The Koch brothers tried to build a plutocracy in the name of freedom - 2019-08-28

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F345.png The Koch brothers tried to build a plutocracy in the name of freedom August 28, 2019, Nathan Robinson, The Guardian

It is the hope of every rich megalomaniac that they will "leave a legacy". David Koch, who died last week aged 79, left a significant legacy indeed. In fact, along with his brother Charles, he can probably claim to have changed the world. Unfortunately, he changed it by setting it on fire.

It's hard to describe just what a negative force the Koch brothers have been in United States politics over the past several decades. They have used every means at their disposal to subvert democracy. They funded academic posts, thinktanks, lobbying groups, fake grassroots operations, and political campaigns. They used their tremendous wealth to push a radically far-right economic vision in which government protections and welfare programs would essentially cease to exist. They may even have been directly responsible for the election of Donald Trump, the Koch-backed Americans For Prosperity having hired 650 staffers to make millions of phone calls and knock on tens of thousands of doors in Wisconsin and Michigan during the 2016 election.

strong hand in muddying the debate around global warming, having spent more than ExxonMobil on funding climate denial. David Koch himself, asked whether climate change was real, would say only that "climate does fluctuate". Carbon regulation posed a significant financial threat to the Kochs, and they supported "perhaps the earliest known organized conference of climate-change deniers, which gathered just as the scientific consensus on the issue was beginning to gel". They helped to derail efforts at regulating carbon, and Kert Davies, the founder and director of Climate Investigations Center, has concluded that "you'd have a carbon tax, or something better, today, if not for the Kochs. They stopped anything from happening back when there was still time." There may be planet-wide consequences to the political meddling of these two men.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Nathan | last = Robinson | title = The Koch brothers tried to build a plutocracy in the name of freedom | url = | work = The Guardian | date = August 28, 2019 | accessdate = July 11, 2021 }}