find many demeaning comments on here about people working at low wage jobs, as if the measure of their worth is lowered by the fact that they don't make much money, even if they're performing necessary and/or useful tasks.

How much is an hour of your life worth? It's a very odd question, and really not answerable in any meaningful or satisfying way for me.

It's very nice that you make distinctions like the ones you've made in this post, but many people in this country don't do that - it's sort of endemic here that worth and money are closely connected.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

Then if she is run over and killed by a Koch truck you won't be suing?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Is that for me?

I might or might not sue - once she's gone, nothing will bring her back, and nothing can possibly make up for that loss.

But, I might feel that if there was negligence involved, that the parties responsible for her death ought to face some consequences, and the only legal way to do that would be to sue.

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 11 months ago

Well according to inflation and the minimum wage in the 60's 20+ per hour. I know that sounds insane but that's what the wage was in the 1960's, that was the floor at which we all operated. Highly skilled workers and professionals then made wages above that based on their worth. Now the minimum wage need not be 20, but it should be fairly clear to most objective observers that 7.65 is wildly low.

It's great to say well it's just teens at Walmart making that, but that's simply untrue. There are genuinely families out there trying to make it on minimum wage possibly from multiple jobs, or slightly above minimum wage.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 11 months ago

What percentage of the goods we purchase was made overseas back in the '60s? Has that changed over the years? We could always impose tariffs on goods produced overseas, bringing those jobs home and raising prices accordingly.

The problem is that we all want cheap goods, as evidenced by our buying patterns, but then complain when we can't compete in the world marketplace.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

It's called minimum wage for a reason. I make more than 7.65. I make more than 7.65 because my boss can't easily replace me for less even though I am a horrible employee.

If you are 30 and still making minimum wage, you have a problem.

appleaday 4 years, 11 months ago

Or inherit it the way the Koch brothers did and then use their money to influence public policy that benefits their ability to profit.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

So lets say you just start your own business, but no one is earning much money. Who is going to buy your product or service?

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

The guy that was going to pay $100 until I said I'd do it for 90. When I am done, I have earned $90 and he has saved 10. It's a win/win except for the greedy guy that wanted $100. He lost.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 11 months ago

Now if only the economy and reality even resembled that concept.

fiddleback 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, why would they start an ad campaign in a town already so inured to their machinations that it practically amounts to a mass lobotomy?

But I guess it never hurts to further pacify the already-subjugated. Maybe Walmart should start forcing its employees watch an inspiring documentary about Sam Walton, and Tyson Foods should show a video loop to its chickens, pigs, and cows exploring the wonderful worlds of electrical stunning and captive bolt pistols...

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

Lower cost media, test market, and free publicity for the message if news reports pick it up. They can also test to see if there's a massive backlash against the message or if their dreams of finally running for office can come true.

They're busy running a bunch of misleading anti Obamacare ads in other markets, so this is just one of many of their media campaigns.

question4u 4 years, 11 months ago

Who, in principle, believes that control of the media for political ends is consistent with American values? What difference does it make whether that control comes from the government or corporate interests? Who believes that influence by wealth is consistent with the American idea of democracy?

The Kochs are welcome to argue that Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower were dead wrong about unions and the minimum wage. Freedom of speech guarantees that anyone should be able to express whatever opinion he or she likes.

Ideas expressed in a free exchange made America great. That process is the backbone of democracy. American democracy was meant to arrive at the best society for everyone. That can only come about through compromise, because American ideals recognize that everyone is not the same. The idea that democracy means that whatever political party is in control can exercise tyranny over everyone else is new. It has clearly caught on in Kansas, but it is not what America was built on.

Is spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars to ram your opinions down peoples' throats in Wichita consistent with the ideal of democracy? Is buying newspapers so that you can select what people read consistent with American ideals? What difference does it make what your position is? Isn't a free press that presents all sides of issues more consistent with democracy and American ideals that a press that is deliberately slanted? Shouldn't truth be the aim?

