Upon hearing of this poll, I went in and voted for Koch Industries. My recent studies of the US political and media scene have shown that they are behind much of what I dislike in American politics and media.
Coincidentally, I also learned today that Charles Koch has issued a response to the excellent piece by Warren Buffett about how the USA should stop coddling the super rich.
Koch’s response, which has been written about by Lee Fang over at Nation of Change, was:
Much of what the government spends money on does more harm than good; this is particularly true over the past several years with the massive uncontrolled increase in government spending. I believe my business and non-profit investments are much more beneficial to societal well-being than sending more money to Washington.
So…basically Mr. Koch is saying that it is fine for him to only pay a fraction of the tax percentage that is paid by the middle class. Why? Because he thinks his business and investments do a better job than the government. This is certainly one of the most arrogant statements I have ever heard come out of a businessman – and that is saying something!
Koch’s non-profit investments tend to be partisan think-tanks and other actions that further his political agenda. All this while the middle class tends to foot most of the bill for keeping the country running while he and his super-wealthy friends make billions of dollars off the other 99.8% of the population.
One would think that a wealthy business owner would realize the tremendous importance of stable and reliable government as a basis for economic prosperity. However, it is clear that Koch would vastly prefer furthering his own interests and growing his own personal wealth than considering shouldering some of the fiscal burden that is increasingly falling on the middle class – the people who are finding it harder and harder to pay.
This is just one incident involving one extremely wealthy person. The entire corporate world tends to systematically abuse people – and get away with it. Unfortunately, there are political and economic ideologies in this world that tolerate and even applaud such behaviour from corporations. I think that each of us has the responsibility of honestly looking at what these actions are doing to our societies.
We need to make some changes to humanize the role that corporations play in our lives. We need to ratchet back the madness and focus on learning about (and doing) those actions that truly serve our collective long-term prosperity.