“When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.”
— Charles Koch, quoting Frédéric Bastiat
This episode will no doubt surprise people, and my guest came to me through channels I wouldn’t have expected.
Charles Koch received a bachelor’s degree in general engineering and two master’s degrees, in nuclear and chemical engineering, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He is chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries Inc., a position he has held since 1967. He is renowned for growing Koch Industries from a company worth $21 million in the early 1960s to one with revenues estimated as high as $110 billion by Forbes. It’s one of the largest privately held companies in the world, and by revenue, it’s larger than both Boeing and Disney. He has transformed the business into a diverse group of companies that employ nearly 130,000 people—making everything from Dixie cups to components in your cell phone.
Charles credits the success of Koch Industries to applying proven principles of social and scientific progress, which led to the development and implementation of his Market-Based Management® (MBM®) business philosophy. He describes MBM and its applications in two of his books, The Science of Success and Good Profit.
Charles is now using those principles in philanthropy, as the founder of Stand Together, to tackle some of the biggest challenges in the U.S. Stand Together is partnering with thousands of social entrepreneurs to help them improve their effectiveness and scale at tackling poverty, improving K-12 education, bringing justice to our criminal justice system, and more.
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Stand Together:
Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
- Connect with Koch Industries:
Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
- Wichita, KS
- What Is Time Preference? From: The Audiopedia
- Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner
- Charles Koch Shares the Letter That Guides His Life, ABC News
- Arthur D. Little
- Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies by Charles G. Koch
- Why Wages Rise by F.A. Harper
- Human Action: A Treatise on Economics by Ludwig von Mises
- Understanding Maslow’s Theory of Self-Actualization, ThoughtCo.
- Science as Falsification by Karl R. Popper, Conjectures and Refutations
- The Republic of Science: Its Political and Economic Theory by Michael Polanyi, Minerva
- Inside Charles Koch’s $200 million quest for a Republic of Science, The Washington Post
- Everything You Need to Know about Occupational Licensing, Vox
- Whole Foods
- Berkshire Hathaway
- Charles Koch on Separating Good Profit from Bad, Wichita Business Journal
- Big River Steel
- Green Steel: How Arkansas Became Home To America’s Cleanest And Fastest-Growing Steelmaker, Forbes
- General Electric
- Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy by Michael Polanyi
- What Is Comparative Advantage? Investopedia
- What Is Creative Destruction? Investopedia
- Kodak Failed By Asking The Wrong Marketing Question, Forbes
- Confirmation of Maslow’s Hypothesis of Synergy: Developing an Acceptance of Selfishness at the Workplace Scale, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
- The Koch Institute Is Worried About Free Speech on Campus. But Not in the Way You Might Think. The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Property Rights, The Library of Economics and Liberty
- Defining Decision Rights, The Conscious Leadership Group
- Market-Based Management Guiding Principles, Charles Koch Institute
- Ludwig von Mises and the Human Action Shift in Economics, Charles Koch Institute
- How Liberals and Conservatives Joined up on Prison Reform, CNN
- The Cato Institute
- Tim Ferriss Goes to Maximum Security Prison, The Tim Ferriss Show #323
- How Youth Entrepreneurs Is Transforming the Lives of High School Students, Stand Together
- Youth Entrepreneurs: Breaking Through Barriers, Stand Together
- Youth Entrepreneurs
- The First Step Act
- Hudson Link
- How the Koch Brothers Are Fighting the Opioid Crisis, The Daily Beast
- The Phoenix
- The Declaration of Independence, National Archives
- In an Astonishing Turn, George Soros and Charles Koch Team up to End US ‘Forever War’ Policy, The Boston Globe
- The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
- How the Miserable Death of Moammar Gadhafi Factors into Kim Jong Un’s Nuclear Ambitions, CNBC
- Murray Rothbard’s Ideas of Demonstrated Preference and Their Use in Defense of a Free Market, The Rational Argumentator
- The Isle of Grain, The Spectator
- Rice University
- Quanah, Texas
- United Negro College Fund
- Why Free Speech Matters on Campus by Michael Bloomberg and Charles Koch, WSJ
- Congress Must Act on the ‘Dreamers’ by Tim Cook and Charles Koch, The Washington Post
- Unite with Anybody to Do Right by Charles Koch and Michael Lomax, USA Today
- A New Model for Juvenile Justice: Why a Pro-Football MVP Is Helping This Restaurant Go National, Stand Together
- How to Address the Biggest Challenge of Our Time by Charles Koch, Stand Together
- An Inspiring Community Unites to Help the Jobless Secure Jobs, Stand Together
- Charles Koch on Businesses Giving Second Chances to Former Prisoners, Stand Together
- UNCF/Koch Scholars Program: Unexpected Partners Join Forces for the Future, Koch Industries
- Adversaries Unite to Achieve Historic Criminal Justice Reform, Stand Together
- Charles Koch on Failure, Charles Koch
- What is Charles’s history with digging dandelions? [13:30]
- Charles talks about the letter from his father that hangs framed on his wall and why it’s important to him. [17:59]
- On being talked into returning to Wichita after graduating from MIT to run one of his father’s businesses, and how Charles switched from a mindset focused on instant gratification to one of long-term value. [19:49]
- The authors who have had the largest impact on Charles’s thinking. [24:40]
- How does Charles utilize scientific or engineering principles that he learned at MIT for business? Where do Karl Popper and Michael Polanyi figure into the process? [28:26]
- Specifically, how has Charles applied concepts from Polanyi’s “The Republic of Science” to his work? [31:41]
- Virtuous cycles of mutual benefit, creating value for others, and the two components of finding opportunities in this value. [35:15]
- Now that we know what good profit is, what is bad profit — and how does it reduce value and diminish opportunity? [41:17]
- Do Koch companies participate in bad profit? [44:23]
- What are the major market distortions that Charles opposes? [48:39]
- Within the company, how are disagreements hashed out? Is there a framework of principles in place to guide consensus? [49:43]
- Driving principles: personal knowledge versus conceptual knowledge, three-dimensional learning, comparative advantage, synergy, creative destruction, free speech, property rights, decision rights, market-based management, and the human action model. [53:51]
- If these principles seem so obvious, why are they so often ignored by countries, organizations, and companies? [1:02:15]
- What Charles has found to be the three requirements of a good, successful partnership. [1:04:08]
- How has Charles’s approach to policy coalitions changed over time, and what ground has been gained by finding common cause with former adversaries? [1:05:32]
- What is Stand Together, and what does it aim to accomplish? [1:13:18]
- How does Stand Together incorporate market-based solutions that have proven successful for Charles’s other endeavors? [1:16:22]
- A hopeful look forward at Stand Together capturing the national imagination with the same intensity and bipartisan support as prison reform is enjoying today. [1:22:19]
- Is Stand Together still accepting applications from social entrepreneurs? [1:25:37]
- Charles weighs in on capitalism, the ideal role of a business in society, environmental priorities, and politicized corruption. [1:29:33]
- The effect of higher taxes on GDP, the failure of trickle-down economics, and what Charles sees as the best course toward the pursuit of happiness. [1:35:10]
- Does Koch Industries fund propaganda to confuse people about climate change? [1:39:20]
- What does Charles consider to be the most legitimate existential threats to humankind? [1:44:20]
- The cause that unites the seemingly unlikely pairing of Koch Industries and George Soros. [1:46:32]
- For what would Charles be willing to bet his entire personal fortune? [1:48:37]
- What would Charles’s billboard say? [1:49:43]
- After whom was Charles named, and why? [1:50:54]
- Where did the nonintuitive (to most Americans) pronunciation of “Koch” originate? [1:54:15]
- Parting thoughts. [1:56:26]
- Fred C. Koch
- Howard Gardner
- Frederick R. Koch
- F.A. Harper
- Ludwig von Mises
- Abraham Maslow
- Friedrich Hayek
- Sigmund Freud
- Karl Popper
- Michael Polanyi
- Isaac Newton
- John Mackey
- Richard B. Myers
- Edwards Deming
- David Ricardo
- Joseph Schumpeter
- Liz Koch
- George W. Bush
- Barack Obama
- Van Jones
- George Soros
- Frédéric Bastiat
- John Quincy Adams
- Moammar Gadhafi
- Charles de Ganahl
- Carl de Ganahl
- Harry Koch
- Michael Bloomberg
- Tim Cook
- Michael Lomax
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262 Replies to “Charles Koch — CEO of Koch Industries (#381)”
Love your stuff Bro, and pretty open minded, but not sure on this one
agreed. tim seems to have fallen into this pattern of questions that’s pretty much the same for all his interviews now. i did not hear him push back on anything at all in this — the man with more power and influence than the us president — no hard questions, no follow up.
