Posts Tagged ‘Cato Institute’

The Heritage Foundation

December 7, 2012

The Heritage Foundation is the premier conservative think tank in the United States. Founded by Dr. Edwin Feulner some 40 years ago,  pretty much from ground zero, Heritage has grown and developed under extremely talented leadership.  Its high-quality publications, conferences and influential media presence have been a powerful force for good for all Americans who believe in free enterprise, limited government and the rule of law, while also recognizing the importance of a strong military presence in an unstable world. Its approach may be viewed as a bit too muscular by some libertarians, but it surely supplies an admirable counter-balance to the also formidable, if less muscularly-inclined  Cato Institute.

Ed  Feulner has been a remarkably successful President of the Heritage Foundation precisely because he has always known just where to tread along that delicate border between the world of ideas and the world of politics. Ed Feulner knows full well that good ideas last forever, whereas even the very best of politics is transient. Ronald Reagan is much revered in conservative circles and rightly so. But Reagan was able to influence policy only for a short span of time. He would not recognize the America of Barack Obama. By contrast, the ideas of Adam Smith,  Edmund Burke, Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek live on forever.

So all those of us who love individual liberty,  free markets, limited government, private property rights and the rule of law – whether of the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute brand – will watch anxiously, as Jim DeMint assumes the mantle of leadership at the Heritage Foundation.  Let us pray that the new President secures his feet on that delicate borderline as firmly as those huge shoes of Ed Feulner. For, if he fails so to do, and surely if he tips the balance towards politics rather than ideas, conservative political economy will take a huge long-term hit and the progressive movement will sadly benefit.

My personal thanks to Edwin Feulner – a conservative thinker and leader for all seasons.  BRAVO!

Chairman of Cato Institute denounces Koch Brothers

April 2, 2012

Robert A. Levy, Chairman of the Cato Institute’s Board of Directors, urges that Cato must not turn into a political  tool for Charles and David Koch.  Here is a sample of his remarks advanced on February 4, 2012:

“For 35 years, the Cato Institute has been a nonpartisan and independent source of libertarian views on key policy issues in America.  We stand for limited government, individual liberty and peace.  No matter who is in the White House or has control of Congress, scholars at Cato have consistently argued that the federal government should treat every person as an individual, regardless of background and lifestyle choices. We have advocated for limiting military engagement in foreign conflicts that have no bearing on the safety of our country.  And we have opposed legislation that would involve more government control, even when such legislation is supported by some free-market organizations.”


“if Charles Koch, the CEO of Koch Industries, gets his way, the independence that has allowed Cato scholars to focus on smart policies rather than electoral politics will come to an end”


“Charles Koch’s first step when he thought he had gained control of Cato’s stock was to nominate 12 people to fill board seats of Cato directors whose terms of service had expired.  None of the nominees had supported Cato financially or indicated any interest in the institute’s governance.  Three nominees are Koch employees, two are lawyers for Koch industries, two had long careers at Koch-controlled organizations, one is a third-generation major-shareholder in Koch industries and one is a Republican political operative.”


Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. If Cato loses this battle, when will Charles and David Koch knock down your door in the middle of the night?


Cato Chairman responds to Charles Koch disingenuity

March 13, 2012

Robert A. Levy, a brilliant legal scholar and current Chairman of the Cato Institute has responded elegantly to the statement last week by Charles Koch regarding his takeover bid for the libertarian think tank.  This statement is not readily available, so I am posting it here in full for all who so  wish to review and assess. Access to full information is essential for an open society:


Obituary for William A. Niskanen Jr by Steve Hanke

January 23, 2012

In late October 2011, Bill Niskanen died. Many of you will know him as a great classical liberal political economist.  Many others will know about him as a Founding Father of Public Choice. Those of you who are not acquainted with him surely will benefit from learning about his important contributions to knowledge.

On January 4, 2012, Professor Steve H. Hanke (Johns Hopkins University)  posted a superb Remembrance of Bill Niskanen at the Cato Institute website. This Remembrance can be accessed at the following address:

Bill Niskanen was one of my very best and most highly-esteemed colleagues. I miss him greatly.

Charles K. Rowley


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