Charles Koch. AP Photo
By Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) • 1/31/16 5:16 PM
Conservative philanthropist Charles Koch, broadly defining why his family business is so heavily involved in movement politics, said Saturday night that an America where people help each other out is being replaced by one of “control, dependency, cronyism and poverty.”
Speaking in Indian Wells, Calif., at the Koch-funded Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce winter meeting, Koch said, “America is moving further and further away from this type of society. And we’re moving more toward a system of control, dependency, cronyism and poverty, in which people, rather than trying to help each other, are pitted against each other. And groups are pitted against each other, which is so destructive and undermining the American dream.”
The CEO of Koch Industries addressed some 500 business leaders and philanthropists, and explained why his family plans to spend hundreds of millions on the election and also why it is so deeply involved in funding other groups aimed at expanding prosperity.
Koch referred to the nonstop liberal attacks on him and his company and their painting of his efforts as a conspiracy to take over the nation. Definant and humorous, he mocked those who claim his organization a secret society and said he hasn’t felt the attacks have had any impact. “I’m still here. And matter of fact, I’m going stronger than ever,” said Koch.
“And as you might expect, I get a lot of questions about, ‘Why are you dedicating so much of your life, and so much of your resources to trying to make America better — particularly when you get so much garbage thrown at you?’ Well, I don’t enjoy eating garbage anymore than anybody else.’ But, just to go back a little and give my evolution in this thing — I was blessed starting many years ago to learn some principles and values that transformed my life,” said Koch, who recently published, Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies.
“And for me, the central point in these principles is to identify the fact that to have a life of meaning, and to have a life of principle, you need to first of all, identify what your individual capabilities are, what your comparative advantage is, what your aptitudes are, fully develop them, and then apply them to helping other people improve their lives to your mutual benefit. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do all these years, and continue to try to do is to take these ideas, and share them with as many people as possible — to give people the opportunity to learn these. And then, as people learn these, to try to move America toward policies that will allow people to actually practice these ideas. These ideas of mutual benefit, of becoming successful by helping other people improve their lives,” he added.
He presented four key agenda policies:
— “The first one is to change, reverse the policies that are moving us toward a two-tiered society — a society that’s destroying opportunities for the disadvantaged and creating welfare for the wealthy.”
— “The second one is the irresponsible, destructive spending by both political parties that is making people’s lives worse.”
— “And the third one is to get government at all levels — that is, local, state and federal — to focus on the government’s primary responsibility to the people to keep America safe instead of being distracted with all sorts of other objectives that undermines that primary obligation of government.”
— Fourth, “protecting free speech, which is the foundation of a free society. And, as we know, it’s under attack everywhere.”
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.