Employers and Employees: Contemporary Liberalism and Class Warfare http://bit.ly/RgZiIU
POWERLINE – By John Hinderaker
[O]f course, employers can’t “tell their employees how to vote.” Employees can vote however they want; we have a secret ballot in all state and federal elections. (The only people who are trying to abolish the secret ballot are labor unions, via card check legislation which will allow unions to threaten and intimidate employees to vote for union representation when they do not want to do so.) Employers can only explain how certain policies would help or hurt their economic prospects. Click Here For Full Post »
The Wichita Eagle recently interviewed Charles Koch and David Koch and other Koch leaders as part of a two-part profile that was published on October 13 and 14, 2012. The stories include discussion of the experiences and principles that have guided Koch for more than fifty years. Read them in full here. Below are selected quotes from the interviews. Click Here For Full Post »
Although a variety of distortions in the press have arisen regarding a letter that Koch sent to its employees, many of the lies are being swiftly refuted in the public discourse. Blogger Mark Draugh quickly noted the hypocrisy of publications that engage in political speech complaining that other people are exercising the right to political speech. Andrew Evans at the Washington Free Beacon called the initial article about our letter “a smear” and pointed out that there was no effort in our letter to “control” anyone’s vote — as the initial report had falsely claimed. Nor did we threaten layoffs, as was suggested — in fact, we are currently advertising for more than 2,400 open positions throughout Koch companies in the US. Click Here For Full Post »
The following email was sent to Mike Elk on Sunday, October 14, 2012.
We received your request to provide a response to your story about Koch Industries and Georgia-Pacific. Given the timing late yesterday, we were not able to provide a response prior to your article appearing. However, we are providing the following responses to your story and respectfully ask you to update it accordingly.
Regarding the recent mailing to employees,
The mailing contained various pieces of information we believe are important for employees to know about, most importantly, our companywide employee newsletter that contained important information about our Guiding Principles.
Based on requests from many employees, the packet also contained information employees commonly ask about, such as voter registration deadlines and early voting options for their state of residence. And, also based on frequent requests, it provided a list of candidates in their state who are among those that have been supported by the Koch companies and KOCHPAC, our employee political action committee. Click Here For Full Post »
To sum up, Patriot Majority USA says Deal accepted $15,600 in campaign contributions from businesses owned by the Koch brothers or employees who work for those companies. One of those employees cited had retired by the time he made two contributions to Deal totaling $7,500, nearly half of what Patriot Majority USA mentioned in its news release. The information in the release is not accurate. We rate it False. Click Here For Full Post »
To encourage employees to be informed about and engaged in the political process, Koch mailed a letter in early October to its 50,000 U.S.-based employees. The communication makes clear that decisions about which political candidates to support are up to each employee and should be based on factors most important to him or her. In addition to the letter, employees were given information they often request – voter registration deadlines, early voting options for various states, and a list of candidates supported by Koch companies and KOCHPAC, Koch’s employee political action committee.
Because inaccurate and false stories were written about a similar letter we sent to Koch employees in 2010, we are posting a PDF of the letter along with the complete text of the letter below so that readers can see for themselves the true intent of the mailing:
Harry Reid, the second most powerful Democrat in the country, and two major unions have teamed up with a George Soros-funded advocacy group to pour money into commercials that are falsely attacking Charles Koch and David Koch.
Letters to the editor on Kochs, energy politics http://bit.ly/PGj299
WICHITA EAGLE – By Melissa Cohlmia
Kevin Horrigan’s commentary was misleading and a disservice to readers (“GOP acts as bellhop for corporations, Kochs,” Sept. 21 Opinion).
Yes, Koch Industries benefits from subsidies – a fact Charles Koch stated in his Wall Street Journal commentary. This is not hypocrisy, as Horrigan claimed. Rather, where subsidies exist, any company that opts out will be at a disadvantage and often driven out of business by competitors with the artificial advantage. This perverse incentive drives out companies that are in favor of sound fiscal policy and opposed to subsidies, and favors inefficient companies that are dependent on subsidies.
In a little more than a decade, while a lot of companies were contracting, Koch Industries has doubled its revenue and increased employment fivefold.
That growth means the privately held company — whose three major shareholders groups are the Charles Koch family, the David Koch family and the family of Texas oilman J. Howard Marshall — is studying an expansion of its 1.2 million square feet of buildings near 37th Street North and Oliver in Wichita.
In 2011, the company had its best year ever with revenue of $110 billion. It’s on track to exceed that this year.
Since 2000 it has expanded company-wide employment from 12,000 to 60,000. A big chunk of those employment gains are from its $4.4 billion acquisition of Invista in 2004 and its $21 billion acquisition of Georgia-Pacific Corp. in 2005. Click Here For Full Post »
“We didn’t build this business—somebody else did.”
