The Evil Koch Brothers & Political Contributions

Beyond Saving
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The Evil Koch Brothers & Political Contributions

 This is a continuation of the conversation I am having with rdklep8. It is going way off topic of the previous thread so I thought I would start a new one.

 

rdklep8 wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

Corporations do not have bottomless pockets...unless they are given money by the government. GM was going bankrupt because it ran out of money. Corporations go bankrupt every day. The only entity that has bottomless funds is the government, which can always print or tax more.

Show me where all of these corporate abuses are that only forced unions can help us with. With only 6.9% of the private sector unionized, they must be all over the place. Working in the US must be exactly like working in China.

 

I'll admit to generalizations by saying corporations have a bottomless pockets.  By the same token, you have to admit that you are also generalizing.  I would assume that corporate America would fit nicely into a bell curve; there are some with deep pockets, some penny pinchers (that will probably cease to exist in the near future), and others that have money to remain self sufficient.  However, to point to GM and other companies going bankrupt is taking that spectrum of businesses and zooming in on the failing ones.  It's just as easy to go the other way.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22koch.html

 

This is just one article on the infamous Koch brothers, the billionaire businessmen who feed obscene amounts of money into the political system with the intention of getting individuals elected that will serve their interests.  They are throwing a ton of their resources at the problem going on in Wisconsin, and they feel that if they can crush the unions there, that the rest will 'fall like dominoes'.  You may have heard about the prank call that a blogger from the buffalo beast pulled off Gov Walker of Wisconson.  He Skyped in claiming to be one of the Koch brothers, taped the call, and then posted it to his blog. 

 

Yeah, the Koch brothers are so close to Governor Walker that he didn't even recognize it wasn't David's voice on the line. Yes, the Koch brothers donate a significant amount of money to politics, but it is pennies compared to unions. Since 1989 they have donated a little under $3 million. 

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/topindivs.php?id=D000000186&Display=SC&ContribID=U0000003478

and their organization Americans for Prosperity has raised a $40 million budget with 70,000 donors. Approximately $600 from each member. Which is less than ActBlue ($60m) and Service Employees International Union ($53m) which donate 100% to dems and in line with Emily's List and Moveon.org ($33m and $29m respectively). http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs.php?cycle=2010&Type=E&filter=P

 

 

I would also point out that the money being used by SEIU is taken by force from its members while 100% of contributions to Americans for Prosperity are voluntary.    

 

When you look at direct contributions to candidates, that Koch brothers are barely in the picture. http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A You will notice that the top 14 are almost all unions, most using the law to force employees to pay membership dues which are then forwarded to democrat politicians. Also note that most of the corporations on the list donate 50/50, that is because for most of the corporations political donations are viewed as protection money. They fear politicians and their power over regulation that can cost them billions.  

 

rdklep8 wrote:

The problem I have is that, although some corporations do not have the capital or man-power to affect political strategy and law making, some do.  I fear that this conversation may be drifting from the original topic, but I thought it was important to I clarify what I meant.

And so do PACS, unions or any other collection of individuals who decide to raise money for whatever pet issue they have. If you are truly concerned about the influence that money has over politics there is only one solution- remove the power from the politicians. In general, corporations don't want to spend money on politics. They would much rather put money into expanding business and making more profits. However, when a simple edict from a dictocrat can cost or make your company millions you are going to pay off the politicians either to protect yourself or to give yourself an unfair advantage over your competitors. Unions are no different, they donate money to give themselves an advantage over their competitors (non unionized workers). As long as the power is there, you can't be surprised when people with something politicians want use it. 

 

My position often gets confused with being on the side of corporations. This is not true. I don't care one bit about whether or not any corporation succeeds or fails unless I am invested in it. Corporations failing and going bankrupt is a good thing, it means that an unstable business model has been punished and a new business model is working better. (There is no such thing as "too big to fail&quotEye-wink I have a huge problem with one group of people using government power to gain an advantage over another group of people. In this, some corporations and unions are equally guilty. The more power we grant the government, the more corporations and unions are going to scramble to abuse it. The obvious solution to me is to weaken the government to the point where no person, corporation or union has a large incentive to control it. Until we all agree not to use the force of government to control our fellow man we will be locked in our current struggle to control the government and the guns and power that go with it.

 

My issue with many on this site is that they quickly recognize the abuses caused by corporations abusing government power, but refuse to observe that unions and left wingers do the same thing, just to a different group of people. Instead of recognizing that we need to remove the power, you try to seek some sort of balance and it simply is not realistic. Politics is too volatile to expect any kind of compromise to last long term. Eventually, one side will have the power and will abuse it. By increasing the power of government and the areas that are regulated all we are doing is increasing the damage done when government power is abused. 

