Charles Koch. (AP Photo/Topeka Capital-Journal, Mike Burley.)
Charles Koch, the chief executive of Koch Industries who is worth an estimated $34 billion to $44.6 billion, has a new letter to his employees. Koch and his brother spent more than ever in the last election, financing anti-Obama attack ads, phone banks voter contact efforts and more—but came up short. In his letter, sent to tens of thousands of employees through the Koch Industries’ “Discovery” newsletter, Koch warns that “November’s election results … are part of a trend that, if not reversed, will destroy the American dream.”
The letter hits familiar themes, claiming regulation and taxation will ruin the economy and posits Koch’s political intervention as our only savior. Koch also implies more big-money spending on campaigns and political groups, writing, “As a company, we are committed to doing what is right in every aspect of our business. That is why we will continue doing everything we can to persuade politicians to put what is good for the country first, before it is too late.”
In a quasi-letter to the editor section of Discovery, there’s an array of letters all competing to heap the most praise on the Koch brothers and their patriotism. It really should be viewed in its entirety, just as a specimen of the bubble that some of the ultra-rich live under, but here’s a representative sample:
Dear Mr. Koch, Thank you, thank you, thank you – to your brother David and you – for being such fine and patriotic Americans. The courageous and principled stands that you take to help us retain and restore our liberty are truly inspiring. You are doing so much good for so many.—Larry Saunders Registered commodities rep. Franklin, Tenn.
Dear Mr. Koch, I want to thank you and your family for all you have done during this past election. The results are tough to acknowledge; however, the efforts that you put forth make me very proud of the company I work for. —Gretchen Chartier Koch Industries, Inc. Scottsdale, Ariz.
There’s even a letter from Stanley S. Hubbard, CEO of a media company that owns several NBC and ABC stations, who wrote, “Charles and David, please know that you can count on me, my wife and our family to stand foursquare with your ongoing efforts to preserve our unique American way of life.”
Past the exhalations of the Dear Leader, there’s a weird tension evident throughout the letter. Koch spends much of his piece complaining about the “crippling policies we have experienced in recent years,” comparing Obama’s government to the path of the former Soviet Union and Venezuela. Yet, other parts of the same newsletter boast that Koch Industries has never been better, with thousands of job openings, new acquisitions of smaller companies and plant openings. The economy has been so good, Koch Industries’ headquarters has been going through a major expansion.