If an idea is convincing why would anyone have to resort to a $200,000 ad campaign in one city alone just to get people to buy it?

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

I think they genuinely believe they've found the panacea and that everyone would agree with them if only they could hear their message some more. I envision him sounding like some British imperialist, "I do believe the natives would only come around to our point of view if they put on pants."

In all fairness, they do donate money to charities and the arts. They do think they're good citizens off to save the world from itself - and the proof that they're worthy of setting public policy is somehow that they're so very good at making money. We'll ignore the part where they had every advantage at birth and pretend like it's amazing and against all odds that millionaires at birth turn into billionaires during their lifetime.

Somehow the ability to pay workers even less and not provide benefits like health or retirement is going to save everyone. Much like not feeding a child just makes them better hunters. Or something. All I know is that we've coddled those children far too long by not sending them off to the textile mills.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"Who, in principle, believes that control of the media for political ends is consistent with American values?"


Evan Ridenour 4 years, 11 months ago

Just remember, ObamaCare is actually a Republican idea.

Obama wanted a single-payer healthcare system. This is the same type of system used in almost every other western democracy. Such systems on average provide significantly better healthcare and cost much less money.

Here is some data collected from the OECD: http://www.oecd.org/unitedstates/HealthSpendingInUSA_HealthData2012.pdf

Bob Reinsch 4 years, 11 months ago

Child labor laws are a nuisance. If workers can't stay healthy, we'll replace them with someone else - that's opportunity!. Formaldehyde is perfectly safe for use in FEMA trailers... and despite the evidence, there's no real proof that it's toxic and causes cancer. Living in poverty with no opportunity for a decent education is freedom. You too can be just like the Koch brothers - just inherit a few billion dollars from dad, and buy yourself a few congressmen.

tolawdjk 4 years, 11 months ago

"despite the evidence, there's no real proof"

That there is comedy gold, sir. Pure, unadulterated comedy gold. Be on the look out in your mail, I am sending you one free Internets, for you have just won it.

I think all politics can be surmized by that one phrase. "...despite the evidence, there is no real proof..."

cowboy 4 years, 11 months ago

“The people who are more interested in power and their own interest rather than the general interest are threatened by these ideas,” Koch said.

Sigmund Freud would have marveled at this statement.

Pastor_Bedtime 4 years, 11 months ago

Government overreach? Koch must have selective memory, considering the nanny-state agenda his minions at the state house have promoted the past couple of years.

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

It's only government intervention when it interferes with something they want to do.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

“But I understand his frustration,” Jacobs said. “It’s really quite striking, you get a sense of a guy who feels mystified as to why he’s become demonized to some extent, as someone selfish, out for himself. There is a kind of caricature of the Koch brothers — obviously the Democrats and liberals do a lot of fundraising based on demonizing him.”

Really? I was involved in the Libertarian movement for awhile. It's a utopia that would end up as a society of a few haves and a bunch of have nots. Even this believer has already been fined several times for violating pollution laws. He would love to get rid of those horrible government regulations, but of course he has enough money to live in the places he hasn't polluted. Libertarians believe in a world that celebrates greed. They think that all people would rise to that goal of greed and everyone would be successful. They think that businesses will pop up to help the disabled and that somehow those disabled will afford to pay these companies. They think that education should be made private and that somehow working poor will find the money to pay for it, and if they don't - well we need someone to dig ditches and to be our slaves. They believe that everyone will compete on equal ground, but the Koch's are just like many rich people. If they have 5 million, they want 10, if they have 10 they want 20. It's never enough. Libertarians think that trickle down will happen, but if trickle down works, why don't the Koch's give their workers more money, instead of buying politicians?

The Koch's consider themselves the poor, put upon "productive" citizens that Ayn Rand considered heroes in her philosophy. But these "productive" citizens would be nowhere without their workers. Are they going into the factories and making toilet paper? Are they going to do what they can to destroy their competition, including underhanded practices? Libertarians think this is ok, but it is not capitalism. In the Kochs utopia there would be a bunch of rich, royal robber barons who get most of their money through inheritance who treat their poor working class like dirt and suppress competition, except when they donate a library or open a poor house to get good publicity. Libertarianism is the ultimate in the me, me, me culture.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

I love a good rant on a rainy Thursday morning. Well said, tomato.