For anyone late to the party, here’s NPR’s take:
“I think the genius of the Kochs is the magic trick that they’ve really figured out, which is that it’s not just their money funding this; they’ve created a consortium.
Journalist Jane Mayer traces the growing influence of the Koch brothers and other wealthy conservative donors in her new book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.”
Normally I’m all for exploring lots of different arenas…
But, I’m sorry.
The Koch’s are undermining the planet, education, society as a whole.
I just. Can’t.
I don’t want hear anything from the Koch’s.
Ditto. This hurts. Gut punch. I’ve told everyone I know about you…..I’m crazy about you.
Not to mention their companies are horrible to work for. They gove poor excuses year after year as to why they will be delaying raises for an additional 6 mos then 6 mos rolls around so they come up with yet another pathetic excuse. And the cycle continues over and over during what I saw of my spouses 12 year employment with the company. All the while The Koch Brothers see their wealth soar high and higher. They really have no clue how unhealthy their work life balance is taking a toll on the employees who are forced to decide on keeping their jobs vs keeping a family life.
Like the chicken plant that solicited work from illegals, brought them here, treated them like animals including sexual harassment all under minimal wages then lost a legal settlement for ~4 mil? Within a year ICE is on the doorstep of same Mississippi chicken pant to have a record setting round up of 635 persons on the first Monday kids are to go to school. Leaves children destitute without parents and families destroyed.
[Moderator: point of clarification—Koch Industries and Koch Foods are not affiliated.]
Too cynical to think there wasn’t collusion to consider this as payback for taking on the man? In this case the Koch ‘s all philandering philanthropists?
Not pretty Tim. Especially the read as an introduction like this guy does need any help on his image?
Not sure where your “spouses” worked, but my experience working two KOCH companies was amazing. I obtained a position when many companies considered me too old. I was provided tuition reimbursement, training in house and onsite training. Reviews and raises were designed to help personal growth and goals. I was enabled to add value and rewarded when accomplishing group and personal goals that contributed to customer’s bottom line. I was encouraged to take family vacations arranged by Koch travel services. I was glad to be part of KOCH’s ethos in creating better, more efficient, cleaner, producing with a smaller carbon footprint, products and services than the competition. No item ever forced on anyone, company or purchasing government body. Products so popular that it requires 130,000 employees to produce or maintain. Products either direct or as feedstock for products that adds value to even your life. There’s a great chance you come in contact with a computer, car, home, or business that has benefited from parts; even road materials, building supplies, fuel, water filtration, solar panels, windmills and thermal building window glass to name a few.
I totally understand people who shut out opposing views, it is much easier for me to accept my small group’s viewpoint and then seek to reinforce my ‘convictions’ while dehumanizing people I don’t like or agree with, you know the evil “them”. Open minded, except not? Thank you Tim Ferris. I find it rewarding to hear people I don’t agree with, and then make up my own mind. Keep interviewing all sides.
acudocric – The chicken plant is owned by a different company with the same name. There is no relationship to Koch Industries.
Another great podcast thanks for ignoring all of the thought police who may get triggered by this interview!
Expressing an opinion in a comment section isn’t policing other’s thoughts. If it were, you’d be equally guilty of thought-policing by expressing your own opinion here.
People aren’t getting “triggered”, because that would mean that they’re being overwhelmed by emotion. Instead, they’re raising considered, rational arguments as to why they don’t believe that Tim should provide Koch with an even larger platform than he already has. Just because their opinion differs from yours, doesn’t mean they’re stupid or wrong.
Defending free speech and opinion to see both sides of an argument is what Tim is doing here. Tim can provide a forum for whomever he wants and believes will share his message of cultural transparency. Charles Koch employs 130,000 workers and his companies serve millions of customers well. His Stand Together initiative is impressive. No reason why Tim shouldn’t share this news.
I am disgusted that you would feature such a person on your site. He is not only destroying the planet, he is undermining democracy.
“Undermining democracy” would be a good thing.
Won’t be listening to this one.
Don’t care how successful u say or think he is.
Koch brothers are not good for this country.
Shame on you. Koch and his family have no qualms whatsoever about destroying the planet, and you give them this platform to justify themselves.
If your friends thought this was a good idea, I’d say its time to find some new friends.
I am a long-time fan of your podcast and listen to most shows. I have to write to let you know that I am upset and disappointed that you would interview Charles Koch on your show. I know you are an independent thinker and have had controversial guests on before, however, David Koch is pure self-interested evil. Most of what he and his family does is destructive to our representational system of government.
David Koch and the Koch network have used their wealth to jerry rig the electoral process with their deep pockets to the benefit of the wealthy and corporations. Their combined efforts seek to strengthen the power of the wealthy to limit the protections the US government allows our citizens.
Among other things Charles Koch funded interest groups have tried to kill the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (and especially the expansion of Medicaid to poor uninsured adults) in states like Missouri and Tennessee. They have sought to roll back state efforts to address climate change (for instance, in Kansas and West Virginia), and their contributions led to passing massive tax cuts for wealthy individuals and companies (as in Kansas and Oklahoma).
Charles Koch and the millions he and his clandestine organizations spend to protect the rich and powerful are a cancer on our democracy and if left unfettered will eventual lead to the ruin on of our country and our democracy.
I don’t know what to say Tim. I am really disappointed.
Amen my friend!!
Very well written and I agree 100%!
Well stated and so true. Why anyone could see these Brothers as an asset to our country is beyond me. I’m sure Tim felt compelled to go down the Forbes list and was as disappointed to see Charles mame appear as we are.
Great statement you made:
“Charles Koch and the millions he and his clandestine organizations spend to protect the rich and powerful are a cancer on our democracy and if left unfettered will eventual lead to the ruin on of our country and our democracy.”
Yeah, I’m feeling exactly the same way. I’ve always really respected Tim, this is a big disappointment.
Second this. Sad to see someone as destructive for the planet as Charles Koch on the show. I’m a long-time listener and have a lot of respect for you, Tim. I just wish you took a firmer stand on people like this.
