April fool 2011 :-)
In a scene right out of Forrest Gump, industrialists Charles and David Koch have been running the entire 3,000 miles from the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan to the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles. When asked for a motive behind the unusual cross-country endeavor, the two brothers were characteristically reticent, leaving onlookers to speculate that the stunt was obviously meant to gather support for some kind of environmental cause like the promotion of walking or mass transportation or something like that. Indeed, somewhere in the vicinity of Madison, Wisconsin, David Koch was overheard to remark to Charles, “Do you think we can get all kinds of weird people to run after us like Tom Hanks did?”
David and Charles Koch are hardly household names, unless you are a fan of Brawny paper towels, in which case you actually have little pieces of Koch Industries wrapped around that wooden thingy on your kitchen counter. However, the publicity-shy duo have become a force to be reckoned with, kind of like what would happen if the cast of Dynasty decided to pool their residuals and bankroll a totally random guy to run for governor of some totally random state – and somehow win!
Long before embarking on their cross-country run, the Koch brothers quietly gained a reputation for doing things in the American way, through hard work and rugged individualism. They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, helped only by a giant fortune amassed by a close relative, and eventually created the second largest privately held company in the U.S., which also happens to be, coincidentally, one of the top ten best companies at doing other stuff.
Though going out of their way to avoid the limelight, recently the Koch brothers have started to respond to the public’s insatiable curiosity to know more about their thoughts, one recent example being an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, written by Charles Koch himself (you can tell it wasn’t ghost written because, well just because). Explaining how so many companies have done so well under the American system of government, Charles refrained from doing that thing that entertainers do at the Grammys and Emmys and Oscars or whatever; in other words, he did not give thanks to a higher power, he gave credit where credit is due, namely, to the government:
Too many businesses* have successfully lobbied for special favors and treatment by seeking mandates for their products, subsidies (in the form of cash payments from the government), and regulations or tariffs to keep more efficient competitors at bay.
*ed. note, here he is obviously referring to oil and coal businesses and stuff like that.
Anyways, we’re all looking forward to the end of this epic run and learning about whatever big environmental announcement is coming up next from the Koch brothers whenever they get a chance to catch their breaths. Stay tuned!
Image: Giant shrimp by Global Jet on flickr.com.