Too much is never enough for someone with a black hole where their heart should be.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

A lot of interesting comments here. I agree about much of the problem with Libertarianism. There are also problems with the current state of our politics. There is a lack of balance in the way government is dealing with a lot of issues. Ignorance is what drives people toward fundamentalism and Koch is promoting a form of right wing fundamentalism that, typically, profits the leaders and rewards their ability to brainwash a lot of naive people.

Regarding propaganda:

I believe that Congress relaxed restrictions concerning the government and military distributing propaganda in the US. This was done quietly unless I am mistaken. There are grave concerns with allowing the US government to create propaganda targeting its own people.

While the Republican Party campaigns against overreach by the governmen, they are just as involved in this as the Democrats. Might this be more an indication that the power of average Americans and by far the majority is giving way to the power of money which is concentrated in a select few.

In this way, Democracy and our American ideals are not being made stronger by our current politicians on either side of the aisle as they fight over more money and more tax cuts.

"On 12/29/12, President Obama signed HR 4310, the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1078 (thomas.loc. gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.4310:) of the bill authorizes the use of propaganda inside the US, which had previously been banned since 1948 when the Smith-Mundt Act was passed."

Don't mean to sound like an alarmist but maybe we need to be more concerned about a lot of things and since we are not getting invited to the expensive dinners or to the secret and illegal Brownback meetings, perhaps everyone should be concerned.

dinglesmith 4 years, 11 months ago

The Kochs are the children of inherited wealth. They have created a little fantasy world just like Michael Jackson's Neverland where they can live without ever dealing with reality. They don't pay rent or a mortgage, they don't have jobs - particularly jobs they can be fired from, and no one around them will ever disagree with then even for the sake of vigorous discussion. Nothing wrong with Neverland, nothing wrong with the Koch's version. I just don't think they should be in charge.

There's nothing wrong with having tons of money, but it should be earned. The Kochs, Kennedys, and other American Royal Families have created little subcultures where privilege is inherited rather than earned. The Kennedy's original money came from bootlegging. The Koch's money came from building oil fields for Stalin in the old Soviet Union. Their wealth was generated in an anti-competitive, brutally regulated environment and enriched the regime of one of history's most horrific dictators. I prefer bootlegging. To be fair, watching Stalin is what pushed them towards Ayn Rand's philosophies. But comparing themselves to Rand's heroes is not much less disingenuous than comparing themselves to Robin Hood.

Budgets_Smudgets 4 years, 11 months ago

Koch Industries has a history of shipping American jobs overseas, and sheltering income through overseas tax havens, saving themselves billions of dollars.

blindrabbit 4 years, 11 months ago

Rummy and Koch-a-Kola! Yea, and some of that "inherited wealth" was "obtained" by Papa Koch from stealing oil revenues and mineral rights from Native Americans in Oklahoma. Of the 4 sons, Charles and David are the most dangerous, Frederick is a legitimate art collector and Billy sails boats and other relatively harmless adventures.

Brock Masters 4 years, 11 months ago

Any proof? I thought they were in the oil business here. What jobs have they shipped overseas?

appleaday 4 years, 11 months ago

They have 70,000 employees -- 50,000 in the US and 20,000 in 59 other countries. Koch Industries, Inc. /ˈkoʊk/ is an American multinational corporation based in Wichita, Kansas, United States, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company. Koch companies are involved in core industries such as the manufacturing, refining and distribution[1] of petroleum, chemicals, energy, fiber, intermediates and polymers, minerals, fertilizers, pulp and paper, chemical technology equipment, ranching,[3] finance,[citation needed] commodities trading, as well as other ventures and investments. The firm employs 50,000 people in the United States and another 20,000 in 59 other countries.[4]

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

And they are considered a small business; therefore, they don't have to pay taxes in Kansas.

appleaday 4 years, 11 months ago

Even though they benefit from all the taxpayer subsidized things like roads, police, fire, education....

