Inside The Koch Empire | TigerDroppings.com

Posted byMessage
DeltaDoc
LSU Fan
The Delta
Member since Jan 2008
9319 posts

Inside The Koch Empire



LINK

quote:

So their revolution has been an evolution, with roots going back half a century to Koch’s first contributions to libertarian causes and Republican candidates. In the mid-1970s their business of changing minds got more formal when Charles cofounded what became the Cato Institute, the first major libertarian think tank. Based in Washington, it has 120 employees devoted to promoting property rights, educational choice and economic freedom. In 1978 the brothers helped found–and still fund–George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, the go-to academy for deregulation; they have funded the Federalist Society, which shapes conservative judicial thinking; the pro-market Heritage Foundation; a California-based center skeptical of human-driven climate change; and many other institutions.

All of these organizations, unknown to 99% of the population, and their common source of support, unknown to most of the rest, have provided the grist for conservative thinking since Reagan. It’s a measure of Koch’s success that 40 years after Richard Nixon was stumping for national health insurance, Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand-tinged economics are just a little right of center. That the Supreme Court’s conservative majority led by Chief Justice John Roberts has issued a number of pro-property rights, anti-government decisions in recent years that read like they came straight out of a Federalist Society position paper. That when George W. Bush sought a watchdog on regulation costs, he appointed a top Mercatus executive. And none of this was accidental–it just took millions of dollars over decades of time. You can see the same process at work in David’s quest to find a cure for cancer. A prostate cancer survivor like the rest of his brothers, he has given $215 million to fight the disease so far, including $100 million to fund his own research center at MIT.


Long read, but worth it...







Back to top
Share:
DeltaDoc
LSU Fan
The Delta
Member since Jan 2008
9319 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


quote:

Koch Industries has no centralized pay scale. It doesn’t peg bonuses to firm-wide profitability, and even the salaries of machine operators are often calculated in part on how efficiently they run the processes they oversee. Middle managers can earn far more than their base salary in bonuses, which are determined partly by the long-term return on the capital they invest. Market Based Management dictates that they can earn far more by turning around a faltering business than playing it safe in a consistently profitable one. “We try to evaluate how much value an employee is creating here and reward them accordingly,” says Charles, in an inversion of Marx’s famous equation.

Charles, who used to give his children Sunday afternoon economics lectures, styles himself as a professor who manages more by the Socratic method than by decree, probing managers with questions designed to steer them toward long-term interests. Employees, unsurprisingly, like controlling their own destiny, even in heavily industrial, unionized businesses. Thirty percent of Koch’s 50,000 U.S. employees are in unions, yet the company’s last significant strike was in 1993.


Imagine that...using incentive to get the best out of people.






Back to top
idlewatcher
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jan 2012
10128 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


Those dudes are studs no doubt. You should read up on the Richt boys - it'll spin your head. Hookers with Saddam Hussein, parties in south of France, tons of Gulfstreams, etc etc.





Back to top
DeltaDoc
LSU Fan
The Delta
Member since Jan 2008
9319 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


quote:

The brothers’ hatred of centralized controls stems as much from Stalin as it does from Hayek, a feeling largely inherited from their father, Fred, the son of a Dutch immigrant who settled in tiny Quanah, Tex. near the Oklahoma state line in 1891. Fred Koch studied chemical engineering at MIT and worked for the Soviet Union after big oil companies drove his U.S. refinery-engineering firm to the brink of bankruptcy with patent litigation in the early 1930s. In the U.S.S.R. the elder Koch made a fortune building refineries for Stalin–but developed a visceral disgust for communism in general, and for his benefactor in particular, after his Russian associates were executed in purges.

Fred returned to the U.S. on the eve of World War II and built an even larger fortune around Rock Island Refining, a refinery and oil-gathering pipeline system in southern Oklahoma, and a part-interest in a refinery outside of Minneapolis. Fred was also an early supporter of the virulently anticommunist John Birch Society, founded in 1958.

Fred’s four sons–Charles, David, Bill (David’s twin) and Frederick, the oldest –grew up on his family’s quarter-section (160 acres) of land outside Wichita. Charles recalls his father working him from dawn to dusk on the property, while he could hear his friends playing golf and tennis at the nearby country club. “He had me work, because if I didn’t, I’d get in some sort of trouble,” Charles now says. (Charles showed similar strictness toward his own son Charles, known as Chase, now 35 and a Koch Industries executive. When Chase, a nationally ranked tennis player, seemed to be dogging it on the court, Charles gave him a choice of putting more effort into his game or getting a job. Chase chose the job and was dispatched to a Koch-owned cattle feedlot in western Kansas for the rest of the summer.)


