Koch Finds some Common Ground with Sanders
Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch appears to be at the opposite end of the political spectrum from democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but Koch does agree with him on a couple of issues. Koch wrote in a recent Op-Ed piece in the Washington post that there are issues where he agrees with Sanders, a self proclaimed democratic socialist.
Charles Koch and his family run Koch Enterprises, a petroleum company in Wichita, Kansas that has worldwide holdings. They are listed as the second wealthiest family in the nation. Koch also has a history of supporting republican candidates, and he is a strong libertarian. He believes and promotes free market economics and wants as little governmental involvement as possible, both in business and in people’s lives.
But Charles Koch said in the writing that he agrees with Sanders that growing income inequality is a major problem, and that the criminal justice system needs reform. While he agrees with Sanders on these issues, the two are very different in how they want to address these issues.
Koch wrote that history has shown a bigger and more costly federal government has actually put the disadvantaged in a position where they are less likely to improve their lives. This is the reason he opposes most social programs that people like Sanders support. They do agree that there is a problem, and that it is getting worse, but they are still far apart on how to address those issues.
Koch is a consistent libertarian though. He also opposes corporate welfare as that tends to put the government in a position of picking winners and losers. he is consistent in thinking less government involvement is better for everyone. He opposed ethanol subsidies, for instance, even though they would have benefited his company that is involved in that industry.
Koch wrote also that the wealthy are more easily able to get out of things like drug charges, and he agrees with Sanders that this is wrong. He thinks it is also wrong that a conviction would hold a person back even after they have paid their debt to society. As a result his company has stopped asking applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime.
Koch said he was happy to see Sanders speaking out for those struggling to get ahead, and opposing a system that favors the rich over the poor. But he said expanding the government’s role is not the answer.