True. And there’s proof.
There’s a very good book showing what Charles Koch REALLY thinks about undermining democracy. Using his own letters.
See amazon.com democracy in chains
[Moderator: link removed.]
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America Hardcover – June 13, 2017
by Nancy MacLean
Ah………he interviewed Charles Koch. Kind of takes away your credibility here. Bravo Tim, we need more of this kind of balanced/looking at both sides media. Journalism is dead, we don’t get both sides anymore.
Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I agree 100%.
Total bullshit…. great job Tim. Closed minded minions have no business here and would object to an interview with Mother Theresa for her religious views where she still with us…
Thanks for doing this! Shocking that people who hate the Kochs actually know so little about them. Hope your listeners actually approach this with an open mind instead of with pre-rendered opinions.
Really? The overwhelmingly negative reaction to this interview is due to lack of knowledge? That’s reductionist. Here’s some knowledge about the awful Kochs to open YOUR mind:
[Moderator: link removed.]
Super un-biased websites, Marie … I wonder if you or the rest of the complainy-pants bothered to listen to the interview. I understand it’s tough to shrug of years or decades of liberal propaganda, but maybe give it a try.
sure…and we are supposed to blindly trust and believe Rolling Stone and the New York Times.. now THAT’s reductionist!!
Sorry Tim but there is nothing good about Charles Koch when it comes to his politics..
He is a 100% profit before people capitalist who chooses to use his intellect and fortune to repeal our environmental protections and gives millions to Republicans like Moscow Mitch and Trump. People who in my opinion are simply evil, selfish and stubborn white males of privilege. Due to Republican obstruction, nothing gets done in Washington despite the desires of the electorate.
A simple thing like Universal Background Checks, supported by over 70% of the population of both parties and including many gun owners never gets passed because of people with money like the Koch brothers buying Congress.
If Koch really believed in democracy he’d put his money behind getting big money out of politics and ending Citizens United. But he likes the status quo, where his money buys him influence, even if the majority disagrees with his politics.
Social Democracy has been proven to bring a higher quality of life and happier populations than America’s unregulated capitalism. But the Republicans scare people and lie about the benefits and mislabel it as socialism and communism.
Mr. Koch may be the nicest guy in person but he is on the wrong side of history.
Clearly you did not listen to the podcast. Please do before making your judgement.
Where is the jump in his logic that he didn’t listen to podcast?
Isn’t it amazing how suddenly a hard won reputation for both intelligence and probity can be called into question.
I’ve listened to your podcast for years and have enjoyed many of them. It’s good to see you progressing from pre-canned questions to more questions based on what people are saying.
I’ve noticed how you generally steer clear of politics on your podcast. You don’t seem comfortable. With US politics the way it is that’s understandable.
In this podcast, it’s almost with reluctance that you ask the difficult questions – and then you use the words of your listeners. Even after asking them, you don’t follow up and press on the answers Charles Koch gave you. Sometimes, I wish you would just ask the question and be quiet instead of the qualifying and watering down you occasionally do! Although the questions weren’t softballs, your failure to interrogate the replies meant that the issues were only superficially covered.Good interviewing is not just about batting a ball over the net then letting the person bat the ball back. You can bat the ball back again and not drop the return.
There is a real discrepancy between what many people believe about Charles Koch and, for example, what he says about climate change. This podcast did not clear that up or any of the other controversial topics. As a neutral, I feel you missed an opportunity.
Being nice is good but I think it’s possible to ask (and press on) difficult questions without being adversarial.
I wished this was better. You did your best and asked some good questions. I wonder how he feels about silly things like patents and intellectual property rights? I don’t know how good an idea it would be to have non licensed doctors,pharmacists and engineers.I see where he is coming from but really do not agree with his methods. ( Former libertarian here and now avid democratic socialist) Keep up the good work. I still think he is evil but not 100% evil. Maybe 80%
Great job, glad you were able to get him on. It is strange how the “tolerant” crowd never wants to hear from someone they have been told they should disagree with. Or even discover what they have in common.
One should never be tolerant about evil or criminality.
When did listening become tolerance?
You don’t agree with him so he’s evil?
I can’t believe you didn’t do your homework. The Koch brothers have ruined our democracy by taking out fake ads and dumbing down the American people for their benefit. They literally took over all the television stations in the Midwest and the south brainwashing people to vote for Trump to continue to line their pockets.
he doesn’t like Trump.
Tim, you interviewed one of the greatest threats to our democracy in American. The Koch brothers are pure evil. I’ve always enjoyed your work. This is deeply disappointing an you think you maybe ask some hard questions here but you don’t. You celebrate a man who puts profits above all else.
Unbelievable Tim! You are hitting it out of the ballpark once again with your guests. Many people would not have known this titan of industries if it were not for the slightly (lol) negative and biased coverage in the media in recent year . I am saying this as a bipartisan European observers, since a heated debate is already starting.Thanks for the great podcasts in recent years
My lesson sadly was that I only have one small power in this world so I’m voting with my feet and unsubscribing to your blog and bullets. There’s a distinct, dangerous and material difference between Charles Koch and many others you have interviewed. I enjoy listening to the views of others but I’m not actively subscribing to a blog that gives a platform to the lies of this dangerous individual who has actively used his money to undermine democracy.
The Koch brothers just had hundreds of families ripped apart last week in Mississippi bc they didn’t want to follow ethical business practices. How can any decent human take them seriously? I don’t care how successful they are. They are doing it at the price of every day people and the environment.
As a child of an immigrant seeing this land in my inbox today was a shock. Really taken back by this one.
Koch Industries and Koch Foods are not affiliated, though the founders share the name.
Yeah, not a fan of the Kochs by a longshot. I’m guessing it must be pure coincidence that some of the workers deported in Mississippi were in the suit against the Kochs, right?
Koch Industries and Koch Foods are not affiliated.
Tim, Did you read “Dark Money” (https://amzn.to/2KsMzqT) as part of your research for the interview. If you haven’t read it, please do.
Charles Koch has a cancerous influence on our democracy (specifically special interest influence buying politicians, voter suppression, allowing corporations to write law, etc etc), the health of our planet, education in this country, workers’ rights and so much more. It is extremely dangerous to be normalizing his influence and I can’t support that. I will be unsubscribing from your newsletter and encouraging others to do the same.
Why would you give a pulpit to one of the evilest persons on the planet today, destroying our planet and lives in the name of power and greed? Tim, what happened to your ethical compass?
No effing way. I’m out. Been following you since 4HWW and have all your books. This is a complete dealbreaker and massive disappointment.
I have followed you and been a supporter of yours since “4 Hour Work Week”. I am a little shocked to see that you’ve done a podcast episode with one of the Koch brothers, actually a little taken aback. The Koch brothers specifically fund “The Bill of Rights Institute” which teaches among other things, a distorted historical view of the inhumane treatment of enslaved people during the slavery.
Sad and disappointed.
Mr. Koch has also poured significant wealth into ending Medicare and Social Security. I’m surprised that you’ve chosen to profile him on your blog.
As valuable as your communications have been for me, I have decided to stop following you due to your support of Mr. Koch.
Ashamed that I would even consider listening to someone who gives this kind of time to a despicable sub-human enterprise such as Koch. What a shame you would damage your otherwise excellent reputation. This enterprise has done more to destroy this country than almost any other in history. Bad choice. I’m unsubscribed.