 

Government power is the use of force. The only thing government can do is use guns to force people to do things or prevent them from doing things. Remove the bullets from the gun and no one will try to control it, and if they do control the unloaded gun, who cares? I find it ironic that many of those who decry the use of force by an individual are the quickest to call for the use of force by the community against the individual. I believe it is wrong for any person to use force against another except in defense of themselves or another from force. On its face, it seems like a moral truism that most people would accept, yet in practice very few attempt to live by it and those of us who do are labeled as uncaring, greedy, racist, sexist, radical and extremist.

 


I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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I just came across this

I just came across this quickly... I'll get around to this as soon as I can.  Midterms are going to hold the majority of my attention for the next few days.


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protection money my ass

Beyond Saving wrote:
Also note that most of the corporations on the list donate 50/50, that is because for most of the corporations political donations are viewed as protection money. They fear politicians and their power over regulation that can cost them billions.  

 

 Especially those defense contractors... man they have stick-toitiveness!

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Beyond Saving wrote: This

Beyond Saving wrote:

 This is a continuation of the conversation I am having with rdklep8. It is going way off topic of the previous thread so I thought I would start a ne

 

Yeah, the Koch brothers are so close to Governor Walker that he didn't even recognize it wasn't David's voice on the line. Yes, the Koch brothers donate a significant amount of money to politics, but it is pennies compared to unions. Since 1989 they have donated a little under $3 million. 

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/topindivs.php?id=D000000186&Display=SC&ContribID=U0000003478

and their organization Americans for Prosperity has raised a $40 million budget with 70,000 donors. Approximately $600 from each member. Which is less than ActBlue ($60m) and Service Employees International Union ($53m) which donate 100% to dems and in line with Emily's List and Moveon.org ($33m and $29m respectively). http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs.php?cycle=2010&Type=E&filter=P

 

 

I would also point out that the money being used by SEIU is taken by force from its members while 100% of contributions to Americans for Prosperity are voluntary.    

 

When you look at direct contributions to candidates, that Koch brothers are barely in the picture. http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A You will notice that the top 14 are almost all unions, most using the law to force employees to pay membership dues which are then forwarded to democrat politicians. Also note that most of the corporations on the list donate 50/50, that is because for most of the corporations political donations are viewed as protection money. They fear politicians and their power over regulation that can cost them billions.  

 

rdklep8 wrote:

The problem I have is that, although some corporations do not have the capital or man-power to affect political strategy and law making, some do.  I fear that this conversation may be drifting from the original topic, but I thought it was important to I clarify what I meant.

And so do PACS, unions or any other collection of individuals who decide to raise money for whatever pet issue they have. If you are truly concerned about the influence that money has over politics there is only one solution- remove the power from the politicians. In general, corporations don't want to spend money on politics. They would much rather put money into expanding business and making more profits. However, when a simple edict from a dictocrat can cost or make your company millions you are going to pay off the politicians either to protect yourself or to give yourself an unfair advantage over your competitors. Unions are no different, they donate money to give themselves an advantage over their competitors (non unionized workers). As long as the power is there, you can't be surprised when people with something politicians want use it

 

 

The Koch brothers do a fantastic job of spreading out their contributions.  Koch Industries has donated 5.9 million dollars since 1989 as a PAC.  83% of those funds have gone to republicans.  They have also given 574,000 dollars in group contributions in that time frame.  The most notable place that the Koch brothers have focused their spending spree on is on lobbying expenditures.  They have spent a whopping 50.9 million dollars since 1998 lobbying for their interests.  This money is not going directly into candidate's campaigns.  However, this money is largely being spent on energy, environmental, tax and homeland security policies. 

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?lname=Koch+Industries&year=2010

It should be noted that this money is mainly directed toward the GOP's stance on each policy. 

Beyond Saving wrote:

My position often gets confused with being on the side of corporations. This is not true. I don't care one bit about whether or not any corporation succeeds or fails unless I am invested in it. Corporations failing and going bankrupt is a good thing, it means that an unstable business model has been punished and a new business model is working better. (There is no such thing as "too big to fail&quotEye-wink I have a huge problem with one group of people using government power to gain an advantage over another group of people. In this, some corporations and unions are equally guilty. The more power we grant the government, the more corporations and unions are going to scramble to abuse it. The obvious solution to me is to weaken the government to the point where no person, corporation or union has a large incentive to control it. Until we all agree not to use the force of government to control our fellow man we will be locked in our current struggle to control the government and the guns and power that go with it.

