Letters to the editor on Koch brothers

10/18/2012 12:00 AM

10/17/2012 6:23 PM

Kochs heroes for protecting freedom

The freedoms that facilitate prosperity and economic well-being have been under attack for decades, but especially in recent years. Charles and David Koch should be regarded as heroes for their historic effort of unprecedented magnitude to protect our way of life (Oct. 14 Eagle).

The evidence is overwhelming that as governments get bigger, they take more from producers and life gets tougher for consumers. Free markets always work better than big governments in helping people economically. In my 1963, 1965 and 1970 visits to East and West Berlin, I saw the mind-boggling difference that freedom makes. We can also learn from the examples of Greece, Spain and Italy.

Wichitans should be grateful that one of our own – Charles Koch – has the knowledge of history, the understanding of economics, the personal courage and integrity, and the generosity to use some of his wealth to help millions not only today but perhaps for generations. His brilliance is shown in recognizing that corporate welfare needs to be stopped before we have a chance of reforming cancerous entitlement programs. The sad truth is that many business leaders favor competition for everyone else, but seek government help for themselves.

I want to thank the Kochs and their many allies in the cause of freedom and prosperity. They should be recognized and honored as world-class heroes rather than threatened and vilified.

J. RICHARD COE

Wichita

Strayed from core

I enjoyed reading the two-day spread on the Kochs’ foray into politics. Charles Koch is clearly a hugely successful businessman, a wonderful philanthropist and a fine gentleman (except on the tennis court). However, the Kochs may have strayed from their core competencies and compromised their values by venturing into the political arena with big dollars.

Most thinking Americans would agree the Kochs are complicit in their own brand of “cronyism,” even as they rail against cronyism in government regulation. And while the Kochs say they hold both major parties responsible for the national debt, why does Americans for Prosperity encourage a tea party movement that demonizes the president with personal attacks? It is disingenuous to suggest that their feelings have been hurt by having to answer some tough questions. Certainly, the president’s good character has been attacked more viciously than the Kochs’.

Koch ideology largely ignores the rampant greed and bad behavior that exist in free-market economies, which often lead to poverty and environmental damage, for example. The current economic condition was not created by the president; it was created by decades of government overspending and the recent reckless behavior of free-market financial and real estate institutions.

RICHARD KILGOUR

Wichita

Why send letter?

Though I agree that it is legal and within Koch Industries’ rights to encourage its employees to vote in the upcoming presidential election, I am concerned that a letter sent to its employees used scare tactics. The paragraph stating that “many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation and other ills” could be taken as a threat to their jobs.

The Koch brothers do have a right to express their opinions. But I would suggest that they do it the way most people do, by writing letters to the editor or granting interviews to express their opinions, as they did with The Eagle. Why then did they feel it was necessary to send a letter to their employees?

I am appreciative of what the Koch brothers have accomplished and the many charitable acts they have done over the years. But I do feel the letter verges on being unethical. I hope this is something that the company does not repeat.

FLOYCE WATTSON

Wichita

Common ground

The Oakland Tribune reprinted The Eagle’s Oct. 14 article on the Koch brothers. A couple of points.

If the Kochs don’t trust President Obama or Mitt Romney to rein in the deficit and reduce government spending, why spend all this money to elect Romney?

And their pledge to take on corporate welfare and eliminate it sounds like they and Obama have some common ground.

I agree about stopping all corporate welfare first. I know some of these programs were implemented many years ago when the business in this country was much different. But now corporations run agriculture, not the family farm. Also, the oil companies today are not 19th- or 20th-century wildcatters with everything to lose. They are very wealthy oligarchs with way too much political power.

There are too many corporations on Uncle Sam’s dole. So if a Left Coaster, the Koch brothers and Obama have this in common, think what can be done? Oh, I forgot about Congress.

Maybe the Koch brothers should rethink their investment.

TOM RICHARDSON

Oakland, Calif.

Thanks to Kochs

Thank you, Eagle, for the articles on the Koch brothers. Thank you, Koch brothers, for standing up for freedom from invasive and ever-expanding federal intrusion in our lives. Keep up the fight for those of us “little people” who don’t have the means.

The liberal factions seem to stop at nothing to advance the socialist agenda. It just doesn’t work. You remove incentive and stifle the human spirit. Just look at the history of Argentina to see what can and will happen to us if the progressive and liberal people have their way.

Unfortunately, they will pass on the problems to their and our grandchildren to deal with for decades to come.

ROSALIE HATFIELD

Belle Plaine

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