The Terrifying Legacy of David Koch | Common Dreams Views
The main reason they did all this, of course, was to protect and expand their gigantic fortunes — which were and are heavily based on fossil fuels. (In classic libertarian John Galt fashion, they inherited their money from their father, who was a founding member of the John Birch Society, and made most of their additional money paying other people to dig up natural resources they neither created nor found.) As Jane Mayer writes in a review of Kochland:
Leonard also quotes Philip Ellender, Koch Industries’ top lobbyist, as claiming, in 2014, that the Earth had gotten cooler in the previous eighteen years. In fact, according to NASA, eighteen of the nineteen hottest years on record have occurred in the past two decades. Yet the Koch machine bought its way into Congress and turned climate-change denial into an unchallengeable Republican talking point. Meanwhile, after the cap-and-trade bill died, the planet continued heating, and the Kochs’ net worth doubled. [The New Yorker]
One underrated part of extreme inequality is how it warps the public discourse. In this case, two ultra-rich men with a bottom line to protect were able to spend so much on propaganda, campaign donations, university donations, and so on that they turned the brains in one of two American political parties to rancid tapioca. A nation with an egalitarian income distribution is one in which regular people have a much greater freedom to think.