Koch VP: Raising Minimum Wage Leads to Fascism

Another day, another secret recording from the Koch brothers’ annual conclave with politicians. This time it’s Koch Industries Executive Vice-President Richard Fink (how’s that for an appropriate name?) telling the attendees that raising the minimum wage will lead to the Fourth Reich, like it did in Germany. Oh, and poor people are lazy, unlike him. Arguing that raising the minimum wage would lead to 500,000 lost jobs, he said:

FINK: We’re taking these 500,000 people that would’ve had a job and putting them unemployed, making dependence part of government programs, and destroying their opportunity for earned success. And so we see this as a very big part of recruitment in Germany in the twenties. When the Germans were crushed by World War I, the allies put a very strong settlement on that. They lost their meaning in life. And if you look at the rise and fall of the Third Reich … what happens is a fascist comes in and offers them an opportunity.

He also compared this to Lenin, Stalin and Mao. So let’s see, the federal minimum wage was established in this country in 1938 and somehow, magically, we’ve avoided both communism and fascism. Theory disproved. And he began his speech by saying:

I grew up with pretty much very little, okay. And I worked my butt off to get what I have. So I see someone on the street, I said, listen, get off your ass and work hard like we did. We did it, you can do it.

Is that what you say, Mr. Fink (I think I’ll just call him Dick)? Do you say that to the roughly 200,000 homeless veterans, most of whom are on the streets due to PTSD and other problems developed during war? Do you really tell them that?

httpv://youtu.be/tnHDliL9FcM

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  • Chiroptera

    I grew up with pretty much very little, okay. And I worked my butt off to get what I have…

    …And a few lucky breaks and some very good connections didn’t hurt neither.

    So I see someone on the street, I said, listen, get off your ass and work hard like we did. We did it, you can do it.

    So why don’t you hire him? Right there, give him a job. Tell him to start Monday.

    Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  • John Pieret

    Jeebus! Bah humbug? Are there no workhouses? Really? Didn’t he ever read to the end of A Christmas Carol?

  • raven

    Hmmm, what is wrong with Fascism anyway?

    It would be a step up from what the Koch’s, Dick Fink, Langone, and much of the rest of the 1% want.

    The New Feudalism!!!

    They have more money than they can spend in 100 lifetimes. After that, what is left? Power. I guess it is an ego boost when you drive by in your $100,000 Maserati and see crowds of thin, bony people fighting for scraps of food.

    PS: Hear that sound in the distance. Very faint. Someone is tuning up the engines on the Tumbrels. You don’t think they use horses any more. The 21st century is a Hi Tech enlightened age. They use Toyota engines but they are made in the USA.

  • raven

    Dick Fink got the mythology wrong. An astonishing error.

    The minimum wage was passed by Roosevelt, IIRC.

    It’s Commie-ism not Fascism. This is basic right wing fantasy.

    It’s been in effect since decades before I was born and so far, all that has happened is gigantic economic growth making the USA the last superpower.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    He earned everything he’s got, by fighting to convince rich people that they’re worth every penny*. And, even with the odds stacked in his favor, he did. It’s a real riches-to-riches story.

     

    * and that negative externalities aren’t. And also tobacco is good for you.

  • raven

    What always strikes me about the Koch’s, Romney, Fink, etc. is how shorted sighted they are.

    1. It’s known that economic inequality causes political instability, the GINA metric. The USA has become politically unstable within my lifetime.

    2. It’s also known that if the GINA metric gets too high, you get into revolution territory. The French, Russian, various Peasant revolts, etc..

    3. It’s not inevitable. Societies including the USA in the past have resolved this without too much bloodshed.

    But it doesn’t come from the economic elites. Elites never give up power on their own.

  • magistramarla

    It really bugs me when I hear someone brag about growing up with very little and improving their lives by working THEIR butts off without acknowledging the people and programs that helped them to do so.

    I grew up on food stamps and welfare, with an abusive single mother. I got out of that situation and didn’t perpetuate it by studying hard and getting a good education, but I didn’t do it all by myself.

    Without those food stamps and welfare checks, I might not have had the nutrition, the housing and the clothing that I needed to go to school and to use the brain that I have. I’m forever grateful to the taxpayers who funded those programs.

    Without the wonderful examples, the support and the encouragement of my teachers, I would not have been inspired to work hard for scholarships to continue my education. I’m forever grateful to those public school educators.

    I strongly believe in “It takes a village”. Since my mother was too physically and mentally unstable to provide a good example for me, I turned to others in the community, and I’m forever grateful that they were there.

    That is why whenever I hear someone begrudging poor families and children the help that their tax money pays for, I tell them that I happily pay those taxes that support those programs. Those government programs helped me, so now I’m proud to be able to support them and to pay it forward.

  • a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Ah, another “I built this” rethuglican. I suppose he never had the benefit of a publicly funded education. He’s very hard to find info on–Politico has a profile of him. Interestingly, not one mention of his parents or early years other than to say he was a troublemaker up to the age of 18, when he switched to academics after hurting his back.

