Mission Statement

The mission of this "not really a blog" is to map a phenomena well described in these quotes;

"Too Many Free-Market Think Tanks?
by Mark Skousen

Back in 1946, there was only one free-market organization in the United States: the Foundation for Economic Education, run by Leonard Read. If you were a classical liberal, you wrote for The Freeman (now Ideas for Liberty) and contributed to FEE.

But then along came a British chicken farmer, Sir Anthony Fisher (1915-1988), who established the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. Tony was so enamored with the idea of setting up free-market foundations that he created an organization for the very purpose of creating more institutes around the world: The Atlas Economic Research Foundation, based in Fairfax, Virginia.

Over 350 Institutes in over 50 Countries

By going to their web site, www.atlas-fdn.org, you'll discover its virtual directory, which contains the web site links of hundreds of public-policy institutes in 50 countries. Of course, the big names are there, such as Heritage, Cato and the American Enterprise Institute. But you'll also find dozens of smaller, lesser-known groups in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Think tanks sometimes have an objective name, like the Independent Institute or the National Center for Policy Analysis, while others are purposeful and include in their title terms like reason, liberty, sound economy or free enterprise. Others are named after a location like Manhattan or Mont Pelerin. Many are linked to famous classical liberal philosophers like Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, James Madison, Alexis de Tocqueville, Lord Acton and Edmund Burke.

Atlas Leads the Charge

The Atlas Foundation doesn't think there are enough think tanks. It has a section of its web site devoted to showing you how to set up your own institute. In "The Need for More Institutes," Atlas quotes Milton Friedman. I noticed several free-market think tanks devoted to environmental issues. None of them are very big. Maybe if they combined forces, they could offer a countervailing power" to the Sierra Club or Earth First."

“Global companies are buying up think-tanks left, right and centre. Large cheques come attached to particular policy recommendations and senior corporate types sit on committees ready to ‘candle-snuff’ dangerous ideas.” John Blundell

"In Europe, however, the think tank movement has become stagnant. Its business community appears to have forgotten the secret uncovered by Antony Fisher: think tanks can be the most effective, yet subtle, vehicles for influencing the development of public policy and the deliberations of governments." Leonard Liggio