2) Wal-Mart: It’s the largest private employer in the world, it has made shopping convenient by putting 120,000 products under one roof, and it saves its customers hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year. A doctor once wrote me a prescription that would have cost $600 out of pocket. I bought the same drugs for $18 at Wal-Mart. When you consider all the people Wal-Mart hires and the savings it provides, it is the best friend of America's poor.
3) Koch Industries: The Koch brothers' conglomerate is behind a wide range of products including Brawny paper towels, Quilted Northern toilet paper, Dixie paper plates, and Stainmaster carpets along with even less glamorous products like cattle ranches, fertilizer, and asphalt. That's not a flashy or sexy product line, but it makes them a lot of money. That’s why Koch Industries is the largest privately held company in the United States. Libertarians David and Charles Koch also do something that far too few big business owners in this country do. They use their money and influence to help promote the free market principles that allowed them to become so successful in the first place. In addition, they've generously donated more than 600 million dollars to hospitals, theaters, museums, and cancer centers among other worthy causes. If you were looking for liberty loving examples of the way we'd love to see wealthy Americans in this country behave, you couldn't do any better than the Koch brothers.
4) Exxon Mobil: Even with the state and federal government adding more than 40 cents per gallon in taxes to the cost of gasoline in much of the country, Exxon supplies us with gas that costs less than half of what is paid across much of Western Europe. In addition, the world's largest oil company had a 45% income tax rate and paid "$21.6 billion in worldwide income taxes for 2010" out of a total tax burden of 89 billion dollars. Add to that staggering tax payout the roughly 80,000 people Exxon employs and the important research it does into algae, plastics, and hydraulic fracking and Exxon Mobil is making an incredible contribution to this country above and beyond helping to power the economy with the gasoline it supplies.
5) Academi, formerly known as Blackwater: When the rest of the world needs help, it calls on the U.S. military. When the U.S. military needs help, it calls on Academi. We rightfully laud our soldiers for standing in harm's way to protect our freedom -- but, when they're doing that, former soldiers from Academi are often standing shoulder to shoulder with them, fighting the good fight. They put their necks on the line to save lives, protect civilians, and put terrorists in the ground -- just like our troops do. The biggest differences are that they get paid what we wish we could afford to give our troops and there are anti-military politicians who are gunning for them because they think there's too much political risk in attacking the troops. Like our military, Academi isn't perfect -- but, it does the dirty, difficult work of warfare without the halo of public support around it that protects the troops and in the process, it makes the world a better place.
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