What’s the best think tank in the United States?
I’m obviously not impartial since I work at the Cato Institute, but here are a few relevant pieces of information.
- When Obama first took office and faced very little opposition, the Cato Institute took the lead against the faux stimulus, rallying hundreds of economists (including Nobel laureates) in opposition to the White House’s primitive Keynesianism.
- The legal argument for restoring the Constitution’s restraints on federal power has been driven by the intellectual work of Cato Institute scholars and adjunct scholars.
- In the battle against Obamacare (as well as the battle against its evil twin, Romneycare), the Cato Institute has been the most dogged, most principled, and most effective fountainhead of ideas and strategies.
But you don’t have to believe me.
The Center for Global Development has just released new research showing that the Cato Institute is America’s most productive and effective think tank.
The CGD’s calculations on based on hard data, looking at how much organizations spend and comparing that to their success with social media, web traffic, links, media exposure, and scholarly citations.
As you can see, the Cato Institute has a comfortable lead over other think tanks.
Much of the credit for Cato’s success belongs to Ed Crane, who founded the organization more than 30 years ago and presided over its growth until his retirement last year.
Under Ed’s leadership, Cato became a major factor in public policy debates. Some say this is because he had a good senior team and hired good people. All that is true (at least I hope since he hired me), but I think another key factor in Cato’s success is that there’s never even the slightest suggestion that what we say and do is influenced by politics.
People can disagree with Cato because they object to limited government and individual liberty, but they always know it’s the place to go for honest and principled analysis.
And that makes me a very lucky guy. Every day, thanks to Cato, I get to fight against wasteful, bloated, and corrupt government.
P.S. While we’re proud of our top performance in the CGD ranking, Cato came in second place in the 32-team DC think tank softball league, losing in the championship game of the tournament, so we know there’s room for improvement.