Audioburst Search

Charles Koch CEO of Koch Industries (#381)

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Optimal altitude. I can run flat out and start shaking question now. It is organism living tissue skeleton. Oh in this episode is brought to you by express v._p._n. What is v._p._n. Virtual private it network. It's an app that you run on your computer or your mobile device. It secures your internet connection. Hide your public i._p. Address and lets you bypass regional restrictions on content tent and i actually asked my followers on twitter one point five or one point six million of you for v._p._n. Recommendations favorites many wrote back that express e._s._p._n. Was their favourite including a number of people who have been on this podcast so i give it a shot. I've been using it for a few weeks now and it is ridiculously fast just to the extent that i thought i didn't have it on to give you an idea express v._p._n. Is consistently rated the fast v._p._n. Service on the market. It's incredibly easy to use and it's one two three just download the app tap one button and you're connected to a secure v._p._n. Server and i recommend checking out the website just to see the sign up flow. They make it really smooth very easy to sign up and if you're an entrepreneur or do any web based front end development or for design rather. It's worth checking out for that alone so express upn. What are we talking about here. Especially began is great for when you need to get work done while you're on some sketchy wi fi the network for instance and i've had a number of hacker friends of mine. Show me how easy it is to snoop on public wi fi just by downloading simple apps. You do not need a computer science background and do that which scares the hell hell out of me. So if you don't wanna be victim of that you can use express v._p._n. Or if you're traveling i need access something. That's only available in another country. Well lickety-split lickety-split express v._p._n. Has you covered express v._p._n. Is useful not only for entrepreneurs and remote workers and travelers like yours truly but really for anyone who wants protection from being snooped on or having their personal data stolen so use it constantly when i'm in airports coffee shops and so on any public wifi really really you just use the internet like normally would but with express v._p._n. Encrypting all of your network traffic to safeguard your data check it out visit my special link at express v._p._n. Dot com slash. Tim and you'll get an extra three months of express v._p._n. Protection for free that's xpress b._b._n. Dot com slash him mm to claim your special deal visit express v._p._n. Dot com slash tip. This episode is brought to you by ship station. Listen if you've ever sold anything online or if you sell anything online then you know what a pain in the ass the shipping process is. It's time consuming. It's expensive. You've you're always copying and pasting orders from different sites trying to figure out the best carrier so on and so forth it's such a hassle and in a previous life i shipped tens of thousands of units overseas domestically overnight ground every possible carrier. It drove me bonkers ship station and was created to make your life easier. I wish i had had it when i was in the biz so to speak it has the most five star reviews of any shipping software four point nine five for magenta users four point eight out of five for shop by users four point five out of five for commerce users it goes on and on whether you're selling on ebay amazon sherifi or more than one hundred other popular selling channels ship station. Lets you access all your orders from one simple dashboard ship. The station works with all of the major shipping carriers locally and globally including fedex u._p._s. and the major local couriers like u._s._p._s. ship station will recommend the best carrier for your needs so that you know that you're always getting the best deal they even offer discounts on shipping costs that are available to say you as a one person shop that would normally be thought of as reserved for large fortune five hundred companies so there are a lot of benefits no other shipping platform makes shipping faster are easier and more affordable and right now timber. Show listeners get to try ship station free for sixty days. When you use promo code tim it's risk-free you can start your free trial without even entering your credit card info just visit ship station dot com click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and type in tim t._m. That ship station dot com enter promo code. Tim check it out ship station dot com promo code tim hello boys and girls ladies and germs this is tim ferriss and welcome to another episode of the tim ferriss show where it is my job every episode to deconstruct world class performers of all different types cbs to tease out the principles habits thinking influences and so on that help them to do what they do and my guest today does not grant rant many interviews and he came to me through avenues that i would not have expected his name is charles coke and i had several of my close friends very very accomplished in business all very socially liberal who had become friends with charles and and suggested that i have him on the podcast and we'll talk more about that. I'm sure but let's get into the bio and this episode no no doubt will excite the internet because there is a case of insanity going around and i would encourage you to listen and to focus on what i hope to transmit which is the importance of attacking the problems. Not the people will come back to that. Let's get to the bio. Charles coke received a bachelor's degree in general engineering two masters degrees in nuclear and chemical engineering from the massachusetts institute of technology m._i._t. M._i._t. He is chairman of the board of coke industries inc a position. He has held since nineteen sixty seven. Here's renowned for growing coke industries from a company worth twenty one million and in the early nineteen sixties to one revenues estimated as high as one hundred ten billion. That's annually by forbes. It's one of the largest privately held companies in the world and by revenue. It's larger than both boeing and disney. Let that sink in he has transformed the business into a diverse group of companies employ nearly one hundred and thirty thousand people making everything dixie dixie cups two components in your cell phone for fifty years charles supported academic and public policy research with a special focus on developing voluntary market based solutions to social problems. This interest led him to found or build a number of organizations including the institute for humane studies. The cato institute the mercatus center at george mason university and the bill of rights institute institut charles credits the success of coke industries to apply proven principles of social and scientific progress which led to the development and implementation of his market based management n. b. m. business philosophy he describes m. b. M. in its applications in two of his books sides success and good profit charles is now using those principles and philanthropy as is the founder of stand together to tackle our country's biggest challenges stand together as partnering with thousands of social entrepreneurs to help them improve their effectiveness and scale tackling poverty improving kevin k through twelve education bringing justice to our criminal justice system and more. I have more to say don't fast forward but you can find out more about about both cook industries and stand together at coke end dot com k. o. c. h. dot com stand together dot org which i highly encourage you check check out. If you're a social entrepreneur or no social entrepreneurs in need of support capital on twitter at coke industries and at stand stand underscore together it takes a little while to get warmed up as it often does in these podcast interviews so give it five ten minutes minutes to get into flow but we talk about a lot we talk about books that have had the greatest influence on his thinking and actions thinkers. We we talk about for instance the differences in acquisition strategy between coke industries and berkshire hathaway. We really go all over the place and i also ask him him. Some of the questions that were submitted by people following me on social media and there are some real haymakers that i oh i do read towards the latter portions of this conversation so i do not simply serve softballs. That's not the intention and that's certainly not the way that i run this podcast general so this episode. Why would i do this. Why would i deliberately polarize my audience because of identity politics and people applying labels to themselves caused so many problems and i'm not referring to charles m. referring to a lot of people among my listeners. There's no doubt it's because i believe much like paul. Graham does one of the co founders of y combinator that the more labels you apply to yourself stupider you become and the more prone to group think and it's very very dangerous and in this episode my role issue is not to get you to like or dislike charles but to pay attention to his thinking which i do think is remarkable and i will just mention a few things to calm down many of my friends out there who are predominantly liberal. I did live in the bay area for twenty years after all to try to encourage them further to listen to this whole thing number one i would say that charles has been very active in collaborating with previous adversaries on criminal justice reform <hes> including c._n._n. Commentator van jones they shared or found they shared common principles when it came to reforming this country's criminal justice system and that is the topic that actually was brought up by a lot of my friends who encouraged me to do this podcast in partnership with van charles helped to build a nonpartisan policy policy coalition the past historic criminal justice reform last year on foreign policy despite disagreements with george soros on many other policy issues as you can imagine charles charles discovered that he had common ground with him when it came to foreign policy so they partnered with georgia's psyche foundations to launch the quincy institute for responsible constable statecraft which is a new think tank to promote ideas that move the u._s. foreign policy away from war and towards vigorous diplomacy in the pursuit of international apiece and it goes on and on in the sense that despite and i'm quoting the guardian here despite being a conservative powerhouse that has at times outspent the republican national committee the coke network is increasingly showing willingness to work with democrats an investing in nonprofit groups to promote quote free and open societies and quote and then jumping for that piece long seen as g._o._p. Kingmakers david and charles coke have made waves lambasting trump and his administration they refused to trump two thousand in sixteen vowed to hold them accountable to conservative priorities like free trade free markets and small government and have been outspoken against the white house on immigration and infrastructure spending and what i found is that the people who love charles coke miss a lot the ones aunts who have the most intensive use about charles and coke industries likewise the people who hate charles or coke industries miss a lot and my hope is that i'm able to add some nuance and texture to this person who is often evaluated based on headlines and also again to encourage everybody listening much like i feel charles does very effectively to attack the problem's not the people i think that's the only path forward really is to instead of asking how to most effectively fight against someone into. I ask yourself what you might have in common in terms of priorities so that you can line in some fashion without that. We're all doomed. I think in in short or long order either way that's a long intro but i'm happy to provide this and i'm sure that the feedback feedback will be strong in all sorts of directions with further. Do please enjoy my wide-ranging conversation with charles. Coke charles welcome to the show. Thanks tim thanks for having me. Oh i appreciate you taking the time and i've