    This guy can’t even be bothered to consider the role his parents had in his life. Friedrich Hayek would be so proud. I think I’ll take Salma Hayek instead.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    magistramarla “It really bugs me when I hear someone brag about growing up with very little and improving their lives by working THEIR butts off without acknowledging the people and programs that helped them to do so.

    I grew up on food stamps and welfare, with an abusive single mother. I got out of that situation and didn’t perpetuate it by studying hard and getting a good education, but I didn’t do it all by myself.

    Without those food stamps and welfare checks, I might not have had the nutrition, the housing and the clothing that I needed to go to school and to use the brain that I have. I’m forever grateful to the taxpayers who funded those programs.

    Without the wonderful examples, the support and the encouragement of my teachers, I would not have been inspired to work hard for scholarships to continue my education. I’m forever grateful to those public school educators.

    I strongly believe in “It takes a village”. Since my mother was too physically and mentally unstable to provide a good example for me, I turned to others in the community, and I’m forever grateful that they were there.”

    Typical Liberal propaganda! It’s people like you that are ruining this country!

    Unlike you, I earned everything I have, not by Mooching off the teat of the Hardworking American Taxpayer, but honestly, by inheriting it, then going to the same university my father donated a bunch of money to, working hard to make connections with others like me who got to where they were the same way I did, then going out in to the workforce all on my own to a job at my father’s friend’s investment bank, where I worked my fingers to the bone looting pension funds for risky gambles, inflating bubbles, and bonuses. And when those gambles lost money, unlike you we didn’t rush, cap in hand, to the Government for “free” money! No! We called up our friends in Small Government and got reclassified in the dark of night as a commercial bank, and worked our way back to the top by earning money the American Way, by taking money from the Federal Reserve’s Commercial Banking Window and investing it in new risky gambles, inflating bubbles, and bonuses!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360322113 aaronbaker

    I’m just having fun calling him “Dick Fink.”

  • corwyn

    Here’s the math:

    The Koch brothers are worth (together) 84 Billion dollars.

    The interest from that is at least 4 Billion / Year.

    There are around 3.5 Million people earning minimum wage or less.

    Therefore, the Koch brothers could PERSONALLY finance a $0.57 rise in the minimum wage for EVERYONE who currently earns less than that, in perpetuity, without reducing their own wealth at all.

  • scienceavenger

    I grew up with pretty much very little, okay.

    Really? Did you have running water in your home? Food readily available? Never were cold or hot because your parents couldn’t afford the electric bill? Always went straight to the doctor when you were ill? Had books in the house? TV? Never had to move because dad got fired? Could walk to school without fear of gangs? Never stopped and frisked? Always had properly fitting, seasonally appropriate clothing? Had pristine credit when you were 18? A savings account?

    Oh I see. What you meant was you had pretty much very little relative to rich people. Glad we cleared that up.

  • dugglebogey

    Does it really follow that people who work for minimum wage are lazy?

    I would think the opposite were true.

  • felidae

    Many minimum wage earners are dependent on medicaid, food stamps, and the EITC, so raising the minimum wage would LESSEN dependence on Government assistance and shift it to the private sector but this fact seems to escape those on the right Oh, by the way, if the Kochs were interested in jobs, they would increase their investment in physical and human capital

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    It really bugs me when I hear someone brag about growing up with very little and improving their lives by working THEIR butts off without acknowledging the people and programs that helped them to do so.

    I strongly suspect that when he says that he grew up with “very little”, he means “middle class”. Middle class looks like very little when you spend your career as a toady for multi-billionaires, but it’s still a relatively privileged group.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Many minimum wage earners are dependent on medicaid, food stamps, and the EITC, so raising the minimum wage would LESSEN dependence on Government assistance…

    He appears to be parroting the standard right-wing line that the minimum wage increases unemployment, which if true, would increase dependence on government programs. The minimum wage could raise unemployment, but only if the wage were set higher than the output of the least productive workers. Given that the minimum wage is lower today than it has been during times of full employment, that seems highly unlikely. The half-million number he claims is of course completely preposterous.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Arguing that raising the minimum wage would lead to 500,000 lost jobs…

    How many jobs have we lost since 2008 WITHOUT raising the minimum wage?

  • krambc

    Raven @ 6:

    The GINI coefficient. As reported by the CIA

    But that’s just ‘family income’ – measuring ‘wealth’ is better.

    Saving the richest from the affluenza of their wealth addiction and dependency while eliminating poverty can be accomplished in many ways; Land Vale Rent and a ‘Robin Hood’ Tax ought to cover it.

  • whheydt

    Hmmm…. My great-uncle went from an office boy at 14 to member of the inaugural Board of Directors as Board Secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation in a bit over 20 years. I don’t recall any family stories about him spotting the kind of crap coming from Fink. Said great-uncle also had what Fink would consider a major disadvantage in being the son of a (then) recent immigrant. (So far as we can tell my great-grandfather didn’t want to be drafted in the Franco-Prussian War.)