Monday, January 23rd, 2012

What Others Say

Recent media stories attempt to demonize Koch’s 40 years of unwavering, transparent, lawful and principled commitment to economic freedom and market-based policies. Part of this attack is to diminish and mischaracterize important and authentic citizen efforts as well as company support of education and human services programs.

This website responds to much of the misinformation. In addition, many other people have spoken out about the erroneous stories. Here is what they’ve said:

Kimberly O. Dennis, “Democrats Can’t Blame the Koch Brothers (However Much They Might Want to),” National Review, Nov. 15, 2010

“Charles and David Koch want to use their wealth to give others the same opportunity to succeed that they have had. Having benefited from the capitalist system, they want others to prosper in the same way. They are concerned our way of life is being threatened by an ever-expanding government that taxes success, regulates risk, punishes innovation, and strangles individual initiative .  [The Kochs] believe that a genuinely free market, unencumbered by excessive government debt, needless regulation, and political interference, will generate the most prosperity for all. They think their philanthropic resources are best used not to support programs that transfer wealth from some to others, but to make it possible for everyone to succeed. They seek to preserve the capitalist system not because it serves their interest, but because they believe it serves everyone’s interests.”

David Koch, “Tea Party Billionaire Fires Back,” TheDailyBeast.com, Sept. 10

If what I and my brother believe in, and advocate for, is secret, it’s the worst covert operation in history.”

Mark Hemingway, “The left attacks the Koch brothers for giving money to PBS?”, WashingtonExaminer.com, Sept 8, 2010

“Something tells me that David Koch is too busy to be bothered with meddling in the writing and production of PBS science specials … If David Koch wants to fund it, you’d think liberals would be happy — but no good deed goes unpunished when it’s done by someone who has the temerity to believe in free markets.”

Lou Heldman, “New York media should read Koch’s book,” Wichita Eagle, Sept. 2, 2010

“The truth seems more complicated and the Kochs’ agenda more transparent. Koch funding of Americans for Prosperity and other advocacy groups may well have provided a catalyst for the tea party movement, but the voter anger is quite genuine. If you want to understand the Kochs’ agenda, read Charles Koch’s 2007 book, “The Science of Success.” He makes the strong case that companies, nations and individuals thrive where free markets flourish. Koch Industries has grown into one of the world’s largest private companies pursuing his market-based management philosophy. One source of disappointment to me in all of the recent New York media is that Charles’ book is largely overlooked. The noisy national debate would benefit from some of his reasoned conviction and grasp of economic history. The disagreements might be just as sharp at the end, but the level of discussion would be elevated.”

Ilya Somin, “Errors in Jane Mayer’s New Yorker Article Attacking the Kochs,” Volokh.com, Sept. 2

“[I]t is no secret that that Kochs support various libertarian organizations, and it is also no secret that these organizations are highly critical of Obama’s economic policies – often on much the same grounds as they previously attacked [George W.] Bush’s.”

“In reality, however, libertarians — including the Koch-supported organizations — have vocally and consistently opposed virtually every pro-corporate government intervention since the libertarian movement began.”

Matt Lewis, “Koch Brothers Donate to Charity as well as Right Wing Causes,” PoliticsDaily.com, Sept. 2, 2010

“To be sure, The Kochs have given “more than a hundred million dollars to right wing causes” (which is their right, by the way). But in the last decade, it’s also worth noting The Kochs have given more than $600 million in pledged or donated money to arts, education, and medical research … ”

Tim Carney, “Left’s double-standard on Kochs and Soros,” WashingtonExaminer.com, Sept. 1, 2010

“While Mayer allows that ideology, and not just profit, motivate the Kochs, what escapes folks like (Frank) Rich is that many of us advocating a free market aretrying to make the world a better place — not just for business, but for the poor. The Kochs have a presentation they use to demonstrate the correlation betweeneconomic freedom and human flourishing. The poor in America are wealthier than the middle class in less-free countries. Libertarianism isn’t necessarily selfish — it’s often philanthropic.”