i've had a number of my friends over the last it's a year year and a half who have have wanted me to interview and who are fans of you've you've done the main subject that has come up. A lot is criminal justice reform which i'm sure we will get to and there's a lot to cover. I thought we would start with dandelions. Can you tell me about your history with digging dandelions well. I was <hes>. I really consider myself blessed because <hes> i had the best of all possible worlds looking back. It didn't seem that way at the time time <hes> but we were wealthy in my father he called himself half-baked chemists and he loved doing experiments so we have have done on an experimental farm. It wasn't a commercial farm but it was a farm where my father could experiment with various. Thanks thanks so we had <hes> we had cows horses <hes> dogs chickens and raise crops chiefs and <hes> and my father announced an early age he said i want my son to grow up to be country club bombs and i i was a metal giada on a brother who is two years older and two younger brothers who are twins who are four and a half years younger than i was and <hes> so my father started this on my older brother and he was more of an artistic bent so this manual labor that involved <hes> helping out on this experimental farm didn't work as well for for him and so i- bore the brunt of it and you may ask why why did i well that was one reason and as he put it. I ask him years later. I said pop. Why were you so much tougher on me. The my younger brothers and he said son you plum more me <music> out and so so i earned the right to be in more trouble getting knocked around more and do more work so i started. He started me out in all my spare time working and the i was digging dandelions reason i say digging. You can't just cut them off off or or poem. You've got to get all the routes out or they'd just come back. So that was my job and then i graduated into in shoveling out stalls feeding man most <hes> milking cows <hes> digging postals fixing fence and all that stuff and then and <hes> as i got older i got jobs and other places so it was it was quite <hes> an opportunity to learn the value of work in learn that <hes> better developed some skills that other people will value are could end up doing this arrest of my life which i didn't look forward to. He used to say that he said i was a good kid. In many ways as long as the work didn't come to close until i had <hes> i had what's the economists call high time preference that is i was into instant gratification. How could i minimize the work. How can i do something that's fine so that was my whole orientation and then i was blessed that i thought the only thing i was good at was getting in trouble and i was i was free expert at that and found in the third grade that i had a gift in in in math and i later learned when i studied <hes> studied psychology i read howard gardner and his multiple intelligence agents theories and boy did that fit me because the only thing i was good at was what he called logical mathematical kohl intelligence and so i had a gift for math and abstract concepts so basically my whole life if is ben to find opportunities that <hes> that use that that i could create vie with that and then to partner with people people who were good at all the other things that needed to be done that i wasn't good at and dream possible is because i've done that whenever never i've tried to do things by myself or without that kind of uh of support. I've i've basically failed that want to ask. Ask a bit more about your dad. Specifically about a believe you still have it. I would imagine so a framed letter that you found in your father's safe deposit. Is it box after his death. Talk about the letter that is on your wall and why it's important to you yeah. He wrote that in <hes> in january of of nineteen thirty six and i was a child is born in november so i i was let's say three months old and so he wrote it to my older brother in me and in there he talked about adversity provides provides the greatest lessons and is certainly the greatest character builder and then his hope for us in whatever he had given us that we used it. We didn't miss us that are wasted but used at a so we could experience the glorious feeling of accomplishment and so that's everything he did whether i liked it at the time was toward that add an and so he and i think this is so important for anyone who's apparent and certainly we've tried to do that is you. Don't lecture picture your kids on anything that you don't live up to and he exemplified integrity humility in trading with respect and is he used to preach to meet sun. Learn everything you can you never know when it will. Oh come in handy and so those were all great lessons and there was no hypocrisy in there. I mean that's the way he lived. When no you ended up after your education so after mitt you were talked back to wichita and my understanding is that he had an equipment company that wasn't doing well and effectively said you can run it any way you want the the one thing you would need approval for selling it. Was that the time that your dad fascinates me because i think you might have been correct me if i'm wrong but about twenty six i have a piece of advice that he gave. You and i hope your i deal is a loser otherwise otherwise. You'll think you're a lot smarter than you are. It really seems that your dad was focused on preserving your sort of initiative and drive so that the the wealth wouldn't become a curse. Are there other things that he did. When you first joined the business us to facilitate that could be before or after but i'm wondering what that initial experience was like yeah we had <hes> my father the the re the way he got me to come back had been after me. I was working for a consulting firm in in boston and learning a lot and i got to work in all all different phases. This wasn't just a management consulting. I started in product development and then dead process development and then i worked in an an innovation group and i kept <hes> maneuvering so i got to to try different things i was looking for something that i could could use what a few gifts i had and in a way that would be productive in that in that i'd be passionate about and and by the way i had the reason i was able to get into my tea and is i started my my time. Preference change rather than being being instant gratification. I <hes> i started <hes> <hes>. I got a much lower time preference in that is i i i became focused on the long term on on studying in developing these aptitudes and looking for <hes> a calling that i could use to create value for others and that would make me successful and and that i would be filled n._f._l. By so i would be passionate about it and and work so i go through all this at i worked in in multiple departments governments that arthur d. little and and i discussed <hes> charles manson one second i apologize that. Could we talk about as wanna pause on the switch which that you made so. How did you because a lot of people never make the switch from instant gratification to this longer term focus. What catalyzed that feel well. I think it's it's at i said there's my father always had me doing dirty jobs and i was minimizing the my work her effort i put into it and at some point i fear of this is the dan what am i doing and and a band maybe his lessons in his example seep dan and so i started started reading probably as a junior in high school started reading start with novels and then at m._i._t. I got three degrees in engineering there but i was a lousy engineer engineer but i i was good at the concepts behind engineering but not on how to apply anything so i- maximize the taking the courses this in theory and so i took <hes> mathematics for nuclear engineers all these abstractions because because that's what i was good at and so not that i've used a lot of that but it really helped develop my aptitudes and so then as i got got to work some in business and business consulting. I've found wow this came naturally because what i was good at in business were things like vision philosophy strategy logically analyzing problems and looking at the other their side what could go wrong rather than just go with whatever ideas we had but to really experiment test them applied the scientific method to which i part of which i learned at m._i._t. Part of which i learned afterwards and tha to add love to we can we can certainly bounce around. I mean that's sort of the nature of a lot of these conversations but if we talk about books because it it certainly seems like books have had a large influence in your life in your book good profit you wrote. I am a bona fide book person. My home contains more books than i'll ever have time to count in the walls of my which to officer lined with them to what what are some of the books that have had the largest impact on your thinking and to add love for you to in addition to anything else. You might mention a love for you to describe what impact to books had the it came up repeatedly in my reading f._a. Harper's wire wages rise and i'm probably going to pronounce this nancy correct me but ludwig von miser ludwik one visas. I'm not sure ludwig von mises there. We go got the human action. Yeah i can talk about those but the two the two authors that have had the biggest influence our me our our abraham moslo and frederick kayak and and a lot of what we do is based on maslow's ideas of a pause it was one of the early positive psychologists rather than most of them in history freud and others had worked on the psychiatry of of of illness and he took the other sites what can enable somebody to have a fulfilling rewarding life and what he said is <hes> what you can be. You must be if you are term to live your life without developing in your potential. You may be successful in other ways but you will be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life. He said a bird has wings bird. Has i have to fly what you can be you must be and so that's and then he called that that state of where you are fulfilling felling your nature self actualization that what you can be you've you're becoming not that any of us are every report perfect and that causes continue learning experience and which requires ongoing effort so that's what we've we tried to apply here at coquettish is and that's what we're applying in our in our philanthropic efforts to enable everybody to have the opportunity to realize their potential and and then what i said of of all the the insights that that he's provided one that i quote in the in my book good profit that what she called perhaps the greatest discovery in history of mankind is that people can live and work together in in peace in to their mutual advantage under generalized rules of conduct that is with generalized rules rules that enable people to succeed by assisting others rather than detailed rules that cause conflicts flex and and people are trying to undermine each other makes all the difference and that was from his his study of history well history philosophy economics and so so you put those two together and it forms the core of my philosophy and what's enabled may to accomplish more than i ever was really capable of doing you in been previous chats. <hes> <hes> have had karl popper pop up in conversation a number of times. Do you find yourself. Applying scientific principles were engineering principles that you used in your were education to business or how does carl how does karl popper or fit into your thinking about business or life. No no. That's great question the <hes> at m._i._t. I became fascinated with with science and the scientific method and then after i moved back to wichita i started studying. <hes> one of the early things studied was the the philosophy of science and the scientific method and in particular an one one particular essay of karl popper's called scientists falsification shitting in which he says is the true scientific method is develop a testable proposition now to prop proposition that that is contestable but one that's testable and then your obligation is to not to go find evidence that will support it but go out and seek criticisms of it fine what's wrong with and that's what we do on on everything like we have a project jack or an acquisition. The