Category Archives: The Conservative Agenda

How to Really Make America Great Again


Don the Con wheedled his way into the presidency with his brand of sloganeering and snake oil, sticking his opponents with his snide names and claiming he would “make America great again.” His administration appointments in the past several weeks provide a clue to what exactly that means: more trickle down, less regulation, and a heapin’ helpin’ of radical right. He has awakened the beast and now he has to feed it. Of course, he’s already backing off some of his signature bluster he used to rouse the rabble—maybe not a wall but a nice fence. Maybe he wouldn’t throw Hillary into jail.

But if he sincerely (and I use the term loosely) wanted to make America great again, statistics provide a wealth of information on how the United States has slipped relative to the rest of the developed world. What follows is just a portion of the categories we’ve fallen behind in, followed by extensive excerpts on some of these failings from the recent book American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper, by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. As a New York Times book review remarked on the book’s thesis:

The country has been brainwashed by a powerful alliance of forces hostile to government: big business, especially Wall Street, spending unparalleled lobbying dollars to advance its narrow self-interest; a new wealthy elite propagating wrongheaded Ayn Randian notions that free markets are always good and government always bad; and a Republican Party using a strategy of attacking and weakening government as a way to win more power for itself.

In 2013, the Huffington Post ( published the following figures of our ranking in the world on these various categories:

“Child Well-Being in Rich Countries” ranks 29 developed countries, according to the well-being of their children, on numerous factors.

The U.S. ranks #26 overall for “Child Well-Being.” This overall rank includes: #26 for “Material Well-Being”; #28 for “Child Poverty Rates”; #25 for “Health and Safety”; #26 for “Infant Mortality Rates”; #26 for “Low Birthweight”; #22 for “Immunization Rates”; #27 for “Educational Well-Being”; #27 for “Preschool Enrollment Rates”; #25 for “Participation in Further Education”; #16 for “Educational Achievement by Age 15”; #29 for “Overweight”; #2 for “Exercise”; #29 for teen-pregnancy rates; #1 for “Alcohol” (U.S. receives the top rank for absence of drunkenness); #4 for “Smoking” (again, absence); #11 for “Fighting”; #12 for “Being Bullied”; #23 for “Housing”; #27 for “Homicide”; #3 for (lack of) “Air Pollution”; #23 for children’s self-reported “Life Satisfaction”; and #28 for “Relationships with Parents and Peers.”

A much broader ranking-system, from the World Economic Forum, is “The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013,” which ranks 144 countries, on a wide range of factors related to global economic competitiveness.

These include the following:

  • #34 on “Life Expectancy”
  • #41 on “Infant Mortality” (unlike the “Infant Mortality” rankings from UNICEF, this ranking is among 144 countries—thus some underdeveloped countries actually have higher life-expectancy than does the U.S.)
  • #38 on “Quality of Primary Education”
  • #58 on “Primary Education Enrollment Rate”
  • #28 on “Quality of the Educational System”
  • #47 on “Quality of Math and Science Education”
  • #12 on “PCT [Patent Cooperation Treaty] Patent Applications [per-capita]”
  • #14 on “Firm-Level Technology Absorption” (which is an indicator of business-acceptance of inventions), we are #14.

Trust is likewise only moderately high in the U.S.:

  • #10 on “Willingness to Delegate Authority”
  • #42 on “Cooperation in Labor-Employer Relations”
  • #18 in “Degree of Customer Orientation”

Corruption seems to be a rather pervasive problem in the U.S.:

  • #34 on “Diversion of Public Funds [due to corruption]”
  • #42 on “Irregular Payments and Bribes” (which is perhaps an even better measure of lack of corruption)
  • #54 on “Public Trust in Politicians”
  • #38 on “Judicial Independence”
  • #59 on “Favoritism in Decisions of Government Officials” (otherwise known as governmental “cronyism”)
  • #87 on “Organized Crime”
  • #29 on “Ethical Behavior of Firms”
  • #30 on “Reliability of Police Services”
  • #56 on “Transparency of Governmental Policymaking”
  • #37 on “Efficiency of Legal Framework in Challenging Regulations”
  • #35 on “Efficiency of Legal Framework in Settling Disputes”

Investors evidently find somewhat shaky ground in the U.S.

  • #33 on “Protection of Minority Shareholders’ Interests”
  • #23 on “Efficacy of Corporate Boards”
  • #19 on “Reliance on Professional Management”
  • #37 on “Strength of Auditing and Reporting Standards”
  • #80 on “Soundness of Banks”
  • #39 on “Regulation of Securities Exchanges”

* * * *

In American Amnesia, a well-annotated book for someone interested in their research, Hacker and Pierson write that the evidence of our drift downwards towards the Third World is evident in many ways:

Americans are no longer the tallest people in the world. Not even close: Once three inches taller than residents of the Old World, on average, Americans are now about three inches shorter. The average Dutch height for men is six foot one, and for women, five foot eight—versus five foot nine for American men and five foot five for American women. . . .

Because height is a powerful indicator of social and individual health, America’s relative decline should ring alarms. Our young are coming up short, relative not just to gains in stature of the past but also to gains in stature in other rich nations. . . .

So it is more than a little disconcerting that health is also where the United States does most poorly compared with other rich nations. In 2013, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences released a mammoth report with a self-explanatory title: U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. “The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world,” the report began, “but it is far from the healthiest. . . . Americans live shorter lives and experience more injuries and illnesses than people in other high-income countries.”

On virtually all measures, according to the report, the United States is losing ground rapidly to other rich nations. At midcentury, Americans were generally healthier than citizens of other rich nations, and as late as 1980, they were still not far from the middle of the pack. Since then, however other rich countries have seen rapid health gains. The United States has not.

Take life expectancy at birth—the easiest statistic to track, since death records are generally reliable and consistent across nations. The National Academies study looked at seventeen rich nations. Among these, the United States ranked seventeenth for men in 2011 (life expectancy: 76.3 years, a full 4.2 years shorter than the top-ranking nation). It ranked an equally dismal seventeenth for women (81.1 years, 4.8 years shorter than the top-ranking nation. . . .

The relative decline has been particularly steep for an unlikely group: middle-aged white adults. In a groundbreaking 2015 study, the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton (the latter the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics that same year) dug into the mortality statistics to examine how and why the American experience departed so starkly from the international norm. Their startling result: Whites ages forty-five to fifty-four were dying at higher rates in 2013 than they had been in 1999, even as every other rich country had seen dramatic drops in mortality in this age group. . . . The only other example of such a shocking loss of life in recent decades is the AIDS epidemic.

The authors noted that this is particularly true among those citizens who might have been Trump’s biggest supporters:

The trend was most devastating for whites with a high school diploma or less. In 2013 there were 736 deaths per 100,000 people within this group, up from 601 per 100,000 in 1999. (By comparison, the death rate for people in this age group in Canada fell from around 300 per 100,000 in 1999 to just under 249 per 100,000 in 2011.) But those who had gone to college but not received a degree saw no distinguishable improvement in death rates either—even as, again, such rates plummeted abroad. Only among whites with a college degree did death rates fall substantially over this period. In 2013, white adults in the forty-five- to fifty-four-year-old age group with no more than a high school diploma were more than four times as likely to die as those with a college degree.

To be clear, many measures of health are improving in the United States. But they are improving much more slowly than in other countries. One grim statistic commonly used by demographers is the chance that a fifteen-year-old will die before age fifty. For American women, it’s 4 percent: four in a hundred women die between fifteen and fifty. The average for other rich nations is around 2 percent, and, on average, death rates in these nations fell below 4 percent almost forty years ago. We are more than a generation behind.

A similar story can be told about infant mortality, or deaths of children before their first birthday. In 1960 infant mortality in the United States was lower than in the majority of other rich nations. In recent decades, however, America has seen limited improvement, while death rates for infants have continued to plummet abroad. In 2011 the average rate of infant death in other rich nations was 1 child for every 300 or so births. In the United States, it was roughly twice that—1 child for every 164 births. That year, the only countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with higher rates of infant mortality were Chile, Mexico, and Turkey.

This unimpressive performance is particularly striking because the United States spends so much more on health care than other rich nations do—roughly twice as much per person. Of course, medical care is not the only or even the most important determinant of health. But the United States does poorly even where health care matters most. For almost every cause—from injuries to diseases—death rates are the highest or nearly the highest in the United States. And we have the highest rate of what health experts call “amenable mortality”: deaths that could have been prevented with the provision of timely and effective care. Despite high spending, we are falling behind other rich nations in reducing such preventable deaths. We don’t see our relative decline because we are getting better at preventing death. But we’re getting better far too slowly for a rich nation.

This problem in our healthcare system—a lack of universal insurance, the stranglehold Big Pharm has on pricing, and so forth—is well documented elsewhere, but the authors don’t stop there. They touch next on education, where we once led the pack:

As the Harvard economists Lawrence Katz and Claudia Goldin show in their revelatory The Race Between Education and Technology, we bolted decades ahead of other Western nations in the spread of elementary and then high schools during the twentieth century, and we were the world leader in college education in the immediate decades after World War II. No more. The United States is now a mediocre performer in international education rankings. . . . The United States now ranks twentieth out of twenty-seven OECD nations in the share of young people expected to finish high school.

A measure of that, of course, is attributable to the school-to-prison pipeline, duly noted:

Another reason is that young adults behind bars disappear from the statistics. In most rich nations, this distinction makes little difference because incarceration is so rare. In the United States—which incarcerates roughly ten times as high a share of the population (eight in a thousand versus fewer than one in a thousand in most other advanced industrial democracies)—it makes a real difference, especially for demographic groups with the highest rates of incarceration. Indeed, the high school dropout rate for young black men is more than 40 percent higher when we include in our count the incarcerated, wiping out all the apparent gains in their high school completion since the late 1980s. Here again, conventional indicators present an overly sunny picture of our relative performance.

The big story, however, is our relative decline in higher education. The United States has many of the finest institutions of higher education in the world. The problem is that the share of young people getting a degree is rising much more slowly in the United States than in other OECD nations. One reason is the erosion of public support through federal grants and state universities, leaving students and their families much more reliant on loans. Once without peer, the United States has fallen to nineteenth in college completion in the OECD, and the gap in completion between higher-income and lower-income students has widened. Older Americans are the most educated in the world. Younger Americans, not even close.

Much of the discrepancy can be laid on the inequality of educational opportunity. The push now—among people like Trump’s choice of Betsy DeVos to lead the Education Department—is for public funding of charter schools, in the form of vouchers. These schools have shown to be no better (and often worse) than their public counterparts. They not only siphon funds from public education; the money is also used to pay CEO salaries and the like. And as some reports have noted, the net effect in some states is that the schools are now more segregated than they were in the Fifties.

And if the United States as a whole is in the breakdown lane, some Americans are barely getting on the road. At least as striking as our poor performance among the young is how unequal educational opportunities in the United States are. Decades after de jure integration of schools and the famous 1966 Coleman Report on the subpar schooling of the poor, we remain a nation with gaps in educational quality, funding, and outcomes that are far greater than the norm for developed democracies. These gaps not only thwart the upward progress of tens of millions of Americans but hold back our economy overall.

Since the 1960s, the divide in test scores between children from high-income families and those from low-income families has grown by more than a third; it is now twice as large as the gap between blacks and whites. Yet the United States is one of the few nations that finances schools primarily through local property taxes, which magnifies unequal opportunity. As one OECD researcher puts it, “The vast majority of OECD countries either invest equally in every student or disproportionately more in disadvantaged students. The US is one of the few countries doing the opposite.”

Inequality of opportunity begins early, and it costs everyone. Good pre-K education, for example, more than pays off in higher growth and tax receipts and lower public costs, from social assistance to incarceration. Yet the United States ranks twenty-fifth in the OECD in the share of three-year-olds in early childhood education, and even lower, twenty-eighth, when it comes to four-year-olds.

And, of course, the big one: income. Here, the trends of trickle-down economics are most apparent:

Historically, economists have considered national income per capita the best single measure of the standard of living of middle-class citizens. For much of the twentieth century, it was. Since the early 1970s, however, the link has broken. The American economy is more and more productive, and national income has continued to grow smartly (if more slowly than before). But these gains have not translated into substantially higher wages for most Americans. The typical hourly earnings of American workers—adjusting for inflation and including the escalating cost of medical benefits—rose only 10 percent between 1973 and 2011. That works out to an annual raise of 0.27 percent.

But American families have grown significantly richer, right? Yes and no. Between the early 1970s and the late 1990s, the typical household’s income increased from around $49,000 to almost $57,000 (after adjusting for inflation). Yet the wage stagnation of the 2000s and the financial crisis that closed out the decade wiped out all of the gains created by the strong economy of the 1990s, leaving typical households about where typical households were in 1989. . . .