Didn't realize that their father worked for Stalin. Interesting how that turned out. It is also interesting the work ethic that is imposed by the wills of the fathers...quite the contrast from what we see today.






Back to top
DeltaDoc
LSU Fan
The Delta
Member since Jan 2008
9319 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


More good stuff...they are against corporate welfare...even though they have been benefactors of it.

quote:

Unlike climate change, the Kochs come at this cause with a more pristine mandate, since many subsidies help their company. For example, Charles counts the end of the ethanol subsidy as a major success, even though Koch Industries is a major ethanol producer. (This is not totally unusual in the energy business; Exxon Mobil also routinely lobbies against subsidies because it doesn’t want to invest in any business dependent on unpredictable federal largesse.) While Obama talks about getting rid of lobbyists, Charles says, the “only way he can achieve that stated objective is to get government out of the business of giving goodies.” “That’s like flies to honey,” he adds. “The first thing we’ve got to get rid of is business welfare and entitlements.”






Back to top
DeltaDoc
LSU Fan
The Delta
Member since Jan 2008
9319 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


I'd like to hear the perspective of some of the resident liberals on the board about this article. I'd also like to hear the perspective of some of the resident "libertarians" on the board since the Kochs are supposed to be libertarian, especially David.

From a business perspective, it seems that they are about taking calculated risks with an eye towards long term investment.

They are also about incentivizing their employees, down to the lowest level workers with monetary reward for quality work.

They have 60,000 employees, 30% of which are unionized, yet they have not have a strike in nearly 20 years. That seems counter-intuitive relative to their evil reputation in the media.






Back to top
  Replies (0)
Taxing Authority
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Feb 2010
23359 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


quote:

Koch Industries has no centralized pay scale. It doesn’t peg bonuses to firm-wide profitability, and even the salaries of machine operators are often calculated in part on how efficiently they run the processes they oversee. Middle managers can earn far more than their base salary in bonuses, which are determined partly by the long-term return on the capital they invest. Market Based Management dictates that they can earn far more by turning around a faltering business than playing it safe in a consistently profitable one. “We try to evaluate how much value an employee is creating here and reward them accordingly,” says Charles, in an inversion of Marx’s famous equation.
Wow. Crazy talk. They should unionize so everyone is paid more fairly. Everyone gets the same salary no matter how good or bad they produce results. Much, much better for everyone.






Back to top
  Replies (0)
Cold Pizza
Ohio State Fan
Member since Sep 2011
7639 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


quote:

For example, Charles counts the end of the ethanol subsidy as a major success, even though Koch Industries is a major ethanol producer. (This is not totally unusual in the energy business; Exxon Mobil also routinely lobbies against subsidies because it doesn’t want to invest in any business dependent on unpredictable federal largesse.


A, fricking, Men. I work in Ag and it pisses me off to no end when people call out my hypocrisy when it comes to ag subsidies. I, and many of my friends, look forward to the day when they end, eve though we indirectly benefit from them. One bureaucratic 1500 miles a way can make a single keystroke on his computer and completely wreck my business. That's no way to live.






Back to top
DeltaDoc
LSU Fan
The Delta
Member since Jan 2008
9319 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


No liberal comment?





Back to top
IceTiger
USA Fan
OKC
Member since Oct 2007
9236 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


Too much substance...expect a chime on the social ills or personality from the libtards





Back to top
DeltaDoc
LSU Fan
The Delta
Member since Jan 2008
9319 posts

re: Inside The Koch Empire


quote:

Too much substance...expect a chime on the social ills or personality from the libtards


For some reason, it seems to be in vogue on this board to essentially throw out the outliers, or perceived outliers, and then deal with the middle.

In other words, liberals dismiss association with George Soros...even though they get their liberal lines directly from outfits he bankrolls, and conservatives dismiss David and Charles Koch, even though they get much of their information directly from organizations that they bankroll.

Could it be that Soros is right? Could it be that the Kochs are right? Maybe we shouldn't dismiss these people.

To me, the most interesting component of the article is the story of their father. He was essentially shut out of the oil business here so he went to Russia, then led by Stalin, and helped develop their oil infrastructure. He saw Communism first hand, came home and fought it and taught his boys to fight it too.

To me, that is distinctly American. Also distinctly American is their thought process of seeing something through and using incentive to promote work ethic amongst their employees.



This post was edited on 12/10 at 1:06 pm


Back to top
  Replies (0)


Back to top