As others have indicated, Charles and David Koch are not good examples of leaders and don’t deserve this platform. The only thing I can imagine, trying to step into their shoes, is that they are experts in compartmentalization. If they would truly let sink in what impact their decades of climate denial funding has caused… As is well documented in various articles and books. I am afraid the companies are so big, and their lawyers, lobbyists and social media strategists all do the same: they compartmentalize and try to not see in the mirror what a small voice in the back of their mind says. Massive profits may help the compartmentalization. If you add it all up, the cumulative net impact of the Koch brothers and their companies on people and planet is very negative. And there is no way they can be taken seriously on science with this track record.
Well, this certainly caught my attention. I have strong disagreements with the Kochs, but can’t say I’ve spent time listening to any of them. That seems to be the trend these days. We obsess over attacking rather than listening or learning more about a person (what fuels their ideas?). I’m glad you were the one to do this and I appreciate the effort. There are some interesting nuggets in here.
Attack the ideas, not the person.
What should one do when “the person” uses their enormous wealth to force their “ideas” onto the majority, ideas that overwhelmingly do not benefit the majority? We HAVE listened to the Kochs and what we hear is terrible.
Clearly you did not listen, you filtered. Listen and learn.
I’m really disgusted and disappointed that you would give a platform for Koch to spread his agenda. You do realize he is probably using you for PR reasons to make himself and his industries look good in the eyes of younger people and influencers. The actions of the Koch brothers are undermining democracy, destroying the planet, and doing everything they can to give the rich more money and power. Their money helped put Trump into office and other people like him. Please read about their destructive influence and do not give them a platform to spread their ideas further.
Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire
[Moderator: two links removed.]
I hear a man, driven by trying to proof to his never satisfied father, that he is good enough. And I hear a man who believes that his state, his abilities and disabilities are somehow made by destiny.
Both is so very sad to me. Both is the sign of the big trauma that actually rules the world in our time.
hey Tim, we don’t like Koch industries for funding climate denial machine. not because of “identity politics” or because we like our “labels”. its condescending to characterize your audience like that
Unbelievable! So sad that this is your what you choose to feature about this man and his companies practices. The 680+ people taken in the ICE raid last week from one of his processing plants in MS because they were willing to do his dirty work in order to feed their families deserve better. This company and others like it recruit and hire these works to increase their profits and when things go badly they get a slap on the risk while these peoples families and lives are torn apart.
Koch Industries and Koch Foods are not affiliated with each other but two separate companies from founders with the same name.
Tim, I’m from the UK so probably less sensitive to the politics, but I can say it was a superb episode. I usually listen when I’m travelling but I had to pause so I could listen properly with a pen and make notes. In my top 5 favourite episodes ever. Great work
Very good episode, thanks. I´m from Chile so also less sensitive to the US politics. But great to get to know the thinking of someone who is so influential. Employing 130,000 people is huge and I´m tempted to think that he has done much more good for the world than bad, despite all the comments here. Worth listening twice I would say.
Wow complete sellout. Of all the people in the world you can be a platform for and this is who you pick? How much did they pay you to interview this guy? And in such a contrived way where you take their talking points at face value- my goodness. Looking the other way is exactly what is leading us into this divisive racially, economically divided world and no one has divided us more than this man. Why don’t you try offering your platform to women and small business leaders that are changing the world on the ground and using their best efforts to make the world a better place? Sad man, your stuff is getting pretty formulaic and I’m out.
Oh Tim…oh man. Ugh. The Koch brothers are not good for this country dude. I like you, I really do, but please do some research before dipping your toe into politics. This is a red flag that maybe you haven’t been paying attention to current events in the past few years. Now I’m also a little alarmed about who your listening to and who has your ear. Nah, I know your smarter than this dude. You just need to read up on this guy a little more to bring yourself up to speed. “Gut punch” is accurate. Did not expect this today LOL.
I’ve only ever heard bad things about the Koch’s. But he’s a good person, I think you made the right call on interviewing him, Tim.
Group think is too dangerous, those who don’t want to listen to this episode do it at their own expense I think.
I work in environmental advocacy. I’ve really enjoyed your stuff, but having Koch on crosses a line. Poor judgement, Tim Ferris. He and his cronies are destroying our planet and our social fabric. I don’t care how wealthy or famous he is he doesn’t deserve air time.
This guy has had more than his fair share of influence on our political system, economy, and planet. He doesn’t need to be heard on your platform. This is disappointing.
For many years, people say he is evil.
You ask them, for what?
They say he funds anti-climate change propaganda.
Well………..that’s generally the extent of it.
Then, the more you look into climate change, you find that it’s truly cyclical.
Very much looking forward to this interview as I will be listening tonight.
Look forward to hearing HIS perspective rather than so many who feel it’s ok to speak for him.
– Ringo –
Yep, I have to agreed. The Koch family is not good for our country/democracy. Don’t really care how smart he might be, he’s using it in the wrong way.
Really disappointed about this one. As others have said below he is not a leader. As a leading funder of climate change denial, he is culpable for the destruction of the lives of many millions of people worldwide, with many hundreds of millions more to come. Shame on you for giving him a platform and for failing to adequately address this. You don’t live in an underground bunker – there is plenty of evidence that is very easy to find, demonstrating the disgraceful activities of the Koch brothers. I’m a longtime listener of your podcast, and buyer of your books. I shan’t be continuing unless there is a public u-turn on this. Koch is an abhorrent man. We can do without billionaire parasites like him.
Why this upset me: yes the Kochs have access to “larger platforms” than the Tim Ferriss show, but shows like Tim’s have their own unique prestige associated with them. Tim does everything he can to make the guests look good. Charles going on here gives him a chance to tell “his side of the story” with a credulous and easy interviewer. I haven’t listened to the episode yet, but in the 100 or so eps of this show I’ve heard, I can’t recall Tim ever challenging a guest on anything political.
For those saying that this is a chance to see how such an influential person thinks about the world, I think you underestimate how bad faith of an actor Charles Koch is. This is a guy who is more responsible for the rise of climate change denialism than probably anyone. (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/08/30/covert-operations). If you go into the interview having read Dark Money or otherwise having a well-formed view of what the Koch’s have done to the world, then you may be able to get some valuable info out of this. But for the majority of people who don’t know that much about the Koch bros, this acts as good PR in a way that appearing on Fox News doesn’t. Koch also appeared on Freakanomics Radio and received a puff interview from an actual journalist. These guys are dangerous, and Tim is doing harm by giving them a platform (at least in the way Tim does).
Always appreciate hearing contrary opinions. Suggestions for future shows:
Seriously, Tim, I follow your podcast for inspiration and high guideposts in living an engaged and meaningful life. If you would have actually challenged Koch’s grotesque ideologies (think Ted Koppel), the interview might have had some redeeming value. But you didn’t, and it didn’t. A complete disaster.
This is more than a wasted opportunity. It reveals a deep vacancy in your own moral and social compass.
Sometimes I forget how important a really good journalist is and I just want to hear information from a podcast. This is the perfect example of not speaking truth to power. This is not journalism
Is there anyone rich you won’t be obedient to? Disgusting.