Just as important, the overriding reason the typical family earns a little more today is not more pay per hour but more paychecks per household, as women have moved into the paid workforce. This change isn’t because the United States has led the world in female employment. (In 2010 America was seventeenth in the OECD in the share of women in paid employment, down from sixth in 1990. It’s because US workers, both male and female, work many more hours than workers in other countries do—and the gap is growing. . . .

Where did all the growth go? The answer, it turns out, is simple: It went to the top, especially the very top. When it comes to inequality, the United States once looked relatively similar to other rich countries. Today it’s the most unequal rich nation in the world by a large margin. However else that matters, the increasing concentration of income at the top drives a wedge between overall economic growth and the income gains of most households. When a rising tide lifts all boats, economic growth is a better measure of ordinary Americans’ living standards than when a rising tide lifts only yachts.

You can see the disparity even more clearly when you look at wealth: housing, stocks, bonds, and all the other assets that people hold to weather economic shocks and build their future. Americans’ average net wealth is an impressive $301,000, the fourth highest in the world, behind only Switzerland, Australia, and Norway. Median net wealth—the amount held by someone exactly in the middle of the distribution—is another story. The typical American adult has just $45,000, which places the United States nineteenth in the world, behind every rich country but Israel (including such “economic heavyweights” as Spain and Taiwan). The obvious reason for the difference is that wealth is so unequal across American households. The richest 1 percent own more than a third of the nation’s wealth; the top 10 percent, more than three-quarters. No other rich country comes close to this level of concentration at the top.

Beginning with the Reagan years and its huge tax cuts for the upper crust, wealth disparity has skyrocketed. And the vaunted notion of the Horatio Alger success story—going from rags to riches—has been laid bare.

Today, however, the frontier is gone, and so is America’s mobility advantage. Indeed, the United States now has close to the lowest level of upward mobility in the advanced industrial world: lower than in Tocqueville’s France, lower than in Sombart’s Germany, and lower—much lower—than in our northern neighbor, Canada. Roughly two in three Americans born in the bottom fifth of incomes either stay there (42 percent) or rise just into the next fifth (23 percent). An American boy whose dad is in the bottom fifth has only a 30 percent chance of climbing into the top half. A Canadian boy has a 38 percent chance. This 8-point difference might seem small, but it’s not. With 138 million American men, 8 percentage points represent 2 million boys escaping the bottom fifth into the top half.

Again it’s the youngest of the young who are most disadvantaged. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has compiled a composite index of the “material well-being” of children in developed countries, which takes into account various measures of childhood poverty and material deprivation (lack of access to regular meals, for example). In the most recent report, the United States ranked twenty-sixth out of twenty-nine developed nations. First in the standings was the Netherlands, where soon-to-be-giants are born. UNICEF has produced its index since the early 2000s. The United States was one of only five nations that were ‘below average at that time yet failed to improve kids’ material well-being in the following decade. The other four were Greece, Hungary, Italy, and Spain.

The government role in research and development of new science and technology, once a hallmark of American exceptionalism, has shrunk to the extent that it could, as the zealots suggest, be drowned in a bathtub:

Though government promotion and funding of science has a long history, it expanded dramatically during World War II and continued afterward with the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other public agencies that supported training in science and engineering and financed research in the private sector and academia. In the quarter century after World War II; the United States didn’t just lead the world in R&D funding. It owned the field. Well into the 1960s, the federal government spent more than the combined total of all R&D spending by governments and businesses outside the United States. The fruits of these investments ranged from radar and GPS, to advanced medical technology, to robotics and the computer systems that figure in nearly every modern technology. Far from crowding out private R&D, moreover, these public investments spurred additional private innovation. The computer pioneers who developed better and smaller systems not only relied on publicly fostered breakthroughs in technology; they also would have found little market for their most-profitable products if not for the internet, GPS, and other government-sponsored platforms for the digital revolution.

That was then. Over the last half century, R&D spending by the federal government has plummeted as a share of the economy, falling from a peak of nearly 2 percent of GDP in the mid-1960s to around 0.7 percent in the late 1990s, before rebounding slightly in recent years. Between 1987 and 2008, federal expenditures were essentially flat once inflation is taken into account (rising 0.3 percent a year). The United States now ranks ninth in the world in government R&D expenditures as a share of the economy. The majority of this spending, however, is for defense-related projects, which have fewer positive spillovers than nondefense R&D does. Take out defense, and the United States ranks thirty-ninth in government R&D spending as a share of the economy. . . .

We are not talking just about dollars and cents. We are talking about lives. Consider one chilling example: drug-resistant infections. As America’s breakthroughs in antibiotics recede into the past, bacteria are evolving to defeat current antibiotics. For more and more infections, we are plunging back into the pre-antibiotic era. In the United States alone, two million people are sickened and tens of thousands die each year from drug-resistant infections—mostly because private companies see little incentive to invest in the necessary research, and the federal government has failed to step in. . . .

And health research has fared better than most areas. Public investment of all sorts and by all tiers of government has reached the lowest level since demobilization after the Second World War. Until the 1970s, gross investment by the public sector—R&D plus investment in physical capital—averaged around 7 percent of GDP. It fell below 6 percent in the 1970s and 1980s, and below 4 percent in the 1990s and 2000s. It is now at 3.6 percent and falling. The biggest crunch is in infrastructure: roads, bridges, water supplies, communications networks, public buildings, and the like. These are among the most productive investments governments make, with average rates of return that are probably several times higher than those of typical private investments. And American infrastructure was once the envy of the world: The interstate highway system started under President Eisenhower—a Republican—eventually stretched over forty-two thousand miles, at a cost (in present dollars) of $493 billion. But the investment paid off, accounting for almost a third of the increase in the nation’s economic productivity in the late 1950s and around a quarter in the 1960s.

American infrastructure is no longer the envy of the world. The World Economic Forum, the Davos-based center of business-oriented thinking, ranks the United States fifteenth in the quality of railway structures, sixteenth in the quality of roads, and ninth in transportation infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States would have to spend $3.6 trillion more than currently budgeted just to bring our infrastructure up to acceptable levels by 2020. China and India are spending almost 10 percent of GDP on infrastructure; Europe, around 5 percent. Even Mexico spends just over 3 percent. The United States has not broken 3 percent once since the mid-1970s.

And this doesn’t begin to address the problems of pollution so blithely ignored by the powers that be as well as the ecological risks—i.e., global warming—facing the nation.

[T]he United States, once the unquestioned leader in addressing pollution and other ecological risks, lags behind the rich world on most measures of environmental performance. It emits more carbon dioxide per person than any affluent country besides tiny Luxembourg—roughly twice as much as Germany and Japan, and more than threetimes as much as France and Sweden. The widely respected Yale Environmental Performance Index, which assesses air and water pollution and other key environmental outcomes as well as measures relevant to climate change, ranked the United States thirty-third in the world in 2014—two spots down from its similarly uninspiring ranking of thirty-first a decade earlier.

We have seen how far we have to go in tackling the dangerous warming of our planet—a challenge that cannot be addressed without the leadership of the world’s sole superpower and second-largest carbon emitter. But consider a very different emerging challenge where lack of an effective response is literally weighing down America’s future.

A larger share of Americans are obese than in any other rich country. Defined as having a body mass index of 30 or higher (roughly two hundred-plus pounds for a five-foot-eight person), obesity now afflicts more than one in three adults and one in six children, compared with around one in seven people or fewer in most European countries. Individual medical costs associated with obesity are on par with those of smoking. In the aggregate, obesity accounts for a tenth of health spending in the United States, generating $270 billion in total economic cost due to medical bills, mortality, and disability. When additional consequences of obesity are factored in—lower earnings, lost work time, reduced productivity—the costs are even more staggering.

The basic causes are no mystery: Americans have become more sedentary, and they consume more calories than they once did. Even small differences in activity and diet can add up: One soda a day—a twelve-ounce can, not the megacups that are served at fast-food restaurants (KFC’s “Mega Jug” is sixty-four ounces)—adds up to 55,000 additional calories and fifteen extra pounds a year. And once again, adding up all these individual changes across the population leads to enormous effects (no pun intended), such as $270 billion in higher health spending a year. It’s often said that obesity is a personal problem. But people’s basic biological desire for fat and sugar hasn’t changed in the last few decades; their environment has. And American food policy—including federal subsidies for sugar and high-fructose corn syrup—has played a major role in shaping that environment.

Want a vivid image of how American bodies have changed? The average American woman now weighs around 165 pounds. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that’s essentially what the average American man weighed in 1960. (Today’s average man is around 195 pounds.) Americans were once the tallest people in the advanced industrial world. We are now not just among the shortest but also far and away the heaviest. Where once we towered over others when standing, now we only do so when everyone is lying down.

So you want to make America great again, Mr. President-elect? These are just some of the ways we’ve been found lacking, and it’s not because we don’t give free rein to the banksters or Wall Street CEOs, or a bigger share of the pie to those one-percenters. And the cure isn’t cutting regulations for our long-suffering corporate overlords or letting them park even more money offshore. The facts are there for all to see, though in your fact-free administration this may be a problem.

The Powell Memo, August 23, 1971

Confidential Memorandum: Attack of American Free Enterprise System

DATE: August 23, 1971
TO: Mr. Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chairman, Education Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
FROM: Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

This memorandum is submitted at your request as a basis for the discussion on August 24 with Mr. Booth (executive vice president) and others at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The purpose is to identify the problem, and suggest possible avenues of action for further consideration.

Dimensions of the Attack

No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack. This varies in scope, intensity, in the techniques employed, and in the level of visibility.

There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism). Also, there always have been critics of the system, whose criticism has been wholesome and constructive so long as the objective was to improve rather than to subvert or destroy.

But what now concerns us is quite new in the history of America. We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few extremists or even from the minority socialist cadre. Rather, the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.

Sources of the Attack

The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history. But they remain a small minority, and are not yet the principal cause for concern.

The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.

Moreover, much of the media-for varying motives and in varying degrees-either voluntarily accords unique publicity to these “attackers,” or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes. This is especially true of television, which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes and emotions of our people.

One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction.

The campuses from which much of the criticism emanates are supported by (i) tax funds generated largely from American business, and (ii) contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees of our universities overwhelmingly are composed of men and women who are leaders in the system.

Most of the media, including the national TV systems, are owned and theoretically controlled by corporations which depend upon profits, and the enterprise system to survive.

Tone of the Attack

This memorandum is not the place to document in detail the tone, character, or intensity of the attack. The following quotations will suffice to give one a general idea:

William Kunstler, warmly welcomed on campuses and listed in a recent student poll as the “American lawyer most admired,” incites audiences as follows:

“You must learn to fight in the streets, to revolt, to shoot guns. We will learn to do all of the things that property owners fear.”2 The New Leftists who heed Kunstler’s advice increasingly are beginning to act — not just against military recruiting offices and manufacturers of munitions, but against a variety of businesses: “Since February, 1970, branches (of Bank of America) have been attacked 39 times, 22 times with explosive devices and 17 times with fire bombs or by arsonists.”3 Although New Leftist spokesmen are succeeding in radicalizing thousands of the young, the greater cause for concern is the hostility of respectable liberals and social reformers. It is the sum total of their views and influence which could indeed fatally weaken or destroy the system.

A chilling description of what is being taught on many of our campuses was written by Stewart Alsop:

“Yale, like every other major college, is graduating scores of bright young men who are practitioners of ‘the politics of despair.’ These young men despise the American political and economic system . . . (their) minds seem to be wholly closed. They live, not by rational discussion, but by mindless slogans.”4 A recent poll of students on 12 representative campuses reported that: “Almost half the students favored socialization of basic U.S. industries.”5

A visiting professor from England at Rockford College gave a series of lectures entitled “The Ideological War Against Western Society,” in which he documents the extent to which members of the intellectual community are waging ideological warfare against the enterprise system and the values of western society. In a foreword to these lectures, famed Dr. Milton Friedman of Chicago warned: “It (is) crystal clear that the foundations of our free society are under wide-ranging and powerful attack — not by Communist or any other conspiracy but by misguided individuals parroting one another and unwittingly serving ends they would never intentionally promote.”6

Perhaps the single most effective antagonist of American business is Ralph Nader, who — thanks largely to the media — has become a legend in his own time and an idol of millions of Americans. A recent article in Fortune speaks of Nader as follows:

“The passion that rules in him — and he is a passionate man — is aimed at smashing utterly the target of his hatred, which is corporate power. He thinks, and says quite bluntly, that a great many corporate executives belong in prison — for defrauding the consumer with shoddy merchandise, poisoning the food supply with chemical additives, and willfully manufacturing unsafe products that will maim or kill the buyer. He emphasizes that he is not talking just about ‘fly-by-night hucksters’ but the top management of blue chip business.”7

A frontal assault was made on our government, our system of justice, and the free enterprise system by Yale Professor Charles Reich in his widely publicized book: “The Greening of America,” published last winter.