Hal Larsen 4 years, 11 months ago

"The campaign promotes the idea that countries with economic freedom have the most wealth. Koch told the Eagle that he believes his ideas will help disadvantaged people, saying government regulations, including the minimum wage, tend to hold everyone back."

Does Mr. Kock realize that most of the richest countries are socialist gasp and wait for for it, have more government regulations and a higher national wage?

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

Some of them are also authoritative regimes run by a royal family that rely on the labor of a permanent underclass of non-citizen workers who are sometimes subject to abuse. Qatar, I'm looking at you.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

Half of Europe is bankrupt and you are going to tell us that socialism is something we need more of?

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

There are more socialist countries on the top wealth list than there are libertarian ones.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

America is fairly libertarian and we are the richest country the world has ever seen.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Well, according to other libertarian leaning folks, America is not very libertarian at all, in fact it's way over-regulated and controlled by the Fed, etc.

And, I don't know how you determine wealth, but we have a national debt that exceeds our GDP, and annual deficits (which mean the debt increases that much each year) of about $1 trillion.

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't know why my response showed up to the wrong person.

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

Qatar, Luxembourg, Norway, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Burnei all called to tell you that you're wrong on that one.

patkindle 4 years, 11 months ago

I am sure most of the whiners would feel differently if they were born into wealth,,, but they were not, so there you go ,,,koch spending 200k is like most of us blowing 20 bucks, so dry up and quit crying for gosh sake, grow up

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

So what you're saying is that it's only a small share of their overall vast wealth being spent on self-serving lies, and if we were born super rich, we'd all be selfish jerks, too. Ok then.

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

Actually, it turns out you're right. If you're rich, you're more likely to be unethical. Huh.

"In a series of startling studies, psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that “upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals.” Ongoing research is trying to find out what it is about wealth — or lack of it — that makes people behave they way they do. Paul Solman reports as part of his Making Sen$e series."

blindrabbit 4 years, 11 months ago

As an avid watcher of nature programming on KCPT, I am wretched every time I see the sponsor credits roll and see David Koch's name and foundation listed. This is his advantage of "giving" something back to the populace, all the while doing and profiteering from Koch Brothers Industries and disregarding the environment.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

And at what cost does PBS take their money? I wonder why the expose on the Kochs wasn't broadcast.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

"As a result, in the public’s evaluations of divisions within American society, conflicts between rich and poor now rank ahead of three other potential sources of group tension—between immigrants and the native born; between blacks and whites; and between young and old. Back in 2009, more survey respondents said there were strong conflicts between immigrants and the native born than said the same about the rich and the poor."


The trends show that Koch and his crowd are in trouble with the American people. Their ideas are not selling. Just the opposite.

akuna 4 years, 11 months ago

I wish I could buy a 2 second commercial to air right after their commercials. All it would be is a black screen with NOT in white type, cause surely everyone will want the punchline to their joke.

blindrabbit 4 years, 11 months ago

jayhawklawrence: Maybe you are correct about the Koch's headed in the wrong direction. Heard this morning that 200+ conservative Christian leaders here in the US have petitioned Congress to take the Climate Change story seriously. This is a group that in the past was willing to take the Jim Mountain Inhofe (Okie Senator) " ostrich with head in the sand" approach to this subject. Seems like this group has found biblical passages that find that God did not intend for "man" to screw up his creation. In the past, conservatives took the approach that the earth was created (by whatever means) to be exploited by man as he saw fit. Maybe some sanity at last!

Trumbull 4 years, 11 months ago

Once you make your buck, its easy to call things government overreach. Things that actually aid your economic freedom. Things like infrastructure, law and order, highways and roads, railroads, an educated workforce, public universities and research centers, NASA, the military, etc.