first thing to do is fine. What could go wrong and any idea. I have i. Let's say i have have an idea for a new strategy or new business and so the first thing i do is thank through okay. What what are the key drivers of success here what needs to happen and let's say they're five different main drivers then i i i go find the people who can best show what's wrong or what could go wrong in each of those drivers and we get together and i go through my idea and and each one is expected to come up with ways that could go wrong and every time we go oh through that we come up with a better answer than i developed and so that's critical the other philosopher side said i've particularly drawn on his palani who wrote who's a well a couple things his essay on republic of science where the the the reason scientific community has been so productive and innovative is that no one's in charge it's hey it's spike consensus debate and knowledge sharing and innovations come about by taking different ideas and combining combining them in new and novel ways and so that's what that's another thing that we are approached that we use in management every every one of our businesses we look at it as a laboratory for for innovation and finding new and better ways to to do things a new and better <unk> opportunities charles could you could you speak to perhaps an example of how you have applied the republic of science concepts. They're in and for for people who want to look him up. I named michael. I believe <hes> plenty will put this in the show notes notes as well for folks but in terms of information exchange recombining in novel ways. Could you give an exam a concrete example of how that has been applied right well. The the first thing we do is is we emphasize knowledge holly sharing <hes> many companies particular large companies operate in silos san and you have an incentive where gosh you know you have of an idea or you learn something and you don't wanna share because you may not get credit for we consider that the kiss of death so so we expect every body to share and we build mechanisms and incentives in the company to to encourage this internal internal knowledge sharing and then we expect every every discipline and every business to build knowledge networks around the world and it may not be <hes> largely isn't something that <hes> in in your field or just with the competitors i but something that's going on elsewhere and so we do that i mean for example on on how to keep <hes> compressors from breaking down and shutting down your whole operation so a we one group are are we build a group to do data analytics to to take measurements and determine whether it was near breaking down so we could repair it before it shut the whole plant down and then everybody and shared this knowledge and learn from each other and this this is our whole philosophy philosophy of of mutual benefit. That is the way to get knowledge. Sharing is show when you help somebody else. If the right person or group then they will reciprocate and so we have this culture now of knowledge sharing what we call a republic create create the republic of science and that's that's true for everything for not just <hes> compressors but everything everything and then we have innovation conferences that get draw from different disciplines in different businesses they get together and throw throughout ideas they have and then they then they get to know each other so they don't just share when we set up a structure to do it but would they have what we call a spontaneous order where people just naturally no gosh i'm working on this problem who might help me in the company and then who can help me elsewhere in the world who's working on something similar. I mean it's like what newton said if i see furthers because i'm standing on the shoulders of giants lance and but they don't need to be giants anybody who who's working on a similar problem may have an idea that can help you and collectively were all smarter than we are. Any of us are individually and to that point. I say that it's it's seems like you'd need to create systems incentives to reward the right type of of sharing and in. I keep mentioning good profit if it you've written other books but a good profit i've i've found very interesting for a number of different reasons i mean you have it's certainly eh completely politically agnostic menu have john mackey co founder of whole foods whose praised it you've got general richard myers former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff off and others who've talked about it and it strikes me that clarity of thought and systems are recurring theme so i'd i'd like to talk about a few things that makes what you guys do different perhaps from from others in one one that stuck out to me and we don't you have to spend a lot of time on this but was this is on coke after fred in chapter two the the it was on the difference between acquisition strategies of coke and berkshire hathaway and i believe i believe i'm getting this right but it says berkshire-hathaway buys companies when their competitive the position is attractive and if they're management is good he assures them that he won't intervene except to decide how to invest the cash flow then he largely leaves belong to operate as they had before the acquisition coke strategy it has been to make acquisitions when we can create additional value by applying our capabilities <hes> i was wondering if there are any other differences or contrast between berkshire hathaway or other companies that people <hes> might compare cook to that that that come to mind are there. Are there any any other differences that that really stand out to you that we haven't talked about what i like. A our management approach is based on on understanding the principles of scientific scientific and social progress and and we've <hes> codified and insist metabolized those in in the in the market based management and five dimension and then what i didn't describe in good profit because i hadn't clearly i thought through how we applied that that enabled us to do all the things we did that is to in in nineteen sixty one when <hes> when i joined the company we had two businesses. The largest one was accrual gathering system in southern oklahoma and the other was a smaller company eight that that i <hes> my father let me run initially <hes> <hes> that may <hes> in internals for distillation columns i love that was it was struggling at the time and and since then we've increased <hes> the value of the company seven thousand fold and entered all these different businesses we now have twelve business groups such as georgia pacific <hes> dupont told nylon business and and so forth then and <hes> while i i won't go through <hes> the mall but but okay the way we've done that is is by creating what i i now. Call virtuous cycle some mutual benefa- n._f._l. And that may be high flute and expression but it's it accurately describes what we did so the starting point is to understand what capabilities you have that others will value that you can use to create value for others and and and and then to find the the opportunities for those capabilities that will create the most value for others and particularly others others who will reward you for that by soap so our idea that the ideal for business is to maximize value create for others and your prophet would come solely as compensation for that value you're creating for others yes and then to continually improve and and to those capabilities which and then look for based on that what what other opportunities are there for which you can create superior value so so there are two components than one one is to become preferred partner for all your key constituencies that starts with customers but it's includes employees employees suppliers communities and society as a whole and then the second piece is to continually transform yourself like our philosophy is <hes> if we in a business or you as an individual <hes> working in an area if you're the best in in the world it's not good enough and particularly today with the rapid improvement in technologies within a year or two. You're going to be obsolete salida. If you just rest on your laurels so you've got to be constantly thinking on. How do i improve. How do i do things differently. <hes> uh what are the new opportunities i mean if we just stayed with the crude oil gathering in and making those tower internals i i mean we'd be out of business now but it's by plying that bub applying these principles of of of human flourishing and and <hes> to create these beneficial cycles focusing on how do i create bay for all my constituencies. <hes> <hes> particularly those who were award is for the value we create for them is what is enabled us to do. What we've done is that in essence the definition of good profit for which the book is titled. It'd be profit that is creating value for customers society diety partners drouin by sort of voluntary a voluntary mutual beneficial relationship it. It seems to map. I'd i'd love for you if you can maybe to confirm or clarify that and then could you give you give some examples of what what bad profit is what are examples of bad profit and why our job is to produce products and services that our customers will value more than their best alternatives and in doing so will to constantly reduce and become more efficient in the resources we consume in doing that which okay how does that benefit benefit society it frees resources then to satisfy other needs so that's what good profit is bad. Prophet head is is all the ways they profit that that is anna thiokol to to that approach that is trying to cheat your customers merce misrepresenting what you're doing and rigging the system getting corporate welfare. <hes> protectionism gene is of all different kinds in including protection from foreign competition but also domestic competition <hes> and a great example of this is is occupational licensure in which <hes> which there <hes> like a third of all i think third of all occupations today required some kind of government approval whether that's it depends on the state eight or locale but there are hundreds of these which are are are mainly keep people who start with nothing from being able to do anything because got some of them require <hes> a couple years of of going to school <hes> and <hes> and paying a substantial fee that they can't afford so it just it keeps poor people poor rather than enabling them to realize their a potential by developing their skills that other people will value and this this things like hair braiding hairdressing manicurist the curious yoga instructors funeral pyres interior decorators you name it not things that will blow people lauper lauper anything that you think gosh. The government needs to prove that so it's <hes> it's all just cronyism protectionism and corporate welfare fair. You've it'll one thing that i've found gauging about good profit and a lot of your writing is that you're very specific and also very transparent. <hes> in a lot of respects the there are a number of other things that that fall in the book and please feel free to correct if i'm getting this under the category of bad coffee got mandates subsidies tax incentives import tariffs restrictions on <hes> exports anticompetitive regulations bailouts and i'm looking at a workbook this is this is <hes> this is a way to engage with the material good profit workbook for people who want to really understand the material and one of the questions that they pose is co companies participate in bad prophet if so y. <hes> how how would you answer that well. You can't avoid it. I mean if we for them. Take st- i <hes> steel tariffs we oppose those even though we have <hes> forty percent interest in the newest steel mill in the country in arkansas maverick forbes just wrote an article about it in the last issue big rivers steel and and <hes> so it makes us money and but but we oppose it i mean we play by the rules. We're gonna play by the rules. Rules were gonna obey other laws and <hes> and but we're gonna oppose all the ones that <hes> that undermined undermined the the ideal role for business and society and and why what are you running charity now but oh we we take the long-term view and told to rig the