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What a lot of Koch about businessmen backing, er, business

The US-based Koch brothers, who back organisations such as the Reason Foundation and the Cato Institute, are used to getting plenty of hostile media and political criticism from statists of various hues, who of course, are perfectly happy to receive money extracted by state-backed violence – tax. The Obama folk, the unions and some cheerleaders in the MSM will be doing everything they can to discredit the Kochs, hurt their business empires, etc. Good luck with that. The Koch brothers have been patiently supporting classical free market organisations for decades and are hardly likely to retreat now. Excellent. Back here in the UK, the support for free markets and classical liberalism by business owners has been far more muted, in part for tax reasons, in part because there is less of a climate in favour of these ideas. But there have, of course, been honorable exceptions: the Institute of Economic Affairs, for instance, was founded with backing from a businessman/ex-RAF officer, Antony Fisher, in the post-WW2 years.

In any event, considering how the likes of George Soros, Ted Turner and others have shovelled gazillions at various statist causes in recent years, what is clearly really upsetting the Left is that the playing field is not as uneven as they would have hoped. And this whole nonsense also demonstrates the utter stupidity of the McCain Feingold unconstitutional assault on the First Amendment, carried out in the last decade. Far from driving private and corporate money from US politics, all it has done has to encourage money to adopt a different route.

Here is an amusing item on the matter over at Pajamas Media.

You can imagine the thought-processes of your average Obamaniac: “These businessmen are supporting the free market! This is terrible: there oughta be a laaaaaaawwwwwwww!”.

Update: more insanity via Reason’s Hit and Run blog.

9 comments to What a lot of Koch about businessmen backing, er, business

  • Well said. And well done the Kochs.

    The number of businessmen who have done huge good to the world making money, but then huge harm spending it, makes dismal study.

  • Chuck6134

    It gets old listening to the rants about the Kochs while as you point out, both media and liberals ignore the Soros, Huffingtons, Tuners etc who for years, have arrayed far more resources in this fight. Only one side of the battle deserves public damning apparently.

    But given the weight of resources on the field and the decades of state “education” indoctrination, I still am not holding my breath we can really reverse the leftist trend versus freedom enough. I sure hope I’m wrong though.

  • You know what I think? We might think big business in general is our friend but…

    Remember being a kid. You might pal up with someone only to find that their real friend was even bigger than them and certainly bigger than you.

    That is what was so corrosive about Blairite cronyism (though it started before). That is why, to all intents and porpoises, pretty much all legit business in the UK* and elsewhere) has to cozy up to the state. It might be the Third Way or indeed Big Society but it amounts to the same thing which is fascism.

    Oh not the fascism of Mussolini! Dear Gods no! A fascism without borders or the need for invasions. The very idea that political power emerges from the barrel of something as uncouth as a gun is so last century darhling!

    It is “soft power” like the inexorable tides.

    Let’s be blunt here.

    It is impossible to create any form of significant business enterprise bigger than a chip shop without government getting involved and muntering about the “impact on the local community” (local if you’re lucky). They disguise this as grants and such but it is the same thing. “So you’re thinking of setting up a car-wash in an area of high youth unemployment” – let’s talk. Probs you’d get a bundle if you took the King’s Shilling but who’s bundle? Your bundle of course!

    We have capitalism without a free market. Try setting up a pub where folks can have a game of pool, a pint and a fag… Why did the likes of JD Wetherspoon’s champion the smoking ban? They were the government’s bitch. That is why.

    Oh, I know. I really do. I am sometimes way more right-wing than I tend to let fly on Counting Cats but my wife is a fucking vegan. Life is about accommodating and big business and government make ideal bed-fellows.

    I’m so right-wing I’m a “fascist” – except I abhor the use of government to control business for the “good” which is a mite of a problem.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    CayleyGraph: thanks for the link. V. funny!!!!

  • Brian, I totally agree. Guess George Soros might be one of the businessman who has done huge harm to us all

  • Dom

    “Frank J. of IMAO makes the dangers of the Koch Brothers clear to all.”