 

My issue with many on this site is that they quickly recognize the abuses caused by corporations abusing government power, but refuse to observe that unions and left wingers do the same thing, just to a different group of people. Instead of recognizing that we need to remove the power, you try to seek some sort of balance and it simply is not realistic. Politics is too volatile to expect any kind of compromise to last long term. Eventually, one side will have the power and will abuse it. By increasing the power of government and the areas that are regulated all we are doing is increasing the damage done when government power is abused. 

Government power is the use of force. The only thing government can do is use guns to force people to do things or prevent them from doing things. Remove the bullets from the gun and no one will try to control it, and if they do control the unloaded gun, who cares? I find it ironic that many of those who decry the use of force by an individual are the quickest to call for the use of force by the community against the individual. I believe it is wrong for any person to use force against another except in defense of themselves or another from force. On its face, it seems like a moral truism that most people would accept, yet in practice very few attempt to live by it and those of us who do are labeled as uncaring, greedy, racist, sexist, radical and extremist.

I agree with you here.  However, taking the power awy from government isn't feasible.  Any non-partisan attempt to do so will be rejected both sides.  Hypothetically, it is a possibility, but there will still be corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals on both sides that will continue to pour money into lobbying and campaigning. 

What is my alternative?  I really don't have one.  The way that politics is being handled is too profitable and beneficial to those directly involved in the process.  As long as those involved remain rich and powerful, there is no reason for them to change it.  It all comes down to self- interest, and decreasing the power of government would correspondingly decrease the wealth of those involved.  Our government has become more of a capitalistic enterprise than a democracy, and those involved are completely satisfied with that.  

 


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 rdklep8 wrote:I agree with

 

rdklep8 wrote:

I agree with you here.  However, taking the power awy from government isn't feasible.  Any non-partisan attempt to do so will be rejected both sides.  Hypothetically, it is a possibility, but there will still be corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals on both sides that will continue to pour money into lobbying and campaigning. 

Why isn't it feasible? They haven't taken away our power to vote yet. The problem is that everyone gets bogged down in the details of one side against the other, which side donated more, which side is more corrupt etc. When you go to the voting booth, there is nothing that prevents you from voting for a candidate that didn't spend a lot of money other than yourself. Ultimately, it is the voters fault. We are the ones who ask our representatives to bring us goodies. The problem starts with the voters. And until they stop bemoaning "but nothing can be done, there is too much money" blah blah blah, nothing can be done. The day voters simply stop demanding the government give them things and start demanding that it limits its power things will change. 

 

The scary part is that even on a site of people who are generally of higher than average intelligence, few will agree to the simple assertion that government power needs to be reduced. Instead, the vast majority on this site promote a more powerful government while at the same time complaining about the abuses caused by a more powerful government. If we can get at least one small corner of the country to begin to recognize that removing the power is the only long term solution, maybe we can take one small step in that direction before the end of my life. For my part, I travel in both left wing and right wing circles, so I work on convincing everyone that the answer is to remove the power. Generally, I find more resistance to that idea from the left but maybe that is because the left currently holds more of the power.

 

Do your part, vote 3rd party. (One of my candidates got 7% of the vote last year! Usually they only get 1% or less. Progress!)

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Koch should have known

Koch should have known better that it is much great and honorable to donate money to charities than to politicians. It is really clear that there is a law regarding political donations but I think it is not  sharp enough to lessen the overflowing donations of private companies to political candidates. Just recently a businessman came out in the picture and tackled about political donations. The CEO of Starbucks coffee business thinks political figures should do better. In an open letter, he outlined his concerns. Rather than just voicing aggravation, though, Schultz has decided to do something about this. He has promised to quit donating to political campaigns until things are more to his liking. Schultz is trying to encourage other companies to do the same thing. Resource for this article: Howard Schultz drops political figures off at the wallet.


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

Government power is the use of force. The only thing government can do is use guns to force people to do things or prevent them from doing things. Remove the bullets from the gun and no one will try to control it, and if they do control the unloaded gun, who cares? I find it ironic that many of those who decry the use of force by an individual are the quickest to call for the use of force by the community against the individual. I believe it is wrong for any person to use force against another except in defense of themselves or another from force. On its face, it seems like a moral truism that most people would accept, yet in practice very few attempt to live by it and those of us who do are labeled as uncaring, greedy, racist, sexist, radical and extremist.

 

Exactly BS. I saw a car with two bumper stickers on it. On was 'Universal Health Care Now!'. Below was 'War is Not the Answer'. I wanted to pull the driver over and ask them "How the fuck do you get people to pay for 'Universal Healthcare' without putting a gun to people's heads? Political debates are always about what the men with guns are going to force people to do or not do. Politics is war, you take a political position, you're making a declaration to use deadly force.

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