[h/t Heather at CrooksandLiars.com]
Dear God, this is an insane twist. I had read that Charles Koch planned to run an ad campaign in Kansas for economic freedom, but I would never have been able to imagine the breathtaking lies that could be told in 60 seconds. Take the minute to watch it, and then read the script below so you’re sure what you heard is what they said.
Are you in the 1 percent? Well, if you earn over $34,000 a year, you are one of the wealthiest one percent in the world. That is the power of economic freedom. People in the most economically free countries earn, on average, over eight times more than people in the least free. The poor earn ten times as much.
People in the most free countries have better protected civil rights, less unemployment, and the average person lives almost 20 years longer. Across the board, we see a strong relationship between economic freedom and people’s quality of life.
The United States used to be a world leader in economic freedom, but our ranking fell and it’s projected to decline even further.
The choice is ours. Let’s rise again.
The Charles Koch Foundation
Yes, you heard that right. This ad is funded by a private, tax-qualified foundation and it is intended to serve Charles Koch’s single most important issue: Killing the minimum wage. But rest easy, darlings, because Charles Koch insists he’s just doing this for our own good.
We want to do a better job of raising up the disadvantaged and the poorest in this country, rather than saying ‘Oh, we’re just fine now.’ We’re not saying that at all. What we’re saying is, we need to analyze all these additional policies, these subsidies, this cronyism, this avalanche of regulations, all these things that are creating a culture of dependency. And like permitting, to start a business, in many cities, to drive a taxicab, to become a hairdresser. Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we’ve got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor.
Let me translate that for you. Charles Koch wants to eliminate the minimum wage here in the US to bring back jobs for pennies an hour, so we can say WOW, we’re working! With no minimum wage, those big retailers like Wal-Mart wouldn’t have to go all the way to Bangladesh to have their clothing manufactured. They could simply pay Americans that Bangladeshi wage and POOF! Prosperity!
Prosperity for Wal-Mart, anyway. The workers? Not so much.
*This seems relevant: “Although he deems low-wage workers part of a “culture of dependency” on the government, Koch Industries is on the receiving end of oil subsidies, government contracts, and bailouts.”
So much cynicism packed into one minute. For example, this, noted by ThinkProgress:
The ad cites a report from the Koch-funded Fraser Institute showing that “The United States used to be a world leader in economic freedom but our ranking fell. And it’s projected to decline even further.” (That same Fraser report interestingly ranks Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Chile ahead of the U.S. Those places all have government-run health care, which the Kochs adamantly oppose.)
This is sociopathic thinking writ large. In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the Hatter challenged Alice’s worldview by presenting her with his alternate reality, which is exactly what Charles Koch is trying to do. Only Koch’s goals are not for any greater good. They’re simply a way to load his own already-overflowing coffers with even more.