注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

李华芳的博客

李华芳

 
 
 

日志

 
 
关于我

李华芳,毕业于浙江大学经济系,现为上海金融与法律研究院研究员。在经济分析中,用“看不见的手,内心的观众和体面生活”对抗反知反智的言行,重新磨练亚当·斯密传下来的手艺。

网易考拉推荐

Why Think Tanks?  

2011-03-02 01:28:00|  分类: K街观察 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |
Why Think Tanks?
Huafang Li
Translated by Jude Blanchette

An important reason for K Street think tanks is preferential taxation. This is certainly not the only reason they exist, nor even the most important. If there was a pure economic system, then there would be no reason to create an NGO think tank, and one should choose to form one of the other K Street industry organizations, such as a law firm, consulting firm, or a public relations company.    

One explanation is that industry organizations are ineffective at influencing public policy, which provides room for the establishment of think tanks. Also, lobbyists state that they cannot directly influence policy makers, which is yet another reason why think tanks exist. Yet this is not completely the case, as large firms and financial groups can obviously use other methods to influence policy, and are not limited to think tanks.

So this is clearly not the fundamental reason. We should next ask: why do think tanks insist on influencing the congressional process? Think tanks in an of themselves can form their own industries and interest, which creates a reason for their development. Yet this does still not answer the question of why think tanks are formed in the first place.

Looking back trough history is a good option. Although it can't answer all of our questions, it can satisfy a portion of our curiosity. Last month I attended a meeting held in the offices of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. While I was eating lunch, I sat next to an elegant older woman who spoke with a London accent. Not only is she a member of the Atlas board, she is also on the board of one of England's most important economic think tanks, the Institute for Economic Affairs. The institute was founded in 1955 by Antony Fisher, and she is Fisher's daughter.

As we discussed past events, she explained the reasons why the IEA was founded. Sir Fisher was a millionaire farmer who served in the Royal Air Force during WWII. After the war in 1945, the prestige of Sir Fisher was quite high, and so he planned to join the government. However, he came across an article entitled "The Road to Serfdom" which had appeared in the magazine Reader's Digest in abridged form, and decided to visit the author of the piece, F.A. Hayek, to see if he should or should not enter politics.

Hayek thought the fight against socialism and central planning was long-term and required great effort. The influence one could have in politics was limited to a few years, but in the battle of ideas and thought, ones influence could last for hundreds of years. Hence, Hayek said to Fisher that it would be worth considering founding a think tank, and use ideas to battle ideas. As Fisher had just emerged from the battlefields of WWII, he was well acquainted with cruelty of war. The battle of ideas, however, was a slow and peaceful process, which could avoid innocent deaths. Fisher told Hayek that he would start a think tank, and in 1955, its doors were opened.  

Half a century later, the IEA has used subsidized publications, meetings, education, and the media to bring about a revolution in England. It was also of great influence on the Thatcher administration, and its work became the source of many of her government's public policies.  

Even more interesting is the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which uses similar methods . Not only does it work to support libertarianism in the United States, it also promotes the creation and development of think tanks around the world. Fisher's daughter told me that the work these think tanks do and the work of that "Strange Uncle" F.A. Hayek are directly related.  

The above history is written on the walls of Atlas.  Using ideas to battle ideas is the reason think tanks exist. If this battle of ideas has an economic spill over, then their growth and development will be positive events. The lure of ideas is sometimes greater than the attraction of material goods, something known to these think tanks.
  评论这张
 
阅读(137)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017