system to make a quick buck and makes people's lies worse then then what are you doing. Why does society need business that making people's lives works if if if <unk> business and and individuals are getting wealthy the only way society's going to permit that long term is if they're contributing to helping people improve their lives not making it worse so this is a problem with business. Today we have business people have a bad wealthy. People have a bad reputation because there's so much of this cronyism in protectionism attaction ism going on like we oppose the the the border adjustment tax like a twenty percent tax on all imports sports even though we determined it <hes> in most likely the case that would make us over billion dollars a year by increasing the cost of living to to walmart and costco buyers and and we help get that defeated because as i as i told the the leaders and and republican i said how does this make sense. Are you going to promote this. We're for this because it's gonna make coke industries a lot of money and probably big exporters like boeing and general electric probably never pay tax again and it would increase the cost of living for the great majority of people in this country particularly those who are least well-off and of course they had they had their reasons but it didn't make sense and and so we another got it to feed it but the sad thing is as you could tell what the great majority of companies what whether they were four against that depending on whether they thought it would make them are cost them money short term so that's it all this short termism that's going on. I we think thank is is hurting. People and undermining businesses role in society. What's <hes> <hes>. What types of market distortions do you wish didn't exist or are you trying to prevent all of all all of them. Could you give are there. Are there any particular examples that stand out for you. As sort of the the heavier domino of sorts parts or something that has particularly negative cascading effects well i mean the biggest are all these forms of corporate corporate welfare which i mentioned occupational licensor <hes> the <hes> restrictions on innovation and competition and and <hes> opportunities for those who start with nothing as i as i said on occupational licenser so this what goes with those and then and then all all the protectionist provisions these trade restrictions <hes> this are are crazy immigration system. All of these are things. We're working hard on to change. It strikes me simpleton pretty uninformed when it comes to these things but that being a a privately held company allows you flexibility that some people in leadership positions publicly held companies publicly traded companies would feel they don't have which is a benefit that you have for instance if if you have because i i would imagine there are differing differing opinions at at points. If you have an opportunity or a say legislative or regulatory change that could be short short term beneficial profitable that is and they conflicts with with you charles your direction that you would like to see things head on a broader scale for human flourishing. How do you have that conversation. Among a top brass in the sense that revenue profit these are things that are easily quantifiable whereas something like human flourishing may be harder to quantify so. How do you guys have a discussion. When there's there's disagreement. We had those those kind of disagreements decades ago but i can't think of any those now we may have a debate on on whether it this will help or hurt long term but it will it. It is always will will this enable to fulfil our obligation as a business that is to profit by helping others improve their lives. I mean what we do. Is we teach these principles we have dozens of people who work full-time on teaching these he's and consulting on on these principles and principles of human flourishing and and how to apply them that'll make us successful long turn turn and that's how we we try to reward our people will first of all we hire i on on values on our guiding principles suppose we have now eight guiding principles and <hes> and so we hire on those we we reward on those we promote on those and if somebody is living by them we encourage them to go somewhere else because it's not a fit for them here and and so so we have harmony that doesn't mean we don't have challenges in disagreement but it's on how do how to realize this this vision vision and these goals rather than whether we want to sacrifice our principles for <hes> for immediate game so i i would say what guides us. I are are are these basic principles of human progress. Human flourishing second is building capabilities that will enable us to create value for others and then due to continually genuinely transform ourselves to do a better and better job of that and to focus on using our capabilities to to contribute so that's what made us successful so i mean i mean you look at our track record. Not the we've been perfect and we haven't had problems and having haven't violated these principles because we're all we're all flawed. We all make mistakes and and get off track. Which we've we've done many times. I'm suzanne do it continually potentially when as we do have one hundred and thirty thousand employees that's incredible. I made it blows me away. <hes> constantly the power of these ideas bill say oh well. You're so smart. I am not blaming me everywhere. I've ever worked or whatever their lot of people who are smarter than i am is just i was dedicated to understanding living by these principles and that's what's made the difference in my life that transform for my life well. Let's talk about your the principles and your and your intellectual formation and i said a book note to come back to this and maybe maybe these are the wrong trees to be barking up but could you speak to a couple of thinkers. I've written down <hes> <hes> authors and thinkers. We've already talked about a few of them. <hes> michael polanyi. We've talked about your father certainly f._a. Harper author of why wages his rise ludwig von mises author of human action among other things of course and <hes> w edwards deming and wondering what what are the main principles or lessons that you've taken away from any any any of those people we don't have to necessarily cover all of them but if any come to mind that we haven't given any airtime to if there are any principles or learnings that you you think are core to what you took away away from any of the names that i mentioned right well we talked about proper and pliny and there was another besides republic of science that i got from palani on your personal knowledge that that in in that he's written a book by name personal knowledge which says there's there's a huge difference between conceptual knowledge and personal knowledge. Jenny uses the example of a concert violinist. I they a concert. Somebody wants to be a concert by lantis. I how do i hold the violin. <hes> how do i move my hands. How do i make note and and so they focus on the parts and after these parts become natural like the violin and becomes an extension of your hands. You don't have to think about how to use your hands. That's what he calls personal knowledge as opposed to conceptual up show knowledge and then after you do that enough where the parts become second nature then you can focus on the whole the whole all is making beautiful music and so that's what i mean just that changed our whole approach to teaching our management philosophy because we were in it. It's what i call. I think of a flaw in our education system is not really the education it's schooling teach detest and what we found in our programs that works and helps helps people realize is there potential is elect as to consider real education to be three dimensional rather than one dimensional and those three dimensions are dr discover your gifts your aptitudes in what will turn you on then the second one is a do whatever you can to fully develop those so i you learned to be then you learn to learn and then you learn to ply okay. How do i apply apply these that will make a contribution in society that will be that will help me better myself and and and and in the process better others help others better their lives and that's three dimensional education and we find that in in our programs we've started and support. That's what we're looking for because that's that's what moves toward of society eddie of of mutual benefit where where people have the opportunity to realize their potential locate that so that i know knowledge. There's another one another one is the division of labor by comparative advantage which also fits howard gardner's tesis on multiple intelligence that is basically that people are smarter are dumb overall. I may accept except in <hes> in real extremes but most of us are gifted in some ways and and and and not a to swift and others in that i'm exhibit a. in that and so i mean that was that division of labor by comparative advantage i was first developed by ricardo harto on nations nations ought to focus on what they're good at an trade with others and then i that optimizes everything <hes> learning earning best use of resources and so on another concept is is creative destruction shumpei tres concept on sept that is he. You don't want to be protectionist in your own shop that is you're doing something of certain way like kodak. Ah in in making film rather than do it digitally. They had the technology but they tried to protect their existing product line and so ended up growing broke so you've got to do you wanna drive creative destruction internally that is constantly replace what you're doing growing with a better way a better product a better technology <hes> another one is self actualization when i which i described and then and another one from also for maslo and other positive psychologists is what he called synergy is a system and state of mind mind where what selfish unselfish merge i mean and that's what he meant by becoming contribution motivated <hes> <hes> that that focusing on helping others in a way that's also rewarding to you then the whole dichotomy between wayne selfish and unselfish disappears now that's idealize case that'll never be perfectly true but if we could have a society in an the organization where that generally true then you're going to be much better off and that's what we try to apply here that is to the have what's in the long-term interests of the company in the interests of the individual employees and as as i say i learned that from from maslo <hes> and then <hes> and then free speech and open inquiry is another one <hes> the role of property rights and decision rights which is a key one of the five dimensions of market based management then basic values such as integrity humility respect and desire to contribute then and now they're from this is from yvonne mesa's human action model people only act if they action will satisfy three requirements the first is is. Is you become dissatisfied with your current state. You have a vision of a better state and you have a path to get there so this is very important for how companies are societies organize themselves if <hes> if people i believe they're dissatisfied with the current state they see what's wrong with but they have no vision of of a better state state and because you don't have free speech you don't have communication they don't. They haven't seen a better alternative or you. You're so bureaucratic socratic and and protectionist you. Don't allow anybody to improve our like in accompany. The provea processes so painful and difficult for cult that you just give up somebody we work within one of the major oil companies years ago was always complaining about the bureaucracy there and he couldn't do anything wrong and i and i said well so what do you do about it and he says well after awhile you just paint your ass white and run with the antelope. That's that's what what happened so these. These principles may seem obvious but if thera so obvious why are so many countries organizations and people ignoring them anyway why why that's actually a fantastic question. Why do you think they are ignoring them because they're not obvious or because there are other other