1981 Charles Koch as Chairman of the Council for a Competitive Economy: “Will Businessmen Be the Death of Free Enterprise”

This document consists of correspondence from a group created by Charles Koch called the “Council for a Competitive Economy.” Charles Koch was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of this group at the time.

This correspondence included an essay by Koch titled: “Will Businessmen be the Death of Free Enterprise?”  

Below are key quotes from the article:

  1. “Business’ education strategy has been guided by greater concern with short-term respectability and acceptance than with long-term survival. We have supported universities and foundations philosophically dedicated to the destruction of business and what remains of the free market. We must stop financing our own destruction.”
  2. “Also largely wasted is the money contributed to those private colleges that make free enterprise noises, but fail to produce competent graduates dedicated to establishing the free enterprise system.”
  3. “The development of talent is, or should be, the major point of all these efforts. To be effective, this talent must have the knowledge, skill and sophistication to meet statist adversaries and their arguments head on and to defect them. They must have the desire and commitment to unceasingly advance the cause of liberty. During the 15 years I have been actively investing my time and money in reestablishing our free society, our biggest problem has been the shortage of talent. Statist have succeeded while we floundered because they have had the talent and the cadre to develop and sell their programs.”
  4. “Up until now, those values have been supplied by the anti-capitalists, whether of the Ralph Nader or Felix Rohatyn stripe. Our job is to finally provide real competition to them by making the moral case for capitalism.”
  5. “We accept that fallacious concept that the corporation has a broad ‘social responsibility’ beyond its duty to its shareholders. We are ashamed of private ownership and profits, and are hoodwinked into characterizing government regulations as ‘virtuous’ and in the ‘public interest.’ As a typical example, the Advertising Council, backed by most major US corporations, describes regulations as ‘the promotion of fair economic competition and the protection of public health and safety.’ This is nonsense.”