Billionaire Koch Brother Says Eliminating The Minimum Wage Will Help The Poor

Think Progress – by Rebecca Leber

A conservative mogul worth $43 billion says he knows the secret to helping poor people. According to Charles Koch, the U.S. needs to get rid of the minimum wage, which he counts as a major obstacle to economic growth.

On Wednesday, the Charles Koch Foundation launched a $200,000 media campaign in Wichita, Kansas, with a hint of expanding it elsewhere. It is the Kochs’ biggest media buy since they promised to do more to “persuade politicians” after suffering losses in the 2012 election.  

In an interview with the Wichita Eagle published Tuesday, Koch said that the minimum wage is one policy he is working against:

We want to do a better job of raising up the disadvantaged and the poorest in this country, rather than saying ‘Oh, we’re just fine now.’ We’re not saying that at all. What we’re saying is, we need to analyze all these additional policies, these subsidies, this cronyism, this avalanche of regulations, all these things that are creating a culture of dependency. And like permitting, to start a business, in many cities, to drive a taxicab, to become a hairdresser. Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we’ve got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor.

The Kansas ad does not specifically mention the minimum wage, but it does claim that Americans earning $34,000 a year should count themselves as lucky, because that puts them in the top 1 percent of the world. “That is the power of economic freedom,” the ad concluded. Meanwhile, Charles and David Koch are the ones comfortably in the 1 percent, with a net worth of about 1 million times that figure. Watch the ad:


The ad cites a report from the Koch-funded Fraser Institute showing that “The United States used to be a world leader in economic freedom but our ranking fell. And it’s projected to decline even further.” (That same Fraser report interestingly ranks Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Chile ahead of the U.S. Those places all have government-run health care, which the Kochs adamantly oppose.)

In the U.S., economic inequality has grown rapidly, and the lagging minimum wage is in large part to blame. Some states have moved to address the growing gap between what people earn and the rising cost of living, but nationally the minimum wage has barely moved in decades. Little to no evidence exists to support Koch’s claim that the minimum wage impedes companies or causes them to fire employees. In fact, raising the minimum wage to $9 would pump up to $48 billion into the economy by the next year and ease the income gap for 15 million low-wage workers.

Koch maintained his and his brother’s political efforts are not for their own benefit, but for the country’s greater good. “All the other large companies, or the great majority of them, are promoting some kind of special cronyism where they’re undermining economic freedom.” Although he deems low-wage workers part of a “culture of dependency” on the government, Koch Industries is on the receiving end of oil subsidies, government contracts, and bailouts.

24 thoughts on “Billionaire Koch Brother Says Eliminating The Minimum Wage Will Help The Poor

  1. Koch and Bush families are intermarried. Bush family has ties to Rockefeller and Harriman through Samuel Bush, and of course, the Walkers and Pierce family. The Koch family is Russian, associated with the Communist Bolshevik Bankers put into power by Morgan/Rothschild money. There is nothing these people do that is altruistic.

  2. I believe that Mr. Koch and his evil sister counterpart,(can’t remember her name) the strip mining heiress that said people should live on $2(dollars) a day should do as she suggested. Recently, a couple of politicians made a big hoopla about how they could live on a “food stamp sustenance”, which is about $4/day. They both gave up in less than three weeks. The very kind and generous rich a***oles that want to cut food stamps and minimum wage should be cut off from all their funds and housing and live on minimum wage and food stamps for two months. These days, it is impossible to pay rent/utilities/transportation/medical on $7.25 per hour(Texas), even at 40 hours a week. Now, thanks to “Obama Care”, employees are being cut to less than 32 hours per week. To abolish minimum wage would really only boost corporate profits. I don’t think lower consumer prices are in the picture for that has nothing to do with it. Corporations are not “people”, in as such, they have no SOUL. And neither do you, Mr. Koch. Have fun bathing in your money and gloating over your profits while world wide humanity suffers through wars and upheaval. I guess you can’t have enough until you have it all. I sure wouldn’t know.

    1. Illegal immigrants will take others people children and parade them to social services and get food stamps based on that amount of kids AND then use the same kids in another household, I know this because a legal immigrant was pissed about it and told my wife. Being illegal gives many lucrative rewards here in america, they should require retina scans and watch the food stamp program expense drop like a lead balloon, and food stamps definitley gives a household more than 4 dollars a day, matter of fact it is enough to trade food for cash and it happens. I often wonder if they will even bother becoming legal seeing how well they have it being illegal here compared to living legally in their home country, gotta feed those kids ya know, it’s not their fault the parents suck and mooch.

      1. Good point. I did not figure illegal immigrants and fraud into the whole picture. It does happen, but, I believe that is a totally different topic from the article.

      2. Well… At the risk of being attacked, I will say this.
        Food Stamps, while they help my family a great deal, are not this ‘cash cow’ you seem to refer to. I have a family of four, and we get about $11/day, which, though better than nothing, does little to help in the second half of the month. We are lucky to live somewhere we can grow a good deal of our own food, and have a good climate for farming in the winter. While there may well be people who exploit the system, MOST states are VERY difficult to defraud and you can’t just take random kids in with you and claim they are your own. IDK how it works for illegals, as I was born in this country. I do know that they do “home checks” in a lot of states, to confirm household makeup and assets.
        Oh, and FYI, while I am at it, I am permanently disabled, and oh yeah, that 35% of what I made working is like a permanent vacation.

