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Billionaire Koch Brother Says Eliminating The Minimum Wage Will Help The Poor
A conservative mogul worth $43 billion says he knows the secret to helping poor people. According to Charles Koch, the U.S. needs to get rid of the minimum wage, which he counts as a major obstacle to economic growth.
On Wednesday, the Charles Koch Foundation launched a $200,000 media campaign in Wichita, Kansas, with a hint of expanding it elsewhere. It is the Kochs’ biggest media buy since they promised to do more to “persuade politicians” after suffering losses in the 2012 election.
In an interview with the Wichita Eagle published Tuesday, Koch said that the minimum wage is one policy he is working against:
We want to do a better job of raising up the disadvantaged and the poorest in this country, rather than saying ‘Oh, we’re just fine now.’ We’re not saying that at all. What we’re saying is, we need to analyze all these additional policies, these subsidies, this cronyism, this avalanche of regulations, all these things that are creating a culture of dependency. And like permitting, to start a business, in many cities, to drive a taxicab, to become a hairdresser. Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we’ve got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor.
The Kansas ad does not specifically mention the minimum wage, but it does claim that Americans earning $34,000 a year should count themselves as lucky, because that puts them in the top 1 percent of the world. “That is the power of economic freedom,” the ad concluded. Meanwhile, Charles and David Koch are the ones comfortably in the 1 percent, with a net worth of about 1 million times that figure.
The ad cites a report from the Koch-funded Fraser Institute showing that “The United States used to be a world leader in economic freedom but our ranking fell. And it’s projected to decline even further.” (That same Fraser report interestingly ranks Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Chile ahead of the U.S. Those places all have government-run health care, which the Kochs adamantly oppose.)
In the U.S., economic inequality has grown rapidly, and the lagging minimum wage is in large part to blame. Some states have moved to address the growing gap between what people earn and the rising cost of living, but nationally the minimum wage has barely moved in decades. Little to no evidence exists to support Koch’s claim that the minimum wage impedes companies or causes them to fire employees. In fact, raising the minimum wage to $9 would pump up to $48 billion into the economy by the next year and ease the income gap for 15 million low-wage workers.
Koch maintained his and his brother’s political efforts are not for their own benefit, but for the country’s greater good. “All the other large companies, or the great majority of them, are promoting some kind of special cronyism where they’re undermining economic freedom.” Although he deems low-wage workers part of a “culture of dependency” on the government, Koch Industries is on the receiving end of oil subsidies, government contracts, and bailouts.
- Bump for the evil Duke Bros.
- [quote]Koch maintained his and his brother’s political efforts are not for their own benefit, but for the country’s greater good.
Yeah, I believe that. Now where's that bridge you brought you wanted to show me.
- Which country are they talking about?
- I honestly hope that they die in a grease fire
- Somebody kills these m o t h e r f u c k e r s already!
Not A Troll
- Sometimes I wonder if these entitled super rich fucks honestly believe the b.s. they spew or if they know they're wrong but it's in their best interest to peddle this crap.
- The sad part is that we have idiots in this country who agree with them - and they themselves aren't wealthy in the least.
- From the people who brought you "our fight against gay rights was [italic]good[/italic] for the gay community, since it gave you something to do!"
- Yes, if they lower the minimum wage, people will need to work 2 or 3 jobs just to feed themselves, and they won't need to pay rent, because they'll always be working.
- R9, what's scary is that there are people who think like that, incl. those two evil fucks.
- Off with his head.
- I doubt the Koch Bros. believe the political crap they push, r6. OTOH, Richard Mellon Scaife (remember him?) really seemed to believe in his cause.
- As Chris Rock said there is a minimum wage because if they could pay you less they would. Even he fast food workers went on strike to protest their lo wages. Technically if you're exempt and have a demanding job that requires a lot of hours i.e., lawyer that $100 per hour salary translates into $40 per hour.
- Of course they're right. Minimum wage is why we can now check ourselves out of the supermarket and the drug store. Those could have been cashier jobs for uneducated, unskilled Americans to get a foot on the employment ladder. But now we have self-service check-out and millions of unemployed people.
- You're so right, R14. I think it's great when people who are being paid $2/hour ring up my purchases.
- Minimum wage is why the USA is in the shitter. The lack of respect for human beings is the beginning of the end.
- Sorry, R14, but I LOVE self-checkout. It grosses the shit out of me seeing people slather their hands with lotion or Purell before they touch my groceries. I can still smell it sometimes when I get home.
- Teenage Heartthrob Justin Bieber Says His Piss More Disinfecting Than Clorox
- Seems like he's just working toward an even poorer, corporation owned and controlled, capitalist society with dirt cheap labor.
Hey dude, no one can pay for ANYTHING if they don't earn enough. I bet economists are rolling their eyes at this unfabulous wannabe diva.
- god they make me sick.
- [italic]At least we're not starving Somalians!"[/italic]doesn't have the motivating cachet Mr. Koch thinks it does.
- The Koch Bros. obviously never studied the fall of Rome
- We are becoming Ancient Rome.
- [quote]“All the other large companies, or the great majority of them, are promoting some kind of [bold]special cronyism[/bold] where they’re undermining economic freedom.”
Jesus. The fact that this fuck can utter that statement is astounding.
- [quote]Of course they're right. Minimum wage is why we can now check ourselves out of the supermarket and the drug store. Those could have been cashier jobs for uneducated, unskilled Americans to get a foot on the employment ladder. But now we have self-service check-out and millions of unemployed people.
Such crap. The Kroger in my neighborhood is a union shop including the checkers, who receive well above minimum wage and health insurance. It's a very well performing store.
