Paul Krugman Calls the Koch Brothers 'Perfect Villains' and 'Serious Evildoers'
8:50 PM, Mar 25, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Now I know that making building supplies, petrochemicals, paper, and supplying energy aren't exactly exciting businesses when we're all going gaga over Mark Zuckerberg's latest virtual reality investment. It's true that some Koch products have environmental costs, but much of what the Kochs provide is essential to the way we live and can't really be produced any other way. The Kochs also employ 100,000 people and make so many different essential items such a grand scale that the notion that they don't provide value or enable others to make money is laughable, especially coming from an economist of Krugman's esteem. This notion that they don't innovate is also absurd; Koch Industries spends about $100 million a year on R&D at the parent level. That total's much higher if you include the Koch subsidiaries. If it makes Krugman feel any better, Koch supports innovation by making components found in your iPhone and nearly every computer. And yes it's true, that the Koch brothers inherited a very valuable company. But they've taken what they were given and grown the company far, far beyond what they inherited through some pretty savvy business accumen. They started out with some pretty big advantages in life, but dismissing what they've done as "unearned privilege" is absurd.
There's also the hundred of millions they've given to cancer research and other charitable endeavors, but if Krugman bothered to mention that, the Kochs might come across as less-than-perfect villains.
But again, the point here is not to be honest about what the Kochs do or what they contribute to society. It's to dehumanize them, so Democrats can call them evil and "un-American" from here to November and still feel good about themselves when they're done spewing this contemptible rhetoric.
Oh, don't tell Paul Krugman, but he's not just being grossly uncharitable here, he's also spectacularly unoriginal.
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