It is an incessant refrain – from Leftists and the media (please pardon the redundancy). This annoying gaggle whines and moans that the quintessential, awful faces of corporate influence over government are those of Charles and David Koch.
Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid said of them on the Senate floor “These two brothers are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.” Uber-Leftist “green” billionaire (and MUCH larger political donor than both Kochs combined) Tom Steyer said of David Koch: “Just a famously evil person.”
Not at all over-the-top or vitriolic. Thanks for the substantive critique of these men and their political perspectives.
It is true – when the private-sector-uber-successful libertarian duo isn’t donating massive coin to people and things like criminal defense lawyers, hospitals, the arts and black colleges, they do contribute to people and political entities seeking to deliver us less government than the massive amounts with which we are currently afflicted.
(Full disclosure: Our joint, Less Government, has never, ever received a dime in Koch coin. Your humble author may have previously worked at joints that received some Koch coin, but if any of them did I wasn’t aware of it.)
Again, the Kochs aren’t looking for government favors. They don’t want government money for things like stupid, born-to-die “green energy” projects (Mister Steyer does). Because they are ideologically opposed to the government picking losers at the expense of winners (and likely because they realize “green energy” is neither green nor energy). They don’t want government regulatory favors for their businesses. They don’t want the government to hound their private sector competitors.
The Kochs want government to leave them – and everyone else – alone. Equally (as in equal protection before the law). For the Left – that is their original “sin.” That – and putting their money where their minds are.
Koch Derangement Syndrome is at its heart about ideology – not political influence. The Left doesn’t want less government – and doesn’t like those who do.
If it were bought government about which they were worried, we all would hear much more about Leftist donors of much greater coin than the Kochs – people like Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, Jim Simons and George Soros.
And Google. Whose net worth ($350 billion) is greater than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Denmark ($342 billion). But this private sector uber-success doesn’t share the Kochs’ affinity for equal-treatment-before-government. They want all the cronyism they can get. And the political contribution is by no means the only way to get it (though they were President Barack Obama’s second biggest donor).
Google’s Remarkably Close Relationship With the Obama White House, in Two Charts: “Google representatives attended White House meetings more than once a week, on average, from the beginning of Obama’s presidency through October 2015.”
And more and more and more, Google is getting whatever they want out of Obama’s government. Behold the Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC):
How New (FCC) Internet Privacy Rules Could Backfire: “‘The plan could play a meaningful role in cementing monopoly market power for companies like Google…by regulating potential competitors out of business altogether.’”
Everyone Loathes the Latest (FCC) Power Grab – Except Google, and That’s All That Matters: “Google loathes (TV) apps – because they can’t get at the data collected by them. So they want to muck up the apps (r)evolution – and prop-up the dying set-top-box. The Obama Administration is more than happy to oblige.”
And that’s just one government agency. The Leviathan has oh so much more to give Google.
The ancient government maxim is – personnel is policy. No one knows this better than Google: “Nearly 250 people have shuttled from government service to Google employment or vice versa over the course of (Obama’s) administration.”
To wit: Michelle Lee. She’s currently the head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Guess what her immediately preceding gig was? “Deputy General Counsel and Head of Patents and Patent Strategy for Google from 2003 to 2012.”
Google has made a global, multi-billion dollar business out of stealing. Including lots of intellectual property – like patents. Having one of theirs in charge of the government’s patent office can be quite helpful. But one example:
“And now we have Google’s foray into driverless cars. Cars that can drive themselves – and thus must detect all manner of things stationary and mobile around them. There are many components incorporated in making that a possibility. And each sliver of every component – requires a patent….
“More Obama Administration-delivered good news for Google: its U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) just approved said patent. Bad news for Google? The Obama Administration approved said patent ‘not a week after its self-driving car failed to detect a bus and ultimately collided with it….’”
And the government just keeps on giving. Even Congressional Republicans aren’t immune to Google’s charms.
Thankfully never the Senate. And that was last Congress – when the anti-patent Innovation Act was far less anti-patent than it is now. Thus does Google probably now like it even more.
Thankfully, with the growth in anti-patent-ism came a growth in Congressional opposition to this awful legislation. It is currently back in committee – where it should permanently remain.
Let us please not hand Google yet another anti-free market, crony-government victory.
Hoping the Left-Media Complex will provide a little of this Google crony context when next lambasting the Kochs?
That’s probably asking just a bit too much.
This is a guest post by Seton Motley Founder and President of Less Government