Posted by: maboulette | August 27, 2011



Image by eaghra via Flickr

David and Charles Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries and primary supporters of the Tea Party, have accumulated one of the world’s largest private fortunes and Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company in America.  Koch flatterers in the media have criticized anyone daring to condemn the company because Koch Industries employs nearly 50,000 people, according to a study produced by Koch Industries last week. In the last two years, David and Charles Koch have jumped from each being worth $16 billion to now being worth $21.5 billion. That means together they went from being worth $31 billion  to being worth $42 billion today. David is now the richest man in New York City, and the pair are now on the nation’s top ten list for richest Americans.

However, at a time when the Koch brothers are enjoying enormous gains financially, Koch Industries laid off well over 2,000 people. Using the same approximate “jobs multiplier” Koch Industries used in its study last week, that means Koch Industries extinguished nearly 8,000 jobs in recent years:

– Koch’s John Zink Company subsidiary laid off 63 people in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

– Koch’s Georgia Pacific subsidiary laid off 118 people at its Roxboro, North Carolina plant.

– Koch laid off 50 people at its INVISTA plant in Wilmington, Delaware.

– Koch’s Georgia Pacific subsidiary laid off 158 people at a paper-making plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Most of the jobs have been replaced with automated machines.

– Koch’s INVISTA subsidiary laid off 50 people at its plant in Athens, Georgia.

– Koch laid off 150 people at its headquarters in Wichita, Kansas.

– Koch laid off 500 people at its Seaford, Delaware INVISTA plant.

– Koch laid off 400 people in its Waynesboro, Indiana INVISTA plant. As one of the primary employers in the city, the layoffs were expected to have serious ripple effects. City officials said layoffs at INVISTA will “force cuts across Waynesboro.” “The rest of the community, this will probably instill a bit of a wake-up call and they will cut back also,” predicted Waynesboro Vice Mayor Frank Lucente.

– Koch laid off 320 people at its Georgia Pacific plywood plant in Cleveland, Texas.

– Koch laid off 60 people at its INVISTA plant in Victoria, Texas.

– Koch laid off 169 people from its Flint Hills Resources plant in Odessa, Texas.

– Koch laid off 300 people at its Georgia Pacific plant in Monroeville, Alabama.

– Koch “indefinitely” idled its 60-worker Georgia Pacific mill in Louisville, Mississippi.

The Koch downsizing isn’t limited to the United States. In England, Koch laid off workers at its chemical plant in Wilton, England and closed down its INVISTA plant in Offenbach, Germany

Koch Industries pretends that it thrives from the “free market,” and that the government only inhibits its growth. But in reality, as Koch slashed jobs, the company also exploited government contracts, public land, public forests, narrow corporate loopholes, eminent domain seizures of private land, and has demanded taxpayer bailouts for its refineries.

Moreover, while Koch Industries has interests in a number of different businesses, much of its money is made by simply polluting for free. The core of Koch’s vast profits are based on burning fossil fuels that subsidize climate change, while not paying a dime for these “externalities.” For instance, Koch refines oil, including high carbon Canadian crude, at its Minnesota refinery, Koch owns one of the largest oil pipeline networks in America, Koch manufacturers fertilizer, Koch sells products for mining coal and owns coal-burning power plants, Koch transports coal, oil and natural gas, and finally, Koch sells financial derivative instruments to bet on the price of its own products, like oil or natural gas.

Because Koch Industries gets rich burning fossil fuels, the Koch brothers are also the largest funders of climate change denying organizations and “libertarian” nonprofits in the world. Koch political donations have helped the company escape severe prosecution for emitting cancer-causing chemicals as well.

Koch’s charitable foundation donates around $12 million per year—which is just 0.05% of  net worth.. And those charitable investments have funded Tea Party events, birther rallies, and think tanks “dedicated to cheerleading the war in Iraq, spreading anti-science propaganda, and smears claiming that the poor do not really suffer.”


  1. So…IF IF ALL that is written here is true, then what do we do..? You have presented a ‘problem’, but can you present an ‘answer’..? I don’t have one, do you…?

    • Campaign Finance Reform – would go a long way into solve a lot of our problems!

      • IF Kock donated to the Tea Party candidates, IF those donations assured the election of those candates, and IF Kock now employs 50k people THEN it sounds like we better leave thing alone…don’t fix something that is not broken.

      • Kyle – the Koch brothers are who originally started the Tea Party and funded it – this allows them to push for candidates – Tea party candidates – who they also fund so their candidates are “owned” by them,. If or when these candidates get in office they push for regulations that help the Koch brothers and hurt everyone else. And there is nothing criminal wrong with this – but just ethically wrong. This is just another reason that we need to get the money out of our election systems – we need Campaign Finance Reform.

  2. To start with, I am not going to take the time to run down the numbers, but in the past yours have been untrue at times but:
    #1 even assuming they are true, did they hire any during that same time?
    #2 They are a PRIVATELY held company, as such, isn’t it pretty much their right to do anything they want? I mean if I work for somebody else they have the right to tell me what to do, but if I work for myself, what right does somebody that has nothing to do with my company have to do with telling me what to do?
    #3 I’m sure they aren’t running around and laying off people, and shutting companies that are profitable, or making money, would you suggest they do that? If so, I guess you could always step up, and take that money out of your pocket and pay for it.
    #4 2,000 employees probably saves then 150-200 million a year, that hardly accounts for the $2.5 Trillion per year per brother ($5 trillion) total you state their wealth increased by. Their wealth probably increased through other means.

    • Everyone of these items can be verified as

  3. […] Meet the Koch Brothers ( […]

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