Joe Scarborough gave lip service to the Koch brothers in the most blatant way imaginable. He told his audience that we owe the Koch brothers a big, fat, wet thank-you for pretty much everything. On yesterday’s edition of “Morning Joe,” he discussed GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst saying she owes more than she could ever repay to those two, and seems to think we all owe them more than we could ever repay.
Why? Well, according to Crooks and Liars, David Koch has battled prostate cancer for years. He has the money to fund top-notch cancer research, and allegedly does. For that, perhaps we should be grateful, although it could be said that he funds the cancer research is in his own interests, so of course. And it would be easy to feel gratitude towards the Koch brothers, if they weren’t the corrupt billionaires behind many of the world’s problems, which they support entirely for their own gain. That far outweighs any philanthropic efforts of theirs.
Crooks and Liars linked to a piece in Rolling Stone that discusses how the Koch brothers manipulate world markets. They were a major player in the corporate scandals of the early 2000s, which took down Enron, Worldcom, and other major corporations for cooking their books in a way that hurt investors and customers alike. They believed that the government has no business regulating certain derivatives trading in the energy industry. They felt that costly and burdensome regulation (where have we heard that before?) would seriously hurt the energy industry.
The Koch brothers’ machinations also helped lead to the risky investment nonsense that caused the world’s economic meltdown in 2008. One could speculate that they’re behind all of the “burdensome regulations” language, because that’s what we keep hearing from Republicans whenever it comes to regulating business in any way, shape or form. They’re well-known financiers of the Republican Party.
Sadly, if business could be trusted to self-regulate, the laws we have in place to regulate them wouldn’t exist. Why wouldn’t they exist? Because we never would have seen a need to create them in the first place.
Environmentally, Rolling Stone author Tim Dickinson says that Koch Industries not only pollutes more than Exxon-Mobil, Shell, and Valero (all oil giants), but they’ve paid out a record amount in fines and civil settlements that don’t amount to enough of a dent in their revenues or reputation to make them change. Instead, it’s the cities and towns that find themselves victims of the Koch brothers’ irresponsible greed that end up footing the bill for their environmental disasters.
Koch Industries is also a major player in our country’s fracking boom, according to Dickinson. Fracking is responsible for the huge rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma; part of the Heartland and far from the geologic instability of places like California, which sits on two tectonic plates and is expected to be earthquake-prone. Companies want to engage in fracking there, too, though. What would fracking do to places sitting on the Ring of Fire? The Koch brothers probably don’t know, because they don’t care enough to know. If they do know, they don’t care anyway.
Dickinson had this in his piece, too:
“‘The role of business is to produce products and services in a way that makes people’s lives better,’ [Charles Koch] said recently. ‘It cannot do so if it is injuring people and harming the environment in the process.'”
Considering they’re engaged in buying politicians that will allow them to continue directly and indirectly harming people and the environment, Charles Koch is either hoping the great, unwashed masses don’t know what his companies are up to, or he’s badly—and literally—disconnected from reality.
Gratitude? Sorry, Joe. The Koch brothers don’t deserve the least bit of gratitude from us. They deserve to be driven out of business, and away from their ability to buy and sell Congress, the White House, and our court system.