WalMart is nearby, pays minimum wage to most employees including checkers, and no health insurance due to widespread manipulation of hours into part-time. Like Kroger, it's got self checkouts.
Not that I go there much. Kroger beats WalMart on price for nearly every item I buy.
So in a race to the bottom, what's the going rate for checkers? A dollar? Five?The Kochs want an America at Third World labor rates. Just like the Waltons want one, and for the same fucked up reasons. Fuck everything but their own unbridled greed.
- The nearest supermarket put in two automatic checkout lanes. Of course it was accompanied by lots of fanfare.
They've already replaced one with a regular checkout lane and the other only seems to be used by people who are there to buy a couple of items. I'm sure that was an expensive mistake.
- I always use the self check-out. There were four and now eight and very popular and very fast.
You don't have to listen to old people chit chat with the checker, no checks or cash to be fumbled with and quick. Times change. The work force needs to change with the times.
- R22/23 - they have, and they just Don't Care
- I don't think the Koch brothers understand capitalism very well at all. When you have $43 billion drop into your lap like that, it's an easy thing to miss.
- Let's not forget: David H. Koch's wife, Julia, is the daughter of an Arkansas junkman.
- Those who use self checkouts are taking someone's job away, and who benefits? The store.
When I go shopping, I really don't need a chore to do along with it. MAYBE I would use them if I got a discount to do it, but I doubt it.
- It's not the people making $10 an hour who are sinking companies, it's the execs (or consultants) who are acquiring companies, loading them with a ton of debt, then firing everyone and dumping the assets (or taking a golden parachute to get away from the mess).
Just like it's not teacher, nurses & cops who are running state budgets into the ground, it's manipulation of state funds/taxes leading to uncontrollable debt.
- "Although he deems low-wage workers part of a “culture of dependency” on the government..."
So eliminating the minimum wage will change this?
Oh, what am I thinking, the Koch brothers will probably argue that food stamps, Medicaid and housing subsidies should be eliminated too.
- [quote]Those who use self checkouts are taking someone's job away.
What an idiot you are. I suppose you think you're supporting "labor" by letting someone ring up your groceries for you.
- Until Charles surrenders his billions and agrees to work for minimum wage, I don't give a rat's ass what he says.
- Dan Quayle was pointed in this direction in 1988, but people didn't take him seriously. He's just a dummy, they thought. He was not a dummy, and he defined the future of the GOP.
- bumping original thread
- If he's so smart, why does he live in Wichita?
- The whole family should have their heads stuck on pikes at the demolished Leavenworth prison, taken by a starving mob.
- I will never understand why these fools don't understand that workers = consumers. If you pay your workers next to nil then they'll have next to nil in their bank accounts and won't be able to purchase the products you're peddling.
Unbridled capitalism is designed to fail. It's top heavy. When all the money flows to the top, the whole structure will eventually tip over. The bottom is quickly running out of steam to support the fat cats at the top.
Capitalism as we know it will be over within the next 50 years if we continue down this path. We need a new system. No where in the Constitution does it say America has to be a capitalist society. The economists only implemented this garbage after the fact.
We need a better way, a new way.
- Is that you, Gore Vidal? I love you r40.
- I REFUSE to "self checkout"!
I bought these muthafucking items, the least you can do is HIRE SOMEONE to provide the smallest amount of service for me that I'm paying for! Why should I deny somebody a job, AND increase your profits by doing that work for free!?
- [quote]I will never understand why these fools don't understand that workers = consumers. If you pay your workers next to nil then they'll have next to nil in their bank accounts and won't be able to purchase the products you're peddling.
They don't care if Americans can't buy their products -- they're focused on the much larger consumer bases of China and India. Foreign profits will dwarf anything they have made or could make in the U.S.
- Boycott Hostess.
Twinkies are back: with 4 oz. less per twinkie, with shelf-life increased from 26 to 45 days, and with workers' pay cut by $7.50 an hour.
- Not so R43. None of these companies has actually made money by outsourcing. China demands local management and 100% technology transfer, and then they set up a local company to run you out of business. Only idiots outsource to China...which means 90% of American managers.
- It's not Hostess making them anymore, R44. Hostess went bankrupt and sold off the rights to make their most popular snack cakes.
- Well boycott Twinkies anyway.
- [quote]Unbridled capitalism is designed to fail. It's top heavy. When all the money flows to the top, the whole structure will eventually tip over. The bottom is quickly running out of steam to support the fat cats at the top.
That is what inheritances are for. You need to be nicer to your relatives. It all flows down eventually.
- I think the Koch Brothers' parents gave them drugs that have rendered their brains useless.
- Why don't the Koch Brothers die? They are greedy bastards and should suffer complete disaster.
They are the most malignant force in our country.
- From the Brothers who created and fund the Tea Party.
- [quote]Capitalism as we know it will be over within the next 50 years if we continue down this path. We need a new system. No where in the Constitution does it say America has to be a capitalist society. The economists only implemented this garbage after the fact.
Yes, my plan has worked well for MILLIONS over the last hundred years!
- Why aren't there numerous, constant exposes on these people? We get every detail of the Kardashians, Bieber, serial killers, Juror B37 and nothing on these people that seek to ruin the country. Most people have never heard of them. The mainstream media refuses to talk about them. Show the baby swimming across the pool instead.
- He's right. High unemployment for blacks and youths is directly correlated to rises in minimum wage over the years. Prior to minimum wage laws, unemployment for those groups was no higher than other groups. Minimum wage laws work against new and lower wage workers.
- Yes, by all means, pay those kids 3.00 an hour! That'll raise profits!