One of the kings of crony right-wing libertarian capitalism Charles Koch, writes an editorial raging against crony capitalism, Charles Koch: Why We’re Against ‘Crony Capitalism’
Crony capitalism and bloated government prevent entrepreneurs from producing the products and services that make people’s lives better.
Crony capitalism as practiced by business’s such as Koch Industries and their subsidiaries have produced quite a bit of wealth with that terrible iron shackle of bloated government around their neck. It does not add up that wonderful goods and services have been withheld – examples would help to make their case – because of the kind of business practices and political influence the Kochs have bought and paid for in Washington and in state legislatures ( they were one of Wisconsin governors Scott Walkers biggest contributors the last election cycle).
Years of tremendous overspending by federal, state and local governments have brought us face-to-face with an economic crisis. Federal spending will total at least $3.8 trillion this year—double what it was 10 years ago. And unlike in 2001, when there was a small federal surplus, this year’s projected budget deficit is more than $1.6 trillion.
Several trillions more in debt have been accumulated by state and local governments. States are looking at a combined total of more than $130 billion in budget shortfalls this year. Next year, they will be in even worse shape as most so-called stimulus payments end.
For many years, I, my family and our company have contributed to a variety of intellectual and political causes working to solve these problems. Because of our activism, we’ve been vilified by various groups. Despite this criticism, we’re determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges seriously.
There are the usual possibilties when someone such as Koch writes such patent falsehoods. he is part of the wealthy elite who watches his bank balance yet actually knows very little about economics or the economy. The other more probable answer is that Chuck is lying and hopes his audience is too stupid and lazy to look up some simple facts. Yes spending was part of the problem. The Koch’s have given the bulk of their political contributions to Republicans over the years. They spent money, cut taxes, lied us into an expensive war and botched up bringing Osama Bin laden to justice and victory in Afghanistan. On top of that was the Wall St meltdown and the housing bubble. Those two economic calamities were largely caused by lack of regulation and greed. Not bloated government. At least not in the way Chuck implies. The particular causes of the Wall St failures were the unsupervised market in ever more and more complex derivatives—credit-default swaps (CDSs), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), CDSs on CDOs. All bets not backed up by collateral. The lack of due diligence by the rating companies and banks in making loans also played a part. The major cause of tight state budgets was the failure of the financial markets and the housing bubble, not unions – who are the Koch’s and Gov walker’s convenient scapegoats. One segment of the Koch empire is power generation – a regulated monopoly that guarantees them a profit. Chuck has the audacity to claim he and his family only participate in regulated monopolies because someone is forcing him to do so. Have the Kochs been sending back their portion of the $4 billion dollars a year in oil subsidies. Or natural gas subsidies. Or the timber the Koch’s buy from public lands – timber owned by tax payers – for pennies on the actual dollar value. Koch is either suffering from one of the worse cases of cognitive dissonance ever or thinks Americans are stupid enough to buy into his fantastic fairy tale. Like may libertarian conservatives, he and his brother have never actually invented anything – they are no John Galt or Howard Roarke. The scientists and engineers who work for them have done all the discovering. Statically most of those scientists and engineers either went to public universities or got student loans and grants underwritten by tax payers. If the Kochs and businesses like their would pay their share of taxes, on earnings made possible by blue and white collar workers and infrastructure paid for by everyone, than we would not have any budget problems in Wisconsin or any other state. Walker did not have a budget problem until he have corporations yet another tax break – during a time when corporate profits are doing as well as they were before the recession.
A 2004 Center for Public Integrity report on Koch Industries and their buying of political influence, Koch’s Low Profile Belies Political Power – Private oil company does both business and politics with the shades drawn
There is a list of Koch busniesses and products here – How You Can Boycott the Kochs
Even influencing the highest court in the land is not beyond the reach of the kings of crony capitalism, Justices Scalia And Thomas’s Attendance At Koch Event Sparks Judicial Ethics Debate
A new dinosaur named Brontomerus mcintoshi, or “thunder-thighs” after its enormously powerful thigh muscles, has been discovered in Utah, USA. The new species is described in a paper recently published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica by an international team of scientists from the U.K. and the U.S.
A member of the long-necked sauropod group of dinosaurs which includes Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, Brontomerus may have used its powerful thighs as a weapon to kick predators, or to help travel over rough, hilly terrain. Brontomerus lived about 110 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous Period, and probably had to contend with fierce “raptors” such as Deinonychus and Utahraptor.
There was some luck in finding these fossils as the site of the dig in Utah, had previously been vandalized.