I’ve been reading Koch family history, searching for something. Searing, shocking, combative, punitive, nutty. Definitive. And that’s all there! But what is standing out after reading books and newspaper articles, is that immense wealth and power affect the people who have it in different ways. And the thing is, they’re all out-sized ways.
That’s how it seems to me. My influence in the scheme of things doesn’t ripple too for out. I confess, I’d like it to. And the Kochs liked it and got it! I think that’s our connection because we’re humans and it’s a human thing and it’s not especially laudable. My current position is that wanting your influence to ripple further than you sit probably has to do with ego, etc.
The Koch family is fuckin’ rich. And while I don’t think the businesses they’re in are admirable, as far as I can tell they aren’t takeover artists, they don’t steamroll people, and they treat their employees well.
However – the Koch brothers, Charles and David, are takeover artists in another way. Their career started because they deeply, deeply dislike the government messing in their shit, like their money. They don’t think they should pay taxes. They discovered that they could forego paying inheritance taxes by donating money to charitable institutions for twenty years. They did this, and along the way (or by original design) became bigtime philanthropists to various libertarian and far-right causes. They’re bankrollers. What they’ve bankrolled and the effect of their influence on our entire country is the story of how a richy rich family from Kansas (and New York and Palm Springs) peddle their power.