Episode

9/9 Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries w/ Christopher Leonard

Good morning, journalist Christopher Leonard joins Sam to discuss his new book The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America. Join us at noon ET. Leonard’s latest work has received high praise from leading journalists like Jane Mayer and Bryan Burrough because of its exhaustive research into the Koch’s incredible private business network that exists across all planes of American life. Leonard explains how the Koch’s business portfolio and its commodity research put the family business in the middle of all American life, from the things we buy to the government that legislates our society. Sam and Leonard explore the contradictions at the heart of the Koch family’s libertarian philosophies, where the Kochs are the entrenched status-quo benefiting from government environmental policies and government subsidies which allow their oil refineries to thrive. Another foundational element of the Koch Brothers success is its status as a private company. Charles Koch never needed to answer to shareholders and could reinvest profits into the company, buy competitors, and enter new industries essential to American consumers. Sam and Leonard conclude their discussion examining the anti-union practices designed by Koch Industries and how those methods have increased worker productivity and reduced real wages over the past three decades. Looking towards the post-Charles Koch Industries, Leonard believes the future is still uncertain. While Charles’ son Chase seems groomed for the next generation of Koch leadership, Leonard also thinks Charles’ thinking has been embedded in the company’s culture and will live on well after the longtime CEO’s death. 

And in the Fun Half: CBP and USCIS test a border shutdown scenario with Bahaman refugees, Mike Pompeo threatens Taliban with war, Ben Shapiro says we can’t make policy because of personal or moral failings, the case for reparations in 2019, the latest polls and reading the tea leaves of Biden’s campaign, the popularity of the Green New Deal, what the next recession might look like, Pam Anderson explains her support for Julian Assange on The View, Elizabeth Warren pivots away from questions about her foreign policy and military budget votes, Mark Sanford thinks conservatives will vote for him in a 2020 GOP primary because of the deficit, a gun goes off outside an Alabama HS football game and we’re freer than ever, plus your calls and IMs!

Become a member of the Majority Report today, join here!

Check out today’s sponsors:
Blinkist: Blinkist is an app that compiles the key takeaways from thousands of nonfiction books: Go to Blinkist.com/MAJORITY to start your free 7-day trial and 25% off your first year!

Quip
 is the remarkably simple electric toothbrush created by dentists and product designers to focus on what actually matters for your oral health:  starts at just TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS and you’ll get your first refill FREE at GETQUIP.com/majority

Get your tickets to the Michael Brooks live show in Philadelphia on Saturday November 23rd (the weekend before thanksgiving) with special guests Krystal Ball and Emma Vigeland! Get your tickets here.

Check out Jamie’s write-up of the 2019 DSA convention at Commune Magazine!

Check out The Michael Brooks Show at patreon.com/tmbs, and the new TMBS YouTube channel for all short TMBS clips

Check out Matt’s podcast, Literary Hangover, at Patreon.com/LiteraryHangover or on iTunes.

Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada, at patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or on the new Antifada Youtube channel

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

@SamSeder

@_michaelbrooks

@MattLech

@jamie_elizabeth

@Bf1nn