Cato Institute

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The Cato Institute is a non-profit public policy research foundation (think tank) with strong libertarian leanings (despite wide public perception that it is a "conservative" think-tank), headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is named after Cato's Letters, a series of early 18th century British essays expounding the libertarian principles of John Locke. Collected and published in sets of volumes, Cato's Letters could be found in the libraries of American patriots and helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution. The pseudonymous authors of the Letters named their essays in turn after Cato the Younger, the defender of republican institutions in Rome.

Founded in San Francisco, California in 1977 by Edward H. Crane and Charles G. Koch, the Institute's stated mission is "to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace" by seeking greater involvement of the "lay public in questions of public policy and the role of government."

Because of their strong libertarian orientation, as opposed to left-wing or right-wing orientation, members of the Cato Institute staff are frequently cited as non-partisan experts on many news programs. Some have criticized this as misleading, as although the Institute is indeed non-partisan it is not non-ideological.

In November 2002, shortly after Cato was named the "Best Advocacy Website" by the Web Marketing Association, the Alexa ratings service issued a report saying that it was "the most popular think tank site over the past three months," receiving a total of 188,901 unique visitors during the previous month of September. [1] (

The Cato Institute publishes the periodicals Cato Journal, Regulation, Cato Supreme Court Review, and Cato Policy Report; policy studies; and books, such as Social Security: The Inherent Contradiction; In Defense of Global Capitalism; Voucher Wars; You Can't Say That!; Peace and Freedom: A Foreign Policy for a Constitutional Republic; Restoring the Lost Constitution; and Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Reconsidered.

The Institute may be best known for its advocacy of privatizing Social Security. The New Republic wrote in 2001, "Cato is an indispensable source of expertise--with two decades of pro-privatization research and lobbying under its belt, it knows more about the issue [of Social Security] than just about anyone else in Washington," though the magazine is currently hostile towards Cato's stance[2] ( The Cato Institute established its Project on Social Security Privatization in 1995, renaming it the Project on Social Security Choice in 2002. The co-chair of the Project, Jos Piera, was in charge of the privatization of the Chilean system under Augusto Pinochet. [3] ( In recent years though, the World Bank and other organizations have found that this system has not been able to provide even a minimum of retirement funds for over half of the Chilean population. [4] ( [5] (



The Cato Institute has a budget of about $14 million a year, derived from 15,000 contributors. More than 70 percent of its funding comes from individuals, with about 10 percent each from corporations and foundations. According to one critical source, in the 17 years spanning 1985 to 2001, the Institute received $15,633,540 in 108 separate grants from eight different foundations:

As Social Security reform has become a more prominent issue, the Knight Ridder newspapers reported that the Institute, a strong advocate of privatization, had received backing from "the American International Group, an insurance and financial services company whose business includes managing U.S. retirement plans." [6] (

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has served on the board of directors of Cato.

Stances on Issues

Although it is often accused of Republican leanings, Cato frequently differs with Republican Party positions, particularly on social issues. Unlike many Republicans, Cato was opposed to President George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq. Also, Cato is adamently opposed to the War on Drugs and the USA Patriot Act. While Cato is against government support of "faith-based organizations," it tends to support school vouchers. Cato also disagreed with President George H. W. Bush's decision to fight the [first] Gulf War. Cato has also criticized the 1998 settlement that many U.S. states signed with the tobacco industry. [7] (

See also

External links

de:Cato Institute ja:ケイトー研究所


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