Black People : Billionaire Brothers Are Remaking America

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Two Right-Wing Billionaire Brothers Are Remaking America for Their Own Benefit

    Despite a constant racket from the forces of the far-out right (Fox television's yackety-yackers, just-say-no GOP know-nothings, tea-bag howlers, Sarah Palinistas, et al.), the great majority of Americans support a bold progressive agenda for our country, ranging from Medicare for all to the decentralization and re-regulation of Wall Street. Indeed, in the elections of 2006 and 2008, people voted for a fundamental break from Washington's 30-year push to enthrone a corporate kleptocracy.
    Yet the economic and political thievery continues, as the White House, Congress, both parties, the courts, the media, much of academia, and other national institutions that shape our public policies reflexively shy away from any structural change. Instead, the first instinct of these entities is to soothe the fevered brow of corporate power by insisting that corporate primacy be the starting point of any "reform." Thus, when Washington began its widely ballyhooed effort last year to reform our health-care system, step number one was to announce publicly that the monopolistic, bureaucratic insurance behemoths that cost us so much and deliver so little would retain their controlling position in the structure. Likewise, Wall Street barons who crashed America's financial system were allowed to oversee the system's remake--and (Big Surprise!) the same top-heavy structure and shaky practices that caused the crash are being kept in place.
    In other words, the foxes who ate the chickens keep being put in charge of designing the new hen house--so nothing really changes.
    This is more than frustrating, it's infuriating --and it's debilitating for our democracy. As a fellow said to me about the lack of real changes in national policy during the Clinton presidency, "I don't mind losing when we lose, but I hate losing when we win."
    Why does this keep happening to us, and who's doing it? It's not merely a matter of too many fickle and pusillanimous politicians--they're the on-stage actors in this drama, but not the producers, not the ones behind the scenes plotting to thwart the people's democratic will. Who, specifically, are these plotters, and how do they impose their narrow agenda of self-interest over the public interest?
    These crucial questions for our democratic republic are the focus of this Lowdown, and they'll be a recurring topic in future issues. After all, to achieve genuine grassroots power, we have to know the full dimensions of the plutocratic powers we're up against. Most Americans are totally unaware of these interests, which have attained a dangerous reach by quietly embedding themselves (and their self-centered worldview) much more deeply in our society's governing institutions than they want us to realize. So let's take a peek at them, beginning with a look at the intricate web of power woven by a huge corporation you've probably never heard of, even though your consumer dollars are financing its right-wing political agenda.

    Anonymous Inc.
    It's none of my business, but maybe you have Northern tissue on your toilet roll. You might also buy Brawny paper towels, Dixie paper cups, and Vanity Fair napkins. Maybe you have clothing that owes its clingy and comfy stretchiness to Lycra, and perhaps you have a Stainmaster carpet or a Solarmax couch in your home.
    All of these well-known brands are owned and produced by a global conglomerate that deliberately tries to stay little known: Koch Industries (pronounced "coke"). Based in Wichita, Kansas, Koch is also a major producer of oil, gas, timber, coal, and cattle. It's a petroleum refiner, too, as well as a manufacturer of asphalt, chemicals, polyethylene plastic, nitrogen fertilizers, cement, and lumber products. It owns or controls some 4,000 miles of pipelines, including a piece of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. And, in a poetic bow to its desire for anonymity, Koch also owns Teflon.
    With 70,000 employees in 60 countries, this publicity-shy giant is America's second-largest privately owned corporation. Being private means it makes very few disclosures about its finances and operating practices, but we do know that it has sales topping $100 billion a year, which means it is bigger than such corporate giants as Verizon and Morgan Stanley.



    The Billionaire Brothers
    Charles and David Koch, who control this family-owned empire, are tied for a spot as the 19th-richest billionaire in the world, according to a 2009 ranking by Forbes. Each brother has a net worth of $14 billion, just below the wealth held by four heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune. Charles, 73, and David, 68, boast of being "self-made" billionaires. Actually, that's a fib, for they had a little help from Daddy. Fred Koch, who died in 1967, started his name-sake business after inventing a method of turning heavy oil into gasoline, and his sons got a leg up on their climb to billionairedom by inheriting Fred's company.
    They also inherited something else: a burning ideological commitment to right-wing politics. How right wing? In 1958, Daddy Fred helped found the John Birch Society.
    Following in those footsteps, Charles and David have used the wealth they draw from Koch Industries to fuel a network of three Koch Family Foundations. During the past three decades, these "charitable" foundations have set up and financed a secretive army of political operatives dedicated to achieving the brothers' antigovernment, corporate-controlled vision for America. This stealth force includes national and state-level think tanks, Astroturf front groups, academic shills, university centers, political-training programs, fundraising clearinghouses, publications, lobbyists, and various other units useful to Charles and David's ideological cause.
    This army's effort is effective because it is comprehensive, well funded, coordinated, and focused on a longterm political strategy. Contrast that to the progressive movement, which largely consists of underfunded, unconnected groups and hops from battle to battle with little or no strategic planning...

    ...The focus of most political groups is to influence candidates, lawmakers, agency heads, and reporters at the top of the system. But these two brothers have been executing a concerted plan for more than 30 years not only to influence those at the top, but also to go much deeper. They spend freely on dozens of ideologically grounded, right-wing groups to influence schoolteachers and high-school curricula, state and federal judges, lawyers and legal scholars, conservative policy thinkers and media producers, city-council candidates and local party activists--and their aim is to shove the country's national debate to the hard right, discombobulate the public's progressive wishes, and alter government policies to advance corporate interests generally and the Kochs' own interests specifically.

    For the rest, click here for pdf download: Billionaire Brothers
     
  2. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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    I say this go in our Black People Doing Positive Things forum - agreed Family?

    EDIT: on second thought, I missed something acting on impulse...


    KWABENA
     
  3. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  4. misterlucky

    misterlucky Banned MEMBER

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    wishful thinking is nice. i never knew any blacks named koch anyway.

    on this planet, oprah bought obama a white house for christmas.
     
  5. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  6. misterlucky

    misterlucky Banned MEMBER

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    the funny part is..

    i must have missed the part where the thread author said they were black, but he did indeed state they were brothers.

    that period after brothers was the best place to terminate my post. a whole lotta uncouth thoughts surging and swirling in the little white bowl of my mind...

    but if you think about it, ......and heah me now .....aren't we all God's chilluns?
     
  7. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Reason for posting...

    I posted this information so that we could have a clearer under/over-standing of what's really going on when we see those protesters such as "tea partyers", etc all over the country. They are not simply regular, everyday concerned citizens. Please read the information and do your own research so you can deduce the truth. My motto is, "follow the money and you'll usually find the motive".
     
  8. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    No disresepct intended brother but the agents of great wealth, power and white supremacy, that we can see examine and name are not the real controllers, but the servants of the controllers
     
  9. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The continuing issue and problem is for me and mine--you and yours--our folk--etc.--to quit buying the lies--i. e., which is that all whites have a collective agenda aka meant to just keep us blacks on the bottom, and/or no blacks are a part of it, whereas we're up against more than the self serving agendas of a few colored kooks (like Connelly and Thomas ad naseum)...

    On the other hand:

    What more can or should I say, since I actually do read some of the articles, i. e., which the likes of the mainstays of the BLACK AGENDA REPORT etc. do put out there, though others here don't even comment on here at all?

    So some things explain themselves...

    :10500:
     
  10. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Also in all due candor and honesty:

    You had to guess that presently an article with 'brother' in the title would tend to mislead posters on a black frequented board you were reposting an article related to what black rich folk were up to...

    :fyi:
     
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