Do You Make $34,000 Per Year? Congratulations, the Koch Brothers Say You’re Part of The 1%

Charles Koch Image via Rolling Stone

Charles Koch
Image via Rolling Stone

First, let me clarify that this is not satire.  That being said, I still don’t think I’ve fully wrapped my mind around what I just watched, which prompted me to instantly stop what I was doing and write this.

It takes a lot to render me speechless, but that’s exactly what happened after I watched the Koch brothers’ newest commercial.

Or let’s call it what it really is—their new piece of propaganda.

In what I can only describe as something that would make an excellent Saturday Night Live skit (except this is a real commercial being broadcast) the Koch brothers claim that Americans making over $34,000 per year are part of the 1%.

Well, the 1% —of the world.

Oh–now I see.  If we compare those in the United States making at least $34,000 per year to say, you’re average Ethiopian, then they’re absolutely in the top 1%—as long as they lived in Ethiopia.

Again, this is not satire.  It’s a real commercial that compares the economic level of Americans making $34,000 per year to those that live in impoverished countries where the infant mortality rate is something like 50 for every 1,000 births—you know, like Haiti.

Now I’ve seen a lot of ridiculous things in my life.  Hell, I watched Sharknado, and even that wasn’t as ridiculous as watching this sixty-three second Koch brothers commercial.

This ad also takes a shot at health care, by claiming that industrialized countries like the United States lead the world in life expectancy and implying that more regulations put that in jeopardy of falling.  In effect, if we don’t stop regulating the unethical behavior of people like the Koch brothers—we’re all going to die at younger ages.

What they don’t mention is that every country that actually ranks in the top 10 for life expectancy has socialized health care—something else the Koch brothers strongly oppose.  Many of the other countries ranked ahead of the United States have socialized health care as well.

Oh, and the ad also doesn’t mention that American life expectancy is actually increasing, not falling.

By the way, the countries this “study” ranks ahead of the United States in many categories — countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Chile — are all tiny when compared to the United States.  The comparisons are completely ridiculous.

But the truth is, this ad basically says, “Hey, look, for $34,000 you people would be living like kings in (insert name of developing country) so you should stop complaining.”

Which of course makes absolutely no sense.  To compare the low incomes of people living in the United States to the low (or impoverished) people living in poor nations is preposterous, and shows just how ignorant the Koch brothers think Republican voters are.  Because most Republicans who see this won’t think, “Wow, did they just say if we make $34,000 per year we’re rich—if we lived in Uganda?”

No, most will see this video and say, “Exactly!  Score one for capitalism!”  Not realizing the complete and total ridiculousness of this commercial.

And while this ad also talks about how we “once” were the leading nation in almost every economic category, and how we’ve fallen in many of them, it fails to mention that our downfall began around the time we:

  • Started using Trickle Down Economics as an economic policy.
  • Stripped power away from unions.
  • Allowed the salaries of big executives to dwarf the pay of the average employee.
  • Let Wall Street use our economy (and the lives of millions of Americans) in a game of high stakes poker.

When we went from a country that looked out for 98% of Americans, to being one that protected the top 2% at the expense of everyone else, that’s when we fell as a nation.

The Koch brothers know this, which is why they made this unbelievably stupid commercial.  They know it’s people like them who are destroying this nation.

And they’re terrified of more Americans finally figuring that out.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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