Monday, January 31, 2011

A Report from the Secret Koch Meetings

The Rancho Las Palmas Resort
On Sunday, Tim Carney delivered a speech at the secretive Koch conference being held at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, California. While I'm sure he would be banned from any future Koch event if he as much as disclosed what was served for breakfast, at the two day event, or who used the jacuzzi, he has written a column that does provide some clues as to what is going on at the event.

First, it is clear that the Koch brothers are now on the radar screen of the left. The left was protesting outside the conference. Carney writes:

At the front gates of the Rancho Las Palmas resort, a few hundred liberals rallied Sunday against "corporate greed" and polluters.
What really appears to be developing is a WWF-style battle of the oligarchs. Carney informs us:

The protest's organizer, the nonprofit Common Cause, is funded by billionaire George Soros.
But what is most curious about this event is that Carney writes, it is about: markets and electoral strategies.
Got that, electoral strategies? Now, it is common knowledge that the Koch brothers promote some kind of free market philosophy that supports some Federal Reserve apologists and attempts to stuff free market economists Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard down the memory hole, but what's this electoral strategy all about? Are the Kochs about to launch a support campaign for the two most hardcore free market advocates in Congress, Ron Paul and Rand Paul? Don't hold your breath.

The Koch position on free markets is always a diluted position, support the Fed, discourage discussion of Mises and Rothbard. Their "electoral strategy" appears the similar, discourage discussion of the Pauls. But just who are they supporting? Who really knows? Though Carney does give us a another clue in his column that the "electoral strategy" does appear to be about political influence. He writes that the protesters are:

....against rich people's influence on politics.
His focus is, of course, on the protesters, who support the other oligarch in the ring, Soros, and the contradiction that exists, given the influence that Soros attempts to buy. But, I think Carney has this nailed correctly. The conference is about Koch political influence, rather than the educational type roles and free market advocacy of Ron and Rand Paul. You don't need to influence Ron and Rand Paul, they are as free market as you are going to get.

So the question remains, who do the Kochs want to influence and why?

On this, Carney remains silent.

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