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American Enterprise Institute

From dKosopedia

The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is an extremely influential, pro-business think tank founded in 1943 by Lewis H. Brown. It promotes the advancement of "free enterprise capitalism," (code for any public policy that Big Business wants) and often succeeds in placing its people in appointed positions in government. AEI also serves as a roost for defeated and/or disgraced conservative politicians hoping to make a come-back. Newt Gingrich is an example.

Originally set up as a spokesperson for big business and the promotion of free enterprise, the AEI came to major national prominence in the 1970s under the leadership of William Baroody, Sr., during which time it grew from a group of twelve resident "thinkers" to a well-funded organization with 145 resident scholars, 80 adjunct scholars, and a large supporting staff. This period of growth was largely funded by the Howard Pew Freedom Trust [1].

Ronald Reagan said of the AEI in 1988, "The American Enterprise Institute stands at the center of a revolution in ideas of which I, too, have been a part. AEI's remarkably distinguished body of work is testimony to the triumph of the think tank. For today the most important American scholarship comes out of our think tanks--and none has been more influential than the American Enterprise Institute."

In 1986, the Olin and Smith Richardson foundations withdrew their support from AEI because of substantive disagreement with certain of its policies, causing William Baroody, Jr. to resign in the ensuing financial crisis. Following criticism by conservatives that the AEI was too centrist, it moved its programme further to the right and became more aggressive in pursuing its public policy goals. [2]

More recently, it has emerged as one of the leading architects of the Bush administration's foreign policy. AEI rents office space to the Project for the New American Century, one of the leading voices that pushed the Bush administration's plan for "regime change" through war in Iraq.

In June 2003, AEI and another right-wing group, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, launched a new website to expose the funding, operations and agendas of international NGOs, and particularly their alleged efforts to constrain US freedom of action in international affairs and influence the behavior of corporations abroad. [3] AEI states that "The extraordinary growth of advocacy NGOs in liberal democracies has the potential to undermine the sovereignty of constitutional democracies, as well as the effectiveness of credible NGOs."[4] Ralph Nader responds with "What they are condemning, with vague, ironic regulatory nostrums proposed against dissenting citizen groups, is democracy itself." [5]


Climate Change Scandal

On February 2, 2006 The Guardian reported that AEI had offered scientists payments of up to $10,000 for articles emphasising the shortcomings of the Paris Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Source: Ian Sample. "Scientists Offered Cash to Dispute Climate Study." The Guardian. February 2, 2007. News Report. AEI receivces much of its finding from the American industries responsible for so much of the massive total and large per capita U.S. carbon emissions. The effort to "buy opinion" directly from natural scientists is even more corrupting than the usual practice of rewarding intellectuals for articulating conservative ideas.


Current list of Scholors and Fellows is available here.





Between 1985 and 2001, AEI received $29,653,933 from the following funding sources:

Amounts contributed by the Coors Foundation are not included.

Funding has come from many other sources, such as Amoco, the Kraft Foundation, and the Procter & Gamble Fund. AEI, unlike some think tanks, has no endowment - something which has led the organization into financial embarrassment in 1985 when its operating budget outstripped its donations by 25 percent (Newsweek, 1984).

Corporate donations are not public, but it is known that During 1997, Philip Morris contributed $100,000 to the Institute [7]; and during 2002, ExxonMobil contributed $200,000 [8].

Contact Information

American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-862-5800
Fax: 202-862-7177


(THE) AMERICAN ENTERPRISE A bi-monthly centrist review of politics, business, and culture. Published by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

External Links


for public policy research] (profile), accessed January 2004

Retrieved from "http://localhost../../../a/m/e/American_Enterprise_Institute_efbc.html"

This page was last modified 15:48, 1 May 2007 by dKosopedia user Corncam. Based on work by Chad Lupkes and dKosopedia user(s) BartFraden, Lundti01, Kagro X and Lestatdelc. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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