The foregoing references illustrate the broad, shotgun attack on the system itself. There are countless examples of rifle shots which undermine confidence and confuse the public. Favorite current targets are proposals for tax incentives through changes in depreciation rates and investment credits. These are usually described in the media as “tax breaks,” “loop holes” or “tax benefits” for the benefit of business. As viewed by a columnist in the Post, such tax measures would benefit “only the rich, the owners of big companies.”8

It is dismaying that many politicians make the same argument that tax measures of this kind benefit only “business,” without benefit to “the poor.” The fact that this is either political demagoguery or economic illiteracy is of slight comfort. This setting of the “rich” against the “poor,” of business against the people, is the cheapest and most dangerous kind of politics.

The Apathy and Default of Business

What has been the response of business to this massive assault upon its fundamental economics, upon its philosophy, upon its right to continue to manage its own affairs, and indeed upon its integrity?

The painfully sad truth is that business, including the boards of directors’ and the top executives of corporations great and small and business organizations at all levels, often have responded — if at all — by appeasement, ineptitude and ignoring the problem. There are, of course, many exceptions to this sweeping generalization. But the net effect of such response as has been made is scarcely visible.

In all fairness, it must be recognized that businessmen have not been trained or equipped to conduct guerrilla warfare with those who propagandize against the system, seeking insidiously and constantly to sabotage it. The traditional role of business executives has been to manage, to produce, to sell, to create jobs, to make profits, to improve the standard of living, to be community leaders, to serve on charitable and educational boards, and generally to be good citizens. They have performed these tasks very well indeed.

But they have shown little stomach for hard-nose contest with their critics, and little skill in effective intellectual and philosophical debate.

A column recently carried by the Wall Street Journal was entitled: “Memo to GM: Why Not Fight Back?”9 Although addressed to GM by name, the article was a warning to all American business. Columnist St. John said:

“General Motors, like American business in general, is ‘plainly in trouble’ because intellectual bromides have been substituted for a sound intellectual exposition of its point of view.” Mr. St. John then commented on the tendency of business leaders to compromise with and appease critics. He cited the concessions which Nader wins from management, and spoke of “the fallacious view many businessmen take toward their critics.” He drew a parallel to the mistaken tactics of many college administrators: “College administrators learned too late that such appeasement serves to destroy free speech, academic freedom and genuine scholarship. One campus radical demand was conceded by university heads only to be followed by a fresh crop which soon escalated to what amounted to a demand for outright surrender.”

One need not agree entirely with Mr. St. John’s analysis. But most observers of the American scene will agree that the essence of his message is sound. American business “plainly in trouble”; the response to the wide range of critics has been ineffective, and has included appeasement; the time has come — indeed, it is long overdue — for the wisdom, ingenuity and resources of American business to be marshalled against those who would destroy it.

Responsibility of Business Executives

What specifically should be done? The first essential — a prerequisite to any effective action — is for businessmen to confront this problem as a primary responsibility of corporate management.

The overriding first need is for businessmen to recognize that the ultimate issue may be survival — survival of what we call the free enterprise system, and all that this means for the strength and prosperity of America and the freedom of our people.

The day is long past when the chief executive officer of a major corporation discharges his responsibility by maintaining a satisfactory growth of profits, with due regard to the corporation’s public and social responsibilities. If our system is to survive, top management must be equally concerned with protecting and preserving the system itself. This involves far more than an increased emphasis on “public relations” or “governmental affairs” — two areas in which corporations long have invested substantial sums.

A significant first step by individual corporations could well be the designation of an executive vice president (ranking with other executive VP’s) whose responsibility is to counter-on the broadest front-the attack on the enterprise system. The public relations department could be one of the foundations assigned to this executive, but his responsibilities should encompass some of the types of activities referred to subsequently in this memorandum. His budget and staff should be adequate to the task.

Possible Role of the Chamber of Commerce

But independent and uncoordinated activity by individual corporations, as important as this is, will not be sufficient. Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.

Moreover, there is the quite understandable reluctance on the part of any one corporation to get too far out in front and to make itself too visible a target.

The role of the National Chamber of Commerce is therefore vital. Other national organizations (especially those of various industrial and commercial groups) should join in the effort, but no other organizations appear to be as well situated as the Chamber. It enjoys a strategic position, with a fine reputation and a broad base of support. Also — and this is of immeasurable merit — there are hundreds of local Chambers of Commerce which can play a vital supportive role.

It hardly need be said that before embarking upon any program, the Chamber should study and analyze possible courses of action and activities, weighing risks against probable effectiveness and feasibility of each. Considerations of cost, the assurance of financial and other support from members, adequacy of staffing and similar problems will all require the most thoughtful consideration.

The Campus

The assault on the enterprise system was not mounted in a few months. It has gradually evolved over the past two decades, barely perceptible in its origins and benefiting (sic) from a gradualism that provoked little awareness much less any real reaction.

Although origins, sources and causes are complex and interrelated, and obviously difficult to identify without careful qualification, there is reason to believe that the campus is the single most dynamic source. The social science faculties usually include members who are unsympathetic to the enterprise system. They may range from a Herbert Marcuse, Marxist faculty member at the University of California at San Diego, and convinced socialists, to the ambivalent liberal critic who finds more to condemn than to commend. Such faculty members need not be in a majority. They are often personally attractive and magnetic; they are stimulating teachers, and their controversy attracts student following; they are prolific writers and lecturers; they author many of the textbooks, and they exert enormous influence — far out of proportion to their numbers — on their colleagues and in the academic world.

Social science faculties (the political scientist, economist, sociologist and many of the historians) tend to be liberally oriented, even when leftists are not present. This is not a criticism per se, as the need for liberal thought is essential to a balanced viewpoint. The difficulty is that “balance” is conspicuous by its absence on many campuses, with relatively few members being of conservatives or moderate persuasion and even the relatively few often being less articulate and aggressive than their crusading colleagues.

This situation extending back many years and with the imbalance gradually worsening, has had an enormous impact on millions of young American students. In an article in Barron’s Weekly, seeking an answer to why so many young people are disaffected even to the point of being revolutionaries, it was said: “Because they were taught that way.”10 Or, as noted by columnist Stewart Alsop, writing about his alma mater: “Yale, like every other major college, is graduating scores’ of bright young men … who despise the American political and economic system.”

As these “bright young men,” from campuses across the country, seek opportunities to change a system which they have been taught to distrust — if not, indeed “despise” — they seek employment in the centers of the real power and influence in our country, namely: (i) with the news media, especially television; (ii) in government, as “staffers” and consultants at various levels; (iii) in elective politics; (iv) as lecturers and writers, and (v) on the faculties at various levels of education.

Many do enter the enterprise system — in business and the professions — and for the most part they quickly discover the fallacies of what they have been taught. But those who eschew the mainstream of the system often remain in key positions of influence where they mold public opinion and often shape governmental action. In many instances, these “intellectuals” end up in regulatory agencies or governmental departments with large authority over the business system they do not believe in.

If the foregoing analysis is approximately sound, a priority task of business — and organizations such as the Chamber — is to address the campus origin of this hostility. Few things are more sanctified in American life than academic freedom. It would be fatal to attack this as a principle. But if academic freedom is to retain the qualities of “openness,” “fairness” and “balance” — which are essential to its intellectual significance — there is a great opportunity for constructive action. The thrust of such action must be to restore the qualities just mentioned to the academic communities.

What Can Be Done About the Campus

The ultimate responsibility for intellectual integrity on the campus must remain on the administrations and faculties of our colleges and universities. But organizations such as the Chamber can assist and activate constructive change in many ways, including the following:

Staff of Scholars

The Chamber should consider establishing a staff of highly qualified scholars in the social sciences who do believe in the system. It should include several of national reputation whose authorship would be widely respected — even when disagreed with.

Staff of Speakers

There also should be a staff of speakers of the highest competency. These might include the scholars, and certainly those who speak for the Chamber would have to articulate the product of the scholars.

Speaker’s Bureau

In addition to full-time staff personnel, the Chamber should have a Speaker’s Bureau which should include the ablest and most effective advocates from the top echelons of American business.

Evaluation of Textbooks

The staff of scholars (or preferably a panel of independent scholars) should evaluate social science textbooks, especially in economics, political science and sociology. This should be a continuing program.

The objective of such evaluation should be oriented toward restoring the balance essential to genuine academic freedom. This would include assurance of fair and factual treatment of our system of government and our enterprise system, its accomplishments, its basic relationship to individual rights and freedoms, and comparisons with the systems of socialism, fascism and communism. Most of the existing textbooks have some sort of comparisons, but many are superficial, biased and unfair.

We have seen the civil rights movement insist on re-writing many of the textbooks in our universities and schools. The labor unions likewise insist that textbooks be fair to the viewpoints of organized labor. Other interested citizens groups have not hesitated to review, analyze and criticize textbooks and teaching materials. In a democratic society, this can be a constructive process and should be regarded as an aid to genuine academic freedom and not as an intrusion upon it.

If the authors, publishers and users of textbooks know that they will be subjected — honestly, fairly and thoroughly — to review and critique by eminent scholars who believe in the American system, a return to a more rational balance can be expected.

Equal Time on the Campus

The Chamber should insist upon equal time on the college speaking circuit. The FBI publishes each year a list of speeches made on college campuses by avowed Communists. The number in 1970 exceeded 100. There were, of course, many hundreds of appearances by leftists and ultra liberals who urge the types of viewpoints indicated earlier in this memorandum. There was no corresponding representation of American business, or indeed by individuals or organizations who appeared in support of the American system of government and business.

Every campus has its formal and informal groups which invite speakers. Each law school does the same thing. Many universities and colleges officially sponsor lecture and speaking programs. We all know the inadequacy of the representation of business in the programs.

It will be said that few invitations would be extended to Chamber speakers.11 This undoubtedly would be true unless the Chamber aggressively insisted upon the right to be heard — in effect, insisted upon “equal time.” University administrators and the great majority of student groups and committees would not welcome being put in the position publicly of refusing a forum to diverse views, indeed, this is the classic excuse for allowing Communists to speak.

The two essential ingredients are (i) to have attractive, articulate and well-informed speakers; and (ii) to exert whatever degree of pressure — publicly and privately — may be necessary to assure opportunities to speak. The objective always must be to inform and enlighten, and not merely to propagandize.

Balancing of Faculties

Perhaps the most fundamental problem is the imbalance of many faculties. Correcting this is indeed a long-range and difficult project. Yet, it should be undertaken as a part of an overall program. This would mean the urging of the need for faculty balance upon university administrators and boards of trustees.

The methods to be employed require careful thought, and the obvious pitfalls must be avoided. Improper pressure would be counterproductive. But the basic concepts of balance, fairness and truth are difficult to resist, if properly presented to boards of trustees, by writing and speaking, and by appeals to alumni associations and groups.

This is a long road and not one for the fainthearted. But if pursued with integrity and conviction it could lead to a strengthening of both academic freedom on the campus and of the values which have made America the most productive of all societies.

Graduate Schools of Business

The Chamber should enjoy a particular rapport with the increasingly influential graduate schools of business. Much that has been suggested above applies to such schools.

Should not the Chamber also request specific courses in such schools dealing with the entire scope of the problem addressed by this memorandum? This is now essential training for the executives of the future.

Secondary Education

While the first priority should be at the college level, the trends mentioned above are increasingly evidenced in the high schools. Action programs, tailored to the high schools and similar to those mentioned, should be considered. The implementation thereof could become a major program for local chambers of commerce, although the control and direction — especially the quality control — should be retained by the National Chamber.

What Can Be Done About the Public?

Reaching the campus and the secondary schools is vital for the long-term. Reaching the public generally may be more important for the shorter term. The first essential is to establish the staffs of eminent scholars, writers and speakers, who will do the thinking, the analysis, the writing and the speaking. It will also be essential to have staff personnel who are thoroughly familiar with the media, and how most effectively to communicate with the public. Among the more obvious means are the following:


The national television networks should be monitored in the same way that textbooks should be kept under constant surveillance. This applies not merely to so-called educational programs (such as “Selling of the Pentagon”), but to the daily “news analysis” which so often includes the most insidious type of criticism of the enterprise system.12 Whether this criticism results from hostility or economic ignorance, the result is the gradual erosion of confidence in “business” and free enterprise.

This monitoring, to be effective, would require constant examination of the texts of adequate samples of programs. Complaints — to the media and to the Federal Communications Commission — should be made promptly and strongly when programs are unfair or inaccurate.

