Think tank battles

Richard Rahn:

"Why have the 'conservative' think tanks been so successful, while those on the left have withered? The Democrats have been increasingly concerned by the fact they are losing the war of ideas, and they ought to be.

". . .The non-statist, 'conservative' think tanks are unified in looking for market solutions to problems because empirical evidence has shown most 'state' solutions cause more problems than they solve.

". . .The problem with think tanks of the left, or closely affiliated with the Democratic Party, is that they are captives of the statist ideal or self-serving constituent groups, like unions. Hence, even though it is widely recognized public schools are failing in many places, a leftist think tank would likely be unable to set forth a voucher program or some other support for competing private schools because it would upset the teachers unions. The conservative think tanks are not so constrained, and hence they have provided proposals ranging from better management of public schools to support of only private schools."


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