One of his factories collapsed the other day, killing more than 400 people. He’d been warned the day before that the building was a death trap, but decided to roll the dice. The collapse was a mixed blessing for Mr. Rana. One the one hand, there are a lot fewer people expecting to collect their 10 bucks for the week. On the other hand, pretty much everybody in Bangladesh now wants him dead.
I thought of Mr. Rana when I was reading this other thing, about the Koch brothers fine-tuning their spending plans for the 2014 midterm elections. After the ass-kicking the Kochs suffered in the last election, the Pollyanna in me wanted to believe they’d go back to the traditional way of projecting political will: voting, say, or being tiresome at dinner parties.
But no. It appears they’re doubling down. Even though Koch Industries has profited handsomely during the Obama years, they’re not going to rest until they rip this guy a new one. To the Kochs, Obama is Stalin and he’s Hitler at the same time — never mind that the two men didn’t get along. He’s not unambiguously white either. So there’s that.
Whatever. The Kochs are people too, according to current law, and so are their various companies. They can spend their billions how they want. But amid the steady drumbeat of war against big government and socialism and oppressive regulation, it’s interesting to consider what the world might look like if the Koch philosophy went completely unopposed: No government except to protect business and no rules to inhibit the profits of job creators like Sohel Rana.
In short, it might look a lot like Bangladesh.