Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How Stalin Funded the Tea Party Movement

Champions of the free market Charles and David Koch can thank Stalin for sparing their father from the ravages of the free market and allowing them to be the billionaires they are today. Lassaiez faire capitalism initially crushed their father's efforts to implement his superior oil refining developments. Fred Koch turned to Stalin, who commissioned him to build 15 oil refineries for the Soviet dictatorship. The details can be read here. Here are a few excerpts from the link:

the family’s initial wealth was not created by the harsh, creative forces of unfettered capitalism, but by the grace of the centrally-planned economy of the Soviet Union. This deserves repeating: The Koch family, America’s biggest pushers of the free-market Tea Party revolution, would not be the billionaires they are today were it not for the whim of one of Stalin’s comrades....

[Young Fred Koch and a classmate were] quickly developing and patenting a novel process to refine gasoline from crude oil that had a highe-yield than anything on the market. It was shaping up to be an American success story, where anything was possible with a bit of elbow grease and good ol’ ingenuity.

The sky was the limit—until the free market rained on Fred’s parade.

See, Fred was living through the Roaring Twenties, a time of big business, heavy speculation and zero government regulation. Much like today, cartels were free to form and free to fix—and so they did. Sensing a threat to their royalty-revenue stream from Winkler-Koch’s superior refining technology, the reigning oil cartel moved in to teach the young Koch how the laissez-faire business model worked in the real world.

“[W]hen he tried to market his invention, the major oil companies sued him for patent infringement. Koch eventually won the lawsuits (after 15 years in court), but the controversy made it tough to attract many US customers,” according to Hoover’s Company Records service. Just like that, Winkler-Koch Engineering found itself squeezed out of the American market. They had a superior product at a cheaper price, but no one to sell it to.

Luckily, there was one market where opportunity beckoned—and innovation was rewarded: the Soviet Union.

Fred would make millions. Today the Koch brothers rail against the same anti-market forces that permitted them to have success. It's free markets and tough love for you. Government intervention and nanny state for me. The tea partyers need to learn to recognize the pattern.


HispanicPundit said...

Koch also funds CATO, and is anti-war, anti-patriot act, and various other libertarian issues. Just saying.

HispanicPundit said...

The pro-Koch response: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/03/028496.php

Jon said...

With regards to the part about his work in the Soviet union, I don't see anything at powerline that contradicts what I quoted. The link I cite also talks about how engineers were frequently shot. It also talks about Koch's anti-communist rantings but adds that none of these were expressed while he was making his millions from Stalin.

I'd read the rest but I need to go work out and it doesn't look like it says anything relevant to my post here. If that's wrong let me know.

HispanicPundit said...

I didn't read it all either. I find personal politics very boring. Just not worth my time. But for those interested, there it is...'the other side'.

Jon said...

If you didn't read it how do you know it presents the other side? Because in fact it doesn't.

HispanicPundit said...

It gives the side the supporters of Koch would approve of. That is "the other side". How do I know they would approve of it? Because I found it on their websites.

Jon said...

You said your link was a pro-Koch response. I take that a mean a response to what I've posted, not a response to other Koch criticisms that I'm unaware of and possibly don't share and which have nothing to do with the discussion here.

This comes on the heels of your links which supposedly contradict EPI. The one I read did nothing of the sort.

Now you have a few links that perhaps would explain something about Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan after the 90's, before the 70's. Errr...wait. Is it after the 60's now? What changed after 1960? How is that relevant to the question? That's not explained. Just read a few links and see what it tells you. You wonder why I don't always read your links.

HispanicPundit said...

Hey man - just getting you to agree that there was dramatic growth in East Asia in the late part of the 20th century was like pulling teeth. Now you seem to be coming around to the fact...then maybe we can move onto the next stage, causes and extrapolating meaning. Baby steps with you man. Baby steps. :_)