Charles and David H. Koch are the subjects of a recent New Yorker article by Jane Mayer. The brothers Koch, worth thirty-five billion dollars, are the owners of Koch Industries, ranked, Mayer notes, as “the second-largest private company” in the United States. Here is an excerpt from the article:
The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry — especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies — from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program — that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.Among the Kochs’ political front groups is the faux-grassroots organization Americans for Prosperity (a dark-roots organization, I’d call it). Some of the details in Mayer’s reporting are beyond appalling: see, for instance, Koch Industries’ efforts to block E.P.A. classification of formaldehyde as a human carcinogen, even as David H. donates large sums for cancer research.
Upon reading this article (which appeared a month ago — I know I’m late to the game), I searched for boycott koch and found this image, maker unknown:
[Angel Soft Toilet Paper, Brawny Towels, Quilted Northern Toilet Paper, Georgia-Pacific Paper Products, Dixie Products, Stainmaster Carpet, Sparkle Paper Napkins, Lycra Fiber, Zee Paper Napkins, Mardi Gras Products, Dacron Fiber, Vanity Fair Paper Napkins, Soft ’n Gentle Toilet Paper.]
For readers worldwide: the Koch Industries website offers a handy list of Koch products for African, European, and Middle Eastern markets.
I don’t like the idea of a worker in a Koch operation losing a job because of decreased sales. But I also don’t like the idea of abetting, even in the smallest way, the efforts of men who endanger American democracy and the well-being of our home (that is, Earth). In my house, we’re done buying Dixie Cups and Vanity Fair Napkins. How about you?