    Finally, I get to ask. What the hell does “IMAO” stand for? If you google it, you get definitions for “LMAO”.

  • Dom: I always understood the ‘A’ to be the opposite of ‘H’ in IMHO – but maybe it’s just me…

  • Paul Marks

    Of course (as J.P. explains later on his post) the Koch brothers do NOT politically “back business” (as that implies they press for corporate welfare) they back the free market – a very different thing.

    Sadly many businessmen do politically “back business” – for example the leading 2008 supporter of Barack Obama, Warren Buffet (who John McCain dementedly praised in a television debate – allowing Barack to point out that Buffet was one of his supporters) strongly supported TARP.

    And, oddly enough, it turned out that Mr Buffet was a big investor in Wells Fargo (which recieved vast sums – not just in TARP, but in endless sweetheart dealing with the Federal Reserve system).

    And Warren Buffet is also a big backer of government subsides for railroads. And, oddly enough, it turns out that Mr Buffet is a big investor in railroads.

    Such is not the way of the Koch brothers.

    Someone like W.B. they can understand. He can be relied upon to do anything (even back Comrade Barack) if it is in his commercial interests to do so. And then he appeases his feelings of guilt (over his endless subsidy grubbing) by giving vast sums to charity (charitable activity that leftists hope to take control of).

    But people who feel no guilt over their wealth, because they have NOT been corrupt. And people who support the free market not endless subsidies for themeselves – these the left hate, and with good reason.

    An honest and successful businessman is a threat to their whole world view (which rests on businessmen gaining their wealth by corrupt dodges – these the left can ally with, till the “pigs” are of no more use, then the left intend to take their “allies” to the slaughter house).

    For example, an industrialist like Jon Huntsman would be a living refutation of the world view of the left – even if he never gave a single Dollar to charity in his whole life.

    They prefer something like Goldman Sachs.

    The small (less than 2%) cuts the Republicans in the House of Representatives have suggested for the Federal Budget were denounced by Goldman Sachs as a “threat to economic growth”.

    This was gleefully put on the front page of the “Financial Times” newspaper (and anyone who thinks the F.T. is not part of the left knows naught about the publication) yesterday.

    Of course there may be some genuine ideolgical faith in statism at Goldman Sachs (the big people there were taught this stuff at university after all).

    However…. Golman Sachs makes a lot of money trading in government bonds. The bigger the deficit the more bonds issued……. Remember the Federal Reserve does not buy bonds directly from the Treasury (in return for money the Fed creates) the Fed creates money, but then buys the T.Bills from Goldman Sachs, the man in charge of buying them is the head of the New York Fed (ex big person at Goldman Sachs).

    Work it out.

    The central principle of classcial liberalism (and libertarianism) is that there is no difference between the long term material interests of rich and poor – the same policy benefits both.

    However, certain rich people can benefit from government subsidy (and so on) – and they financially back policies that will benefit them (at the expense of most people in the longer term).

    Indeed most politically active mega rich (i.e. billionarie) people are active on the left. Both 2004 and 2008 showed that (Senator Kerry being the most left voting Senator in 2004, and getting a majority of billionaire backing, and Senator Obmaa being the most left voting Senator around in 2008 and getting most billionaire backing).

    Of course none of the above explains George Soros.

    Yes he backs Obama and gets American government subsidies for the Brazilian oil company he invests in (and a ban on off shore drilling by its American competitors).

    But that is not the fully story.

    Mr Soros endlessly talks about how he supports the “Open Society” (yes he took the words from Karl Popper) and hates totalitarianism.

    Yet he funds every major group in the United States (via the Tides Foundation and so on) that employes the key totalitarians.

    The number of Marxists in groups that Soros funds (directly – or via the Tides Foundation) is Legion.

    However, as Mr Soros refuses to be interviewed by anyone who will ask him hard questions, his motives remain a matter of speculation.

    In the end we just do not know what goes on in his head.