Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 18, 2012

Threatening employees is a new election-year low

The billionaire Koch brothers may be wondering, in this post-Citizens

United world, if their money can actually buy the election for Mitt Romney. If it could, Romney would be leading comfortably, and he’s not.

Just in case outright buying the election doesn’t work, the Koch brothers and other business leaders with delusions of grandeur are now sending their employees letters stating their jobs will be in jeopardy if

President Obama gets another term.

Threatening job loss as a way to keep workers in line is morally abominable. Jobs represent people’s livelihoods. As we’ve seen in the

recent years of high unemployment, job loss can lead to bankruptcy, divorce and suicide.

In their letter, the Koches wrote that candidates who want to regulate business, spend billions on borrowed money to favor cronies (they’re talking about Obama but this would equally apply to George W. Bush who the

Koches did support) and hinder free trade will affect employees with high gas prices, runaway inflation and other ills.

We went through the Bush years with these same ills. But what is happening in 2012 is unprecedented, and what it represents is not so much a reaction to runaway Washington power but grotesquely unchecked power of the private

sector over the lives of workers.

The Koches would be hard-pressed to name

any new regulations that might inhibit their accumulation of billions. But as a scare tactic, there is none better.

A Fox News item warned about massive layoffs at the first of the year if Obama wins again and if the fiscal cliff is reached. With no action by Congress, tax increases will kick in, but they will be modest compared to

the rates during the Clinton administration.

Obama wants to keep the Bush tax cuts for the middle class and let them expire for people earning over $250,000 a year.

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