Dan Fisher, “New Yorker’s Koch Profile Misses The Point,” Forbes.com, Aug. 31, 2010

“Jane Mayer’s much-discussed New Yorker profile of the Koch brothers is a useful look at how money can buy an outsized voice in our democracy. But a lot of what she paints as nefarious activity is simple business sense. And anybody who’s spent time talking to Charles Koch, as I have, comes away with the conviction that with this man, business is personal and the personal is political. He’s the kind of guy who can fund the right-wing Cato Institute and hope that its mantra of lower taxes, inviolate property rights and personal responsibility will somehow reverse decades of increasing central-government power. (For the record, it hasn’t.)”

Nathan, “Objecting to Political Activity,” AFewThoughts.us, Aug. 30, 2010

“It’s not clear what the prob­lem is with this. It’s per­fectly fine for indi­vid­u­als or orga­ni­za­tions to try to affect pub­lic debate. The wealthy and pow­er­ful are not denied that right, and Mayer notes (and does not object to) George Soros’ Open Soci­ety Insti­tute spend­ing up to $100 mil­lion a year in the U.S. George Soros hap­pens to sup­port greater social wel­fare spend­ing, and the Kochs don’t agree. Are they pro­hib­ited from spend­ing money to sup­port freer mar­kets just because it would ben­e­fit them?”

Ira Stoll, “The New Yorker on David and Charles Koch,” Washington Times, Aug. 27, 2010

“Here’s Ms. Mayer’s take on F.A. Hayek:

‘Charles and David Koch were particularly influenced by the work of Friedrich von Hayek, the author of “The Road to Serfdom” (1944), which argued that centralized government planning led, inexorably, to totalitarianism. Hayek’s belief in unfettered capitalism has proved inspirational to many conservatives, and to anti-Soviet dissidents; lately, Tea Party supporters have championed his work. In June, the talk-radio host Glenn Beck, who has supported the Tea Party rebellion, promoted “The Road to Serfdom” on his show; the paperback soon became a No. 1 best-seller on Amazon.’

“No mention of Hayek’s Nobel prize, or of the fact that his work has been highly praised by none other than President Obama’s economic policy aide Lawrence Summers.”

Hal_10000 at Right-Thinking.com, “But Our Rich Guys Are Decent,” Aug. 26, 2010

“The final onion in the ointment of Mayer’s thesis? Has all this vile corporate money worked to stop the growth of government? We have had a decade of unrestrained government growth in every direction, under both Republican and Democratic leadership, that has brought us to the brink of financial ruin. If the Kochs’ support of libertarian causes is undermining our Republic, it’s doing an awfully subtle job of it.”

Tim Mak, “What are the Kochs Getting from their Tea Party Investment,” FrumForum.com, Aug. 23, 2010

“So how self-serving are Charles and David Koch? If you think about it, funding a plethora of free-market groups seems like an odd path to profit. If these organizations exist to serve the corporate interests of Koch Industries, why not replace them with a lobbying firm that would directly advocate on the niche issues that affect their businesses? Why bother educating students or organizing protests? The answer seems pretty clear to me: the Kochs genuinely care about the ideas, and genuinely believe that free-market methods are the path to prosperity.”

Ben Domenech, “Who are the Koch Brothers?”  NewLedger.com, Aug. 24, 2010

“The fact is that the left is desperate for their own Soros of the right. The Scaife money is long gone, and Rupert Murdoch’s donations stay in the million dollar range, not the hundreds of millions. The vast majority of organizations on the right today run on donations from middle class America, not from top-down sources. The left needs someone like caricature of the Kochs they create to exist, just so that they can point to them as an example of the real money behind everything that’s happening. They desperately want to believe that someone, somewhere, used ill-gotten money to create the Tea Party movement out of thin air.”

Mark Hemingway, “The New Yorker’s shameful attack on conservative philanthropists Charles and David Koch,” TheWashingtonExaminer.com, Aug. 24, 2010

“I rarely agree with the political bent of the New Yorker, but the magazine’s legendary fact-checking department usually weeds out this type of baseless nonsense. I don’t know what’s happened editorially at the New Yorker, but Mayer’s piece is biased hackery, pure and simple.”

Erick Erickson, ” Barack Obama’s Attempted Character Assassination of Koch Industries,” RedState.com, Aug. 23, 2010

“Most troubling, the New Yorker cites as objective sources both the Center for American Progress and Media Matters without ever bothering to mention they are left-wing sources with biases and competing interests against those of the Koch brothers.”

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