Equal time should be demanded when appropriate. Effort should be made to see that the forum-type programs (the Today Show, Meet the Press, etc.) afford at least as much opportunity for supporters of the American system to participate as these programs do for those who attack it.

Other Media

Radio and the press are also important, and every available means should be employed to challenge and refute unfair attacks, as well as to present the affirmative case through these media.

The Scholarly Journals

It is especially important for the Chamber’s “faculty of scholars” to publish. One of the keys to the success of the liberal and leftist faculty members has been their passion for “publication” and “lecturing.” A similar passion must exist among the Chamber’s scholars.

Incentives might be devised to induce more “publishing” by independent scholars who do believe in the system.

There should be a fairly steady flow of scholarly articles presented to a broad spectrum of magazines and periodicals — ranging from the popular magazines (Life, Look, Reader’s Digest, etc.) to the more intellectual ones (Atlantic, Harper’s, Saturday Review, New York, etc.)13 and to the various professional journals.

Books, Paperbacks and Pamphlets

The news stands — at airports, drugstores, and elsewhere — are filled with paperbacks and pamphlets advocating everything from revolution to erotic free love. One finds almost no attractive, well-written paperbacks or pamphlets on “our side.” It will be difficult to compete with an Eldridge Cleaver or even a Charles Reich for reader attention, but unless the effort is made — on a large enough scale and with appropriate imagination to assure some success — this opportunity for educating the public will be irretrievably lost.

Paid Advertisements

Business pays hundreds of millions of dollars to the media for advertisements. Most of this supports specific products; much of it supports institutional image making; and some fraction of it does support the system. But the latter has been more or less tangential, and rarely part of a sustained, major effort to inform and enlighten the American people.

If American business devoted only 10% of its total annual advertising budget to this overall purpose, it would be a statesman-like expenditure.

The Neglected Political Arena

In the final analysis, the payoff — short-of revolution — is what government does. Business has been the favorite whipping-boy of many politicians for many years. But the measure of how far this has gone is perhaps best found in the anti-business views now being expressed by several leading candidates for President of the United States.

It is still Marxist doctrine that the “capitalist” countries are controlled by big business. This doctrine, consistently a part of leftist propaganda all over the world, has a wide public following among Americans.

Yet, as every business executive knows, few elements of American society today have as little influence in government as the American businessman, the corporation, or even the millions of corporate stockholders. If one doubts this, let him undertake the role of “lobbyist” for the business point of view before Congressional committees. The same situation obtains in the legislative halls of most states and major cities. One does not exaggerate to say that, in terms of political influence with respect to the course of legislation and government action, the American business executive is truly the “forgotten man.”

Current examples of the impotency of business, and of the near-contempt with which businessmen’s views are held, are the stampedes by politicians to support almost any legislation related to “consumerism” or to the “environment.”

Politicians reflect what they believe to be majority views of their constituents. It is thus evident that most politicians are making the judgment that the public has little sympathy for the businessman or his viewpoint.

The educational programs suggested above would be designed to enlighten public thinking — not so much about the businessman and his individual role as about the system which he administers, and which provides the goods, services and jobs on which our country depends.

But one should not postpone more direct political action, while awaiting the gradual change in public opinion to be effected through education and information. Business must learn the lesson, long ago learned by labor and other self-interest groups. This is the lesson that political power is necessary; that such power must be assidously (sic) cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination — without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.

As unwelcome as it may be to the Chamber, it should consider assuming a broader and more vigorous role in the political arena.

Neglected Opportunity in the Courts

American business and the enterprise system have been affected as much by the courts as by the executive and legislative branches of government. Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.

Other organizations and groups, recognizing this, have been far more astute in exploiting judicial action than American business. Perhaps the most active exploiters of the judicial system have been groups ranging in political orientation from “liberal” to the far left.

The American Civil Liberties Union is one example. It initiates or intervenes in scores of cases each year, and it files briefs amicus curiae in the Supreme Court in a number of cases during each term of that court. Labor unions, civil rights groups and now the public interest law firms are extremely active in the judicial arena. Their success, often at business’ expense, has not been inconsequential.

This is a vast area of opportunity for the Chamber, if it is willing to undertake the role of spokesman for American business and if, in turn, business is willing to provide the funds.

As with respect to scholars and speakers, the Chamber would need a highly competent staff of lawyers. In special situations it should be authorized to engage, to appear as counsel amicus in the Supreme Court, lawyers of national standing and reputation. The greatest care should be exercised in selecting the cases in which to participate, or the suits to institute. But the opportunity merits the necessary effort.

Neglected Stockholder Power

The average member of the public thinks of “business” as an impersonal corporate entity, owned by the very rich and managed by over-paid executives. There is an almost total failure to appreciate that “business” actually embraces — in one way or another — most Americans. Those for whom business provides jobs, constitute a fairly obvious class. But the 20 million stockholders — most of whom are of modest means — are the real owners, the real entrepreneurs, the real capitalists under our system. They provide the capital which fuels the economic system which has produced the highest standard of living in all history. Yet, stockholders have been as ineffectual as business executives in promoting a genuine understanding of our system or in exercising political influence.

The question which merits the most thorough examination is how can the weight and influence of stockholders — 20 million voters — be mobilized to support (i) an educational program and (ii) a political action program.

Individual corporations are now required to make numerous reports to shareholders. Many corporations also have expensive “news” magazines which go to employees and stockholders. These opportunities to communicate can be used far more effectively as educational media.

The corporation itself must exercise restraint in undertaking political action and must, of course, comply with applicable laws. But is it not feasible — through an affiliate of the Chamber or otherwise — to establish a national organization of American stockholders and give it enough muscle to be influential?

A More Aggressive Attitude

Business interests — especially big business and their national trade organizations — have tried to maintain low profiles, especially with respect to political action.

As suggested in the Wall Street Journal article, it has been fairly characteristic of the average business executive to be tolerant — at least in public — of those who attack his corporation and the system. Very few businessmen or business organizations respond in kind. There has been a disposition to appease; to regard the opposition as willing to compromise, or as likely to fade away in due time.

Business has shunted confrontation politics. Business, quite understandably, has been repelled by the multiplicity of non-negotiable “demands” made constantly by self-interest groups of all kinds.

While neither responsible business interests, nor the United States Chamber of Commerce, would engage in the irresponsible tactics of some pressure groups, it is essential that spokesmen for the enterprise system — at all levels and at every opportunity — be far more aggressive than in the past.

There should be no hesitation to attack the Naders, the Marcuses and others who openly seek destruction of the system. There should not be the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in all political arenas for support of the enterprise system. Nor should there be reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose it.

Lessons can be learned from organized labor in this respect. The head of the AFL-CIO may not appeal to businessmen as the most endearing or public-minded of citizens. Yet, over many years the heads of national labor organizations have done what they were paid to do very effectively. They may not have been beloved, but they have been respected — where it counts the most — by politicians, on the campus, and among the media.

It is time for American business — which has demonstrated the greatest capacity in all history to produce and to influence consumer decisions — to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.

The Cost

The type of program described above (which includes a broadly based combination of education and political action), if undertaken long term and adequately staffed, would require far more generous financial support from American corporations than the Chamber has ever received in the past. High level management participation in Chamber affairs also would be required.

The staff of the Chamber would have to be significantly increased, with the highest quality established and maintained. Salaries would have to be at levels fully comparable to those paid key business executives and the most prestigious faculty members. Professionals of the great skill in advertising and in working with the media, speakers, lawyers and other specialists would have to be recruited.

It is possible that the organization of the Chamber itself would benefit from restructuring. For example, as suggested by union experience, the office of President of the Chamber might well be a full-time career position. To assure maximum effectiveness and continuity, the chief executive officer of the Chamber should not be changed each year. The functions now largely performed by the President could be transferred to a Chairman of the Board, annually elected by the membership. The Board, of course, would continue to exercise policy control.

Quality Control is Essential

Essential ingredients of the entire program must be responsibility and “quality control.” The publications, the articles, the speeches, the media programs, the advertising, the briefs filed in courts, and the appearances before legislative committees — all must meet the most exacting standards of accuracy and professional excellence. They must merit respect for their level of public responsibility and scholarship, whether one agrees with the viewpoints expressed or not.

Relationship to Freedom

The threat to the enterprise system is not merely a matter of economics. It also is a threat to individual freedom.

It is this great truth — now so submerged by the rhetoric of the New Left and of many liberals — that must be re-affirmed if this program is to be meaningful.

There seems to be little awareness that the only alternatives to free enterprise are varying degrees of bureaucratic regulation of individual freedom — ranging from that under moderate socialism to the iron heel of the leftist or rightist dictatorship.

We in America already have moved very far indeed toward some aspects of state socialism, as the needs and complexities of a vast urban society require types of regulation and control that were quite unnecessary in earlier times. In some areas, such regulation and control already have seriously impaired the freedom of both business and labor, and indeed of the public generally. But most of the essential freedoms remain: private ownership, private profit, labor unions, collective bargaining, consumer choice, and a market economy in which competition largely determines price, quality and variety of the goods and services provided the consumer.

In addition to the ideological attack on the system itself (discussed in this memorandum), its essentials also are threatened by inequitable taxation, and — more recently — by an inflation which has seemed uncontrollable.14 But whatever the causes of diminishing economic freedom may be, the truth is that freedom as a concept is indivisible. As the experience of the socialist and totalitarian states demonstrates, the contraction and denial of economic freedom is followed inevitably by governmental restrictions on other cherished rights. It is this message, above all others, that must be carried home to the American people.


It hardly need be said that the views expressed above are tentative and suggestive. The first step should be a thorough study. But this would be an exercise in futility unless the Board of Directors of the Chamber accepts the fundamental premise of this paper, namely, that business and the enterprise system are in deep trouble, and the hour is late.

Footnotes (Powell’s)
  1. Variously called: the “free enterprise system,” “capitalism,” and the “profit system.” The American political system of democracy under the rule of law is also under attack, often by the same individuals and organizations who seek to undermine the enterprise system.
  2. Richmond News Leader, June 8, 1970. Column of William F. Buckley, Jr.
  3. N.Y. Times Service article, reprinted Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 17, 1971.
  4. Stewart Alsop, Yale and the Deadly Danger, Newsweek, May 18. 1970.
  5. Editorial, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 7, 1971.
  6. Dr. Milton Friedman, Prof. of Economics, U. of Chicago, writing a foreword to Dr. Arthur A. Shenfield’s Rockford College lectures entitled “The Ideological War Against Western Society,” copyrighted 1970 by Rockford College.
  7. Fortune. May, 1971, p. 145. This Fortune analysis of the Nader influence includes a reference to Nader’s visit to a college where he was paid a lecture fee of $2,500 for “denouncing America’s big corporations in venomous language . . . bringing (rousing and spontaneous) bursts of applause” when he was asked when he planned to run for President.
  8. The Washington Post, Column of William Raspberry, June 28, 1971.
  9. Jeffrey St. John, The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 1971.
  10. Barron’s National Business and Financial Weekly, “The Total Break with America, The Fifth Annual Conference of Socialist Scholars,” Sept. 15, 1969.
  11. On many campuses freedom of speech has been denied to all who express moderate or conservative viewpoints.
  12. It has been estimated that the evening half-hour news programs of the networks reach daily some 50,000,000 Americans.
  13. One illustration of the type of article which should not go unanswered appeared in the popular “The New York” of July 19, 1971. This was entitled “A Populist Manifesto” by ultra liberal Jack Newfield — who argued that “the root need in our country is ‘to redistribute wealth’.”
  14. The recent “freeze” of prices and wages may well be justified by the current inflationary crisis. But if imposed as a permanent measure the enterprise system will have sustained a near fatal blow.

