An Open Letter to Charles Koch


Dear Charles Koch,

Greetings. I trust this message finds you well. Today, I had the fortune of coming across this short op-ed that you wrote. I thought I would write you this open letter to share a few observations.

Your writing struck me as disturbing, hypocritical, self-contradictory, and above all, mendaciously misleading. I was perplexed by your references to the faults of the Soviet Union, as if it were threatening to somehow resurrect itself and start stomping all over global democracy once again. While I wasn't surprised at the common and frankly ludicrous treatise that most filthy-rich capitalists like yourself have a tendency to repeat, that making any fundamental criticism of the current economic system makes you a dictorship-loving Stalinist, I was quite amused at the irony, given that your great-grandfather made his fortune in Soviet Russia in 1929.

I actually find it quite alarming to listen to the ramblings of a billionaire being alarmist about how policies of regulation and big government under the mask of "socialism" managed to fail in a totalitarian dictatorship that its people buried decades ago. What's worse, you counterpose it with calls for "economic freedom" to save us from some invisible spectre. I hate to break it to you, but nobody feels sorry for your grumbling about how you've been oppressed by government regulation when you've still managed to become the fifth-richest person in the United States.

But the real crux of your undoing is your disparagement of the "cronyism" of those who would skirt the free market you love so much for their own unfair personal gain, and get "something for nothing" by taking bailout money from taxpayers:

"Many businesses with unpopular products or inefficient production find it much easier to curry the favor of a few influential politicians or a government agency than to compete in the open market."

Did this sanctimonious Libertarian champion of the "free market" just decry his own cherished hobby of buying politicians? I think you'd better eat your words, and fast.

Mr. Koch, you are an absolute hypocrite. If you truly believed what you wrote, then you wouldn't have donated $20 million to lobbying politicians in the year of the financial crisis alone. What you really want is economic "freedom" for tycoons like yourself to continue to ravage the economy with impunity, and are perfectly happy with any government that allows you to remain exorbitantly wealthy.

While you continue your deluded campaign of misleading entreaties and abuse of terms like "economic freedom," you are at the forefront of corrupting our political freedom and bastardizing democracy by depraving the political process in a concerted and deliberate effort to place the influence of money over the voices of the people.

The people are coming to take back what's ours: our democracy.

Expect us.

Cordially Yours,  

Shawn Carrié