So reads a sign outside a small roadside craft store in Utah. The message is clearly tongue-in-cheek. But if it hung next to the corporate offices of some of our nation’s big financial institutions or auto makers, there would be no irony in the message at all.
It shouldn’t surprise us that the role of American business is increasingly vilified or viewed with skepticism. In a Rasmussen poll conducted this year, 68% of voters said they “believe government and big business work together against the rest of us.”
Businesses have failed to make the case that government policy—not business greed—has caused many of our current problems. To understand the dreadful condition of our economy, look no further than mandates such as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “affordable housing” quotas, directives such as the Community Reinvestment Act, and the Federal Reserve’s artificial, below-market interest-rate policy.
Far too many businesses have been all too eager to lobby for maintaining and increasing subsidies and mandates paid by taxpayers and consumers. This growing partnership between business and government is a destructive force, undermining not just our economy and our political system, but the very foundations of our culture. Click Here For Full Post »
“It is my hope that Democrats, not just Republicans, will become part of the effort to reduce the federal debt by right sizing government and restructuring unsustainable entitlement programs. For that to happen, corporate subsidies and tax preferences not applied equally should be eliminated, or simplified in a revenue-neutral way, which I alluded to last week (“The Republicans’ new Koch,” editorial, Sept. 3). Broad-based tax increases make no sense; they would only slow an economy in tremendous need of growth. The Democratic Party has a perfect opportunity at its convention to join Republicans in pledging to stabilize America’s finances. They should seize it.”
Speaking your piece: a civic duty bit.ly/SyKCa3
NEW YORK POST — David Koch
The 2012 elections may be the most important of my lifetime. Profoundly different political philosophies are competing for our hearts and minds — and our votes.
I have made no secret about which philosophy I support — the one that provides the greatest economic and personal freedom possible. That is why I will proudly raise my hand in support of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan when the time comes.
“I’d like to set the record straight regarding false rumors alleging involvement by me and my wife with Governor Romney’s selection of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate.
I have great respect for Congressman Ryan. He is a bright, capable leader and a tremendous asset to Governor Romney’s ticket. I presume Paul Ryan was chosen as the Governor’s running mate based on his qualifications and track record for thoughtful reform. The topic of who Governor Romney should choose as a running mate never came up, and the assertion that we had anything to do with his selection is wholly inaccurate and completely baseless.”
Perspectives on Economic Freedom — By Charles G. Koch
In 1990, the year before the collapse of the Soviet Union, I attended an economic conference in Moscow.
Like my father during his visits to the U.S.S.R. in the early 1930s, I was astonished and appalled by what I saw.
Simple necessities, such as toilet paper, were in short supply. In fact, there was none at all in the airport bathroom stalls for fear it would be stolen. Visitors using the facilities had to request a portion of tissue from an attendant beforehand.
When I walked into one of Moscow’s giant department stores, there was next to nothing on the shelves. For those shoppers who were lucky enough to find something they actually wanted to buy, the purchase process was maddening and time-consuming.
Although the government provided universal healthcare, I never met anyone who wanted to stay in a Soviet hospital. Medical services might have been “free,” but the quality of care was notoriously poor.
For more than 20 years, Flint Hills Resources’ Pine Bend Refinery has provided realistic training opportunities for rookie firefighters from area fire departments.
Government policymakers, by contrast, seem to have had much less effective training when it comes to dealing realistically with economic firestorms.
Ever since the economic meltdown that began in 2008, governments have spent trillions of borrowed and newly created money trying to avoid economic disaster.
And yet, recent reports from the European Union, Asia and the United States have confirmed ongoing problems with high unemployment, sluggish growth and – in most cases – swelling deficits. An estimated 80 percent of the world economy is now slowing.
Consequently, the debate over how to solve these problems is heating up again. Many are calling for further government intervention, especially the imposition of higher taxes and the spending of even more borrowed (or created) money. Click Here For Full Post »
Maybe three years ago, I was talking to someone from my hometown. A professional Democrat (Hill staffer, White House staffer, etc.). He was pouring hate on David Koch, who I think was at the peak of his hatedness. I said, “Think of how many people Koch employs. Will you and I ever do that?” Dismissively, he said, “There’s more to life than employing people.” I said, “Okay — think about the zillions in tax money he pays. Isn’t that good, to fund social programs of the kind you like?” That stopped him for about two seconds. But he dismissed that too.
I thought, “Why bother?” He and I were both raised in an environment that scorned business — very Obama-esque (long before we had the word). (You may prefer “Obamesque.”) But some of us outgrew it. Is that too self-congratulatory? It is, yes, but still true…
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen as one of 95 delegates representing the great State of New York at the 2012 Republican National Convention. As Americans, we all have a role to play in the democratic process. From learning about the issues to participating in campaigns and voting, this is an opportunity – and a right – to help chart the course for our nation.”