The Kochs' plan to mold America into a libertarian land free from taxes and regulation begins with funding free-market academic programs.By Alex Kotch
The state of Arizona will shell out at least $5 million per year to free-market academic centers established with funding from billionaire industrialist and Republican political donor Charles Koch at two of its public universities. Part of a series of budget bills that passed the Republican-dominated state House and Senate, the funding decision met the ire of professors and students concerned that the state had earmarked funds for ideological centers tied to big business and a partisan political figure. Still, GOP Gov. Doug Ducey signed the budget on May 10.
Charles and David Kochs' political influence is no secret to many Americans after the brothers led a massive, $407 million political fundraising effort in 2012. Less well known is the huge investment Charles Koch has made in higher education, giving nearly $108 million to 366 colleges and universities from 2005 to 2014, often funding free-market focused programs. The Kochs’ “Structure of Social Change,” a three-step plan devised in the 1970s to mold America into a libertarian land free from taxes and regulation, begins with funding free-market academic programs. Next, think tanks financed with Koch money take the laissez-faire academic work and package it into easily digestible policy proposals, which, in step three, “citizen activist” groups (Koch-funded “social welfare” nonprofits such as Americans for Prosperity) pressure lawmakers and the public to support.