Friday, August 21, 2015

Parody Paper Creates New Brookings Study on the US Dollar

Satirical newspaper The Onion has published has a new article citing a made-up Brookings Institution study showing it is "now easier than ever for American dollars to rise into the upper class."  Here is an excerpt:
Citing “nearly unlimited” opportunities for the nation’s currency, an encouraging study released Tuesday by the Brookings Institution found that it has never been easier for U.S. dollars to enter the richest segment of American society.
The study, which followed the legal tender over a 40-year period, confirmed that trillions of dollars have been able to move from the lower and middle classes into the upper class, indicating a significant rise in the upward mobility of American money.
“In comparison to earlier generations, today’s U.S. dollars are ascending the economic ladder much faster, and in far greater numbers,” said economist and lead researcher Hannah Rodrigues, emphasizing that it is much easier for money to escape the ranks of the poor now than it was just 10 years ago. “We have never seen this much money moving into the highest income brackets, and the trend is only getting stronger.”

This is not the first time that The Onion has used Brookings in its stories.  For example, last year, it had a story quoting a fake 85-page Brookings study saying that there is no need to produce any new chairs in the United States.  The Onion also ran a story in 2014 quoting another fake Brookings study saying that 47% of Americans should think before talking.  [We at Think Tank Watch thought this was one of the better think tank studies of the year, even if fake.]

One of Think Tank Watch's favorite Onion stories comes from 2013, when they cite a fake 10-year Brookings study saying that Americans, on average, have five to seven good shirts and eight or more "not-good" shirts.  We also like the 2011 Onion story citing a fake Brookings study saying that fax machine technology is pretty impressive.

Brookings is not the only think tank that The Onion writes about.  Last month, it wrote a fake story about how officials at the Heritage Foundation lowered retired Republican senator Saxby Chambliss into a giant vat of conservative policy experts.

Update: Here is an Onion story from 1996 about a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) think tank.