The Poor Man Institute for Freedom and Democracy and a Pony

Edit: shit

http://www.thepoorman.net/2005/08/23/institutionalized/

One thing you notice, if you pay much attention to the professional wingnut class, is that they all seem to have some fancy-sounding, quasi-academic positions at organizations that you’ve heard of, but have no idea what they do; or which you think you’ve heard of, but you’re actually thinking of some other organization that you also have no idea about what they do. Most of these organizations appear to be “think tanks”, a term which once meant something (RAND, Brookings), but now appears to have devolved into what we used to call “propaganda mills”, but without the icky working-class connotations. I don’t mean to denigrate all such institutions - some people express sincere admiration for the work of AEI, for example - but, as a class, they seem mostly to exist for the sake of existing, existing so they can gussy up some otherwise undistinguished CVs. Well, I’ve got as undistinguished a CV as any of these National Review guys, and I want in on the action.

I have reviewed the websites of the above-mentioned organizations, and have determined that the following six things are required in order to make a think tank:

  1. A crackpot economic theory which is overtly supported for one reason, but secretly supported for another.

Crackpot economic theory, given reason: A sound monetary policy is vital to a healthy and strong nation. It is too important to be entrusted to the whims of political appointees and unworldy academic theories. At the same time, it must reflect our national spirit of independence, our playful and optimistic nature, and, most of all, our belief in a “culture of life”. The gold standard is a relic of Old Europe. America must adopt the kitten standard, making kittens the standard unit of account.

The advantages of using kittens as currency are endless. Kittens can be used to create more kittens, which will encourage saving. A first world economy based entirely on unneutered kittens can expect to achieve an average growth rate of 900% per year, which far surpasses anything possible under the current system. If you try to steal a kitten, it will scratch you. Kittens can not be controlled by the unelected central bankers in Washington, D.C. And so on.

All totalitarians are allergic to cats. Cats, and freedom.

Crackpot economic theory, secret reason: Privately, we acknowledge the criticisms of conventional economists, and admit that a return to the kitten standard would isolate us from the world economy, be completely unworkable in practice, make banks smell like cat pee, and probably have the country reduced to small packs of cave-dwelling cannibals by next Thursday. But - and this is the real genius of the proposal - there would be like all these kittens!

I know who I’m leaving my inheritance to.

You forgot the link.

for Freedom and Democracy and a Pony

Wow, everything my 2 year old daughter wants, in one website!