Friday, January 30, 2015

The United States Of Koch, And Why It's Wrong For America

Recently the infamous Koch Brothers held their annual " Who Wants To Be President," convention in Palm Springs, California. It's  a gathering of the  who's who of Millionaires and Billionaires in America. The primary focus of the conference is to decide who will be the Koch Brothers' " puppet on a string" for the  upcoming 2016 Presidential race. ABC's Jonathan Karl moderated the discussion between the prospective presidential hopefuls.

The overall narrative of the event is to schmooze the Koch Brothers for their money. 

This activity is not how our democracy should work. This activity is how our democracy has been corrupted.  It's well  known that the Koch's have a political infrastructure across the United States that buys politicians and uses this leverage to manipulate public policy. It was reported in the New York Times that the Koch's will be spending more money on the 2016 election than both parties  [See Article] What's sad is that many who follow politics will not be shocked by this information.

What Would Our Founding Fathers Think About The Koch Brothers?

Read Jefferson To Kercheval Here

Jefferson To Kercheval
Source: Library of Congress


"Those seeking profits where they are given total freedom will not be the ones to trust to keep the government pure and our rights secure." [Thomas Jefferson]
There is a long history in America of those seeking to amass vast fortunes as being the source of corruption in our governance.  One must take into account the year this correspondence was written.  In 1816 England, there was no such thing as a middle class. You had a minuscule percentage who were rich and a large group of working people that constituted the working poor. Yes, there were a few people who were doctors, lawyers, and shop owners that made up a minor middle class, but for the most part in England you had no middle-class influence whatsoever. Sounds like America today?

One of Jefferson's main points in this letter was that by keeping the people undereducated and poor, it abated them from calling their oppressive oligarchy government into account for these inequalities. We see this taking shape in America today. In the Republican Party and its Tea-Party and Libertarian factions, there is a "go fend for yourselves" attitude. Jefferson made reference to the abusive state of man against man, and we see this being played out daily in our news feed.  To the point, Jefferson and the rest of the founding fathers would be turning over in their graves. The modern-day Republicans, the ones with any intellect, are still misguided and follow the flawed philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.[See Source] In Jefferson's 
letter to Kercheval, he [Jefferson] was explicit in his disagreement with Hobbes. 

Thomas Jefferson To James Madison 1785 Letter Concerning Equality In America [See Letter]

Thomas Jefferson
"Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point and to tax the higher portions of the property in geometrical progression as they rise. " 

 One of Jefferson's main points even back in 1826 in a letter to William B Giles was that America was already moving towards an Aristocracy.

Jefferson, an old man at the time, pointed out that some in the John Adams wing [Federalist] looked to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded upon banking, corporations, under the guise and cloak of their favorite branches of manufacturing, commerce, and navigation. The modern-day examples would be the oil barons, defense industry, and Wall Street, riding and ruling over the plundered plowman and the everyday people of this nation. If the overgrown wealth of an individual, for example Father Koch,  who helped start the John Birch Society, is to be deemed dangerous to the state, is the best corrective measure  the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree? An inheritance tax.

The United States of Koch, And Why Is It Wrong For America?

 Everyone has heard of the Koch Brothers, even a casual observer of politics, right? Wrong! A George Washington University poll conducted in 2014 found that 52% of likely voters have never heard of the Koch Brothers. [See Source] This fact does not surprise this writer. 70% of the American people don't take part in the political process so keeping up with politics is not the order of the day for most Americans.  What is upsetting is that these people haven't a clue how these two brothers have a daily impact on their lives. The Koch Brothers have more wealth [100 Billion combined] than the bottom 40% of Americans put together. What is now Koch Industries Inc, began as Wood River Oil and Refining Co in 1940. Based in Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries is one of the largest corporations in America. They have many subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading, and investments. The Brothers own 84% percent of Koch Industries, a massive company and conglomerate with investments in oil, fertilizer, electronics components, and even toilet paper. The firm employs over 50k people in the U.S. and 100k worldwide.[See Source]

See: How you support the Koch Brothers (even if you don’t know it)

So the next time you go to the bathroom to do your business you very well could be wiping your butt with the Koch Brothers. Many questions come to this writer's mind concerning the Koch Brothers. Why don't they just go on making their billions? Why do they feel the need to inject themselves into our government at such an overwhelming level? Is it the power? Do they feel with this wealth they have accumulated they have the right to lord it over us mere minions of society? Most people involved in politics know the importance of Television ads during an election cycle. Even though there is some debate on the topic, many Americans base their choice on a candidate by these ads. An example of this would be Jesse Ventura, ex-wrestler who won the Minnesota Governor's race based mainly on his award-winning Televisions ads. Undoubtedly, Television ads play a significant role in a political election. 

Low and Behold, Here Comes Citizen United!

The Supreme Court decision in 2010 to allow unfettered amounts of dark money into our political process has enabled the Koch Brothers to be like a " kid in a candy store." It has allowed the Koch's and other Billionaires like them to set up they're own political mechanism separate from the political parties. They [Koch Brothers] started providing massive sums of money directly to a candidate of their choice and creating their media campaigns  to sway public opinion toward their views. In the 2014 election cycle, " Americans For Prosperity," a Koch Brothers political front group, aired more than 17,000 broadcast TV ads, compared with only 2,100 aired by Republican Party groups. What this reveals to us is the overall influence these brothers had in the 2014 Mid-Term Election. Under Citizens United, the Koch Brothers, Super-Pacs, and Corporations can lie because they are not held to any standard. They can bold-faced lie on a Television Ad without any recompense.

Scott Walker Gov.(R-WI)

Even though most Americans disapprove of the Citizens United decision, our elected politicians refuse to overturn it with legislation. If we are going to have this unlimited amount of money allowed into the political process it's the position of the House of Public Discourse, we must have full disclosure. We[The House] suggest this should be the responsibility of the person running for public office. We The People need to know just whose hip-pocket these candidates are in. In jest, we need these candidates walking around in NASCAR suits wearing the logos of just who is sponsoring their campaigns. 

However, the way the system of things is set up now the Koch Brothers can spend millions to billions on a political election. They don't  have to be honest or accurate; they can just simply spatter the right-wing media echo chamber with untruthful propaganda. We have the " Roberts Court" to thank for this most unhealthy addition to our political process.

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