Koch Brothers Buying Up Academia

This site provides a complete list of colleges accepting Koch brother money, as well as references and a list of related stories. Note that institutions such as George Mason University should be considered wholly owned subsidiaries of Koch Industries Inc. The list of colleges:

Contributions from the Charles Koch Foundation to Academic Institutions


  • Albany State University Foundation: $11,00 for “General Support”
  • Alma College: $8,500 for “General Support”
  • American University: $15,000 for “General Support”
  • Assumption College: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • Augustana College: $5,000 for “General Support”
  • Azusa Pacific University: $15,000 for “General Support”
  • Ball State University: $3,000 for “General Support”
  • Barton College: $9,300 for “General Support”
  • Beloit College: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • Berry College: $11,900 for “General Support”
  • Bethel College: $12,100 for “General Support”
  • Birmingham Southern College: $6,500 for “General Support”
  • Boise State University Foundation: $7,800 for “General Support”
  • Brown University: $13,000 for “General Support”
  • Buena Vista University: $500 for “General Support”
  • California State University Easy Bay Foundation: $27,000 for “General Support”
  • Campbell University: $24,000 for “General Support”
  • Carthage College: $9,500 for “General Support”
  • Cedarville University: $9,000 for “General Support”
  • Chapman University: $18,000 for “General Support”
  • Charleston Southern University: $7,500 for “General Support”
  • Chestnut Hill College: $6,00 for “General Support”
  • Christopher Newport University: $14,000 for “General Support”
  • Claremont McKenna College: $29,400 for “General Support”
  • Clemson University: $165,000 for “General Support”
  • College of Charleston: $40,000 for “General Support”
  • College of William and Mary: $2,500 for “General Support”
  • Cornell College: $3,000 for “General Support”
  • Dartmouth College: $10,000 for “General Support”
  • Duquesne University: $22,000 for “General Support”
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: $37,500 for “General Support”
  • Florida State University: $297,341 for “General Support”
  • George Fox University: $12,650 for “General Support”
  • George Mason University Foundation: $5,455,000 for “General Support”
  • George Washington University: $116,000 for “General Support”
  • Georgia State University Foundation: $9,000 for “General Support”
  • Grove City College: $32,800 for “General Support”
  • Hampden-Sydney College: $30,600 for “General Support”
  • Hanover College: $3,800 for “General Support”
  • Harvard University: $7,500 for “General Support”
  • High Point University: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • Hillsdale College: $34,000 for “General Support”
  • Indiana University: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Indiana University Foundation: $26,000 for “General Support”
  • James Madison University: $21,200 for “General Support”
  • John Brown University: $3,000 for “General Support”
  • Johns Hopkins University: $10,000 for “General Support”
  • Johnson and Wales University: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Kennesaw State University: $2,500 for “General Support”
  • Kenyon College: $2,000 for “General Support”
  • La Sierra University: $7,500 for “General Support”
  • Lake Forest College: $7,000 for “General Support”
  • Lakeland College: $7,000 for “General Support”
  • Lee University: $6,500 for “General Support”
  • Lindenwood University: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • Long Island University: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Loyola University New Orleans: $42,000 for “General Support”
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $25,000 for “General Support”
  • McGill University: $10,000 for “General Support”
  • McKendree University: $7,000 for “General Support”
  • Menlo College: $2,000 for “General Support”
  • Mercer University: $21,300 for “General Support”
  • Metropolitan State College Denver Foundation: $18,000 for “General Support”
  • Michigan State University: $20,000 for “General Support”
  • Middle Tennessee State University: $10,000
  • Mississippi State University: $10,000 for “General Support”
  • Montana State University: $5,500 for “General Support”
  • Mount St. Mary’s University: $1,800 for “General Support”
  • Murray State University: $7,500 for “General Support”
  • New York University: $35,500 for “General Support”
  • Nicholls State University: $-395 for “General Support”
  • North Carolina State University: $9,000 for “General Support”
  • Northwest Nazarene University: $5,500
  • Northwest University: $8,000
  • Northwestern Oklahoma State University: $3,500 for “General Support”
  • Northwestern University: $404 for “General Support”
  • Northwood University: $34,000 for “General Support”
  • Ohio State University: $12,000 for “General Support”
  • Ohio State University Foundation: $100,000 for “General Support”
  • Ohio University: $4,400 for “General Support”
  • Ohio University Foundation: $37,500 for “General Support”
  • Pennsylvania State University: $14,500 for “General Support”
  • Pepperdine University: $17,500 for “General Support”
  • Presbyterian College: $2,500 for “General Support”
  • Providence College: $7,700 for “General Support”
  • Ramapo College Foundation: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Regent University: $23,000 for “General Support”
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Robert Morris University: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Rockford College: $14,000 for “General Support”
  • Rogers State University Foundation: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Rutgers University: $13,500 for “General Support”
  • Ryan Foundation: $17,500 for “General Support”
  • Salisbury University: $12,000 for “General Support”
  • Sarah Lawrence College: $5,500 for “General Support”
  • Seton Hall University: $12,000 for “General Support”
  • Skidmore College: $4,600 for “General Support”
  • Southeastern Baptist Theologic: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Southern Illinois University: $14,300 for “General Support”
  • Southern Illinois University Foundation: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • Southern Methodist University: $100,000 for “General Support”
  • St. Ambrose University: $15,000 for “General Support”
  • St. Anselm College: $3,000 for “General Support”
  • St. Bonaventure University: $5,000 for “General Support”
  • St. Cloud State University Foundation: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • St. Edwards University: $4,000 for “General Support”
  • St. John Fisher College: $15,500 for “General Support”
  • St. John’s University: $32,000 for “General Support”
  • St. Lawrence University: $15,200 for “General Support”
  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland: $7,000 for “General Support”
  • St. Vincent College: $10,000 for “General Support”
  • State University of New York: $7,500 for “General Support”
  • Stephen F. Austin State University: $20,100 for “General Support”
  • Stonehill College: $14,000 for “General Support”
  • Suffolk University: $44,734 for “General Support”
  • Texas A&M University: $16,700 for “General Support”
  • Texas State University: $10,750 for “General Support”
  • The Catholic University of America: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • The Citadel Foundation: $4,500 for “General Support”
  • The College of New Jersey: $18,200 for “General Support”
  • Tower Foundation of San Jose State: $25,000 for “General Support”
  • Trinity College: $10,000 for “General Support”
  • Troy University Foundation: $274,500 for “General Support”
  • Tulane University: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • UCLA Foundation: $9,000 for “General Support”
  • University Enterprises Corporation: $7,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Akron: $16,750 for “General Support”
  • University of Alaska: $15,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Arizona Foundation: $249,520 for “General Support”
  • University of Central Arkansas: $15,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Colorado: $3,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Dallas: $21,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Dayton: $15,750 for “General Support”
  • University of Georgia Foundation: $3,800 for “General Support”
  • University of Hawaii: $7,500 for “General Support”
  • University of Louisville: $14,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Maryland: $5,700 for “General Support”
  • University of Memphis: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Mississippi: $8,500 for “General Support”
  • University of Missouri: $27,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Nebraska: $9,949 for “General Support”
  • University of Nevada: $7,000 for “General Support”
  • University of New Orleans Foundation: $6,000 for “General Support”
  • University of North Carolina: $116,800 for “General Support”
  • University of Notre Dame: $18,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Oklahoma: $3,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Richmond: $15,500 for “General Support”
  • University of San Diego: $11,000 for “General Support”
  • University of San Francisco: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • University of South Alabama: $6,500 for “General Support”
  • University of Tennessee: $27,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Tulsa: $10,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Virginia: $5,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Virginia’s College: $5,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Washington: $7,000 for “General Support”
  • University of West Florida Foundation: $10,000 for “General Support”
  • University of Wisconsin: $9,500 for “General Support”
  • University of Wisconsin Foundation: $11,000 for “General Support”
  • UNLV Foundation: $5,000 for “General Support”
  • Ursinus College: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Utah State University: $170,000 for “General Support”
  • Wake Forest University: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Washington College: $15,000 for “General Support”
  • Webber International University: $4,500 for “General Support”
  • Wellesley College: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • Wesleyan College: $9,000 for “General Support”
  • West Texas A&M University: $12,500 for “General Support”
  • West Virginia University: $46,200 for “General Support”
  • West Virginia University Foundation: $72,100 for “General Support”
  • Wheaton College: $6,600 for “General Support”
  • Wheeling Jesuit University: $8,000 for “General Support”
  • William Jewell College: $5,100 for “General Support”
  • Winston-Salem State University: $8,600 for “General Support”
  • Wofford College: $7,500 for “General Support”
  • Yeshiva University: $3,000 for “General Support”


  • Clemson University: $250,000 for for “Educational Programs”
  • Florida State University Foundation: $250,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Southern Methodist University: $101,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Troy University Foundation: $240,000 for “Educational Programs”; $720,000 for “Manual H Johnson Center for Political Economy”
  • University of Arizona Foundation: $200,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Utah State University Foundation: $125,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • West Virginia University Foundation: $283,100 for “Educational Programs
  • George Mason University: $4,157,548 for “Educational Programs”
  • Florida State University: $123,765 for “Educational Programs”; $230, 355 for “PhD Student Fellowships”
  • George Washington University: $4,500 for “Research”
  • New York University: $35,500 for “Educational Programs”; $35,500 for “Legal Fellowship”
  • Suffolk University: $91,692 for “Educational Programs”; $33,751 for “PhD Student Fellowships”
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: $100,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Utah State University: $35,000 for “Research”
  • George Mason University Foundation: $250,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Alma College: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Arkansas Tech University: $12,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Azusa Pacific University: $23,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Barton College: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Beloit College: $32,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Berry College: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Bethel College: $9,600 for “Educational Programs”
  • Boise State University Foundation: $7,470 for “Educational Programs”
  • Brown University: $37,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Buena Vista University: $1,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • California State University East Bay Foundation: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Campbell University: $16,093
  • Carnegie Mellon University: $5,850 for “Educational Programs”
  • Carthage College: $6,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Chapman University: $24,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Charleston Southern University: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Christendom College: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Christopher Newport University: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Claremont McKenna College: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Coastal Carolina University: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • College of Charleston Foundation: $36,731
  • College of William and Mary: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Dartmouth College: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Delaware State University: $8,172 for “Educational Programs”
  • Delta State University: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Duke University: $16,281 for “Educational Programs”
  • Duquesne University: $25,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Fayetteville State University: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: $26,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • George Fox University: $10,892 for “Educational Programs”
  • George Washington University: $86,120 for “Educational Programs”
  • Georgetown University: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Georgia College & State University: $8,830 for “Educational Programs”
  • Georgia State University Foundation: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Grove City College: $38,100 for “Educational Programs”
  • Hampden-Sydney College: $35,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Hanover College: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Hillsdale College: $23,423 for “Educational Programs”
  • Johns Hopkins University: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • La Sierra University: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Lake Forest College: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Linfield College: $11,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Loyola University New Orleans: $25,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $25,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • McKendree University: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • McNeese State University: $4,500
  • Metropolitan State College Denver Foundation: $15,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Middle Tennessee State University Foundation: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Midwestern State University Foundation: $4,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Milligan College: $5,800 for “Educational Programs”
  • National University: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Nicholls State University: $4,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • North Carolina State University: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northwestern University: $750 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northwood University-Florida: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Ohio University Foundation: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Oklahoma State University Foundation: $36,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • Patrick Henry College: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Presbyterian College: $2,043 for “Educational Programs”
  • Providence College: $8,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • Randolph-Macon College: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Regent University: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Rhodes College: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Robert Morris University: $5,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Rockford College: $11,700 for “Educational Programs”
  • Roosevelt University: $8,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • Ryan Foundation: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Saginaw Valley State University: $3,650 for “Educational Programs”
  • Salisbury University: $12,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • San Diego State University Research Foundation: $5,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Sarah Lawrence College: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Seton Hall University: $10,780 for “Educational Programs”
  • Skidmore College: $4,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • Southeast Idaho Research Institute: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale: $17,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Southern Utah University: $9,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Ambrose University: $5,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Cloud State University Foundation: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • St Edwards University: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. John’s University: $29,562 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Lawrence University: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • State University of New York-Plattsburgh: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Stephen F. Austin State University: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Suffolk University: $19,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Texas A&M University: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • The College of New Jersey: $11,900 for “Educational Programs”
  • Tower Foundation of San Jose State: $25,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Trinity College: $11,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • Trinity University: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • UCLA Foundation: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Akron: $9,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Alabama-Huntsville: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham: $4,874 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks: $14,800 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Arkansas-Little Rock: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Central Arkansas Foundation: $10,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Colorado Foundation: $12,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Dallas: $26,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Dayton: $15,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Houston: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Maine-Orono: $3,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Maryland-Baltimore County: $7,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Memphis: $5,900 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Michigan: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Mississippi: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Missouri-Columbia: $34,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Nebraska-Omaha: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of North Alabama Foundation: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Richmond: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of San Diego: $10,303 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of South Florida Foundation: $2,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas-Arlington: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas-Austin: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas-San Antonio: $11,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Tulsa: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Virginia: $23,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Virginia’s College at Wise: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of West Florida Foundation: $12,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Wisconsin Foundation: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • UNLV Foundation: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Utah State University: $45,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Washington University-St Louis: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Webber International University: $3,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Wesleyan College: $6,300 for “Educational Programs”
  • West Texas A&M University: $2,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Western Carolina University: $12,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Western Kentucky University Research Foundation: $11,700 for “Educational Programs”
  • Western Michigan University: $14,100 for “Educational Programs”
  • Westmont College: $3,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Wheaton College: $7,300 for “Educational Programs”
  • Wisconsin Lutheran College: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • McGill University: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”


