Enos Stanley Kroenke was born on July 29, 1947, in Columbia, Missouri. Since that very day, he has lived a life of dark deeds. Stan stole his wealth mainly through that vilest of exploitive pursuits: real estate before becoming ensconced within the extortionate world of sports ownership. He recently uprooted the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles, but not before leaving the desperate city of St. Louis with $144 million in debt for the Edward Jones Dome, the stadium Rams played in while they were the St. Louis Rams.
His most notable achievement was marrying well, being wed to Ann Walton of that Walton family in 1974. Walmart and all the wealth its workers generated formed the backbone of Stan’s ill-gotten empire — 30 million square feet of private property, according to Forbes.
Exploitation of labor in all its forms and ownership of private property are the reasons for Stan Kroenke’s wealth of $7.5 billion. But if the entire fortune of the Walton family fortune is incorporated into his and his wife Ann’s net worth, it balloons to over $130 billion.
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Today, Stan Kroenke lords over his hometown and state like a feudal king. One of his primary residencies is his palace in Columbia, Missouri. On the surface, it is impossible to illustrate the hold Stan Kroenke has on his surroundings. Only when one pulls out the budgets, chart the need and attempt to find solutions does Stan’s stranglehold over proximate humanity become apparent.
King Kroenke’s Private Fiefdom
Start with the University of Missouri-Columbia, or “Mizzou.” Not a single student attending Mizzou should have to pay a penny in tuition. Stan Kroenke and Ann Walton reside barely 10 minutes from the university. That is $130 billion dollars sitting barely a walk away from a major state university.
According to the 2016 Chairs Retreat, students attending Mizzou in 2016 were extorted $362 million dollars in tuition money That is 0.2 percent of the Walton family fortune, plus Kroenke. Not even 1 percent of Stan Kroenke and Ann Walton’s wealth would make Mizzou tuition-free. Not even 5 percent of Kroenke’s wealth, and not a single student, not one of the thousands that attend MU, would owe anything in tuition — no student loans.
Every need at Mizzou — books, professor salaries, graduate student stipends, student meals — all would be funded with just a small tax on the $130 billion dollars a sitting a small drive away from campus.
Columbia, too, could be funded for decades with just a morsel of Kroenke’s gargantuan “personal” fortune.
Examining how Columbia funds itself exposes a myriad of nagging little fees and regressive taxes scrounged up by the lower classes. Sixty-two percent of Columbia’s 2016 budget of $424,335,024 came from “service fees,” or taxes imposed on essential human needs such as water, electricity, waste and so on. Another 11 percent came from “sales taxes,” the most regressive tax of all. A measly 1 percent came from property taxes, all so Stan and Ann can gorge on more property at the expense of the proles. According to the Boone County Collectors office, Stan Kroenke’s contribution to the Columbia community in 2016 came out to a pathetic $954.72 in personal property taxes.
Every department, every school, every park, every middling, miserly problem, every everything within Columbia could be taken care of with a 10 percent wealth tax on Kroenke. Ten percent of $8 billion is $800 million, or a 88 percent increase to Como’s 2016 budget. Enos would only have 7.2 billion left, the poor pauper. Just imagine it. No little people taxes like utilities or the sales tax.
There isn’t enough time in the world to run this analysis on every town in Missouri. One must go to the most depressing juxtaposition of all, the Missouri state budget.
The state of Missouri is owned by Stan Kroenke and Ann Walton. There is no deed that specifically claims this, but this is the effect of the present reality. Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greiten’s vicious budget is a poisonous reflection of this.
When using the expanded definition of Kroenke’s true wealth, the one that incorporates the Walton family into account, there is no need for a single cut to any government service whatsoever, and every single need could be financially covered.
Expanding on the prior Mizzou example, the entirety of higher education spending by the state of Missouri is a pathetic $1,157,529,890 after the Republican State Legislature’s brutal budget cuts slashed $159 million from higher education in Missouri. The entire Department of Higher Education doesn’t add up to 1 percent (0.8) of Kroenke’s true wealth.
And “human services?” The welfare of the state? $12,962,342,515. Seems like a massive number until some math is done and it comes out to less than 10 percent (9.4) of Kroenke’s true wealth.
Eons could pass and the destruction and violence wrought by Kroenke’s stolen wealth couldn’t be fully measured. Billionaires like Kroenke are death incarnate. Everything within the US is structured for their benefit. Missouri is not unique; right next door in Kansas, the devilish Koch Brothers rend the US in their image through the sheer mass of their wealth. Escaping Kroenke is impossible, for the larger his wealth grows, the more the areas unfortunate enough for him to inhabit are starved.
There is no combating this under capitalism. There is no way to recover the life this black hole of a man obliterates by his very existence. The only solution is expropriation.