The Best Schools website has just published a list of the “50 Most Influential Think Tanks in the United States.” On this list, the Mises Institute ranks ninth, ahead of the American Enterprise Institute, the Rand Corporation, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Hoover Institution, and far ahead of the Acton Institute and the Mercatus Center. The high ranking is especially noteworthy, if one considers the vastly greater endowments and annual revenues of these other think tanks. Billionaires do not control the Mises Institute, nor does it receive government funding. How then is its success to be explained? I am hardly a disinterested observer, but a well-known quotation from Spinoza comes to mind, one which Mises liked: “Even as light makes manifest both itself and darkness, so is truth the measure of itself and of falsehood.”Lew Rockwell writes:
Although the Mises Institute is not, strictly speaking, a think-tank–scheming plans to be imposed by the state on society–I very much appreciate this ranking. In the 50 most influential think-tanks in America, we rate #9. I will note that the other organizations have bigger–often vastly bigger–budgets than the Mises Institute. But being smaller, quicker, and anti-bureaucratic pays.
It doesn’t hurt to have the examples of Mises and Rothbard always before us, and the help of our wonderful donors, board, faculty, and staff. Oh, and one other point: no organization in America gets more out of a buck.This is truly a remarkable achievement. I credit it to the exceptional intellectual entrepreneurial skills of Lew Rockwell, who literally started the Institute with a typewriter on his kitchen table and with a determination to act on principle and promote the ideas of such great economists as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, despite knowing that this would cut the Institute off from donations from the big buck establishment and result in the active opposition of the Koch brothers.
Because of the Institute, young people every day are getting introduced to hardcore free market economics and the sound methodological practices, and accompanying theory, of the Austrian school of economics.