Friday, March 24, 2006

Koch Industries

Thursday morning running with my CRUD club I learned to my surprise from Eric that Georgia Pacific, the conglomerate forestry/lumber company had been bought lock stock and barrel by Koch Industries, the largest PRIVATELY held corporation in the WORLD, for some $21 Billion. Koch Industries, an $80B company is spending their windfall oil profits to diversify and take formerly public companies TOTALLY private. My running friend Eric recounted how his brother, who works for Georgia Pacific, told of how one man, one owner at Koch has dispersed the Board of Directors for GA-Pacific and is now calling all the shots with no dissension or alternative viewpoints. Imagine--a $21 Billion dollar company under one man who had no prior lumber experience. Reminds me of Stalinist times. Is this where GWB's America is taking us? Concentration of wealth, control by an oligarchy, an oligarchy of permanent landed gentry, destruction of the middle class??

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia has this: Koch Industries:

"Koch was charged with 97 counts of covering up evidence in the case of a benzene spill in Corpus Christi, Texas. The government sought fines as high as $350 million. Four of its employees were also charged with criminal offenses in the case, facing up to 35 years in prison. In 2000, the Justice Department reduced the number of counts from 97 to 11 to nine to seven. Just before the case went to trial - only three months after the Bush administration took office - the Justice Department dropped the remaining seven counts and settled the case for $20 million."

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