Koch’s impact on America

To the editor:

“Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America” by Christopher Leonard shows how libertarian dogma has influenced the United States over the last 50-60 years.

Koch Industries, controlled by Charles and his late brother David Koch, set out to change how corporations and the billionaires interact with the state. The underlying dogma is that taxation by the state is stealing private property from its rightful owners and giving it to those who are less deserving. Any avoidance of taxes or sheltering it in tax havens off shore is justified. The goal is to reduce the state to a point that its only function would be to protect private property.

Koch Industries is heavily dependent on transporting, refining and selling fossil fuel products and any attempt to move to a renewable form of energy is a direct threat to its high profits generated from fossil fuels. Charles Koch has developed a sophisticated and complex system of collecting and directing money to think tanks, lobbying, and political action committees to influence public opinion, political parties, and politicians. They learned how to discipline Republican politicians who deviated from their political and environmental goals.

The current economic loss of jobs for 30 million Americans because of the Coronavirus pandemic should require the federal government to provide basic income, unemployment benefits and health insurance to those who have been adversely affected. This would be against everything Koch has been advocating for and the Republicans and the Trump Administration will block any attempts to relieve the misery people are experiencing. A failed and incompetent state would further Koch and its corporate allies in their quest to discipline the populace to accepting that the market economy is the only option.

John Kluge

New Ulm


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