factors at play and then i want to segue into after after you have a chance to comment on that <hes> to <hes> stand together and provide some background to that and then get into it but why do why. Do you think that these these principles are are neglected is it because they're not obvious because they're difficult for for other reasons. I think it it doesn't fit their priorities and i think a good part of it is their short term oriented rather than long term oriented. I think that's critical and i and as i say that's been the demise of of so many companies. That's why you see companies. The top companies in the country fifty or hundred years ago or all gone not all but the great majority are gone or else <hes> very declined markedly in in their position he out incredible how many blind spots and maybe not incredible. It's totally sensible. How many blind spots are created by ignoring some of these factors a friend of mine. One of the co founders of site in a service called read it who's has been on the podcast described a meeting with an executive at at yahoo at one point who dismissing lease looked at their numbers and said you're a rounding error and of course that didn't <hes> didn't work out so well for for yahoo. The creative destruction is really important. One let me mention one one other <hes> pro principal. That's been critical in my life. I touched on it and that is that as i said i i have i just have a narrow range of abilities developing those and focusing on that and then partnering with with people who could complement that and and and what i've learned is to have a good partnership that would do that requires three thanks it requires requires shared vision shared values and having complementary capabilities and where i've had that partners who who fit those three or we've it those three together then. I've been very successful where i haven't i've generally failed and my best partnership has been with my wife who we've been together fifty one years and and we shared vision and values and i'm good at the few things she is and she's good at about everything thing. I'm not good at so we make each other better and so that's been one of another one of my great blessings in advantage manage in in my life i wanted to to ask you. Perhaps later will will come back to this but what is the factors that have made it work the <hes> the the relationship with your wife because we've we've spoken about that before and i i do want to come back to that. If we have the the time to do so but also want to make sure that we have a chance to cover and give you time to to stand together as a way of getting there because i think there are a lot of there are a lot of passionate supporters and there are a lot of passionate detractors and at least in my own very small microcosm of this my experiences that the most intense supporters and detractors tend to miss things so i want you due to correct me. If i get anything wrong that i'm going to say as as means of context but just leading up to stand together want to paraphrase of former congressman joe scarborough. This is from that source. Basically the gist of it is although your critics are usually unaware <hes> the the cook brothers have supported more than just what are generally considered conservative causes they oppose george w bush many issues are pro choice supports same sex marriage and worked closely with the obama white house for the obama administration's criminal justice reform warm initiatives that aligned with their own. I've to two things i wanted to mention on criminal justice reform and foreign policy and then feel free to and i would love you to correct anything wrong obviously but what's what's impressed me about a number of the things that you've done probably many many things that you've done is that that you've allied with former combatants as maybe too strong word but people with whom you've had tension or people with with whom you still have many disagreements over different things the first criminal justice reform despite what i believe was pretty adversarial relationship with activists and c._n._n. C._n._n. commentator van jones <hes> you ended up collaborating to work together on criminal justice for similarly on foreign policy. Despite disagreements with george soros on many policy issues beauty. You've found the common ground when it came to foreign policy so you're able to partner with georgia's open side effect nation the question i wanna ask you before we get to stand together. Which we're going to just a few minutes is how is your approach to policy. Did i get anything wrong. I'm cheating. It's a two part question and then be. How's your approach to policy. Halsey coalitions changed overtime. No that's a that's a great question well. I've i've been at this social change and and <hes> philanthropic approach for fifty five years now and it was basically i'd learn these principles that had ed transformed my life and enabled me to <hes> really realize my potential and accomplish more than i ever dreamed possible and so i i had the desire to help as many others have the same kind of benefits in their own way eight to fit their own situation and and gifts and <hes> so i started as i say in i started in on this in in nineteen sixty three and <hes> and for the first <hes> let's say forty years of that. I wasn't involved in politics at all. I wanted to stay away from that and and work doc was helping people realize their potential and supporting mainly students and then as the as the students talk to their professors about what they were learning working with <hes> with our organization that the festers we come and they'd want us to help them set up a program to do that so it just spread and then <hes> to get things done we <hes> we decided we needed to <hes> to build a or organizations that would well first of all that would take these ideas ideas and develop what are the policy implications of these and so i found the cato institute and a number of other institutes to do that and then we decided we needed to help mobilize people with more and more people were interested in these ideas. How do we how do we get policy changes while we need to mobilize people who were interested in them and help them have a voice and so we we started doing that and then <hes> decided we needed to get <hes> politicians more politicians who would be interested in ideas. There's that would really help the country long-term rather than just help them get reelected and so we started doing that and the republicans same although far from ideal same more sympathetic to the so we started supporting republicans and <hes> and then and then we learned that didn't get anywhere so we have changed. We're just we will go back and support anybody who will advance z. spouses that will help bring about the society of mutual benefit where people have the opportunity to realize their potential and so if if you put it in terms of of my philosophy on partnerships she shared vision and values in have complementary capabilities what i was doing was is applying to broad requirement for shared vision that is okay. We'll only support those and work with those. Those who we share broadly a vision of what kind of society we want it and so that was really limiting the number of people we could work with breath and so in the last few years we've changed that all we need is share vision on a specific issue and you we may disagree on everything else but if <hes> if you can really help us advance this policy that will help people improve their lives. We will will work together and so that's how van jones has gone from being somebody who was trying to shut us down on to working with us and bragging on us and and enabled us to work with soros and everybody on specific issues other even though we have major disagreements where the men that see and then that fits where we're finding is doing that it it reduces the the hostility and the conflicts if you meet somebody rather than try to find something you disagree with john on and fight them and attack them search for something you can work together on that will contribute federal help people improve their lives and doing that now. We have allies. I'd never would've believe we can and now as this is changed changing our brand and dr help people look at us now. Many many more people are open to working with us and it seems like a lot of what you've done and not just in the last years <hes> but certainly even before that has led up to this initiative. You've stand together. Could you tell us a little bit about that focus and why it's a focus what it is right. We've we started the organization that was originally standing other now stand together foundation to build on the work we were doing in troubled communities and and our approach there is what we call bottom up as opposed to top down now and it starts with the the recognition as i've been saying that everybody has the capability to realize their potential well if they have the right mindset and support so how do we how do we help people get the right mindset and support so they can have you better make a better life for themselves and it's as i say it's with a bottom up approach rather than a top-down approach in what i mean by that is rather than have somebody come in and say well on average or we can improve the statistics on this. Here's what we're gonna. Do you and we want everybody to to do this. Same thing we find that hasn't worked but what works is is a too fine nine. What we call social entrepreneurs who are closest to the problem and this would be largely people who who've had a a problem have gotten in trouble have been held back and have learned to overcome and now are dedicating indicating their lives helping others do the same so they have different capabilities than we do we advertise if if you're interested in our help so you can improve your officiency by by a better management practices and <hes> want to scale and celebrate it so consp- read more and more people can benefit from your proven approach then we'd love to do that and so we've had add several thousand applications we now have one hundred fifty these partnerships in these troubled communities on on everything from addiction to to criminal justice to homelessness from lack of economic make opportunity from a to young people who <hes> who have only seen a negative contribution negative motivation invasion rather than contribution motivation and to help them change their mindset that they can succeed contribute and it it strikes me and i'd love for you to correct me if this this isn't accurate but it seems like you're taking a lot out of your experiences from say criminal justice reform. We're youth focused among other places on <hes> really analyzing recidivism and reducing recidivism looking at how to change things so that employment opportunities for released convicts aren't as constrained as is there are currently we're expanding those options and i've actually spent time in some <hes> mac security prisons teaching entrepreneurship with a number of organizations and that you're you're taking some of those learnings and then applying it more broadly to enable a community of social official entrepreneurs. The some of the numbers that i have in front of me are in terms of the auditors groups who who are focused on and it looks like there are five five four key institutions education business communities government policy of more than one thousand professors at more the three hundred and fifty universities tens of thousands of k. twelve teachers and this'll lead up to a question more than seven hundred of the top business and philanthropic leaders that combined employment more than more than two million people one hundred forty plus community groups tackling poverty and addiction <hes>. I'm very interested in addiction a lot longer story for another time but millions of grassroots activists all fifty states so this is clearly a bottom up like you mentioned. I think a lot of people when they when they hear charles coke think market based solutions are market based solutions part of of this or looking for market based solutions or is it broader than that well. It's <hes> i it's market based in in that. It's <hes> <hes> it's <hes> looking at what really works and looking at individuals