Maiello: The Nature of Poverty
Richard Day: Satire and Baltimore
When we marvel at how the Reagan Revolution heralded the dramatic rise of the rentier class, David Koch deserves a lion-sized share of the blame..
In the 1980 election won by Reagan, David H. Koch ran for Vice President (Libertarian) Already hugely wealthy, he obviously saw himself as a player.
And just like Billy Beane, who as a ball player was mediocre, Koch the ho-hum candidate turned out to be a superb General Manager of the Wichita Wingnut Counter Revolutionaries and their various farm teams.
Turned off to electoral politics (who wouldn't be?) he took the long view, and started building a multipart (think tanks, lobbying arms, astroturf contractors, etc ) farm system, directing a firehose sized flow of cash (over half a billion) "on spec", as it were.
First thing he did was provide the seed money for the CATO institute. And it's been forty years of hardball ever since.
He knows how to leverage wealth to produce satisfaction.: Wanting access to top-shelf ballet pussy (not that there's anything wrong with that...) he bought the house the ballet company lives in and became their landlord....("I think we can work out something about the rent, little lady..")
His major league players today, who include those recruited and organized through the American Legislative Exchange Council (A.L.E.C.) range from Herman Cain (who has been in the farm system for decades) to the recently disgraced and resigned Defense Secretary of the UK (Liam Fox), whose "ex-flatmate" has been on the A.L.E.C. pad for ten years. (I always remember ALEC as the guys carrying water for the private prison industry by writing "model penal codes" promoting overcriminalization and over incarceration to keep inventories of bodies high--yuk!)
We know that Koch can take the long view Ten years before a Conservative Government comes back into power, Koch money is spread so wide (follow the money...) that it finds itself in the pocket of an upper class Brit who is right next to a guy who will become Sec.of Defense.
And we must also acknowledge that Koch money is the yeast in Herman's pizza, which makes fascinating David's evident insouciance in re:Herman's entrepreneurial approach to getting laid. He had to have known about the settlements, and was willing to burn a bunch of money to set up the political issues for a later home run hitter.
This guy just might be the Lenin (M.I.T. B.Sc and M.Sc). of the counter revolution.
*Charles and David Koch also have been involved and have provided funding to a number of other think tanks and advocacy organizations: They provided initial funding for the Cato Institute, they are key donors to the Federalist Society, and also support the Mercatus Center, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Institute for Justice, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, the Institute for Energy Research, the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, the Reason Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
As of 2011, David Koch sits on the board of directors of the Cato institute, the Reason Foundation and Aspen Institute.