Almost like they'd have you believe that they were born in the woods and through shear survival technique and freedom became very rich.

ThePilgrim 4 years, 11 months ago

"A PR campaign in Wichita? Isn't that like sleeping with the choir?" Not really. He is really aiming it at union workers in Wichita.

But I don't see the impact - everyone either works at Koch, has worked at Koch, or knows someone who works at Koch (Ok, maybe not the poor folks). Koch Industries favors hiring and keeping employees that will be, or act like they are, true believers in his Market Based Management. If you managed to get through their screening and get hired, any whiff that you aren't a true believer and "out the door with you". No justification needed.

jwljpm 4 years, 11 months ago

Remindful of the Batman movie wherein thieves and crooks are exploiting an already strangled and corrupt Gotham to jack ever more illicit profits from the system. I mean, how much is enough, Kochies? You're already kazillionaires. Why are you using your resources to destroy both our state and nation? Granted, you're doing a great job of it, but is easily attained power that absolutely addictive?.

ChuckFInster 4 years, 11 months ago

And because Obamacare is going to work so well it has been postponed a year !

appleaday 4 years, 11 months ago

Actually, the penalty for employers is being postponed. Some of the Affordable Care Act is already in place, such as keeping your kids insured on your policy up to age 26, doing away with pre-existing conditions. The insurance exchanges will be available in October so those who can afford to purchase insurance will actually be able to do so (which is not always possible with the current system for those buying insurance without being in an employer-related group.) You should really read a summary of the this Act. The American Nurses' Association website has a good summary which is easy to understand.

SouthernMan 4 years, 11 months ago

More power to Mr. Koch. Earn your money the hard way: BY WORKING FOR IT. And spend it however you choose. I know that's not the mentality in the Socialist Republic of Douglas County, where income distribution is the predominant mentality.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

I know a lot of people who are working hard for people who could afford to pay them a living wage, but they don't, because unemployment is so high and they don't have to pay more. I grew up in an era when we made things in the United States, instead of importing them from China. People earned a living wage then. Now many people work 2 jobs just to make ends meet. How it that not working?

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

"How is that not working?"

Truthiness? I want it to be so, so it must be so? Trolls? Idiots?

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

"Earn your money the hard way: BY WORKING FOR IT."

Agreed. This is why in the past, inheritance taxes were extremely high (~80-90%), to prevent a monied hereditary oligarchy. The Kochs seem to be just such a monied hereditary oligarchy, paritally because inheritance taxes have been slashed in the last 50 years.

The Kochs did not work for their money. They have certainly worked to keep it and expand it, but inheriting millions of dollars it not exactly boostrapping your way to the top

Patricia Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

As someone just posted on Huffington Post:

Note the Koch lie.. the most regulated socialist countries are those that have the higher GDP per capita and wages. the most unregulated are at the bottom.

1) Denmark - 48.3% - with a GDP per capita of $62,100 (#8 in the world)

2) Sweden - 47.1% - with a GDP per capita of $51,950 (#14 in the world)

3) Belgium - 44.3% - with a GDP per capita of $47,090 (#19 in the world)

4) Austria - 42.9% - with a GDP per capita of $49,600 (#17 in the world)

5) Finland - 42.8% - with a GDP per capita of $51,320, (#15 in the world)

6) Norway - 42.1% - with a GDP per capita of $94,760 (#2 in the world)

7) Luxembourg - 38.3% - with a GDP per capita of $109,900 (#1 in the world)

8) The Netherland­­­­­s - 37.5% - with a GDP per capita of $52,960 (#11 in the world)

9) Australia - 30.8% - with a GDP per capita of $47,330 (#18 in the world)

10) Switzerland - 29.4% - with a GDP per capita of $64,330 (#6 in the world) .

31) United States - 27.1% - with a GDP per capita of $46,350 (#20 in the world) and we are 15th in wages(much lower in RED states), a drop since Reagan from number one.

