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4 Ways the Koch Brothers' Wealth Is Beyond Comprehension

November 24, 2013 in Blogs

By Paul Buchheit, AlterNet

In 2012, David and Charles Koch made enough money in one second to pay the food bill for an entire year for a homeless woman named Beverly.

1. Smiles

Beverly is a middle-aged homeless woman who survives day-by-day on the streets of Chicago. I learned about her from my friend Joe, an advocate for the homeless and a volunteer at a community kitchen on the city's north side. He first noticed Beverly huddled in a theater exitway on a frigid November morning, cup in hand, a pair of crutches leaning against the door behind her. He gave her a little money, and she responded with a smile and a quiet “thank you.” They talked a little bit; she seemed eager to share a few minutes of conversation. She mentioned that she hadn't eaten that day. Since they were too far from, and it was too early for, the community kitchen, Joe offered to buy her a meal. Her favorite was chili, at a lunch spot around the corner.

Charles and David Koch are both members of the .00001%. That's a group of twenty individuals who have a total net worth of over a half-trillion dollars, about $26 billion each. One of David's residences is at 740 Park Avenue, in the most exclusive area of Manhattan. The doorman at the 740 building had this to say about David Koch: “We would load up his trucks — two vans, usually — every weekend, for the Hamptons…multiple guys, in and out, in and out, heavy bags. We would never get a tip from Mr. Koch. We would never get a smile from Mr. Koch. Fifty-dollar check for Christmas.”

2. Comforts

Beverly had made $8 that day, from 8AM to 2PM, a little over a dollar an hour. She needed $22 for a night in a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotel, where she could shower and have some privacy, and most importantly feel safe for a few hours. The alternative was a local mission, where, she said, “You got to sleep with your stuff under you, …read more


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More Problems for GDP

November 24, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Not all of the arguments here are correct, but it shows you the declining validity of government statistics for real life. It is true that we obtain tremendous value from all the free goods of the digital age such as apps, Twitter, and Facebook and are not measure in GDP. However, they do forget to mention that Apple, Twitter, and Facebook do “spend” money into GDP when they buy things, hire workers, and pay the power bill. There ain’t no such thing as a free app.

Caution: the author does raise the robot bogey at the end of the article where “consumers” are made better off by these free technological goods and workers are made worse off, as if both groups were not the same people!


See here for “Gross Domestic Freebie” in the New York, its free.

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