rather than i mean market is is a little bit of a misnomer but it's applying the same philosophy that that made coke industries successful and enables enables us to to help our our employees become contribution in motivated by the way i you suggested this early in our employees who after years of learning they can succeed by constantly improving their ability to create value for others they tell me and and after they retire or leave right me and say they c- they <hes> they are so appreciative that they learn miss because it improved their family life their communities their friendships everything to look at it that way rather than the way they were looking at it before <hes> but so it's it draws on our experience in criminal justice reform but but more broadly broadly are experience in in in what made coke industries successful what have made societies throughout history success which ones have people have flourished in which ones have people that have been misery did <hes> and what we learned in in developing youth entrepreneurs and and that's an organization my my wife and i started twenty eight years ago here in wichita is we saw met so many any kids that obviously had ability that they played sports with but we're just getting terrible advice they were came from broken homes homes and tough neighborhoods where people were trying to hurt each other so wow this is what a way so we need to start something particularly in this in these inner city high schools that would teach them what we call principal launch bener shia that is this to have have create this three dimensional education where they learn they could change their mindset that look in spite of you think things are hopeless for more you came from. They're not all you gotta do is change your mindset and then we'll provide support to help you become successful so in youth thoughts manures they theory one of the skills and values they need to be successful discovered their own and then para business plan and the best business plans would get some venture capital help you start your own business and then we'll if you're successful successful you can will will find a local entrepreneur to help mentor you. Maybe provide internships for you and if you continue to do well oh you want to go to trade school or college. Whatever fits you will help you do that and it is amazing that how many any of these young people's lives have been transformed by this and and a running successful businesses out of this everything from car dealerships to <hes> the one developed a protein bar that sold on amazon clothing lines <hes> chartering buses fitness clubs hair braiding making jewelry tutoring others. I mean it. It is incredible audible it. Just it blows you away when you and these here these kids describe how they've how this is transformed their lives so that's what motivates me not just the theory but seeing what it really does to change people's lives and with with something charles when you're when you're operating at such a high level in many respects and you have so many any different places you could allocate capital and effort what what does is success look like for standing of their foundation say a year from now three years from now whenever you would assess it to determine whether weather to put more into that or more into something else which could also be throughout the maybe just a new iterations or a new foundation how'd you how'd you think think about what the success metrics are or if not metrics what how you determine if it is working or not well i mean what we're looking for these social entrepreneurs which one can really help scale and then celebrate so or it could capture the the national imagination and change the way people think about these criminal justice reform i mean there. Eric was what was current and choice was okay. Somebody did some illegal block them up and throw the key away and and in prison is for punishment <hes> rather than to help them rebuild and get a second chance now now. It's changing because we we in others were van. Jones and others have built this broad brace. This coalition that this first step act passed by eighty seven votes in the senate. I mean that's incredible in this this day and age to have this kind of bipartisan support and there's impetus to to take it to the next level but but it's it's changing life as people realize that ninety percent of people go to prison get out and do you want prisons to be incubators for more hardened criminals than they were when they went in. Are you want them to have his second chance and come out with a skill and values that will enable them to contribute and become contributors rather than detriments to wellbeing and and safety and i mean for example one of the groups we support hudson link put on college accredited courses in prison that that are three dimensional as i mentioned and and of the graduates of their program a._m. Has of recidivism rate percent that go back to president three years after they get out is two percent from graduates of their program miss opposed to nearly seventy percent nationally and forty some percent in new york where they <hes> they have mainly operated and we've help them while they're up to five prisons now and we think it can be greatly expanded you've also done you've supported some some some really good work being done in addiction treatment with the phoenix and i'll link to all of this in the show notes so people can can take look at it but it's it's. It's really important work. These are important topics and part of the reason <hes> charleston. I wanted to have you on after months of of <hes> of organizing to make it happen is that ah in very polarized times where you have could be any number of people the president or someone else is the second coming on one channel you flip to the next channel and he or she is the anti christ that it is possible to attack jack the issues or attack the problems and not the people and wile. I'm sure that i would hope that if we were to spend more time together you and i disagree on a lot of things that there are things we could absolutely agree upon and that provides the space to to have a conversation and discussed the possibility of collaboration for things that anyone can agree upon on and i'm really pleased to give some of those specific examples <hes> because it it's paralyzing using when everything becomes ad hominem and a so so that that's really more of a comment than a question but i just wanted to thank you for making the space for us to to talk about that and i do have some more or questions but the the question about about the steady other foundation or are you still accepting applications by social entrepreneurs owners <hes> or has has that window already closed. Oh no we haven't actually help change the director of the country more towards this ideal so we're just getting started. We were world upto over one hundred fifty now of these social entrepreneurs. We're report nouri with and we think we're as we're developing capability. We can add as many as seventy year so we're just <hes> we scratching the surface and then developing the capability to help them scale and then to to more fully celebrate it to get this out in the mainstream of people see what's working and how how this approach can transform uh-huh lives what what these individuals have learned from their own experiences and enter dedicated apply in those are my heroes rose in society of people who have suffered injustice tremendous injustice and rather than come out matter or giving up to dedicate their lives so that others don't have to suffer summer injustices. I i mean those are that's if we can encourage more more and more people to have that frame of mind and that kind kind of dedication. That's the only thing i think that will get us on a better trajectory. In this country. People can learn more of course all all mentioned this at the end of the show well but stand together. Dot org is a great u._r._l. And simple euro for people to remember for for for those who want to learn more i i'd like to shift gears in a way but it's it's it's connecting a handful of things and also giving us an opportunity to talk about sort of ad hominem versus issue based first debates and also <hes> accurate perceptions versus misperceptions so i have i have some questions for my audience and there were a lot of questions agents and i've i've. I've deliberately chosen a few that i think tackle head on or they don't really tackle but give sort of an emotional voice to an a number of things that people some people rightly or wrongly <hes> want to ask so the the first one i'd like to throw out and this is from matthew be and you can tackle this anyway but the gist most of it is does he ever have pangs of guilt about the millions of americans made poorer sicker or dead by unfettered capitalism does he actually prefer a world where the majority struggling bergelin misery so few billions why are higher profit margins worth polluting the environment and how does he square that with the animals and people sick and and killed by deregulated industrial pollution so that's a very strongly worded of course but i want to give airtime to <music> a few of these questions and their number of questions about environmental issues and climate change so i i'd love for you to answer answer that in any way that you that you'd like i mean i think we've talked about you. Don't need to answer. Do you prefer a world where the majority struggle in israel so if you can hoard billions. I think that's pretty self evident that take your answers. You'd prefer that but how would you like to comment or or respond to that. No we we would agree. I mean i'm not i. I don't like the term capitalism that that assumes that what we're after is a system where certain people have a lot of capital and that's not what we're about what we're after his system were were everybody has opportunity to realize their potential including those who start with nothing and and business should only profit to extent they're helping other people improve their lives and that so <hes> and and polluting and making people sick killing people is they shouldn't profit they've should bear a cost for that and and those are my worst talk you ask about failures our biggest failures in my mind and what we worked the hardest on our our our safety problems when there's an accident and people die. I mean that's monster so that's that's job job. One is keeping people people safe and job to is protecting the environment and <hes> <hes>. I think the last five years the e._p._a. Has sir ranked us either number one or number two of u._s. Companies in pollution reduction initiatives <hes> that is that is our second top priority after keeping people safe so i mean we agree to the extent extent but what you find is that the the the countries that do the worst in those are those that are top down if your bottom up and you're looking at individuals and how to improve their lives it changes your approach rather than some top down statistical uh approach or control and so that's to me the basic difference is do we want a system stomach that empowers people are one that controls them and you look it systems through history that have tried to to advance advanced humanity by controlling everybody and making them follow some theory of <hes> of the people in charge as opposed to having incentives and rules that will cause people to want to believe that the way to succeed is by helping ping others improve their lives. I mean the results throughout history. There is no comparison between the two in in the benefit into human flourishing. I mean if you wanna like the biggest polluters look at east germany. When when that became combined with west germany they had all these inefficient factories that were massive polluters and then and then look at the i don't know if you've seen the documentary chernobyl we'll see that shows when things become politicized they become corrupted and that's that's why all those years i got had nothing nothing to do with politics and now we're <hes> we have something to do with it but <hes> but based on on not partisan partisan but who's going to help improve policy so so we can move toward this system of mutual benefit so i'm gonna ask just a few more of these