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit 2011 World Book In Figures

blindrabbit 4 years, 11 months ago

And the Koch's were originally from the Netherlands!, and they want the rest of to go "dutch", while they rest on daddy's questionable past!

Kate Rogge 4 years, 11 months ago

Libertarian populism is bunk, and the Kochs are trying to sell it anyway: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/opinion/krugman-delusions-of-populism.html?ref=opinion

and this comment from that thread by reader Montreal Moe -- WestPark, Quebec

"I don't understand why the myth of what constitutes the wealth of nations isn't refuted by what has happened here in Quebec in the last 50 years. Quebec's quiet revolution saw the flight of of head offices of most Canadian head offices from Montreal to the lower tax havens of Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary. Along with the corporations the stock exchange and the upper echelons of Canadian Moneyed elite as their top corporate functionaries left for more business friendly climes..

Quebec went from the lowest taxed and least regulated corporate environments to one of the highest with the devastating result of having a better educated, healthier, wealthier and better informed population than it did when it was a socially conservative and business libertarian society. It is America's diversity and natural resources that have made it the wealthiest country on the planet. It is having mothers that were literate and empowered and past on that legacy that was the real wealth.

The political and economic policies of Paul Ryan led the way to the Irish Potato Famine, the Great Depression and untold human anguish and hardship. Unfettered capitalism is what Dickens, Steinbeck and Swift wrote about. What made America the greatest nation on Earth was a belief that when everyone does better the nation does better.

Populism is what we in Quebec call democracy and democracy is not a synonym for freedom and much of the time it puts the shackles on libertarianism.

Bravo Professor Krugman"

July 11, 2013 at 10:45 p.m. Recommended by 579 readers

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

I just saw the ad. Have no idea what the point is. Confusing gobbledy ( LJW won't let me say the rest of that word?). Only thing I picked up was that if you're making $32,000 you're part of the 1% in the world or was it 2%? Wow, makes me feel so much better than I'm better off than other really wretched starving dying people who are lucky if they can find a job in a sweatshop that may fall down on them.

I think they must be getting desperate if they're resorting to this. They've won in Kansas, why do they feel the need to do this? Are they afraid of something? Why didn't they buy a decent ad agency who could make something coherent?

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

McDonalds now has a budgeting tool on their website so their employees can figure out how to live on their salary.


Of course, you have to have a second job, not eat and not heat your home.

Does McDonalds pay all except $20 of their employees health insurance----because that is all that is budgeted. Maybe they're counting on ACA?

Apparently budgeting can fix all our problems---surprised the Kochs didn't get the message and put that in their ad.

ChuckFInster 4 years, 11 months ago

Many restaurants are calling a 28 hour work week full time now as they are opting to stay out of unaffordable Obamacare.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

What if the Koch positions are not based on fact? What if their propaganda are simply lies?

Simply political rhetoric for Sam Brownback? Is the local media going to challenge the propaganda ?

What if that which is being published is simply a group of assumptions coming out of ALEC?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

I recommend checking out the study mentioned above. There are actually seven separate studies, conducted nationally and locally by U Cal Berkeley.

They show consistent results that in a variety of ways, higher income folks are more likely to lie, cheat, steal, withhold important information, cut people off on the road, etc.

Also, attitudes about greed are a strong predictor of such things, in other words, people who believe that "greed is good" are much more likely to engage in unethical behavior. When primed to consider greed as positive, even lower income folks become more likely to do that as well.

It sort of explains how and why the divide between rich and poor has widened so much - as people get more money, they're likely to engage in unethical behavior that increases their wealth, and so on.

In one particularly troubling scenario, people are engaged in role playing where they play the part of an employer with a candidate seeking long term employment - they know that the position will soon be eliminated, and can reveal that information if they choose. Many higher income folks withheld the information.

That sort of thing undermines the "win-win" possibilities of capitalism, and turns it into a "dog eat dog" system wherein everybody's just out for their own interests. Is it any wonder that employees don't feel any sort of loyalty to employers anymore?

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