Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How Trump Sees Think Tank Land?

Dan Drezner has a new piece in The Washington Post entitled "Grant-writing in the Trump Administration," in which he pretends to write a message to the National Science Foundation (NSF) seeking a grant for research on economic sanctions.

In the parody piece, he argues that his work would be better than that of the think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE).  Here is more:
I want you, the NSF, to give me tremendous amounts of money to research economic sanctions. You should do this because everyone else researching sanctions is stupid. Just so unbelievably dumb.
The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a DC think tank in a funny-looking building that produces nothing but low-class research. I’ve seen how they operate, all they do is say “on the one hand, on the other hand.” Enough with the hands! We don’t need that kind of weak-ass research anymore.
If you give me the money — or, better yet, make the no-talent hacks I talked about in the last paragraph pay for it — I will produce the best, the classiest economic sanctions research you will ever see. There’s gonna be so much great research, you’ll get sick of it all. The research will come in fancy binders. And I will hire only the best people, recruit top-notch graduate students. American graduate students, no foreigners. In fact, I was thinking of starting a Sanctions University...

PIIE was just ranked as the top international economics think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.

Here is how Steven Rattner recently described the crowd at PIIE.