Advancing civil society, a fraud at a time
George Carlin was brilliant in blunt delivery. Watch "The American Dream" after taking in the animation "Cows with Guns" while you ponder the question of how cows and chickens could get so smart.
Between the two, however, consider the bit of history we rediscovered trying to answer that question since it's a seemingly dated but timeless topic.
Cato Institute celebrated two decades on the planet during 1997. In the annual report for the previous year, 1996, a self-congratulating preface trumpeted what its corporate investors then considered "20 years of advancing civil society."
After twenty years, enough corporations had understood the value of owning a piece of the libertarian rock to have bumped the think tank's original 1977 budget "from a few hundred thousand dollars to $8 million."
It's interesting to note that Greenpeace recently estimated the owners of Koch Industries, with vested interest in Cato from its start as founders, have accumulated contributions of five and a half million dollars by 2008.
Think about what that investment bought the Koch brothers as the world's last glaciers finally melt. By 2010, the effect of that investment was multiplied like the loaves and fishes by a 'community of corporations' who ensured the United States still has no final commitment in law of policy to combat global warming.
Remarkably, it's the same fountain of money that keeps tea partiers angry! Is this a great country or what?
Two decades have passed swiftly, and the Cato Institute now celebrates its 20th anniversary.- We have come a long way since first opening our offices at the foot of Coit Tower in San Francisco, with a staff of three and a mission to move the public debate in a libertarian direction. Happily, that public debate has come a long way as well.
In 1977 school choice was a quirky idea from Milton Friedman. Today school choice is a mainstream movement, made all the more so by the growing movement to separate schooling from government altogether. Twenty years ago Cato called for privatizing Social Security in our very first Policy Analysis (PA no. 300 is now in the pipeline), and like the tree falling in the forest, no one heard. Today, less than two years after the formation of Cato's Project on Social Security Privatization, the issue is not if but how the system will be privatized .
Now watch George Carlin tell you about a dream.