The Corner

Koch in the Line of Fire

Koch Industries is a favorite target of the Left this week. This e-mail went out to all their employees on Friday: 

Koch companies, the Koch family and Koch foundations have worked for more than 40 years to make the world a better place by supporting market-based solutions to society’s challenges. 

That emphasis on market-based solutions is important, because extensive historical and theoretical research shows that economic freedom best fosters innovation, environmental stewardship and an improved quality of life throughout society. 

In recent years we have seen an unprecedented wave of misguided government policies and spending implemented by leaders from both political parties.  The United States is now deeply in debt and making economic decisions with grave implications for our families, our free enterprise system and our country’s future. If these policies continue, they will destroy the economic foundations of our families, company and country. 

In the face of these challenges, we have communicated more frequently with you and become even more involved in the public dialogue in support of market-based policy solutions. The more we work to advance solutions that history shows can make our nation more productive and prosperous, the more negative attention we attract from some of those who are trying to advance the destructive policies we oppose.

We have seen our motives, our positions and our actions misrepresented on the Internet and in the news media, and we don’t expect that to cease anytime soon. Consequently, our goal is to equip you with accurate information that balances inaccuracies and mischaracterizations.

Although a great deal of information about our principles and policies is available on our website and in Discovery newsletter, we have created an additional online hub for helpful information:  Feel free to share this link with anyone who has questions about our record of responsible operations, our market-based policy positions or our ongoing efforts to promote economic freedom. We will update that reference site as appropriate and also try to make you aware of upcoming items when we can.

For example, we expect the New Yorker to run an article about us Monday. Questions we received from the magazine indicated a preconceived agenda. Nevertheless, we submitted extensive facts and background information on our business philosophy, practices and the policies we support. We hope that in the interest of fairness, these facts will be included in the story. However, given that all we provided did not change the negative, unbalanced tone of questions to us (and to others who were interviewed by the publication), we declined their requests to speak to Koch executives. We expect the story will dredge up issues resolved long ago and negatively portray our company, our shareholders and our principles.

We believe policymaking in a free society requires an open and honest airing of all sides, not demonizing and silencing those with whom you disagree. We’ve strived to encourage an intellectually honest debate and have tried to help bring out the facts regarding the potential effectiveness and costs of various policies. We can’t let inaccurate or agenda-driven criticism distract us from the important work we do every day in our businesses and in our communities. All of you, our 50,000 U.S. employees, are part of the economic engine that made this country strong. Thank you for all you do to create real value for customers and society.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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