RGF: The propaganda arm of Charles and David Koch?

I love being attacked. It means we’re being effective in our work to study and promote the ideas of individual liberty and free markets. In today’s Albuquerque Journal business outlook section, reader Chuck McCoy, based on one 2006 donation from the Washington, DC-based Cato Institute, called the Rio Grande Foundation “the propaganda arm of David and Charles Koch.”

Anyone who knows the Cato Institute knows that the organization is indeed respected nationally by elected officials of both parties as is the Rio Grande Foundation here in New Mexico. The fact that McCoy doesn’t actually attack our research or ideas is telling, in fact. It is much easier to repeat the meme that the Koch Brothers are evil than to engage in an intellectual battle.

Notably, liberal Sen. Ron Wyden recently spoke to the Cato Institute. The Rio Grande Foundation’s top education policy (school choice tax credits for low-income as well as special needs kids) was last sponsored by four Democrats, most of whom would self-identify as “liberal.” This is just one instance for both organizations. Ultimately, both are respected even if philosophical disagreements exist.

And, of course, that is the heart of the matter. McCoy (and too many on the left) just doesn’t agree with us, but they are too intellectually-lazy to make a coherent argument based on economic principles and analysis. Those who make a big stink about the Koch Brothers don’t attack the ACLU for taking $20 million from the Koch’s. They also don’t seem to care that the major left-wing think tank in this state, Voices for Children, recently accepted a $900,000 grant from the out-of-state Kellogg Foundation. This would support the Rio Grande Foundation’s entire budget for a several years, by the way.

I don’t begrudge Voices for Children for leaning on wealthy out-of-state funding sources. My biggest issue is that it is the very left-wing policies that Kellogg and others have enacted in New Mexico that has chased businesses and wealth out of New Mexico, thus forcing our entire state to be reliant on financial support from other, more economically-free states.

If you DO support free markets and limited government in New Mexico, don’t hesitate to make a tax-deductible donation here.

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11 Replies to “RGF: The propaganda arm of Charles and David Koch?”

  1. I think the purpose of the relentless attacks on the Koch brothers (and any organization associated with them) is to try to dissuade other folks from donating to conservative or libertarian causes, for fear that they, too, will be targeted by the leftists. I think the Kochs, who in my opinion are outstanding citizens for a host of reasons, can tolerate the abuse without any problems.

    1. No doubt Allen. It is also the genesis of the proposed IRS regulations and other leftist efforts to “expose” anyone who disagrees with their mindset. This isn’t about transparency or anything inappropriate being done by the Koch’s or anyone else, it is all about intimidation of political opponents.

    2. Then why do the Koch’s fund all sorts of despotic stuff?

      Why do you continually base stuff on false premises, you don’t expect roads to exist on a profit or loss basis, but you want to subject railroads to existing on a profit and loss basis?

      RGF and Cato might as well be denying the existence of gravity! :$

      1. What “despotic” stuff do the Koch’s fund, specifically? All I ever see them funding is limited government/liberty-enhancing projects. I think they have low standards with some of the politicians they support, but that’s a judgement call. I have answered your question on roads v. highways repeatedly and quite frankly I’m over it.

        1. Limited government in a very selective sense.

          You get tax breaks, but you don’t want others to get tax breaks. :$

  2. Last evening Charlie Rose interviewed one of the sons of Jay Pritzker founder of the hotel chain. Mr. Pritzker proudly proclaimed his company plans to open 60 hotels in China (an openly authoritarian country) and employ 50,000 Chinese citizens. This man as a U.S. citizen enjoys all the protections granted to businessmen through our transparent court system –the envy of the world. He was raised in our country with the values and customs our ancestors were able to create under many trying circumstances including wars. Why are you not outraged by this behavior?

    1. I don’t know, Lee, why WOULD I be outraged by his behavior? Are you saying that Americans shouldn’t do business or invest in places that are less free than the United States? Should we cut off business dealings with any country with which we disagree? Hell, the US government sold wheat to the Soviets during the middle of the Cold War…I believe in encouraging human interaction as a means of fostering peace and prosperity. What is your proposal?

  3. If only humans were capable of limiting their interactions to foster peace and prosperity. Yes we certainly should cut off business with countries that are a threat to our prosperity and leadership in the world, It is acknowledged that the leaders of China and Russia have little respect for the leaders of our country. How can they have when our leaders do not respect the well-being of their own citizens. Putin is strengthening Russia’s citizenry and China’s new leader is strengthening China’s citizenry at our expense. As the then leader of China when being courted in 2001 (just after China joined the World Trade Organization) by our business executives and government representatives bemusedly said ” . . . all the Americans care about is profits.” President Obama is again trying to trample on the rights of we the people by extolling a Pacific trade agreement lessening the power of governments to control trade disputes. Perhaps you prefer a world dominated by corporations rather than countries. Let’s hear your arguments for that kind of arrangement.

    1. I don’t want a world dominated by corporations or nation-states. I’d prefer a world where individuals exert primacy. The role of governments should be strictly limited although we as individuals have little control over this even at home, much less internationally. Corporations, in general, are much more responsive to public pressure than governments. They have the added benefit that no one is being forced to consume their product. I’d argue that as globalism has increased and corporations have taken on a greater role throughout the world that we live in a more peaceful and more prosperous place.

      No, not everyone is free, but most nations including China are freer than they used to be. Russia is an outlier. The good news is that their influence is far more limited and they are not nearly as extreme as they used to be during the Cold War.

      1. Corporations and the rich have more power with government than ordinary people and will stack things in their favour.

  4. Harry Reid May sound demented but his obsession with the Koch brothers is scapegoating at its most basic. We should call it for what it is…and be afraid. Just ask any Jew who know their own history.
    Are all my appostrophes in the right places?

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