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The Ethics of Charles Koch

Summary:
Charles [Koch] is a true believer, whose free-market beliefs are unquestionably self-interested--but also undeniably sincere. His value system is apparent in all aspects of his company, including Koch's lobbying operation. Until the early 1990s, the company didn't have a Washington presence; this, one former Koch lobbyist said, reflected Charles's inherent distrust of politicians and his anti-government bent. Once it did open a Washington office, prompted by the wave of government investigations and the bad PR stirred up by Bill Koch, the company's lobbyists operated differently than the K street-hired guns that stalk the halls of Congress for their corporate clients. Koch lobbyists don't shift their

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Charles [Koch] is a true believer, whose free-market beliefs are unquestionably self-interested--but also undeniably sincere. His value system is apparent in all aspects of his company, including Koch's lobbying operation. Until the early 1990s, the company didn't have a Washington presence; this, one former Koch lobbyist said, reflected Charles's inherent distrust of politicians and his anti-government bent. Once it did open a Washington office, prompted by the wave of government investigations and the bad PR stirred up by Bill Koch, the company's lobbyists operated differently than the K street-hired guns that stalk the halls of Congress for their corporate clients.

Koch lobbyists don't shift their positions based on the political headwinds. According to one Senate Republican leadership aide, they won't be found pressing for subsidies in one bill and opposing them in another. "They're not rent seekers," he said. The overriding factor guiding the company's lobbying agenda is not whether a legislative proposal will be good or bad for Koch Industries, but whether it is consistent with Charles's libertarian beliefs.

Richard Fink, Charles's top advisor, enforces ideological consistency across the spectrum of Koch business units, and he frequently intercedes to prevent them from inadvertently transgressing Charles's free-market creed. Such was the case when one Koch business unit, which had developed an environmentally sensitive incinerator, sought permission to work with regulators to strengthen environmental rules. This might have improved the company's competitive position, but it went against Charles's overarching philosophy. Fink spiked the idea.


This is from Daniel Schulman, Sons of Wichita. I posted about it yesterday.

It speaks for itself.

I'm a footnote and endnote reader. When I read something interesting, I want to see the source. Unfortunately, in this heavily endnoted book, there are huge holes. There are lots of interesting stories and stated facts without any endnote telling the source.



David Henderson

David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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