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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Koch Brothers and Economic History: a Surprising Letter

This epitomizes corrupt and dishonest intellectual discourse, and how money can buy an expert to say anything they want said.  Who?  Who else - one of the egregious Koch Brothers!

Charles Koch
From the Dylan Ratigan Show on 9/29/'11, MSNBC.com:

Ideas for sale September 29, 2011 “The Nation” magazine’s Mark Ames and co-writer Yasha Levine discuss an investigative report revealing that billionaire Charles Koch bought and paid for an anti-Social Security and Medicare stand.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The original article appears HERE in the Nation Magazine.  It is written by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine.  The source of this letter is the collected papers of Friedrich von Hayek, in the Hayek Archive at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, where it was an indexed part of the collection. From the article referenced above:

The private correspondence between two of the most important figures shaping the Republican Party’s economic policies—billionaire libertarian Charles Koch and Nobel Prize–winning economist Friedrich Hayek, godfather of today’s free-market movement—were obtained by Yasha Levine from the Hayek archives at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This is the first time the content of these letters has been reported on.
The documents offer a rare glimpse into how these two major free-market apostles privately felt about government assistance programs—revealing a shocking degree of cynicism and an unimaginable betrayal of the ideas they sold to the American public and the rest of the world.


"Publicly, in academia and in politics, in the media and in propaganda, these two major figures—one the sponsor, the other the mandarin—have been pushing Americans to do away with Social Security and Medicare for our own good: we will become freer, richer, healthier and better people.
But the exchange between Koch and Hayek exposes the bad-faith nature of their public arguments. In private, Koch expresses confidence in Social Security’s ability to care for a clearly worried Hayek. He and his fellow IHS libertarians repeatedly assure Hayek that his government-funded coverage in the United States would be adequate for his medical needs.None of them—not Koch, Hayek or the other libertarians at the IHS—express anything remotely resembling shame or unease at such a betrayal of their public ideals and writings. Nowhere do they worry that by opting into and taking advantage of Social Security programs they might be hastening a socialist takeover of America. It’s simply a given that Social Security and Medicare work, and therefore should be used."
The authors of the article have posted a digital copy of the letter here at the Nation, and here, at the blog Exiled.com, if you care to see it for yourself.  This is just a taste, a 'tease'.  The authors understood this surprising discovery, and they explain the significance of it very eloquently.  I encourage our Penigma readers to follow the links, and inform yourself more fully on WHY the discovery of this document is significant in the larger context of American economics and politics.

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