Friday, June 8, 2018

REPORT Charles Koch Forced David Koch Out of Koch Industries

David and Charles Koch
Jane Mayer, who has spent much time reporting on the Koch brothers, writes in the New Yorker:
 Charles also appears to have dominated David’s decision to retire. According to two well-informed individuals close to the family, David, who has been in declining health for several years, had resisted resigning, but Charles forced him out. A business associate who declined to be identified, in order not to jeopardize his ties to the family, told me, “Charles pushed David out. It was done with a wink, and a nod, and a nudge.” A second longtime family associate confirmed this, saying, “Charles had been pushing him out for quite some time. David kept resisting. It was bad. Charles took control.”

The decision became public on Tuesday, when Charles, who is the chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, sent a letter to employees announcing that David would be retiring as vice-president, a development that he attributed to David’s deteriorating health. “We are deeply saddened by this, as we miss David’s insightful questions and his many contributions to Koch Industries,” Charles’s letter said. The letter didn’t disclose the nature of David’s health problems, but he was diagnosed with prostate cancer twenty-four years ago. Multiple associates say that in the past year or so he had visibly declined, losing weight and losing his train of thought in conversations, as well as occasionally nodding off in meetings and public events. “As a result,” the letter said, “he is unable to be involved in business and other organizational activities.” Charles Koch, meanwhile, continues to work through the weekends, often arriving at Koch Industries’ Wichita headquarters earlier than many other employees. “He’s a workaholic—like Warren Buffet—he lives to work,” the well-informed business associate told me. “It looks like he’s going to be doing this into his nineties.”
Mayer also writes what has always been well known in Rothbardian inner circles that
it has always been Charles running the show :
The retirement of David Koch from Koch Industries will make it easier to see more clearly what has been true from the start: Charles and David Koch, who came to be known as “the Koch brothers,” were equals in bloodlines and in wealth, but Charles has always been the brains behind the brothers’ vast corporate and political operations. 
And her conclusion is accurate:
Those who know the brothers well predict that David’s retirement will have scant impact, particularly in the political realm, where the Kochs exert enormous influence.
Mayer also writes:
 Beginning in the late nineteen-seventies, the brothers became the primary underwriters of hard-line libertarianism in the country. From the start, though, Charles was the instigator behind their political activism while remaining largely behind the scenes. This dynamic was evident as far back as 1980, when Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws.
But she fails to inform that the hard-line libertarian Charles Koch, at that time, was being influenced by Murray Rothbard.

Calling for the"abolishing [of] federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C" and opposing "Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws," in one fell swoop is pure Murray.

It's a shame Charles and Murray split and that Charles moved away from serious. hard-line libertarianism.

In an important way, Murray was the remarkable one-man engine of the libertarian movement. To think what might have been if Charles had stayed an ally.



  1. Jane Mayer is one nasty, despicable person. The MSM will be picking up her story to beat up on Charles and libertarianism in general. See the New Republic nonsense:

    By the way Mayer is completely wrong about the 1980 LP Platform on taxes and more so about the way that issue was handled by the Clark/Koch ticket. Along with Rothbard, I was on the platform committee, and it handled the tax issue to the satisfaction of all, market liberals and anarchos alike. The campaign itself simply called for an immediate tax cut about three times greater than the Kemp-Roth plan of the time, with no implication that such would be the end of cuts. Recall that in 1980 the highest marginal tax rate on so-called unearned income was at 70% and on wages, 50%.

  2. What will the beltway libertarians do now? They might have to get real jobs.