  • Alma College: $7,175 for “Educational Programs”
  • American University: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Andrew College: $2,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Arkansas Tech University: $8,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Athens State University: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Azusa Pacific University: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Ball State University: $16,300 for “Educational Programs”
  • Barton College: $3,360 for “Educational Programs”
  • Baylor University: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Beloit College: $32,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Berry College: $9,600 for “Educational Programs”
  • Bethel College: $8,505 for “Educational Programs”
  • Boise State University: $7,550 for “Educational Programs”
  • Brown University: $116,978 for “Educational and Research Programs”
  • Buena Vista University: $1,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Campbell University: $13,600 for “Educational Programs”
  • Chapman University: $40,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Charleston Southern University: $7,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • Christendom College: $5,100 for “Educational Programs”
  • Christendom College: $5,100 for “Educational Programs”
  • Clemson University: $250,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Christopher Newport University: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Coastal Carolina University: $6,300 for “Educational Programs”
  • Colgate University: $5,972 for “Educational Programs”
  • College of Charleston: $29,919 for “Educational Programs”
  • College of New Jersey: $15,310 for “Educational Programs”
  • College of William&Mary: $4,800 for “Educational Programs”
  • Colorado College: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • California State University: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Delaware State University: $7,250 for “Educational Programs”
  • Duke University: $11,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Duquesne Unviersity: $17,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: $36,246 for “Educational Programs”
  • Florida State University: $350,544 for “Educational Programs”
  • George Fox University: $6,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • George Mason University: $3,667,144 for “General Operating Support & Educational Programs”
  • George Washington University: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Georgia Tech Research Corp: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Grove City College: $32,214 for “Educational Programs”
  • Hampden-Sydney College: $16,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Hanover College: $5,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Henderson State University: $6,515 for “Educational Programs”
  • Hillsdale College: $26,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Jacksonville State University: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • James Madison University: $12,705 for “Educational Programs”
  • La Sierra School of Business: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Lakeland College: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Lindenwood University: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Loyola University (New Orelans): $20,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Louisiana State University: $11,340 for “Educational Programs”
  • Mercer University: $10,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Metropolitan State College: $15,340 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Michigan: $11,607 for “Educational Programs”
  • Michigan State University: $10,650 for “Educational Programs”
  • Milligan College: $3,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $45,480 for “Educational Programs”
  • Montana State University: $18,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Montclair State University: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Morehead State Univeristy: $9,300 for “General Support for Research”
  • National University: $10,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • New York University: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • North Carolina State University: $4,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northeastern State University: $8,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northern Illinois Research Foundation: $3,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northwest Oklahoma State University: $4,250 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northwood University: $40,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Oglethorpe University: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Ohio University: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Ohio University Foundation: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Pepperdine University: $18,950 for “Educational Programs”
  • Phillips School of Business: $2,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Presbyterian College: $2,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • Providence College: $5,250 for “Educational Programs”
  • Regent University: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Research Foundation of the State University of New York: $12,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Rhodes College: $28,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Rob Morris University: $1,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Rockford College: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Roosevelt University: $7,950 for “Educational Programs”
  • Saginaw Valley State University: $4,940 for “Educational Programs”
  • Salisbury University: $12,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • San Jose State University: $16,500
  • Sarah Lawrence College: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Seton Hall University: $10,131 for “Educational Programs”
  • Skidmoore College: $3,800 for “Educational Programs”
  • Southern Illinois University: $14,974 for “Educational Programs”
  • Southern Methodist University: $800 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Cloud State University: $5,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. John Fisher College: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. John’s University: $22,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Lawrence University: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Vincent College: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Stillman College: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Stonehill College: $13,494 for “Educational Programs”
  • Suffolk University: $209,697 for “Educational Programs”
  • Texas State University-San Marcos: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Trinity College: $11,053 for “Educational Programs”
  • Troy University: $240,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Alabama-Huntsville: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks: $11,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Arizona: $512,445 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Arkansas-Little Rock: $6,855 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of California-Davis: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of California Los Angeles: $8,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of California Riverside: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of California Riverside: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Central Arkansas: $5,175 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Colorado: $20,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Dallas: $16,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Dayton: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Houston: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Illinois-Springfield: $10,375 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Kentucky: $2,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Louisville: $31,055 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Maine-Machias: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Missouri-Columbia: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of North Carolina: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Nebraska-Omaha: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Nevada-Reno: $8,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Notre Dame: $9,650 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Oklahoma: $3,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of San Diego: $9,317 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of South Florida: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas at El Paso: $11,475 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas Pan-America: $18,300 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Washington: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Washington: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of West Florida: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: $8,500 for Educational Programs
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison: $5,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Richmond: $11,675 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of South Alabama: $9,851 for “Educational Programs”
  • Utah State University: $9,851 for “Educational Programs”
  • Wake Forest University: $6,810 for “Educational Programs”
  • Wesleyan: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • West Virginia University: $272,100 for “Educational Programs”
  • Western Kentucky University: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Whitman College: $6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Winston-Salem State: $8,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Western Michigan University Foundation: $14,090 for “Educational Programs
  • Yeshiva University: $20,000 for “Educational Programs”


  • American University: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Ashland University: $20,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Ball State University: $8,300 for “Educational Programs”
  • Barton College: $4,320 for “Educational Programs”
  • Berry College: $12,100 for “Educational Programs”
  • Bethel College: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Nebraska Board of Regents: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Brown University: $147,154 for “Educational and Research Programs”
  • Campbell University: $7,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Chapman University: $25,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Claremont McKenna College: $22,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Clemson University: $250,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • College of Charleston: $32,160 for “Educational Programs”
  • Dartmouth College: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Duquesne Unviersity: $20,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: $289,150 for “Educational Programs”
  • Florida State University: $289,150 for “Educational Programs”
  • George Mason University: $4,998,800 for “General Operating Support & Educational Programs”
  • Georgia State University: $9,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Gloucester Institute: $15,000 for “General Operating Support”
  • Grove City College: $37,335 for “Educational Programs”
  • Hampden-Sydney College: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Hillsdale College: $28,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Indiana University $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • James Madison University: $20,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • The King’s College: $13,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Loyola University: $8,5000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Mercer University: $16,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Metropolitan State College: $12,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Michigan State University: $8,720 for “Educational Programs”
  • Montana State University: $4,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • National University: $11,208 for “Educational Programs”
  • New York University: $97,000 for “Educational and Research Programs”
  • Northeastern State University: $13,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northwestern Oklahoma State University: $4,250 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northwestern State University: $250,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Pennsylvanian State University: $27,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Pepperdine University: $13,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • Rhodes College: $25,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Rockford College: $13,150 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Cloud State University: $5,200 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. John’s University: “$6,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Lawrence University: $10,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Seton Hall University: $11,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Suffolk University: $136,771 for “Educational Programs”
  • Texas Christian University: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • The Tower Foundation of San Jose State University: $19,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Trinity College: $30,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Alabama: $22,950 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Alaska: $15,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Arizona: $13,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of California Los Angeles: $14,926 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Colorado: $23,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Missouri-Columbia: $14,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Rochester: $9,00 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of San Diego: $4,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of South Alabama: $5,735 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas Pan-America: $20,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas-Arlington: $11,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas-Austin: $2,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • University of Texas-El Paso: $10,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • Utah State University: $47,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Utah State Univeristy Foundation: $125,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Wake Forest University: $7,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • West Texas A&M University: $6,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • West Virginia University: $200,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Western Carolina University: $12,000 for “Educational Programs”


  • Appalachian State College: $17,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Auburn University: $300,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Beloit College: $31,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Berry College: $10,800 for “Education Programs”
  • Brown University: $136,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Case Western Reserve University: $25,000 for “Education and Research Programs”
  • Clemson University: $130,116 for “Education Programs”
  • College of Charleston: $19,742 for “Education Programs”
  • Dartmouth University: $22,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Duquesne University: $18,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: $16,000 for “Education Programs”
  • George Mason University: $2,781,500 for “General Operating Support”
  • Grove City College: $46,6000 for “Education Programs”
  • Hampden-Sydney College: $18,500 for “Education Programs”
  • Hillsdale College: $33,000 for “Education Programs”
  • The King’s College: $12,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Loyola University: $75,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Mercer University: $16,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Metropolitan State College of Denver: $17,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Michigan State University: $15,360 for “Education Programs”
  • Montana State: $24,000 for “Education Programs”
  • National Taxpayer’s Union: $5,000 for “General Operating Support”
  • New York State University: $26,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Northern Michigan University: $1,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Northwestern University: $200,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Pennsylvania State: $18,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Rhodes College: $15,300 for “Education Programs”
  • St. Cloud State University: $4,000 for “Education Programs”
  • St. Lawrence University: $4,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Suffolk University: $97,236 for “Education Programs”
  • The Tower Foundation of San Jose State University: $15,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Towson University: $4,650 for “Education Programs”
  • Trinity College: $20,000 for “Education Programs”
  • University of Alaska: $15,500 for “Education Programs”
  • University of Kansas: $25,000 for “Education Programs”
  • University of Missouri: $17,500 for “Education Programs”
  • University of St. Thomas: $30,000 for “Education Programs”
  • Utah State University: $15,000 for “Education Programs”
  • University of Texas Pan-Am: $20,600 for “Education Programs”
  • West Virgina University: $5,000 for “Education Programs


  • Beloit College: $40,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Berry College: $32,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Clemson University-Department of Economics: $52,400 for “Educational Programs”
  • Florida State University: $50,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • George Mason University Foundation: $408,000 for Educational and Research Programs”
  • Grove City College: $28,700 for “General Operating Support”
  • Hampden-Sydney College: $25,000 for “General Operating Support”
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $250,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Montana State: $11,000 for “Educational Programs
  • Rhodes College: $5,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • St. Lawrence University: $12,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • San Jose State University:$11,900 for “Educational Programs”
  • Santa Clara Univeristy: $5,000 for “Educational Programs”
  • Suffolk University: $97,236 for “General Operating Support”
  • University of Kansas School of Business: $25,000 for “General Operating Support”
  • Utah State University: $32,500 for “Educational Programs”
  • West Virginia University Foundation: $155,000 for “General Operating Support”


  • Grove City College: $20,000 for “General Operating Support”
  • Hampden-Sydney College: $25,500 for “General Operating Support”
  • George Mason University Foundation: $350,000 for “Educational and Research Programs”
  • San Jose State University Foundation: $25,000 for “General Operating Support”
  • West Virginia University Foundation: $15,000 for “General Operating Support”


  • George Mason University Foundation: $1,102,000 For “Educational and Research Programs”
  • San Jose State University Foundation: $25,500 for “General Operating Support”


  • George Mason University Foundation: $777,5000 for “Educational and Research Programs”
  • San Jose State Foundation: $25,000 for “General Operating Support”
  • University of Texas at Dallas: $20,000 for “General Operating Support”



  • George Mason University Foundation: $952,000 for “Educational and Research Programs”
  • JFK School of Government: $55,000 for “General Operating Support”


  • George Mason University Foundation: $3,030,250 for “Education and Research Programs”
  • Kansas State University Foundation: $25,000 for “Tallgrass Prairie Documentary”



  • Clemson University: $10,000 for “Research Programs”


Contributions from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation to Academic Institutions



  • University of Virginia Center for Politics: $15,000 for “General Operating Support”


  • University of Virginia Center for Politics: $15,000 for “General Operating Support”


  • University of Virginia Center for Politics: $15,000 for “General Operating Support”


An Excerpt from Greg Palast’s Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

The Ice Man, Radioactive

When the Ice Man told Karl Rove, “I’m in,” he wasn’t fooling around. The Ice Man, Texan Harold Simmons, is now the Number One donor to the Republican Party. The Ice Man, who got his nickname for his merciless, cold-hearted tactics as a corporate raider, says he expects to give $36 million to Republican candidates and nominees in 2012. Add in what he’s giving Rove and it goes to well over $50 million for the year. Of course, that’s peanuts for a man worth nearly $10 billion.

In the 2012 Republican primary, he gave $1.2 million to presidential candidate Rick Santorum to attack Mitt Romney. And he gave nearly a million dollars to Restore Our  Future,  the  pro-Romney  super-PAC,  to  buy  ads to attack Newt Gingrich. He gave $1.1 million to Newt Gingrich to attack Santorum and Romney. He gave their opponent Rick Perry’s super-PAC yet another million to let the governor of Texas make a jackass of himself on national TV.

What is the Ice Man up to, giving each one of these guys enough money to beat the hell out of the other? I can’t claim to know everything in the Ice Man’s head. He’s playing multidimensional chess when I’m playing checkers. But, at the least, I know he’s teaching all the candidates to heel, roll over, and beg.

He certainly didn’t give a rat’s ass about the candidates’ positions on the hot-button issue of the primary, abortion and contraceptives. Simmons thinks all of them are nuts: he’s pro-choice. It’s not about philosophy, but, as Michael Corleone said in The Godfather, “It’s strictly business.”

