Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Union-busting billionaire booed at NY ballet

The bloated billionaire and his trophy wife.
It's small comfort, given all the harm he's done, but we learned today that David Koch was booed last month at a performance of The Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Koch is the 49th richest person in the world and possibly Public Enemy No. 1 for working families. Koch and his brother Charles fund the vast conspiracy to destroy organized labor and reduce America to a low-wage society. That's pretty much why he was booed, even though he gave the ballet $2.5 million.

Koch nurtures a vast network of goons who earn comfortable livings attacking wage earners. He funds a couple of nasty think tanks like Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute. They busily concoct attacks on government workers and misleading arguments in support of right-to-work-for-less laws.

Twice a year, Koch gathers his network of billionaires and anti-union thugs, er, journalists and political operatives, at lavish resorts. There they secretly map out their plans to destroy the middle class. It's safe to assume that trashing government workers and eliminating unions was high on their agenda. Ever since Koch pampered and flattered the journalists at luxurious retreats, they've been relentlessly hostile toward public employee unions and enthusiastically supportive of right-to-work-for-less laws. They include Glenn Beck (well, he's not a journalist, but none of them are, really), Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, syndicated columnist Michael Barone, Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal and Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review.

The past few days offer a wee sample of Koch's success. On Sunday, the Plain Dealer reported that Ohio politicians want to eliminate binding arbitration for cops and firefighters. On Monday, the Detroit News  reported that Michigan's new governor, Rick Snyder, may cut public employee benefits and salaries to reduce the state budget deficit. Also on Monday, New Jersey Newsroom reported Gov. Chris Christie plans to reduce health benefits for government workers and raise their premiums. On Tuesday the New York Post reported New York City's sanitation workers are being investigated for criminal wrongdoing because they didn't plow the snow fast enough (though 400 of them had been laid off). The New York Times reported that  lawmakers in Indiana, Maine, Missouri and seven other states will introduce right-to-work-for-less bills.

It goes on and on and on. Koch should consider himself lucky that he only got booed.