Great episode! So many references for reading and great insights! One a side note, I didn’t get why all the controversy about the guest. Is it because of his conservative / liberal orientation? No one seemed to care that much when Peter Thiel was interviewed… or are there other reasons? I’m not from the US, so genuinely interested to understand what is the point…
Yeah, I agree with you. Some of Tim’s audience lives in far left regions of the US on the political spectrum and they’ve been led to believe this man is destroying the world. I think what you are seeing is just people’s preconceived notions of what they’ve heard or read second or third hand. For those that listen to the man with an open mind you get an entirely different picture. Also, look at the comments from the people who actually worked for one of his companies and it’s the complete opposite from the hysteria.
Relatively new listener here, Tim. But the comments here surprise me.
Refusal to even listen to differing viewpoints is the beginning of ignorance. By seeking to understand and find common ground, you’ve set a great example for civil discourse and knowledge.
This idea that we should never even speak or “give platform” to someone with whom we disagree, or even dislike, is harmful and only further entrenches “thought bubbles,” which further polarize society.
Thoughtful, differing viewpoints allow us to challenge our own beliefs and either update or strengthen our own convictions. Thanks for continuing to push these boundaries.
I generally agree with pmo’s comment above.
No one is “evil”. There are different ways of thinking. We should always be considering the whole picture.
That being said, I really wish Tim would have pushed Koch to explain further his support of climate change denial. While I am interested and inspired by much that Koch had to say, there are some huge discrepancies in Koch’s practice that were not addressed. I think many of the listeners were sad that Tim wasn’t strong enough to challenge Koch on that. I would have enjoyed hearing Koch’s answers.
As it stands, Tim let Koch represent himself as just another pro-people American, which is far from a nuanced view.
I have to assume a savvy, thoughtful and self aware person like yourself anticipated some backlash for this podcast. You did it anyway, and I guess you have your reasons.
I just hope this wasn’t something you considered an experiment. This isn’t like trying a new business model. You gave someone that I, and a lot of other people, consider to be an insidiously harmful person time on your platform. To me this episode is a step towards normalization of them. You can’t undo this and just switch the experiment off.
Naturally this is just my opinion, and again I am sure you considered this kind of response before going ahead. I guess all I can really do as someone who has followed you from your very first book is unsubscribe (done now) and steer clear of your platform from now on.
It’s good to be reminded that, with rare exceptions, podcasters are just podcasters. I realize I’ve been foolish for expecting much more than that.
Outstanding, more please. Plenty of room for a round two.
Best podcast for a while, after some wishy washy ones, IMO. Think the last one I enjoyed as much as this was with Ken Block.
It’s nice to hear from a Guy who could easily have spent a futile life, and never wanted for anything, but didn’t, and he sounds relatable, and understandable too, with simple, powerful principles.
Sort of goes to show that the mega rich can be self made too, and do good things in the world. Good lesson for some folk in there, I guess.
I’m British European, so I guess I’ve never been subjected to some of the negativity surrounding this guy and his businesses, although I am far from ignorant of the criticisms levelled at them. I suppose I just don’t have that emotional connection to them.
Amazing to me how many folk do feel compelled to express themselves so strongly, though.
What I also find revealing is how diverse an audience Tim Ferriss has, and how polarised it seems to be.
In my ignorance, I thought that, broadly speaking, most the audience would be sat around the same kind of principles and values, without too much of a divide between any of them. Seems not.
Anyhow, I’d love to hear more like this, can you get George Soros on……..?
What a hand you have played! There are gems in this conversation if one was listening. Not a fan of Koch anything, however, you presented a part of your process, and I commend you for it.
It’s regrettable some commenters feel the need to unsubscribe/cancel subscriptions, but that in itself says so much.
Hats off to all you offer, whether I agree or not.
Sorry, I can’t support normalization of someone who’s used every privilege and power he has to undermine fair elections and effective government, and hastened the end of a viable planet for human life. Unsubscribing.
I challenge anyone who is typically triggered by the Koch’s to take a deep breath, relax, and challenge yourself to listen to someone you disagree with.
You have had more positive influence on me than both of my parents combined- so I do listen twice (and thrice) when you say something, or bring a would-be controversial guest on.
After pondering on this a bit I believe you have made a mistake. I agree that we could all learn something about business from C. Koch, but his moral failings are of a sort that cannot easily be disentangled from his strategies for success.
If you would change your stance on this in the future, I think taking this episode down would be a reasonable. Do not see this as “caving in”, or setting a precedent of people feeling they can censor you.
I just feel this is so out of character that you could genuinely change your mind on this. At that point it would be a sort of consistency bias to keep it.
Of course it would be seen as caving in if he takes it down.
Wow, look at all the triggered people in the comments who know nothing about Koch except what the Thought Police have told them they are supposed to say, and who are unwilling to even listen and learn something about him first-hand. It’s a sign of our times that intellectual intolerance is considered tolerant. Tim, congrats on having the courage to bring a controversial guest on despite the predictable blowback you will get from the noisy (but not representative) voices of political correctness. Don’t let these knee-jerk responses sway you from your mission of bringing important ideas to your audience.
This is such a lazy comment. The blowback has nothing to do with political correctness (which I’m sure you blame for everything). It has to do with people having clear opinions on the Koch’s negative influence on politics, climate, etc. Some people can’t overlook those things to learn a couple business lessons.
It’s typical that your left leaning listeners, or “Progressives,” have no open mind for anyone who disagree with them. Even though I disagree a lot of what the Kochs support I can appreciate and listen to what Charles Koch is trying to accomplish.
As someone neutral on politics I’ve looked into the claims about the Kochs and find they are misrepresented, wrong, or highly exaggerated. What little time you had with him disputes a lot that has been said.
Continue to have more guests from this side. It’s fun to see people’s heads explode.
Sorry Tim. Justifications just don’t work for me anymore. I think you were a tool. Giving this guy air time shows poor judgment on your part (and your friends.) You just gave a platform to someone who doesn’t need one- his money makes it possible for him to BUY platforms of his own making (think tanks, etc) to shape “his” vision of how this country should be run. It just so happens that those platforms also are in the process of undermining the foundational principles of our country.
Just because an individual is intelligent doesn’t mean that the individual is using that intelligence for the common good. It was actually amusing to me to listen to him prattle on and on about the values he learned growing up about hard work, and knowing he didn’t want to do manual labor- “dirty jobs” were “dead end.” Maybe he could say that directly to the workers who do those “dirty jobs” in his businesses. But, hey, he’s good with concepts and theories and abstractions. Got it. Translation: “I can’t handle real life. So I will live in my head.” The very premises under which he lives (and promotes) are flawed to begin with. And, sadly, you bought into his narrative. Having money, or having made scads of it doesn’t mean that one is wise. All it means is that you have a lot of money. And influence to burn.
Part of the problem right now in our country isn’t “thought police” or “political correctness.” The problem is that people aren’t showing up and calling out hubris for what it is. We aren’t stepping up and calling out inhumane, self-serving, greedy behavior. Have loved your shows but I’m out. This was a deal breaker for me.
Super disappointed. If your aim was to ask tough questions to a Koch brother, you better study the masters; i.e. Amy Goodman/Democracy Now
If this was a controversial marketing ploy to get comments, that’s even worse.