Simmons is the King of Filth. I don’t mean porn; I mean the stuff that can kill you, and does. His two big businesses today  are  NL  Industries  and  Waste  Control  Specialists LLC. Their value, billions or busted, is completely depen- dent on government gimmes and rules: permits, environmental regulations, and the handling of poisons and taxes, of course—but most important, as we’ll see, the law of torts.

His $50 million for Rove and Republicans is only one half of 1 percent of his wealth. As his candidates’ tax and business proposals would easily boost his net worth by $2 billion, his return on investment could top 4,000 percent on just those two pieces of real estate called the White House and the Capitol. Not bad.

One investment, the $1.2 million Simmons put into Governor Rick Perry’s campaign for president, is already paying off big time.

The key for Simmons was that Perry’s run for president belly-flopped. The Ice Man is no fool: Simmons knew his fellow Texan was a putz and would crash and burn in the first presidential debates. So why blow $1.2 million on Perry?

Here’s why: Texas law is, believe it or not, one of the toughest regarding donations to a sitting governor’s campaign for reelection. But if that governor happens to be running for president, well, the sky’s the limit. And if that governor ends up back in the statehouse in Texas, that governor knows who’s pleasured his campaign treasury.

Perry’s loony run for the White House, once finished, meant that Perry remains governor of Texas, exactly where the Ice Man needs him.

Why? The Ice Man’s new big investment is Waste Control Specialists LLC. The Ice Man wants to take in all of America’s toxins and poisons, creating a twenty-square-mile toxic dump in West Texas. But it was a dump without a hole. The business zoomed in value once the State of Texas gave Simmons a hole for his waste dump. The permit for the crapola was issued despite the unanimous objection by the state’s own expert panel, which said the hole was way too close to the giant Ogallala aquifer, the very same water source that Obama tried to save by moving the XL Pipeline. It’s the drinking water source for eight states.

Nevertheless, all three political hacks on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality appointed by Perry overruled their experts and issued the Ice Man the license for his dump—not even allowing a public hearing.

In March 2012, after flunked-out presidential candidate Perry skulked back to the Texas governor’s mansion, another one of his agencies approved Ice Man’s super-dump to take in nuclear waste, a decision made over the howling objections of Texas cities through which the hot junk would travel.

Now, toxic dumps have a habit of leaking and causing cancers. If this one leaks it will poison and irradiate the Ogallala.

And that leads to lawsuits. No problemo, pardner! Perry supported a voter referendum and lobbying campaign, backed by two million dollars from a group called Texans for Lawsuit Reform, which virtually eliminates the ability of Texans to sue for pain and suffering if they are dying of cancer from negligently leaked toxins. The two million for “Texans” came from the Ice Man.

For Ice Man Simmons, this is a two-fer—because Simmons’s main source of billions is in the mental retardation business. That requires some explanation.

Simmons controls NL Industries, a name that beats the hell out of “National Lead,” its old name, whose most well-known product was the popular Dutch Boy paint. The paint’s brilliant colors were attributed to its special ingredient: lead.

The Ice Man took over the company in 1986 (Simmons virtually invented the hostile leveraged buyout). His stock quickly doubled, earning him roughly a half-billion-dollar capital gain. But more important, he was able to seize the company’s treasury as a cash source for other raids. But there was a threat to the Ice Man’s cash kitty in NL. The Dutch Boy was, it turns out, a mass murderer. According to the industry’s own research, lead poisoning killed hundreds. Then it gets ugly: lead-based paint causes severe mental retardation in poor neighborhoods where the poison is peeling off the walls.

Example: In New York, Ana Amparo’s son suffered “brain injuries, cognitive deficits, learning disabilities, reduction of intelligence, behavioral and attention dis- orders.” When he was sixteen, forensic tests traced the problem back to lead paint whose chemical tags named the maker of the killer product: NL’s Dutch Boy.

The key for Simmons to keep his billions out of the hands of NL’s victims is “tort reform”—the political campaign to take away an injured person’s right to sue.

Simmons appears to have bought himself protection from lawsuits by the victims of his enterprises in Texas, and he’s made clear he wants to take his push for protection from his victims on the road to all fifty states.

When the lead-head isn’t fighting retarded children, Simmons is fighting taxpayers. Simmons’s company has refused to pay its share of the half billion dollars a year it costs to remove lead-contaminated paint from school-houses.

The regulations that removed lead from gasoline, paint, and most batteries have saved hundreds of lives and prevented thousands of cases of mental retardation. This makes Simmons crazy: he wants to eliminate all government environmental regulation—a philosophy you could call “Lucrative Libertarianism.”

All candidates who receive Ice Man’s easy-squeezy are pledging to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, but that’s not good enough. In 2012, Rove’s dogsbody, Congressman Tim Griffin, still not in prison, sponsored HR 4078, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act, “to provide that no agency may take any significant regulatory action until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 6.0 percent.”

New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, sniffing the value of the bill to radioactivity king Simmons, formally moved to amend the proposed law’s title to the Nuclear Death and Destruction Act of 2012.

But what’s the use of a bill without a Congress to pass it, or a president to sign it?

As Simmons’s ally, corporate super-lobbyist Grover Norquist, put it, they just need a president “with enough working digits to handle a pen . . . to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”

Prepared by Grover and the Ice Man.

And that’s what the $50 million in “donations” is for.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Numbers and charts can be manipulated to show just about anything you want…

The pie chart below is the government view of the budget. This is a distortion of how our income tax dollars are spent because it includes Trust Funds (e.g., Social Security), and the expenses of past military spending are not distinguished from nonmilitary spending.

The figures below are from an analysis of detailed tables in the “Analytical Perspectives” book of the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2009. The figures are federal funds, which do not include trust funds — such as Social Security — that are raised and spent separately from income taxes. What you pay (or don’t pay) by April 15, 2008, goes to the federal funds portion of the budget.

A Well-Designed Disaster: The Untold Story of the Exxon Valdez

Greg Palast

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez broke open and covered twelve hundred miles of Alaska’s shoreline with oily sludge. The official story remains “Drunken Skipper Hits Reef.” Don’t believe it.

In fact, when the ship hit, Captain Joe Hazelwood was nowhere near the wheel, but below decks, sleeping off his bender. The man left at the helm, the third mate, would never have hit Bligh Reef had he simply looked at his Raycas radar. But he could not, because the radar was not turned on. The complex Raycas system costs a lot to operate, so frugal Exxon management left it broken and useless for the entire year before the grounding.

The land Exxon smeared and destroyed belongs to the Chugach natives of the Prince William Sound. Within days of the spill, the Chugach tribal corporation asked me and my partner Lenora Stewart to investigate allegations of fraud by Exxon and the little-known “Alyeska” consortium. In three years’ digging, we followed a twenty-year train of doctored safety records, illicit deals between oil company chiefs, and programmatic harassment of witnesses. And we documented the oil majors’ brilliant success in that old American sport, cheating the natives. Our summary of evidence ran to four volumes. Virtually none of it was reported: The media had turned off its radar. Here’s a bit of the story you’ve never been told:

  • We discovered an internal memo describing a closed, top-level meeting of oil company executives in Arizona held just ten months before the spill. It was a meeting of the “Alyeska Owners Committee,” the six-company combine that owns the Alaska pipeline and most of the state’s oil In that meeting, say the notes, the chief of their Valdez operations, Theo Polasek, warned executives that containing an oil spill “at the mid-point of Prince William Sound not possible with present equipment”—exactly where the Exxon Valdez grounded. Polasek needed millions of dollars for spill containment equipment. The law required it, the companies promised it to regulators, then at the meeting, the proposed spending was voted down. The oil company combine had a cheaper plan to contain any spill—don’t bother. According to an internal memorandum, they’d just drop some dispersants and walk away. That’s exactly what happened. “At the owners committee meeting in Phoenix, it was decided that Alyeska would provide immediate response to oil spills in Valdez Arm and Valdez Narrows only”—not the Prince William Sound.
  • Smaller spills before the Exxon disaster would have alerted government watchdogs that the port’s oil-spill-containment system was not up to scratch. But the oil group’s lab technician, Erlene Blake, told us that management routinely ordered her to change test results to eliminate “oil-in-water” readings. The procedure was simple, says Blake. She was told to dump out oily water and refill test tubes from a bucket of cleansed sea water, which they called “the Miracle Barrel.”
  • A confidential letter dated April 1984, fully four years before the big spill, written by Captain James Woodle, then the oil group’s Valdez Port commander, warns management that “Due to a reduction in manning, age of equipment, limited training and lack of personnel, serious doubt exists that [we] would be able to contain and clean up effectively a medium or large size oil spill.” Woodle told us there was a spill at Valdez before the Exxon Valdez collision, though not nearly as large. When he prepared to report it to the government, his supervisor forced him to take back the notice, with the Orwellian command, “You made a mistake. This was not an oil spill.”

Slimey Limeys

The canard of the alcoholic captain has provided effective camouflage for a party with arguably more culpability than Exxon: British Petroleum, the company that in 2001 painted itself green (literally: all its gas stations and propaganda pamphlets now sport a seasick green hue). Alaska’s oil is BP oil. The company owns and controls a near majority (46 percent) of the Alaska pipeline system. Exxon (now ExxonMobil) is a junior partner, and four other oil companies are just along for the ride. Captain Woodle, Technician Blake, Vice President Polasek, all worked for BP’s Alyeska.

Quite naturally, British Petroleum has never rushed to have its name associated with Alyeska’s recklessness. But BP’s London headquarters, I discovered, knew of the alleged falsification of reports to the U.S. government nine years before the spill. In September 1984, independent oil shipper Charles Hamel of Washington, DC, shaken by evidence he received from Alyeska employees, told me he took the first available Concorde, at his own expense, to warn BP executives in London about scandalous goings-on in Valdez. Furthermore, Captain Woodle swears he personally delivered his list of missing equipment and “phantom” personnel directly into the hands of BP’s Alaska chief, George Nelson.

BP has never been eager for Woodle’s letter, Hamel’s London trip and many other warnings of the deteriorating containment system to see the light of day. When Alyeska got wind of Woodle’s complaints, they responded by showing Woodle a file of his marital infidelities (all bogus), then offered him payouts on condition that he leave the state within days, promising never to return.

As to Hamel, the oil shipping broker, BP in London thanked him. Then a secret campaign was launched to hound him out of the industry. A CIA expert was hired who wiretapped Hamel’s phone lines. They smuggled microphones into his home, intercepted his mail and tried to entrap him with young women. The industrial espionage assault was personally ordered and controlled by BP executive James Hermiller, president of Alyeska. On this caper, they were caught. A U.S. federal judge told Alyeska this conduct was “reminiscent of Nazi Germany.”

Cheaper Than Manhattan

BP’s inglorious role in the Alaskan oil game began in 1969 when the oil group bought the most valuable real estate in all Alaska, the Valdez oil terminal land, from the Chugach natives. BP and the Alyeska group paid the natives one dollar.

Arthur Goldberg, once a U.S. Supreme Court justice, tried to help the natives on their land claim. But the natives’ own lawyer, the state’s most powerful legislator, advised them against pressing for payment. Later, that lawyer became Alyeska’s lawyer.

The Alaskan natives, the last Americans who lived off what they hunted and caught, did extract written promises from the oil consortium to keep the Prince William Sound safe from oil spills. These wilderness seal hunters and fishermen knew the arctic sea. Eyak Chief-for-Life Agnes Nichols, Tatitlek native leader George Gordaoff and Chenega fisherman Paul Kompkoff demanded that tankers carry state-of -the-art radar and that emergency vessels escort the tankers. The oil companies reluctantly agreed to put all this in their government-approved 1973 Oil Spill Response Plan.

When it comes to oil spills, the name of the game is “containment” because, radar or not, some tanker somewhere is going to hit the rocks. Stopping an oil spill catastrophe is a no-brainer. Tanker radar aside, if a ship does smack a reef, all that’s needed is to surround the ship with a big rubber curtain (“boom”) and suck up the corralled oil. In signed letters to the state government and Coast Guard, BP, ExxonMobil and partners promised that no oil would move unless the equipment was set on the tanker route and the oil-sucker ship (“containment barge”) was close by, in the water and ready to go.

The oil majors fulfilled their promise the cheapest way: They lied. When the Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef, the spill equipment, which could have prevented the catastrophe, wasn’t there—see the Arizona meeting notes above. The promised escort ships were not assigned to ride with the tankers until after the spill. And the night the Exxon Valdez grounded, the emergency spill-response barge was sitting in a dry dock in Valdez locked in ice.

