Inside the Machine of the Brother’s Koch


Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 10.17.14 PMTim Dickinson of Rolling Stone has penned a magnum opus dedicated to exposing the Brother’s Koch.  It is long, detailed and quite fascinating.  According to Dickinson, thus far, in the current election cycle, the Koch Machine has bought over 44,000 ads to help the GOP take the Senate.

Forty-four thousand political ads….

It ought to be a crime.

No one should have that much power.  There is nothing wrong with having the kind of money they have.  What is wrong with it is the fact that Chuck & Dave are using it to buy the country, and own it.  There’s nothing wrong with maxing out during an election cycle, for an individual running for office.  I don’t even have much of a problem of them maxing out via every politician they want to pimp.  It is still an equal playing field.  BUT – when they put their billions behind various organizations in order to purchase the country, then that’s a problem.

“..In “the science of success,” Charles Koch highlights the problems created when property owners “don’t benefit from all the value they create and don’t bear the full cost from whatever value they destroy.” He is particularly concerned about the “tragedy of the commons,” in which shared resources are abused because there’s no individual accountability. “The biggest problems in society,” he writes, “have occurred in those areas thought to be best controlled in common: the atmosphere, bodies of water, air. . . .”

But in the real world, Koch Industries has used its political might to beat back the very market-based mechanisms – including a cap-and-trade market for carbon pollution – needed to create the ownership rights for pollution that Charles says would improve the functioning of capitalism.

In fact, it appears the very essence of the Koch business model is to exploit breakdowns in the free market. Koch has profited precisely by dumping billions of pounds of pollutants into our waters and skies – essentially for free. It racks up enormous profits from speculative trades lacking economic value that drive up costs for consumers and create risks for our economy.

The Koch brothers get richer as the costs of what Koch destroys are foisted on the rest of us – in the form of ill health, foul water and a climate crisis that threatens life as we know it on this planet. Now nearing 80 – owning a large chunk of the Alberta tar sands and using his billions to transform the modern Republican Party into a protection racket for Koch Industries’ profits – Charles Koch is not about to see the light. Nor does the CEO of one of America’s most toxic firms have any notion of slowing down. He has made it clear that he has no retirement plans: “I’m going to ride my bicycle till I fall off.”…”

There’s nothing wrong with cultivating wealth and power.  When that wealth and power is used to conquer the world and rule, rather like some psychopathic despot in a James Bond movie, well, we have a problem.  They have become so removed from the realities of daily life, and so cushioned by their billions that they have no grasp of normal.  Their entitlement is so great, their affluenza so out of control, they cannot comprehend the life we the little people must live, in order for them to thrive.  They are little more than modern day feudal lords, and all that the terminology entails.  We, the little people, just need to be thankful that there are some basic laws out there, protecting us from them – so far.