I’m in two minds about listening. On one hand, it’s good to be open-minded and expose yourself to people who hold different viewpoints and values. On the other hand, Koch is an abuser of power who has degraded this planet and worsened humanity’s condition. I believe Tim has privileged freedom of ideas in making this choice, but I don’t believe that was the best choice. While I want to listen (and I’m sure Koch has some good points to make), I don’t think Koch should be given a platform.
We’ve seen what he does with his power and influence. We’re better off as a society if he has less of of it.
If he’s as influential and powerful as you believe, he doesn’t need this podcast to have a platform.
By that reasoning, if a shop is being looted I might as well join in because it’s already being looted.
Bad things have greater impact the more people join in. Koch’s enormous influence (a bad thing because of how he wields it) has more impact as a result of Tim spreading it further.
I am disappointed that you crossed this line. Not sure if you think the means are disconnected from the ends or that the ends are somehow irrelevant or insignificant. But it doesn’t matter. I am out too.
WTF? I am appalled at your hideous judgement in interviewing C. Koch and trying to pass him off as just a wonderful businessman and philanthropist. Do you know NOTHING about the hideous anti-human agenda the Koch brothers have been trying to inflict upon our country for decades? Or maybe you do know but just don’t care (about the environment? about women’s rights? about workers rights?). Your choice of guests says a lot about your lack of values.
I am unsubscribing from your email and podcast and will encourage Everyone I know to do the same.
The choice to feature someone whose entire career has been spent trying to destroy the little people and the institutions of this country is a tremendous violation of the trust and respect your fans have placed with you. I am embarrassed now that I ever forwarded or shared your work with others.
If Charles Koch is the kind of man you admire or aspire to be, then shame on you.
I’ve been all Tim, all ways for years. But bro you really missed the mark with this one. As others have said, in the big picture the Kochs don’t need a platform. Just because someone is intelligent and successful doesn’t automatically translate into them being a good person. History is littered with examples. Should we be ready to see the likes of Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh sometime soon?
Favorite lesson: Any super villain can be made relatable and endearing through the gift of a great interview.
Perhaps you could also help out Harvey Weinstein’s PR or Mitch McConnell? I bet even our great president would love to sit down with you.
This was a true disappointment, Tim.
This was one of your better podcasts ever. I’ve listened to 75% of ’em I bet. I don’t understand those folks who “refuse to listen to it.” Sounds just like the far right crowd who will “only listen to Fox News.” Short-sited. Tribal. After listening I think Mr. Koch is trying to bridge the tribal gap and is doing some amazing ground up, market based philanthropy with Stand Together. Summarized as follows: “Through our philanthropic community, we tackle some of the nation’s biggest challenges so that every person has the opportunity to realize their full potential.”
Many of the listeners who have unsubscribed including me listened with skepticism but after the cupcake interview are making the clean-cut, I think you’re assuming we didn’t listen. No we did listen and it was a joke interview
My opinion is your interviewing style isn’t suitable for controversial guests. Someone like Mr. Koch is an odd fit for your tips, tricks and life hacks themed podcast: there are too many elephants in the room in this interview. Another kind of approach was needed with higher level of preparation.
Though I agree with his general point that shifting our economy and lifestyles may require a careful approach, his answer regarding China came across as self-serving.
Yours is one of my favorite podcasts. However, this guy is at the center of corruption of our political system and trying to hide his deeds. It seems like he is using you to make himself seem presentable.
Long time listener here and while I enjoyed the interview, the comments here are even more entertaining. I knew the crazies would come out with this one and they have not disappointed! Great way to filter out the close-minded segment of your audience.
As an open-minded person, I hope you’ll consider this point: A lot of people will have chosen not to listen because giving Koch a platform conflicts with their values and principles. I’m intellectually curious (as most of Tim’s listeners are) so I was tempted to listen to the interview. However, I fundamentally disagree with the way Koch uses his power and influence, so I don’t want to do anything that will increase that.
With respect, it is unhelpful and facile to paint people as “crazies” for expressing an opinion about Koch’s inclusion in this show.
Read the comments and honestly tell me that these people are intellectually curious and principled. They dislike this man based on what they’ve read or heard in their echo chamber and now they are angry and leaving. If they were truly open-minded they would listen and debate what the man said that they disagree with. From what I heard, Koch is going out of his way to find common ground with people he disagrees with politically to help those in need. But then again I actually listened to the podcast.
As a libertarian, I fear and despise cynical authoritarians like the Kochs. I’m disappointed you promoted the harm he does for our society by giving him a platform. I’m forced to unsubscribe.
I’m sorry but… I have to say this. Charles Koch is FAR from an authoritarian. He is in fact a classical liberal, so more or less a libertarian. If you don’t believe me, just go to his institute’s website. You can read it on there.
Charles Koch is the complete opposite of a libertarian. He is an authoritarian reactionary. The thing about reactionaries is they’re talented at co-opting the rhetoric of other ideologies. I know the Koch’s say all the right things, something that is true of many politicians as well. That is what makes them so influential. They are masterful propagandists.
I judge people by their actions, not their words. As for the immoral and harmful actions of the Kochs, that is well known.
Tim – kudos to you for having the guts to do this interview! It’s incredible that we live in a time period where so many “open-minded” people have a zero-tolerance policy to ideas that are contradictory to their world-view. It’s a bit scary…
Hi Tim – I’d like to thank you for this episode. Not because I’m a supporter of Koch’s but because I had no idea who he was until now (I live in Indonesia so I’m not familiar with him). So thank you for not shouting into the echo chamber and for bringing a bit of controversy to your show. I think the fact that you’ve made people FEEL something (good or bad) is just a sign that you’re doing something right. It’s like Mayor Pete going on Fox news, not because he supports them but because how else is he supposed to introduce people to a different point of view.
Thanks again and I’ll be here for the next one.
Very disheartening to see your attempt to break through partisan group think fail in the comments section. I can only hope that it is the easily outraged that have opted to post, and that this not a representation of the listening majority.
Did not listen to the interview…yet…as it is going to take a little time to figure out how to listen to someone that i don’t agree with…but what I do totally agree with is you having him on the show!!!
Keep up the good work and expanding your skill in communication and trying things totally outside the box…of your box and the box that we have put you in.
My hope is that there is someone on your listener list who can articulate and present the thesis that having him on the show is actual the most long term sustainable way forward…
This may have been the most eye-catching pod you’ve had on your show, I couldn’t wait to listen to it! …I’ve only heard and read all these terrible things about Charles Koch and his companies. More people need to interview and listen (with an open mind) to this guy and others we deem as “evil”. We never know the whole story to a person or a situation, everyone deserves to be heard.
I listened to the episode with an open mind and for a moment I considered reading his book but as the interview went on…it was one after another phony questions/answers..on and on… The problem with this interview is that Tim was doing the interviewing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Tim’s interviewing, pod guests, books, etc….but he’s never asking hard questions or holding the interviewee to the fire, like ever. Always softballs, which is totally fine with me since his typical guests aren’t lying over and over about all the great stuff they’re doing and claiming high & mighty morals. You can easily fact-check, Koch’s basically done the opposite of everything he’s touting about…for years. Darn, I wish he was actually pressed on some of those BS tangents we went on.
If Charles Koch wasn’t so concerned with getting people’s approval (since he didn’t get it from his father), he wouldn’t have done this interview, & perhaps he wouldn’t have done all the terrible things he’s known for. The lies in this podcast interview are wrong and years of hurting people and hurting the planet for profit is wrong. This is an example of a human, and there are MANY others just like it, trying to get their needs for love and approval met, by any means necessary.
