Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Explosion of Libertarian Think Tanks?

The newest libertarian "think tank," as just reported by the New Zealand Herald:
[New Zealand's] newest libertarian think tank, the New Zealand Initiative, has been launched in Wellington, merging the New Zealand Business Roundtable and the New Zealand Institute into a new body to lobby for pro-market economic and social policies.
Leading the new organisation will be German-born economist Oliver Hartwich, a research fellow at the Australian Centre for Independent Studies, a Roundtable-equivalent organisation that at one stage had operations in New Zealand.
Although this New Zealand "think tank" appears to be more of a trade association, it seems that bloated budgets around the world, coupled with groups such as the Tea Party, have helped create a renaissance in libertarian thinking and think tanks.

You can go here to view and compare various libertarian think tanks.  Wikipedia has a more comprehensive list.

As was mentioned earlier on Think Tank Watch, the king of libertarian think tanks, Cato Institute, has been thrust into the spotlight (audio) as the billionaire Koch brothers try to take over the think tank.

The audio, by Peter Overby of NPR, includes an interview with Matt Welch, Editor in Chief of the libertarian magazine Reason.  Mr. Welch says that the current Cato/Koch court battle probably will continue "for the next year or two" and that we likely will see "a different Cato" once all is said and done.

Another Koch-funded think tank is the under-the-radar Mercatus Center at George Mason University located in Arlington, Virginia.  This Wall Street Journal article from July 16, 2004 says that the Mercatus Center is "the most important think tank you've never heard of."

Below is one map of the "Kochtopus," a map of the libertarian/corporate reach of the Koch brothers.  You can click on the map to get a bigger image.

A different Kochtopus map can be found here.

Another cool chart can be found here.