Friday, September 26, 2014

How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty

"Sons of Wichita" is the title of this most interesting book. For years, I read about this dysfunctional extremely wealthy family and their effect on society but this book is probably the most insightful I've ever read about the good and evil manipulations of the upper classes. And the good and evil, sometimes unnoticeable (to most of us in the medium and lower classes)  manipulations of big and bigger and more powerful, bureaucracies and the elected..

Those of you with a political and social  bent will find this non-fiction book hard to put down. The author, Daniel Shulman, wrote this book over a two year span. It was published this year, I;m hopeful there is a followup book on the Koch families by someone who is deep in factual investigations. Another good factual read should be published at the end of the 2016.

Politics has a dirty element, no matter who the players. I'm both glad and sorry I was a participant starting largely in 1992, the year I sold my business. I probably would have been more involved if I had been born into wealth instead of an 11 member struggling farm family. I'd also probably be dead by now instead of being an aged survivor to help bring out facts of  happening, in our world. past, present and future.

For the record, I decided not to run again in 2010 after 10 years of service on the Peoria County Board.. The County Board had more than substantial balances in ALL funds in 2010. Now this county is probably in worse financial shape than it was when I was first elected in year 2000. Then, the county was in such bad shape that we had to borrow $1.5 million to meet the payroll and couldn't afford the $7 million to put a new roof on BelWood, install a sprinkler system, new plumbing and electrical systems. Today, we are stuck with a new 'BelWood', built with borrowed money, somewhere in the vicinity of $47 million. With board members caught with the option of cutting employees and raising fees.

And a loss of $900,000.00 in the first 6 months of this year, despite the over $3 million paid each year by Peoria County property taxpayers plus all the money Heddington Oaks receives from other taxpayer funded government bodies. I'm sure the employees and residents enjoy our largess.

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