and i'm going to alternate between the the highly politically charged and not so i'll i'll go to one that i think is not what but i'd be curious to hear your answer. It was appointed quite a bit. This is from john. Jay asks charles while we can't return to the tax structure of last century. Higher taxes equals higher higher g._d._p. We average twice the g._d._p. Of today trickle down never works government has created or supported most businesses in this country computers g._p._s. internet roads electricity et cetera. What are your thoughts charles. I mean i i my reading of history is is somewhat different. My i have a dog in the fight because i'm not i don't mind well educated. Let's get it on this. People are liberated and empowered <hes> they succeed. If you look at the the the history of humanity for all the millennia up until starting in the eighteenth century there was barely ever ah any improvement and caused these were top down societies attis for those in charge well they were they were beyond authoritarian. They were totalitarian and people weren't allowed to think differently if you if you violated their religious dogma tortured and tell you either died or or changed your opinion opinion or were threatened with that and so that stifled progress and then <hes> starting rolling being in in with holland when they got out from under spanish rule they started deliberating so religious and other dissidents start coming to holland and they had free trade moping i mean they had plenty of problem. Say still had slavery which was <hes> endemic everywhere but they had much more than others so they became the most prosperous country in the world and then it it <hes> <hes> it followed in in england and then spread to the united states these ideas and was to me best embodied in the the declaration of independence at his assistant of equal rights <hes> and and everybody having the right to the pursuit of happiness which to me is a different way of saying the opportunity to realize their potential and to to learn contribute butin succeed and to the extent that was followed in this country made us the u._s. The most successful country in the history of the world unfortunately it was not applied across the board for example african. Forget americans and native americans had no right <hes> obviously with slavery for african americans and practicing genocide against native americans women only had partial rights not just and i'm not talking about just the right to vote ah but they weren't allowed to go to college in the early days. They weren't <hes> <hes> when they got married. Whatever property they they had their husbands controlled so the the relationship between husband and wife was almost like a master servant relationship and it took eighty years to remove the great majority of that then i am very various emigrants such particularly the chinese in he's in the and the and the irish had only partial rights and certain religious groups didn't so all these all all those were violations of the principles in the declaration of independence and may what we're working on what stand togethers working on his to eliminate eliminate the the the aspects of all those injustices that continue to haunt us haunt the country today thank you and a lot of i'm going to jump back to the the more charged. A lot of these questions are about climate change and and i don't. I don't know the answer to this. I'm just gonna ask since this sort of thematically has come up. A couple of times from yemen not gonna give last name. This one is from eamonn <hes>. Do you really fund propaganda to confuse people about global warming well. I certainly hope not believe me. I am totally dedicated to the scientific method and and good science and what we're doing is trying to get ah various groups not people on the extremes who say there there is no <hes> man made contribution to to warming or others who say <hes> within a few years the world's going to end so leaving those people out people who who are somewhat open minded and relating to listen to the other side to get them together and we've had several of those sessions so we can find some. I mean there. There's enough concern about a man made contribution to warming that various policies are have been developed and and are being developed and so what we want him to do is is defined policies that will actually work actually do something about reducing c._o. Two emissions manmade c._o. Two emissions and at the same time not make people's lives words so many of these policies haven't done anything reduce c._o. Two but they make people's lives worse particularly the poorest and <hes> and the biggest contribution or the biggest reduction has been in the u._s. In recent years because of you've of fracking of natural gas substituting for coal and so the u._s. is now figures i have seen is now <hes> responsible for fifteen percent of the ceo to a manmade c._o. Two generation and a the countries in asia particularly china and india share is growing and the problem with many of our policies is they they all right doing much for it and they make us less competitive versus. China and china has a double the c._o. Two emissions per unit of g._d._p. That the u._s. does and so as we push moreover their push more production over there were just increasing and uncertain of the <hes> of the production there for example lymph fertilizers and chemicals that are based on coal gas rather than natural gas. It's four to five times admission per unit of production so these are all dilemmas that we try to do something here but many of them make it worse. So how do we what we think we need our innovations mm so that our guard caused china to adopt them and have them reduce emissions rather than us tried to do it in ways is that causes them to increase emissions so that's that's what we're working on and because it's not is just not once again again. It's just not as simple top down matter. You've got to provide incentives for people to to do it and people have to believe it will make their lives better rather then worse and accomplished nothing which is what a lot of the policies have done. That's a great point about china and offshoring that i certainly hadn't thought through <hes> as as granular is that i mean it's yeah if you're if you're pushing off production into jurisdiction or just a could be jurisdiction could be regulatory could be cultural. I have no idea where the you the the emissions pollution per. Unit of production is four or five times higher. You haven't solved the problem by changing the location <hes> <hes> and you and you see that in the world all these policies and all this these initiatives and co two emissions are still going up around the world world so we need a different approach. I mean keep doing the same thing over and over is a form of insanity so that's what we're trying to do is get people focused on something that will make a difference and not make people's lives worse. It's charles. This is a question for me just building on that or related to it. What what do you think are the most legitimate existential the threats to mankind. If you go to silicon valley artificial intelligence is a very popular vote. You certainly have climate change or global warming depending ending on if you're using <hes> whose wording using <hes> which is the vote for a lot of folks in your mind what are if any the the the the more legitimate existential threats to humankind. I think the biggest threats as they were for millennia up until the eighteenth century or top down the tyranny of experts fatal conceit that a few smart right people can go tell everybody how to live their lives and what we're finding we're working with these social entrepreneurs the ones who have good solutions micro solutions not macro-solutions because they've lived through problems and they they work their way out of it and they know what works and approving it every day that that's what we need a society <music> as as high found in history that enables people to pursue their own interests interest in a way that is mutually beneficial and leads to peace and harmony and these top down solutions all they do his create partisanship and and <hes> and conflict and that's what we see today in this country because it's politics win. Lose gain working together to your mutual benefit is win win as opposed was to win lose so we need to maximize the amount that we allow people to do to advance their interests in a way way that benefits others. Are there any particular problems that worry you or things on the horizon. Isan that worry you that you think everyone should be paying more attention to it any specific come to mind yeah i think <hes> i think i think <hes> policies on trade and an immigration i it's what has attributed to basquiat if if goods don't cross border soldiers well and to have and then our foreign policy of of forever wars that's why we with with <hes> with soros's foundation we we created this the quincy institute named after john quincy adams adams who said following the founders we got we go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy where the friends of all nations and and allies of not and so we're in dozens of ors. We have a over eight hundred basis around the world. We're involved in everything trying. Ronda control the world and it doesn't work this is totally. This is the most top down of all yet didn't didn't work very well for the roman empire not to say their equivalent but quick review of history seems to indicate that that that doesn't tend to pan out so well and then you add nuclear weapons to the mix and the more we we belay are like like we did in libya good affi promised and got rid of his nuclear ambitions and so we destroyed him and so that creates a little bit of perverse incentive for iran and north korea and septa to believe are <hes> promises that will leave him alone if it they'll drop their nuclear weapons so i mean it's the stuff is so backwards. What would <hes> this is. This is a question from i think it's jokam holcomb donato pronounce it and i i know we <hes> we probably have a handful of minutes left. If you're open to just going for another maybe five to ten minutes here <hes> and his question is what would you be willing to risk your whole fortune for an and i'll just add my own parameter to that. Which is it's not necessarily betting the farm with the company but your personal fortune. Is there anything that you would risk <hes> a lot of or your entire fortune for while i'm investing all the liquidity i have in in stand together so i mean i the economists have a concept called demonstrated preference that pay attention not to what people say but what they do so that's what i'm doing and that i dedicate a lot of my time to that as well by time and right and treasurer and and so that's that's what i'm i'm risking everything to and that's that's the progress we're making. There is one of the reasons as i get up in. The morning charged up every day. Yeah what's important to have a reason to get up which i think you're you're not to not to ah harkin all the way back to this but your chapter on incentives in could profit actually touches on quite a lot. What would you put it on a billboard metaphorically speaking if you could get a quote or a message question a word anything noncommercial all out to billions of people. Is there anything that you might put on that billboard. Yeah i put which is our our slogan at <hes> stand together greater. You're good and that's because that's a little bizarre. So what what what are they talking about so you would hope that then ed follow up what what do they mean by that. And what do you mean yeah. I mean just exactly what i'm thinking. I mean what we've been talking about. That is discover your your gifts develop them and apply them in a way that helps others that also beneficial to us so you'll be motivated to continue to do it will charles i. I don't want to take too much time but i do have a a. Maybe a few more questions and i want to. We started close to the beginning age six. I want to say something along those lines digging dandelions <hes>. Let's go back even further. Who were who were you named after. Where do you get your first name well. My first and middle name is charles. De gaulle and i was named