Acton Institute Powerblog

Those Horrible Koch Brothers And The Good They Do

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Given the press the Koch brothers (David and Charles) get, one would expect to see a photo of them sporting devil’s horns with blood dripping from their fangs. Here are just a few examples:

They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. [The New Yorker]

Today, the Kochs are being watched as a prime example of the corporate takeover of government. [Greenpeace]

[W]hen Barack Obama became president, the Kochs, like a lot of right-wingers, flipped out. They threw their weight behind a stealth campaign to turn back the president’s “socialist” agenda… [Rolling Stone]

Clearly, these men are evil, right?

Not so fast. Deroy Murdock, at National Review Online, wants to dig a bit deeper. What are the Kochs really doing with their money?

  • The Kochs “support university programs and think tanks that try ‘to understand the nature of human freedom and how that freedom leads to prosperity…'”
  • They’ve given major grants to medical research, including cancer treatment and joint replacement.
  • Elizabeth Koch, Charles’ wife, oversees funding to the arts. This includes sponsoring young musicians and dancers.
  • David Koch supports the PBS series, Nova, and has made generous donations to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for a Hall of Human Origins.
  • Wildlife Habitat Council president Robert Johnson states that the Koch brothers are leaders in environmental issues, as they have done everything from planting saplings on protected land to helping to preserve prairie land in Kansans to making sure many of their buildings are certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council in ‘promoting biodiversity, wildlife habitat enhancement, land restoration and conservation education…'”

You may not like the Koch brothers. You may not like how much money they have. You may not like their political, social or business views and practices. But are they evil? Do they really do bad things? Do your homework.

Read “Kochs Add Life” at National Review Online.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.