Fake Research

Michael Hudson on What Conservative Think Tanks Do

What This Article Covers

  • How Economic Think Tanks my in Large Operate
  • Michael Hudson’s Quote


When one watches television talk shows, one is taken by how much these shows are dominated by guests from conservative think tanks. In fact, the vast majority of think thanks are highly conservative but lie about that fact. Even the supposedly moderate Brookings Institute is actually conservative. And one should not be surprised given where their money comes from.

How Economic Think Tanks my in Large Operate

  • There are very few think tanks like the Center for Economic Policy Research that is both progressive and actually has people that follow a research methodology.
  • The major conservative think tanks follow no research methodology and simply publish opinion pieces that are sold with a pseudo-academic presentation.
  • Many of the individuals who work at these think tanks to not have degrees in the areas in which they are writing. The most academic of think tanks, The Hoover Institute does have PhD’s, however, when the come to work for the Hoover Institute they stop doing real research, and are essentially writing on command. Even housed on the Stanford campus and doing the bidding of their contributors and the highly conservative Stanford administration, they still follow no methodology.

Michael Hudson lays this bear in his analysis of the real purpose of these institutions, in the excellent article on Wall Street’s power grab.

Public relations “think tanks” (spin centers adept in crafting blame-the-victim rhetoric) use simple Orwellian Doublethink 101 tactics to call this “free market” policy. Financial self-regulation is to be left to bankers, shifting economic planning out of the hands of elected representatives to those of planners drawn from the ranks of Wall Street. This centralization of authority in a public agency “independent” from control by elected representatives is dubbed “market efficiency,” with an “independent central bank” deemed to be the hallmark of democracy. The words “democracy,” “progress” and “reform,” are thus given meanings opposite from what they meant back in the Progressive Era a century ago. The pretense is that constraints on finance are anti-democratic, not public protection against today’s emerging financial oligarchy. And to distract attention from the road to debt peonage, financial lobbyists accuse governments strong enough to check the financial interest” of threatening to lead society down “the road to serfdom.” – Michael Hudson