Published November 2020 on YouTube

437: Charles Koch & Brian Hooks | Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World

1. Introduction

Charles Koch, a business powerhouse with a net worth of over $47 billion, shares his remarkable thinking on breaking down divisiveness and antagonism towards others who disagree with us, regardless of politics. Koch's co-author, Brian Hooks, adds to the conversation, making this episode an interesting dive into the way Koch thinks.+

2. Writing and Empowerment

Writing a Book:Charles and Brian discuss the process of writing Charles' book and how collaboration led to a better end result. They debated every chapter and every word, and the end product was a decent book that conveyed Charles' ideas on business and social change.+
Believing in People:Charles discusses the importance of bottom-up empowerment and believing in people, using his own experience of discovering his gift in the third grade as an example. He emphasizes the need for equal rights and mutual benefit in society and the flaws of a top-down approach, particularly in education.+
Dirty Jobs and Education:Charles Koch and Jordan Harbinger discuss the importance of specialized education and the value of dirty jobs in society. They reference Mike Rowe and his work in promoting alternative education and career paths. Koch shares his own experience in pursuing engineering despite not being good at operating things.+

3. Entrepreneurial Principles

Entrepreneurial Journey:Charles shares his journey of becoming an entrepreneur and how he ended up running his family business. Despite struggling in his early career, he found his passion in business strategy and innovation. When his father's health declined, he was given the opportunity to run the family business and make significant improvements.+
Principles for Human Progress:Charles shares his dedication to finding principles for human progress and how he applies them in business, philanthropy, and social change efforts. He believes in empowering people to find their gifts and use them to succeed by contributing to others.+
Believing in People:Charles Koch shares how his father's belief in him helped him overcome a difficult childhood and become successful. Brian Hooks discusses the importance of believing in people and shares examples of successful social entrepreneurs in history.+

4. Empowering Individuals

Overcoming Injustice:Charles and Brian discuss the power of bottom-up solutions and the importance of empowering individuals to overcome injustice. They draw inspiration from Frederick Douglass, who overcame the worst possible conditions and fought against injustice for all people. The conversation also touches on the role of corporations in politics and the perception of Charles Koch as an economic royalist.+
Public Policy Empowerment:Brian Hooks discusses how engaging in philanthropy and politics can help pass better policy that empowers people to succeed. By supporting groups that bring in millions of activists and voices into the conversation, they can accomplish things in politics and public policy that were once thought impossible.+

5. Sponsors

Unique Products:Discover unique products at b8ta, a store that prides itself on finding new and innovative products that you can't find anywhere else. The Jordan Harbinger Show is sponsored by b8ta, where you can try out e-bikes, scooters, and other fun gadgets for fitness and lifestyle.+
Gift-Giving Tips:Jordan shares tips on how to be the MVP of gift-giving this year and offers a coupon code for listeners to get $20 off at b8ta stores.+

6. Collaborating for Change

Charles Koch's Political Views:Charles explains his perspective on politics and how he focuses more on empowering people rather than being involved in the divisive nature of politics. He also discusses his collaboration with George Soros to fund an anti-war think tank, which is a radical departure from his largely right-leaning party politics in the past.+
Collaborating for Change:Charles and Brian Koch discuss how their focus is not just on politics, but also on empowering people through education, communities, and businesses. They emphasize the importance of collaborating with anyone to do right and with nobody to do wrong, using their partnership with George Soros' foundation as an example. They also share how they have worked with people across the spectrum, including former enemies like Van Jones, to break down divisiveness and create positive change.Show transcript +

7. Creating Virtuous Cycles

Creating Virtuous Cycles:Charles discusses the importance of creating virtuous cycles of mutual benefit in business by focusing on long-term value creation for customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and society as a whole. He emphasizes the role of leadership in empowering employees to self-actualize and become more effective, and how this approach has led to success in his own company.+
Creating Value:Jordan Harbinger and Charles Koch discuss how profit is a side effect of creating value for customers, not just for the business itself. They also talk about the negative impact of bad profit, such as protectionism licensing, and give examples of how Koch Industries opted for principles that hurt their profits but aligned with their values.+
Market Distortions:Charles and Jordan discuss the impact of market distortions on businesses and the importance of internalizing costs and benefits. Charles explains that while markets aren't perfect, most interventions to make them perfect over time make them worse. Jordan raises concerns about corporate welfare and externalizing the costs of pollution onto the population.+

8. Empowering Bottom-Up Solutions

Addressing Societal Challenges:Brian and Charles discuss the importance of compliance and stewardship in respecting the rights of others, and how empowering individuals from the bottom up can help address societal challenges like poverty, which cannot be solved through a failed top-down approach.+
Fighting Poverty:Brian and Charles discuss the Family Independence Initiative, a bottom-up approach to poverty that empowers people in poverty to find solutions. The initiative connects families and assists them in helping each other, resulting in a 27% increase in income and doubled savings, enough to get them out of poverty and stay out of it.+
Wealth Inequality:Charles and Brian discuss the injustice of the system that allows people to succeed without contributing and how it creates wealth disparities. They also talk about how the education system is geared towards the top 10 percent, leaving the rest of society behind.+

9. Disengaged Workforce

Brian Hooks and Charles Koch discuss the disengagement of employees in the workforce and students in education. Almost 70% of people in the workforce and 70% of 12th-grade students are disengaged with their jobs and learning, respectively. They explore the barriers that prevent people from contributing and suggest removing them to address wealth inequality and divisiveness in the country.+

10. Sponsors

Global Freelance is a global freelance marketplace that connects businesses with talented freelancers from all over the world. With over 16,000 professional tasks starting at just one dollar, the platform offers risk-free outsourcing with a 100% money-back guarantee.+
Affordable Therapy:Jordan recommends therapy and shares his experience with it. He suggests using Better Help, an affordable online therapy service, and offers a discount code for listeners.+

11. Empowering Potential

Overcoming Barriers:Brian Hooks discusses how the principles of openness to science and immigration apply to his personal life, and how he no longer considers himself a libertarian. He also shares insights on the principle of creative destruction and the biggest threats to America and humanity.+
Empowering People:Brian Hooks and Charles Koch discuss the importance of empowering people and realizing their potential to overcome society's biggest challenges. They emphasize the need for inclusivity and investing in human capital to accomplish extraordinary things. The conversation also touches on Maslow's hierarchy of needs and the importance of not taking counsel of your fears.+

12. Incentives and Long-Term Thinking

Learning from Charles:Jordan learns about the unique incentive pay system at Koch Industries and discusses the concept of preference falsification with Charles, which inhibits progress in politics.+
Long-Term Thinking:Jordan discusses the advantages of long-term thinking in business and how it can out-compete others. He shares his personal experience of outlasting the competition in a lawsuit by having more time and generating more runway. He also touches on the importance of protecting the environment and recommends books and an organization that align with his beliefs.+

13. Outro

Jordan emphasizes the importance of building and maintaining relationships, and provides tips on how to do so effectively. He also offers a free course on networking and reminds listeners to share the show with others.+