This was also true of the Freakonomics interview with Koch. Softball questions with no follow ups or drill downs. Koch talks a good game and in fact I agree with most things he *says* in these interviews. But when you look at what he *does* in real life with respect to politics and policy, not only do I not agree, but actions are at best not aligned with his words.
A controversial person, whose words and actions don’t align, needs a different kind of interview, or indeed perhaps should be denied a platform. As a business person, Koch is clearly talented and brilliant, but it’s his influence and funding of political work that makes him important. If you don’t drill down on that, it’s not worth talking to him.
Agree, 100%. It troubles me that these platforms/interviewers are OK with putting this kind of stuff out there…really makes me question how much Koch is paying them.
Given our current climate it is appalling you interviewed a Koch and failed to hold him to account.
Seriously, he is not some harmless billionaire philanthropist. This is irresponsible.
Maybe read Dark Money and do a follow-up episode where you attempt to unpick the thread of discontent he has spent a lifetime and billions sewing.
You are privileged enough to have a platform, use it.
Today you seem like a publicist trying to rehab the image of an asshole. You seem like a rich guy that just sold out.
Tim, it’s not that you had a socially immoral human being on your show. Rather, it’s that you didn’t do your homework on the unthinkable damage this man and his brother have brought upon our planet. If you had bothered to study this man’s past and current money spends (anti-UN, anti-climate, anti-constitution, etc.), you would have been morally outraged — and your line of questions would have reflected such outrage (as 90% of these comments reflect similar enlightened outrage).
I’m just going to say it: what did the Koch org pay you (directly or indirectly) for this softball fluff piece?
Needless to say, my opinion of your ethical judgement and maturity just dropped significantly. Humanity’s very existence is suffering under the weight of key global threats. The Koch Brothers are core dealers and lobbyists in some of the worst of these threats. Wake up, my friend. The fact that you didn’t challenge this evil man in the least shows that you’ve been conned, or worse, bribed.
“What you can be, you must be”. I guess that applies to criminals as well…
I have been listening to your podcasts at any given moment for the last week and enjoying them. I even signed up for “Five Bullet Friday.” When I opened my email and saw a podcast with Charles Koch, disappointment overcame me.
The Koch brothers are heirs, not self-made people. They have a history of giving to politics for interests such as tax cuts, increasing their wages/ wealth 6,000%, compared to 3% for the average household since 1982. They aren’t working 6,000% harder since 1982. They have exasperated wealth inequality. Warren Buffett has said, “Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline. A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy.”
Additionally, Charles Koch belongs to groups such as, The John Birch Society, which campaigns against civil rights, and Turning Point USA, which has sent death threats to Princeton professors. He has a history of supporting racist ideology, such as Stephan Molyneux, who preaches certain races have lower IQs and are dumber. I don’t know why you uphold someone who has rigged the rules, bribed politicians, and supports racism.
Greatly disappointed! Why not interview Kim Jong-Un next?
Yes, please do!
The Koch Brothers are destroying the environment, ruthlessly exploiting the planet and ruining the climate for all of us. They are also one of the puppet players behind Trump. They don’t deserve praise, but shame and resistance.
So far I liked most of your interviews, but this is a huge mistake. I am out!
Seriously? Charles Koch?
“Shifting the political terrain
The transformation of Wisconsin from the birthplace of public-sector unionization to a conservative stronghold with a battered labor movement is remarkable on its own terms. But even more remarkable is how the same story is playing out across dozens of other states. To be sure, AFP has not enjoyed the same success in every state as in Wisconsin and has endured some high-profile losses, too – most notably the re-election of Barack Obama to the White House in 2012.
But all told the Koch network has racked up important victories across many policy areas, like stymieing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (and especially the expansion of Medicaid to poor uninsured adults) in states like Missouri and Tennessee, rolling back state efforts to address climate change (for instance, in Kansas and West Virginia), and passing massive tax cuts for wealthy individuals and companies (as in Kansas and Oklahoma).”
Tim I have listened to quite a few of your podcasts over time and this was a great one. What is more interesting than listening to someone who disagrees with you and believes their are different ways of doing things and looking at things. Please don’t cave into the people on here who do not like hearing from someone they disagree with. Ps I signed up to your 5 bullet Friday.
Thank you so much for doing this one. Very good call.
Thank you so much for doing this. Very brave of you to ignore those in the comments who’d rather censor speech and suppress discussion. “Nuance and texture” is just what we need here. Well done.
It’s not that Tim interviewed a corrupt man. Who cares. The problem is that he didn’t use the interview to call out the myriad evils which embody this man. Tim simply overlooked them. That’s tantamount to being a co-conspirator of this man’s vile acts.
Nobody is asking for censorship or suppression (your words). You’ve jumped to a very shallow conclusion. What we’re looking for in Tim is moral backbone, truth telling, and calling out evil on its face. He failed miserably. Spineless.
Suggest you study up on the Koch brothers and how their money and businesses are fueling climate change, gross social inequality, stark political divisiveness, a hatred of the United Nations, a desire to rewrite the US Constitution, Citizens United, etc.. Learn how their money drives corrupt narratives from “think tanks” such as George Mason economics, Cato Institute, Manhattan Institute, and so many other vectors of special-interest greed.
It was bold of you to have him on, and raising awareness about his social initiatives seems like a beneficial thing. I get the frustration that people have with him providing largely canned answers and sidestepping, but I also come into your podcast knowing that you don’t try and corner people into “good” answers. Some of his points on climate incentives were interesting, and “I don’t have to share a worldview to collaborate on a single shared objective” is a useful mindset.
Thanks for challenging me a bit with this one.
Tim, you are more open-minded than I thought. I’ve heard you say some things, you’ve shown your political cards . . . but we need more people like you that will ‘show’ both sides. Reading Kock-interview comments made me realize that you are supported largely by close-minded idiots. I don’t like all your shows – but I enjoy what I learn from all of them. I now know that the vast number of your listeners are arrogant know-it-alls. They are the epitome of the people they criticize. Perhaps you could lead a revolution to encourage people to open their minds – especially to those whom with they disagree.
Both sides? My friend, I suggest you study up on the Koch brothers and how their money and businesses are fueling climate change, gross social inequality, stark political divisiveness, a hatred of the United Nations, a desire to rewrite the US Constitution, support for Citizens United, Dark PACs, etc.. Learn how their money drives corrupt narratives from “think tanks” such as George Mason economics, Cato Institute, Manhattan Institute, and so many other vectors of special-interest greed.
This isn’t about being “open minded” — Tim’s listeners are among the most open-minded on the planet. It’s about FACING REALITY and calling out evil when we see it. If you don’t see it, or care, then you need to study up.
Nah, its really close-mindedness. Im canadian and I simply do not get all how emotional your politics has become. Listen to both side, agree on some points, agree to disagree on other, shake hand and be thankful for the debate.
Identify politic is another name for fundamentalism, never been good, never will be,
This interview (and more so the response) reminds me of something Tim said on being Polarizing…
“…you’re going to polarize people. And without that polarity, there’s no discussion. Discussion is what I want, which means that I’m fine with the consequences.”
Keep on polarizing and initiating discussion!
