Then & Now: Koch Attacks on Minimum Wage


The 1980 Koch-Clark campaign ticket called for ABOLISHING ALL minimum wage laws.

Clark-Koch Ticket: “We Should Abolish The Minimum Wage Laws.” In his book, “A New Beginning,” Clark wrote: “We should abolish the minimum wage laws and licensing laws so that people can once again be free to compete and to work, so that no bureaucrat or politician backed by special interested can ever again stand between a human being and a chance to work for a living, bringing with it the dignity of self-reliance, not the dehumanizing dependency of helpless poverty and unemployment.” [A New Beginning, p. 97, August 1980]


Candidates supported by the Kochs’ political enterprise today oppose increasing the minimum wage. Some, like Thom Tillis in North Carolina, have even said the federal minimum wage should be repealed entirely.

AFP Foundation: Minimum Wage Represents “Failed Government Intervention”; “Policymakers Should Let Individuals And Businesses Freely Decide What Wage Levels Are Appropriate.” According to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, “The history of minimum wage laws in the United States tells the story of a failed government intervention into the economy. Minimum wage laws have the unintended consequence of increasing unemployment and reducing opportunities for young and low-skilled job seekers. Despite these discouraging outcomes, politicians have continued to press for a higher minimum wage. For too long, this has hindered Americans in their quest for prosperity. Instead of creating more labor market barriers, policymakers should let individuals and businesses freely decide what wage levels are appropriate.” [, March 2012]

Thom Tillis

KochPAC Contributed $4,000 To Tillis In 2012. According to The Institute for Southern Studies, “The other $34,000 KochPAC contributed this year in North Carolina went to the campaigns of five individual candidates — all of them Republicans, who now control the state legislature. In the run-up to the general election, it made the following contributions, all on Sept. 28: […] * $4,000 to House Speaker Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg County, who is running unopposed;” [The Institute for Southern Studies, 11/1/12]

When Asked If He Supported Repealing The Current Minimum Wage, Tillis Said “I Think You Should Consider Anything That Frees Up The Market To Create More Jobs.” According to Under The Dome, “But when asked whether he supported repealing the current minimum wage, Tillis stopped short. He said he would be concerned about whether it would destabilize the private market. ‘I think you should consider anything that frees up the market to create more jobs,’ he said. ‘But the reality is you can’t unring that bell.’” [Under The Dome, 2/26/14]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation