Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Boycott Koch Industries

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?

comments: 6

Unknown said...

Absolutely not, but I'm a Libertarian. I think there are tons of corporate entities that donate money to causes that I don't support (look at the way big beer has come out against the proposed marijuana legalization bill)and consider this when purchasing things. I do vote with my dollars and applaud your willingness to do so as well. However, I'm sure that most companies donate money to political organizations not out of ideology but out of bottom-line CYA policy. Looking at the 2008 election corporations that had previously donated heavily to the GOP switched and gave generously to the DNC, deciding to grease the wheels of the perceived winner. Well, considering the system under which we live, can you blame them?

To me, it is nice to see a company that supports a free market (which is different from the pro-business stance the Republicans shill) rather than use their lackeys in governnment to create regulations that close the entrance into their industry to possible newcomer competitive elements. Furthermore, let's be honest~ what chances that we will see a true Libertarian regime in either of our lifetimes? As stated, I'm a Libertarian, but I carry no silly affectation that people in this country will ever come to my point of view. The Mayer piece was well-written, but it created a Hobgoblin that is, in all honesty, not much of a threat to the status quo.

Also, I think that the Bill of Rights is a pretty good thing. Don't you?

Ted Major said...

Turns out I've been boycotting them all along. I almost wish I used some of those products so I could quit.

Elaine said...

I just bought a supply of Quilted Northern, but next trip I'll go with Cottonelle.

I use fabric napkins all the time--wash/dry, fold, and place under an old-fashioned sad iron for 2 days. Presto--pressed! Feel free to steal this idea.

jw said...

I'm in.

Daughter Number Three said...

Thanks for the list. I believe I've bought Vanity Fair napkins at some point. Here's one of my oldest posts, about the Koch brothers and their Dixie cups: http://daughternumberthree.blogspot.com/2008/02/whistling-dixie-past-graveyard.html

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, everyone, for reading and commenting. Daughter Number Three, I wish I’d known about your blog in 2008.