Before we get started here, accept MeanMesa's apology for repeating what has already been delivered on our faceBook wall. A few things need to be repeated here for Short Current Essay visitors who aren't faceBook participants.
Of course, we're talking about the Koch Brothers.
A Very Short Account of a Very Twisted History
The father of the Koch Brothers, Fred Koch, made much of the family fortune -- the money inherited by the current Koch family -- by building power plants in the Soviet Union under the Stalin regime. This "business opportunity" apparently developed when Fred ran into "marketing difficulties" with his power plants in the U.S.
Fred is also famous (notorious) for founding the John Birch Society during violently anti-Communist the period of the Korean War.
MeanMesa has to assume that this savagely anti-Communist fervor in the earlier family had something to do with his experiences trying to do business with a collectivist society. It is not too surprising that the next generation, the current Koch Brothers, have such an obsession with union busting.
The present day Koch Brothers, well lubricated trust fund babies, slammed their great riches into the U.S. economy before they were through with their teething rings. The result was another case of the "elevation of the mediocre" to immense wealth. Although the American "free enterprise" system relies on the proposition that great effort and great thinking are the commodities reaping great rewards in the "free market," well, there are exceptions.
In fact, it should not be "breaking news" to MeanMesa visitors that much of the grotesque behavior of such automatic billionaires is precisely the foundation of most of our nation's present day problems. In a country where the profit motive is supposed to explain the activities of such rich folks, the under-informed citizen may be, occasionally, perplexed with the strange application of ideology over more normal business considerations in the actions of these unfortunate souls.
Moving On To Present Day History
|Hot Air and Greed Become National Socialism (image source)|
The political handlers of the Koch fortune have made all sorts of bold moves to legitimatize the 19th Century penchants inherited by the brothers from their famous father. For example, the Koch Trust has sponsored a vomitous flurry of constantly mischievous wing-nut "think tanks" known to us little people as The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation and so on. (Google for the complete list here. )
Hand in hand with the political schemers, the Trust's business planners have also made their way into an impressive cluster of "free market" acquisitions, but, more about that in a moment.
We have already heard plenty about just what these pesky billionaires are up to right now. After some serious Koch campaign financing to get Wisconsin Governor Walker elected -- and some equally serious financing to smear his opponent -- that state's November election has turned into a wet dream for the boys.
Not only have they managed to create a crooked "no-bid" purchase option for Wisconsin power plants, they may have managed to take another serious swipe at the destruction of organized labor. Reveling under the new legal possibilities of the Supreme Court's Citizen United "free corporate money" plan, the brothers have wasted no time putting their dollars where their mouths are.
Oh gee, who could have phoned the Supreme Court Patriots to get that little stinker passed? Roberts, Alito and Scalia are on the Koch speed dial.
What We Can Do
Well, since the normal protection of our representative system of government have officially fallen into the hands of these miscreants, we will have to turn to our pocket books. Put the following (downloadable) Koch Industries and Products list on your refrigerator and use it for your "Don't Buy" list.
MeanMesa's compliments to Bill Press (The Bill Press Show, 1350 AM, Albuquerque, 4 AM to 7 AM, weekdays).