after <hes> now trainer. My father worked for named charles diagonal and he he he my father it age. I don't know twenty five or so or maybe it was twenty-seven designed a refinery for among the olive green and the u._k. And worked for him for a couple years years and they became lifelong france and he greatly admired charles de gaulle's entrepreneurship has integrity and his treatment of others so that's who i was named after did a detroit did charles give your father the opportunities that were important early on or was there <hes> did that factor into the the friendship that developed or was it the in a broader percents what you just mentioned yeah he his son carl de gaulle was a classmate of my my father my father to start at at rice and studying chemistry because the there wasn't a field called chemical engineering and then after during his sophomore or year there <hes> m._i._t. Started the first chemical engineering department and so <hes> my junior year my father transferred hard to m._i._t. In in got his degree there in chemical engineering practice and then he went to work for was was texaco then and then the gasoline products company which was a process design company and in and all this he he developed his own ideas on on refining and <hes> and upgrading heavy oil and soap nope charles de gaulle wanted to build this plant and and the isla grain and and believe me plants back then in the twenties were nothing nothing like today a whole refinery would cost maybe a couple of million and it was primitive by today's standard but carl recommended commended his father that he hired my my father from from an as an employee at gasoline products company and so my father part quite guessing went to work for charles de gaulle so he gave him that opportunity and <hes> and then my father wanted to go in business for himself any he came by he came to wichita or another classmate had an engineering company and he joined there. Ariza partner invested three hundred dollars and became a partner and now they're funny. Story is bill wondering well. How'd you get the name kokatay. Oh catty you pronounce that well my my my grandfather. My father's father emigrated from the netherlands in eighteen eighty eight eight and <hes> and he didn't speak any english so he came over he was the printer's apprentice and he went to work for various dutch newspapers and nat learned to speak english and then he heard about this print shop and and weekly newspaper in quantity texas that he and a partner could buy i four to three hundred dollars and so they bought that and <hes> and it was very poor place they mainly got paid with farmer would have check ins or eggs and deliver eggs or chicken or arroyo or whatever it is largely barter system because nobody had any money and so that's where my father grew up and he had this technical ability so he said he'd he he wanted to go somewhere where there was more opportunity so that it went to rice and then m._i._t. And then ended up with his own business and is the dutch pronunciation. Oh yeah thanks. I got off the subject yes so so my grandfather pronounced announced it hard for english speakers well particularly west texan said doesn't exactly fit their pronunciation so so they pronounced calls like a crow caw fred cau- that's the way it's pronounced there. My father hated that pronunciation and one time he was travelling on business and he was paged as fred coke and he said <hes>. I like that so that's how we got her name. So you see it has this elegant l. again. History that's amazing from royalty uh from from the bartering with chickens and having people address him as cau- it is so much that he took the last name from an announcement. That's incredible <hes> well charles. I suppose much like the charles that we've mentioned who gave your your father. Those opportunities early on i'm really excited to see what stand together does and what opportunities they provide to people who could benefit from them and and hopefully like you said to scale solutions that can capture the imagination of the nation <hes>. That's that's that's a worthwhile project and people can learn more about that at stand together dot org <hes> they can learn about all of the company side of things at coke. I n d dot com on twitter. People can find stand together at at stand underscore together and and a coke industries is simply at coke industries. Is there anything else that you'd like to say or discuss yeah. I think there are a number of videos that i've done and others have done on on you to thank you can just go on youtube and a cup charles coke and you see mine and so you can but i mean i mean particularly what i've said and then you can you can judge you buy that. I've done a number of <hes> of op eds and <hes> and i've done <hes> <hes> one with <hes> <hes> with bloomberg on free speech and open inquiry college campus michael bloomberg don juan with tim cook on apple on the dreamers on making them permanent <hes> and and we've we've we've brought dreamers back to washington and to the nasdaq to to to show how many of them are productive much mm-hmm worked for us as in other companies microsoft has joined us in that and then i've done one <hes> with michael lomax the the president of the united negro college fund on <hes> the work <hes> we've done <hes> with with that organization to help students students at these historically black colleges <hes> to learn principled entrepreneurship so that that's been another other amazing story of of helping these students transform. Their lives just like you entrepreneurs has been great. I will uh i will get a number of videos from your team and then we will also linked to the op-eds and <hes> for everybody listening. You'll you'll be able to find links to everything that we spoke about <hes> certainly in the show notes at tim's blog forward slash podcast as always and you can search in the episode or search coke and a pop right up a charles. Thank you so much for taking the time. You're very very busy man. You seem to be as as busy as ever at eighty three which i admire and i hope that this episode will certainly certainly bring attention to stand together <hes> but even more than that some of the the principles behind it and the underlying ability if we choose to exercise it to attack the problems and not the people even with the people you most disagree disagree with on say ninety ninety five percent ninety nine percent of all issues you can still find common ground so so my hope is that this episode and the stories that you shared and certainly the current initiatives also will show people that that is a path you can choose so thank you for making the time charles. I really appreciate it well. Thanks for having me tim and and asking some of the tough questions that's what we need. That's the the scientific method a challenge so i enjoy it appreciate my pleasure. Thanks charles. Hey guys this. Is tim again just a few more things before before you take off number one. This is five bullet friday. Do you want to get a short email from me. Would you enjoy getting a short email from me. Every friday a that provides a little morsel of fun for the weekend and five of friday's every short email where i share the coolest things i've found that i've been pondering being over the week that could include favorite new albums that have discovered it could include gizmos and gadgets and all sorts of weird shit that somehow dug up in the world the esoteric as i do it could include favorite articles that i've read and that i've shared with my close friends for instance and it's very short. It's just a little tiny bite of goodness before you head off for the weekend so if you want to receive that check it out just go to four hour workweek dot com. That's that's four hour workweek. Dot com all spelled out and just drop in your email and you'll get the very next one and if you sign up i enjoyed this episode is brought to you by i ships station if you've ever sold anything online or if you sell anything online than you know what a pain in the ass the shipping process is time consuming expensive you're always copying and pasting orders from sites trying to figure out the best carrier so on and so forth it's such a hassle and in a previous life i i shift tens of thousands of units overseas domestically overnights ground every possible carrier. It drove me bonkers. The station was created to make your life easier. I wish i had had it when i was in the biz so to speak it has the most five star reviews of any any shipping software four point nine out of five for magenta users four point eight out of five for south by users four point five out of five for big commerce users it goes on and on whether you're selling on ebay amazon shop or more than one hundred other popular selling channels ships stationed. Let's access all your orders from one simple dashboard. Support ships stationed works with all of the major shipping carriers locally globally fedex u._p._s. and the major local couriers like u._s._p._s. ship station the recommend the best carrier for your needs so the you know that you're always getting the best deal they even offer discounts on shipping costs that are available to say you as a one person shop that would normally be thought of as reserved for large fortune five hundred companies so there are a lot of benefits no other shipping platform makes shipping faster easier and more affordable and right now. Commercial listeners get to trust ship station free for sixty days. When you use promo code tim it's risk-free free you can start your free trial without even entering your credit card info just visit shipped station dot com click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and type in him mm-hmm that ship station dot com enter promo code tim check it out ship station dot com promo code tim this episode sodas brought to you by express dp what does v._p._n. Virtual private network set up that you run on your computer or your mobile device. It secures your internet connection hydro public i._p. Address lets you bypass regional restrictions on content and i actually asked my followers on twitter one point five or one point six million interview for v._p._n. Recommendations your favorites many wrote back that express v._p._n. Was their favorite including a number of people who have been on this podcast so i give it a shot. I've been using it for a few weeks now and it is ridiculously fast <hes> to the extent that i thought i didn't have it on to give you an idea. Chrissy pnn is consistently rated. The fast began service on the market. It's incredibly easy and it's one to three inches. Download the app tap one button in your connected to a secure v._p._n. Server and i recommend checking the website just to see the sign up flow. They make it really smooth very easy to sign breath and if you're an entrepreneur do any web based front end development or design brother. It's worth checking out for that alone six p._m. What are we talking about here. Especially at the end is grateful need to get work done while you're on some sketchy wi fi network for instance and i've had a number of hacker print showing how easy it is to snoop on public wi i five just by downloading simple apps do not eat a computer science background that scares the hell out of me. So if you don't wanna be victim of that you can use u._p._n. Or if you're traveling i need access something. That's only available in another country so let's say you're in a hotel and foreign land light some candles and you wanna throw throw on some pandora for ambience lickety-split especially p._m. Has you covered chris v._p._n. Is useful not only fraud winners and remote workers workers and travelers. You're truly but really for anyone who wants protection from being snooped on or having their personal data stored so he's constantly when i'm airports coffee shops and so on any public wifi really use use the like you normally would but with express v._p._n. Encrypting all of your network traffic to safeguard your data. Let's check it out. Visit my special link at express v._p._n. Dot com slash. Tim and you'll get an extra three months of express v._p._n. Protection for free. That's xpress bpm dot com slash. Tim claim your special deal visit express v._p._n. Dot com slash tip.

Coming up next