I’ve been an avid listener of your podcast since it started up. Been a fan of yours since the book days. I’ve recommended you to people, given your books as gifts, and today you have betrayed the trust you have built with your audience by giving a voice to someone who has worked their entire life to undermine democracy.
This is the last podcast of yours I’ll listen to. For people who want another podcast to try out, I recommend Akimbo by Seth Godin. You’re not going to hear the Koch brothers spewing their propaganda there.
I hope you take the time to read these comments and consider how this episode comes across to your audience. There’s a difference between listening to the other side and giving more of a voice to someone like Charles Koch who can go out and buy elections or purchase unlimited airtime to push his interest.
yo tim it’s pretty terrible that you’re giving a koch a platform here. they’re despicable anti environmental climate deniers. big fan of the podcast but this is incredibly disappointing. makes me want to find a different podcast to listen to today instead of continuing to explore your interviews.
Thanks for a really interesting podcast!
I just want to say that the entire argument that I read in a lot of the comments of the type ”You should not give a platform to person x because y and z” seems a bit flawed. It implies that people are stupid and can not make up their mind.
It is also important to approach things with a mindset of ”Could it be that there are things about the broad picture that I do not understand?” rather than being certain that you know everything about an issue. Remember, on any given issue, about 50% of the population is likely to disagree with you, and they probably have great reasons.
Tim – Thanks for not contributing to the global epidemic of cognitive dissonance that people are experiencing due to a illusion of knowledge.
Koch is obviously a brilliant business person, but what makes him and his brother interesting is their involvement in politics. And the fact that the words they say don’t align with their actions. The interview doesn’t address those two aspects, meaning it’s kind of a fail.
Great episode Tim, congrats. People that label themselves, limit themselves.
I really don’t get you guys who are unfollowing Tim’s blog because of this interview. Finally there is a chance to look deep into that misguided and toxic mind of Koch when he willingly opens up in the (just on the surface) friendly atmosphere of the conversation. And instead of listening and learning how not to do things, how not to treat people and to see what is the plague in our Society, you do the dramatic exit.
Shure it is a pain to listen to, but even Bhudda tells me to spent time with my pain. And it’s not like this guy is talking so often about himself. This is actually the first time I really got to know something about him from him.
So I am somehow grateful.
I’m a forensic software engineer, and I have some thoughts about your recent interview with Charles Koch.
First of all, I appreciate the sentiment of trying to get know Koch as human being instead of the one-dimensional villain he is often labeled as. Making politics less personally toxic is a worthy goal.
But my word, he talked like such a slimeball in that interview! The only existential threat to humanity he could name was the “tyranny of experts” – nothing about wealth inequality or climate change – both of which are in feedback accelerated loops trending toward existential threat. Even meteorites would have been more logical an answer. No, the biggest and only existential threat he could name of is too many people acting under expert advice.
When asked about climate change directly and whether he deliberately misrepresents it, he denied ever doing that then proceeded immediately to represent it 🤦♂️ Claiming those supporting strong climate action say “the world ending in ten years” – that’s a nonsensical thing no one is legitimately predicting, which one can only assume is a mixed up and oversimplified version of projected climate change creating feedback loops in the next decade.
That China spin was particularly slimey – if we don’t pollute, the pollution business will go to China where they will pollute worse than we would. Well, if you spin China in the other direction, they’re manufacturing more solar panels than every other county and doing many other innovations to address their well known pollution problems. If you remove the spin, whatever China does or does not do to address the climate crisis does not absolve our responsibility for our actions. If you want to change others, leadership starts with you doing what is right and then trying to succeed so hard that others would be dumb not to copy your actions.
I don’t hate you giving him air time – but I do think it warrants airing other viewpoints to undo damage and earn some redemption. An interview with a clean energy entrepreneur or a green new deal activist of similar stature / credentials to Koch would go far to restore balance.
Before jumping all over Tim take some time to read some to the links Tim provides in the show notes such as Free Speech on campuses, teaming up with Soros on ending US wars. There’s a lot more to the man than the headlines. I didn’t see it in the show notes but Koch was the driving force behind prison reform recently passed by the Trump administration.
The Kochs are shutting down free speech. Everything they do is about destroying democracy. What they are doing on campuses is throwing large amounts of money to buy power and influence over what students are taught. It is about mind control and social control.
Prison reform that the great Obama administration failed us all at.
I’ve read all of your books and listened to hundreds of your podcasts. Many here have put it better than I can. I wish to only add my request that you respond to our concerns about giving this man and what he stands for a platform on your show. Your introduction falls far short of explaining your decision. I await your answer, but am finding it hard to continue following you and your content.
I’m enjoying the comments almost as much as the interview.
Great interview Tim. From the comments, it’s disheartening to see how many people who probably consider themselves “open-minded & tolerant” clearly are NOT, not even close. This man provides tens of thousands of jobs for Americans through great businesses. I disagree with much of his politics, but he’s a level headed man with a perfectly fine point of view. I’m way more afraid of the totalitarians here that want to squelch free exchange of ideas.
Great interview. Lots of negative comments. Always fascinating to hear what successful people have to say. Keep up the great work Tim.
This is extremely disappointing. Have always seen this podcast as mostly a positive force for change but this last podcast is just tone deaf on Tim’s part.
Unfortunately I cannot support this podcast or subscribe.
I started to feel like Tim’s Podcast had become played out and a lot of his billionaire rhetoric is starting to seem like it will land on the wrong side of history. I think the intentions are good but this one jumped the shark.. Sorry Tim, I think you’re out of touch.
Having worked for Koch Industries in the early 1980s I got a first hand look into their philosophy which based on your interview with Charles has evolved into an entire system of egalitarian social empowerment. His “bottom up” inspirational approach to individuals is an exciting effort that directly contradicts the “top down” governmental and policy driven approach in today’s political arena. From every spectrum of the American experience this philosophy, if engendered appropriately with the right incentives could create a movement that unites instead of divides our body politic. Perhaps this is too optimistic to think that “bottom up” organizations can make that much difference; however, small groups have always been the catalyst to all human advancement. Thank you for opening up this thought process through interviewing a controversial yet inspiring leader in Charles Koch.
Tim- Thank you for taking a big risk and recording this interview. I think it’s hugely important to try to find common ground.
Would have loved to see more discussion of campaign financing and climate change for which the Koch brothers have come under fire for.
Having listened to the whole podcast, I’m less sure of what I have heard about the Kochs, as at least Charles doesn’t seem to be climate deniers and support a number of bipartisan causes. Hard to see him as the incarnation of evil I had been led to believe, even if we still disagree on some/most things.
Would also see to see Tim summarized the fallout from this podcast on his blog or future podcast (looking at the comments, there is definitely some fallout)
I came out of it with the same impression. I’ve heard the guy was polarizing but wanted to listen to him for myself to see what all the fuss was about. The fact he’s going out of his way to find common ground by working with others on the political spectrum is commendable.
Hats off to Tim for going against the grain here. If people really are this sensitive on a guest they disagree with then they need to get out more. They might actually learn something.
I regret recommending your podcast to my friends. Charles Koch is “world class” at undermining democracy and destroying the planet. Giving him a platform and treating him as anything less than a disgusting cancer is why people like him, who lower the standard for human beings everywhere, succeed at what they do. You are not beholden to anyone and do your own research. If you are a decent person, exercise that right and interview someone who hasn’t harmed humanity to nearly the same extent.