Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Kochland by Christopher Leonard

The pro-EPA, anti-Capitalist, and anti-Koch position of the author is palpable.  However, with that said, the book is well written and obviously well researched.  Some of his assertions are off though in my opinion.

Leonard writes about how breaking the Labor Unions is tied to the divide between management and the workers.  However if you look at the Union structure, and the salaries of the Labor Union Bosses you will see that they too are off from the standard worker.  There was a time when Labor Unions were necessary and created value for the worker.  However today, with the Government intervention in EVERYTHING we do, the Unions are a thing of the past.  The Left, the ones who support Labor Unions, will tell you that the "Citizen's United' decision should be reversed because it gives corporations the ability to "interfere" in political elections and that the corporations are NOT people and should not be allowed to participate in funding campaigns.  Although I somewhat agree with that stance, I also think that Labor Unions should also NOT be allowed to mingle in elections.  Today, you have Labor Unions that are allowed to pull workers out of their "regular work" to assist in "Labor Union Business" which in many, many cases is electioneering for a pro-union candidate.  Not to mentions the disparate salaries of

2017 Labor Leaders Salaries and Compensation

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 464
John Niccolai
Salary - $589,439.00
Compensation - $594,193.00

Air Line Pilots Association
Timothy Canoll
Salary - $526,292.00
Compensation - $775,829.00

Laborers International Union of North America
Terrence O'Sullivan
Salary - $516,698.00
Compensation - $717,992.00

International Longshoremen's Association
Harold Dagget
Salary - $488,008.00
Compensation - $533,222.00

International Brotherhoos of Trade Unions Local 713
Peter Hasho
Salary - $477,500.00
Compensation - $756,973.00


I am sure that the respective Labor Union members are not pulling in those numbers.  I am sure if you look at the percentage the bosses are making over the standard worker, the number would ALSO be staggering.  And these do not include the really big ones like Teamsters and AFL CIO.

Leonard also writes about the Charles Koch not wanting to take the company public because it would open up the company to scrutiny and shareholders would be able to demand information.  I make one observations, the Labor Union are also NOT public.  And they too, as you saw above, have all kinds of information they do not want revealed.

Charles Koch is a business genius. He has grown his company based on strategies he has devised and lessons learned. Their success was not based on shareholders and wall street or even government intervention. This speaks to the Freemarket and how some win and some lose.  Obviously in this book we see that Koch Industries failed at many points in their time.  They pushed through and were able to protect themselves for the "bad times".  The Kochs were very liberal with their money from a philanthropy perspective.  They gave to multiple causes that should meet the approbation  of the author, however he points out that the 100 Million dollars donated was over 10 years.  I am curious what donations the author supports?

 Democrats "create jobs" by enforcing arduous regulatory efforts that require full time teams to try to comply. This is not organic and cost companies profits that stifle internal growth.  The Democratic policies and regulations coupled with labor unions would destroy this economy. Although not specified in her book, Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged lays out the current Liberal agenda.

I think the best thing to happen to the "climate change" movement was also the worse; arguably, Gore's movie/commercial "Inconvenient Truth".  After Gore states that carbon credit was the path to take, he followed it up by saying his company was the only one that could sell you said credits.   Any racional person could see right through it. I believe there is climate change but I do not believe it is as cataclysmic as some make it out to be.  Nor do I think that we need to regress back to the horse and buggy days while the reset of the world ignores and pushes on.  It is a suicide pact.

Leonard is critical about Koch and the "astroturf" of him funding protest movements and so on.  This is nothing new here.  Soros has been doing this for quite some time.  Leonard also blast Glenn Beck, which I am not a fan of BTW, for peddling in fear.  Yet today you see every media outlet talking about Trump being a Russian Spy, racist, et al.  I am not saying that peddling in fear is good, but for God's sake, look at your team and at least make reference to what is going on around YOU.  You are basically doing the same thing you accuse Beck of doing.

Chase Koch chapters were very interesting. Even if you do not like Koch, you must admit he did some very difficult things with his son.  He instilled good work ethic and although Chase did not assume the "thrown" of Koch Industries, aside from the terrible tragedy he was at fault for, he did pretty good.  I mean, Ted Kennedy did great things arguably after his issues with cars and deaths.

I think the funniest portion of the book is the policies that were thousands of pages long and difficult to follow and undertand.  Take a look at our tax code, our laws, the ACA with over 20,000 pages for just health care.  The author is obviously on the side of big government and more regulation, what does that look like in pages?  It was funny to read that section.

Charles Koch

David Koch

William "Bill" Koch

Hardcover: 704 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (Aug. 13 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1471186970
ISBN-13: 978-1471186974

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