        1. Only a total moron would attack you for speaking the truth. That’s what this site is 100% dedicated to – the truth.

  3. He’s absolutely right, employers pass the cost off to consumers, they will make their profit margin, if you dont like it start your own business. Raising minimum wage costs consumers more for goods and services, so those who dont see the raise because we make well above mimimum wage now get to spend more while bringing home the same and now have less money to spend on frivilous things, rent, milk eventually power everything always cathces up to the higher costs. Once raised it will never come down till the economy that it screws up crashes.

    1. In response to you, barry. Employer savings will not be passed on to consumers. Employers will pocket the profits and I fully expect prices to go up thanks to dollar devaluation.

      1. Yes I agree with you, prices will not come down but only by mandate and thats almost impossible without screwing everything up. Raising minimum wage has caused everything to go up, along with higher cost of energy, but raising it has fed the problem because when cash is available and willing to be spent value and price rises, plain and simple, till the middle class cant pay for it and that is where we are now, it is getting harder and harder to pay for it, and eventually financing wont cut it, (housing bubble).

    2. Hahaaaaaaaa, good luck starting your own business. First, you must pay the toll to the troll(taxes,permits,insurance etc.,etc). Better have a sh*tload of $ or be an immigrant. You might break even with a barely sustainable existence. That is, unless you have a local politician in your pocket. HAAAAAAHaaaaa. Way too funny.

  4. Charles Koch is correct, just as Ron Paul was when he said the same thing. Minimum wage laws have no place in a free market economy (as ours ounce was). Without such laws, most* entry level workers would earn more and would have more opportunities for training and promotion.

    There are two main obstacles to repealing minimum wage laws:
    1) The corporate interests that originally introduced them.
    2) The ignorant and misinformed general public.

    *Why most? why not all?
    The unfortunate reality is that some people are just not worth a damn, regardless of what they may earn..These are the people who would be unlikely take advantage of opportunities such as free training to improve their marketable knowledge and/or skills.

  5. Eliminating all the billionaires (and millionaires as well) would go a lot further towards helping the poor.

  6. What a travesty of history. In Guantanamo the force feed people and in free America people go hungry to bed.

    So the government takes money away from its own people, in order to murder other people.

    1. And let our disabled/maimed veterans go homeless and hungry. Are we still proud? I love my people,………….. my government? Don’t think so.

  7. Well Koch-head, if you want to eliminate minimum wage… I want to eliminate usury, income tax and home property tax. Those three specifically would put America back on her feet in record time.


    1. flek, better idea, we just hang those Koch-suckers and reclaim all of their ill-gotten gains for We the People.

      1. Aren’t these guys real pieces of work? 43$ billion dollars isn’t enough apparently. They have to have more.

        I say getting rid of all Koch enterprises will help America. None of them pay hardly any tax….

  8. “A conservative mogul worth $43 billion says he knows the secret to helping poor people. According to Charles Koch, the U.S. needs to get rid of the minimum wage, which he counts as a major obstacle to economic growth.”…………… The main obstacle to the poor and to economic growth are thieves like him who are collecting up all the money for themselves. So called trickle down economics was condemned by Jesus. The story of the poor man lazarus waiting on the droppings of the rich man ends with the rich man in hell.

  9. They want to lower the min wage? Oh sorry “eliminate” the minimum wage.
    But everyone knows what that means. It means we’d all be earning 2 dollars
    an hour. You cant live on minimum wage now as it is.

  10. In Michigan the morons have been twisting the already twisted “right to work” into “FREEDOM to WORK”….. “Freedom THROUGH Work” was their sign over the gates of Auschwitz.
    In Michigan the police and Firemen were EXEMPTED from “Freedom to Work” ….. think about that. If “Freedom through work” is such a RIGHT and a BENEFIT …… WHY are they DENYING those glorious rights and benefits to the HEROIC FIRST RESPONDERS !?!?!?!?!?
    Of course the real question is …. “Why are the PEOPLE so STUPID they do not see the duplicity?” Why are the Police and Firemen not DEMANDING “Freedom through Work” for themselves? Why are the People not DEMANDING “Freedom through Work” FOR the P/F????
    And finally, WHY are the People not LYNCHING any Judas-Goat TURNCOAT who advocates “Freedom through Work”?

  11. “I again recommend a law prohibiting all corporations from contributing to the campaign expenses of any party… Let individuals contribute as they desire; but let us prohibit in effective fashion all corporations from making contributions for any political purpose, directly or indirectly.”Teddy Roosevelt added,”The fortunes amassed through corporate organization are now so large, and vest such power in those that wield them, as to make it a matter of necessity to give to the sovereign — that is, to the Government, which represents the people as a whole — some effective power of supervision over their corporate use. In order to insure a healthy social and industrial life, every big corporation should be held responsible by, and be accountable to, some sovereign strong enough to control its conduct.” — Theodore Roosevelt

    “This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations. – How is this?” — From The Diaries of Rutherford B. Hayes, March 11, 1888.

  12. He’s right. Why are people still so mired in stupidity about this?

    Price controls are successful precisely never. There are no magical exceptions for the crying-est of the crybabies.

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