When the pipeline opened in 1974, the law required Alyeska to maintain round-the-clock oil-spill-response teams. As part of the come-on to get hold of the Chugach’s Valdez property, Alyeska hired the natives for this emergency work. The natives practiced leaping out of helicopters into icy water, learning to surround leaking boats with rubber barriers. But the natives soon found they were assigned to cover up spills, not clean them up. Their foreman, David Decker, told me he was expected to report one oil spill as two gallons when two thousand gallons had spilled.

Alyeska kept the natives at the terminal for two years—long enough to help Alyeska break the strike of the dock workers’ union—then quietly sacked the entire team. To deflect inquisitive inspectors looking for the spill-response workers, Alyeska created sham emergency teams, listing names of oil terminal employees who had not the foggiest idea how to use spill equipment, which, in any event, was missing, broken or existed only on paper. When the Exxon Valdez grounded, there was no native spill crew, only chaos.

The Fable of the Drunken Skipper has served the oil industry well. It transforms the most destructive oil spill in history into a tale of human frailty, a terrible, but onetime, accident. But broken radar, missing equipment, phantom spill personnel, faked tests—all of it to cut costs and lift bottom lines—made the spill disaster not an accident but an inevitability.

I went back to the Sound just before the tenth anniversary of the spill. On Chenega, they were preparing to spend another summer scrubbing rocks. A decade after the spill, in one season, they pulled twenty tons of sludge off their beaches. At Nanwalek village ten years on, the state again declared the clams inedible, poisoned by “persistent hydrocarbons.” Salmon still carry abscesses and tumors, the herring never returned and the sea lion rookery at Montague Island remains silent and empty.

But despite what my eyes see, I must have it wrong, because right here in an Exxon brochure it says, “The water is clean and plant, animal and sea life are healthy and abundant.” Go to the Sound today, on Chugach land, kick over a rock and you’ll get a whiff of an Exxon gas station.

Everyone’s heard of the big jury verdict against Exxon: a $5 billion award. What you haven’t heard is that ExxonMobil hasn’t paid a dime of it. It’s been a decade since the trial. BP painted itself green and ExxonMobil decided to paint the White House with green: It’s the number-two lifetime donor to George W. Bush’s career (after Enron), with a little splashed the Democrats’ way. The oil industry’s legal stalls, the “tort reform” campaigns and the generous investment in our democratic process has produced a Supreme Court and appeals panels that look more like luncheon clubs of corporate consiglieri than panels of defenders of justice.

In November 2001, following directives of the Supremes, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the jury verdict on grounds the punishment was too dear and severe for poor little ExxonMobil.

The BP-led Alyeska consortium was able to settle all claims for 2 percent of the acknowledged damage, roughly a $50 million payout, fully covered by an insurance fund.

And the natives? While waiting for Exxon to make good on promises of compensation, Chief Agnes and Paul Kompkoff have passed away. As to my four-volume summary of evidence of frauds committed against the natives: In 1991, when herring failed to appear and fishing in the Sound collapsed, the tribal corporation went bankrupt and my files became, effectively, useless.

Barbara Phillippi

Barbara Phillippi posted the following on our Facebook page, and it was subsequently picked up by the Being Liberal page, where it caused no small amount of commotion. For posterity, we’re posting it here as well…

You didn’t get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn’t get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn’t get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn’t get mad when they didn’t catch Bin Laden.

You didn’t get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn’t get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the 1%, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.

You didn’t get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn’t get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn’t get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values in the Wall Street crash.

You finally got mad when a black man was elected President, and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick… Oh, Hell No!

You’re not going to take ME back, without a fight.

The Plots Against the President

A good — and quick — read is Sally Denton’s The Plots Against the President, dealing with the intrigue against FDR because of his New Deal legislation. It bears looking at because of the unmistakable parallels with today and the heavy-handed conservative assault on remaining New Deal safeguards.

FDR’s predecessor, Herbert Hoover, as Denton notes, was your typical right-winger:

Ideologically opposed to what was called the “dole,” Hoover thought government assistance to individuals would become addictive and undermine their work ethic. As unemployment swelled to nearly 25 percent, that attitude seemed not only uninformed and indifferent but also morally untenable.

Sound familiar? And this was in 1932, the “cruelest year,” a time when America hit rock bottom,” as historian William Manchester described it:

Financial capitalists had bilked millions of customers and had been “permitted to rig the market and trick the public,” said a New Yorker editor. As the Nation magazine put it: “If you steal $25, you’re a thief. If you steal $250,000, you’re an embezzler. If you steal $2,500,000 you’re a financier.”

Also all too familiar, a time when one percent of the population possessed 59 percent of the nation’s wealth.

“Wall Street was not merely accountable for the country’s dilemma,” historian Steve Fraser said of the widespread perception, “it was its perpetrator, the principal villain in a national saga of guilt, revenge, and redemption.” Joseph P. Kennedy, himself a businessman and Wall Street speculator, wrote of the pervasive loss of confidence in the system: “The belief that those in control of the corporate life of America were motivated by honesty and ideals of honorable conduct was completely shattered.”

And the times had their own Rush Limbaughs:

Testimony revealed how Wall Street insiders hired publicity agents, journalists, and radio announcers to hawk certain stocks, thereby manipulating the market; how National City Bank (forerunner of today’s Citigroup) sold worthless bonds; how bankers systematically abandoned their fiduciary responsibilities; and how J.P. Morgan, who wielded extreme personal and unregulated power over billions of dollars in profits, created elaborate machinations to dodge taxes. Morgan partners, in what was effectively a cozy and exclusive men’s club, held 126 directorships in 89 corporations. Most infuriating to the Depression-era public were the disproportionate compensations and bonuses to those who had deceived and thieved common Americans….

[N]either Morgan nor any of his partners had paid income tax for the past three years, and he intended to rely on loopholes to avoid paying any in 1933.

FDR, who was planted firmly in the upperclass, had radical ideas (for the time) about how to turn around the Depression:

It was Roosevelt who had complained that “fewer than three dozen private banking houses and stock-selling adjuncts in the commercial banks have directed the flow of capital within the country and outside it,” and who had vowed, while campaigning for the presidency, to implode the “economic oligarchy.”

One of his appointees, Ferdinand Pecora, headed up the investigations leading ultimately to the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act:

The testimony had brought to light a shocking corruption in our banking system, a widespread repudiation of old fashioned standards of honesty and fair dealing in the creation and sale of securities, and a merciless exploitation of the vicious possibilities of intricate corporate chicanery. The public had been deeply aroused by the spectacle of cynical disregard of fiduciary duty on the part of many of its most respected leaders; of directors, who conveniently subordinated their official obligations to an avid pursuit of personal gain; of great banks, which combined the functions of a bank with those of a stock jobber; of supposedly impartial public markets for the sale of securities, actually operated as private clubs for the individual benefits of their members.

Strong parallels with current events, though as Timothy R. Smith wrote in the Washington Post, the right wing was far more militarized:

American fascist parties formed paramilitary groups called the silver shirts, the khaki shirts or the black shirts, a Crayola box of colors inspired by Hitler’s brownshirts and Mussolini’s blackshirts. “Dangerous or not,” Denton notes, “America was awash with right-wing groups overtly bent on government takeover outside the bounds of the democratic electoral process.”

The largest effort was a well-financed Wall Street plot to organize the American Legion to march on Washington, seize the White House, overthrow the president and install a famous military hero, Smedley Darlington Butler, as leader of a fascist state modeled after Italy. Butler, a two-time Medal of Honor recipient and firm supporter of Roosevelt, turned the ringleaders in.

Butler was an odd choice, as a Roosevelt supporter and unashamedly vocal in his politics:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

The “mainstream media” of the day didn’t exactly cover itself in glory, chosing to basically ignore the plot, as cowed then as now:

The role of the press was similarly confusing. Was the story downplayed because of potential embarrassment to influential figures, or was it marginalized because the plot was so absurdly far-fetched that it resembled one of the potboiler adventure stories that Butler wrote for various magazines, if not a Marx Brothers zany comedy? “An apparently serious effort to overthrow the government, perhaps with the support of some of America’s wealthiest men, largely substantiated by a Congressional Committee, was mostly ignored,” wrote Clayton E. Cramer in History Today. “Why?”

Roosevelt’s secretary of the interior, Harold Ickes, would charge an alliance between the American Liberty League and the country’s major newspapers, which distorted and covered up the news “in the interest of both their advertisers and in defense of the capitalist class.” In any event, the Liberty League was fast becoming the most significant anti-Roosevelt organization in the country. With infinite resources, much of it from the du Pont family, it would spend millions to destroy the New Deal. Providing editorials to thousands of newspapers, radio stations, and libraries, it was described as sponsoring “one of the most extensive propaganda campaigns of the twentieth century.”

Until the Koch brotherss came along with ALEC, that is . . .

Hairball Fever

Helping Romney Win the All-Important Confederate Constituency

via Political Animal by Adele Stan on 3/3/12

So Mitt Romney has an important new celebrity endorser: none other than Ted Nugent, of “Cat Scratch Fever” fame (and not any other hit song kind of fame).

Nugent conveyed his endorsement yesterday via Twitter, reports Politico’s Burns & Haberman Caitlin McDevitt, after having what Nugent tweeted was “a long heart&soul (sic) conversation” with Romney.

In endorsing Romney, the Motor City Madman, as Nugent likes to be known, parts company with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom Nugent endorsed for governor in 2006. (Perry now belongs to the Gingrich camp.)

Nugent made waves at the governor’s 2007 inaugural ball, according to a report that appeared at the time in the Houston Chronicle:

Nugent appeared onstage wearing a cut-off T-shirt emblazoned with the sure-to-draw-headlines Confederate flag and shouting some unflattering remarks about non-English speakers, according to people who were in attendance. His props were machine guns.

UPDATE: And it gets better. That same year, Nugent referred to Barack Obama as “a piece of sh*t” who should “suck on my machine gun.” In a 1994 interview, Nugent referred to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton as “a toxic c–t,” a “bitch” and a “two-bit whore.”

Nice get, Mitt. (Is this what “severely conservative” means?)

For the record, Nugent says he would have preferred Perry if the Lone Star Tenther hadn’t flunked the debates. From the Texas Tribune:

“Whatever occurred at those early debates that caused the real Rick Perry to take a back seat to whoever that was literally caused my wife to cry,” Nugent said. “We thought, ‘Has he been advised by idiots?’ To this day, we still don’t know what happened.”

Mario Piperni on Conservapedia

Conservapedia: Wingnut’s Path To Ignorance

February 27, 2012 By

When I’m in need of a chuckle, I point my browser to Conservapedia, the supposedly conservative alternative to Wikipedia. Conservapedia is basically where the far right fringe wackos turn to when they’re in need of ‘encyclopedic’ proof of the lies and bullshit they just heard on Fox News. In short, Conservapedia is to knowledge what the Creationist Museum is to science.

From the Conservapedia entry for ‘Barack Hussein Obama’

Anyway, I was doing a Google search for something and accidentally stumbled upon the Conservapedia entry for Barrack Hussein Obama. Not only is it as stupid as stupid gets, it’s hilarious. Here’s the opening paragraph for the entry.

Barack Hussein Obama II also known by the alias Barry Soetoro during his time in Indonesia (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th President of the United States and the controversial recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Overcoming a short political career, Obama defeated Republican nominee John McCain for the presidency in 2008, campaigning on promises of “hope” and “change”. In effect, that change has been an embrace of socialism and liberal policies. Barack Obama has been widely criticized by the American business community and others for his anti-business policies that are killing American jobs during a period of high unemployment. Trend forecaster Gerald Celente indicates that Obama administration’s response to the the failed American economy is more war and the creation of misleading economic statistics.

Can’t you just feel the love? After that, it only gets better. Here’s what they have printed under the sub-heading Early Life.

It has been disputed by some groups whether Obama was actually born in the United States; some people allege that he was born in Kenya. On April 27, 2011 Obama officially released his long form birth certificate, which many experts have determined to be a fake and no legal body has determined its authenticity .


Ayers and Dohrn used their celebrity status among leftists to launch Obama’s career. Ayers, Dohrn and Jeff Jones are authors of Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-imperialism, the title taken from The Sayings of Mao Zedong. The book declares “we are communist men and women.” Ayers later jokingly, publicly admitted to ghostwriting Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father and Obama was to appoint several openly avowed Maoists to prominent White House and Executive Branch positions.

And in case you didn’t know…

By Obama’s third year as Commander-in-Chief, over 1200 American troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan – significantly more than the number who died during President George W. Bush’s term of office.

What about those 4100 soldiers who were killed in Iraq while George Bush was Commander-in-Chief, you ask? Shhh…never happened.

Conservapedia likes to brag that it is used as a learning tool for many children in conservative households who are homeschooled. So the next time someone asks you how a child can grow up to become a Rick Santorum an ignorant, misinformed, bigoted, self-righteous moron, now you know.