Don’t forget to have someone hold back your hair Salon.
This is part of what Paul wrote –
Charles and David Koch are well known for their business success, their generous philanthropic efforts and for their focus on innovation in management. Some also know them for their activism in the political realm. All of these are important contributions to society. What is underappreciated is their passion for freedom and their commitment to ideas. Unlike many crony capitalists who troll the halls of Congress looking for favors, the Kochs have consistently lobbied against special-interest politics.
And Paul is right. Granted the Kochs have a ton of money and they are not afraid to spend it. But the Kochs have fought the crony culture while many others have only fought to expand it. The Kochs have fought for a smaller state.
As we’ve said before, if the Kochs were just greedy bastards intent only becoming even more rich and expanding their power, they’d be arguing for a LARGER state. It would be way easier to buy new regulations etc, than to insist that the economy be open to market mechanisms.
Are the Kochs angels? No, who of us is? Is this a nod from Rand which acknowledges that help from the Kochs in his presidential bid will be important? Probably. But the fact remains that the liberty movement does owe a debt to the Kochs and I have no problem saying that. (It should be noted that we do not take any Koch money.)
But Salon, that paragon of talking points felt that Rand’s short article was “nauseating.”
“The Koch brothers’ investment in freedom-loving think tanks will carry on for generations,” Rand concludes, “reminding all of us that ideas and convictions ultimately trump all else.” That is the wrongest statement about the Kochs’ influence one could imagine. The brothers like to think of themselves as principled (and persecuted) defenders of “freedom” who are the only bulwark against the coming collectivist apocalypse, but their real influence is measured by the number of zeroes they put on the checks they send to candidates and activist groups, and by the (related) fact that a U.S. senator and wannabe president is sucking up to them in the pages of Time magazine.
As we said, it is absolutely true that the Kochs like to write big checks. But things must be put into context. In an environment where nearly the entire media is statist, where the university system is statist, where many of the grandest business moguls are statists (Buffett, Slim, Styer, just to name a few), where the government is structured in such a way that it seems only to grow, is it so crazy that the Kochs employ their wealth to present a resistance? I think not.
Is it also so crazy that libertarianish Rand Paul says something nice about them? Nope.