Krugman on pretend-academic think tanks

A friend posted this on my Facebook autolink to the AEI post.

[I]n the late 1960s and early 1970s members of the new conservative intelligentsia persuaded both wealthy individuals and some corporate leaders to funnel cash into a conservative intellectual infrastructure. To a large extent this infrastructure consists of think tanks that are set up to resemble academic institutions, but only publish studies that play into a preconceived point of view.

The American Enterprise Institute, although it was founded in 1943, expanded dramatically beginning in 1971, when it began receiving substantial amounts of corporate money and grants from conservative family foundations. The Heritage Foundation was created in 1973 with cash from Joseph Coors and Richard Mellon Scaife. The libertarian Cato Institute relied heavily on funds from the Koch family foundations.

Media organizations are also part of the infrastructure. The same set of foundations that have funded conservative think tanks also gave substantial support to The Public Interest, as well as publications like The American Spectator.

We’re not talking John Stuart Mill here. This isn’t the Westminster Review.

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