Cato Institute

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A "libertarian" quasi-academic think-tank which acts as a mouthpiece for the globalism, corporatism, and neoliberalism of its corporate and conservative funders.

Cato is an astroturf organization: there is no significant participation by the tiny libertarian minority. They do not fund it or affect its goals. It is a creature of corporations and foundations.

The major purpose of the Cato Institute is to provide propaganda and soundbites for conservative and libertarian politicians and journalists that is conveniently free of reference to funders such as tobacco, fossil fuel, investment, media, medical, and other regulated industries.

Cato is one of the most blatant examples of "simulated rationality", as described in Phil Agre's The Crisis of Public Reason. Arguments need only be plausibly rational to an uninformed listener. Only a tiny percentage will notice that they are being misled. That's all that's needed to manage public opinion.


Americans For Nonsmokers Rights -- The Cato Institute [More...]
The intertwining of the Cato Institute and Big Tobacco for the promotion of smoking and the discrediting of science about smoking.
Blacklisted Economics Professor Found Dead: NC Publishes His Last Letter [More...]
A brilliant savaging of Public Choice Theory, and a beautiful explanation of why so many economists are pro-business hacks.
Cato Institute - SourceWatch [More...]
A detailed report on the policy positions, funders, and funding of other "like-minded" think tanks. A great place to start.
Cato Institute Helpfully Makes Its Fake Climate Report Look Like Actual Government Climate Report, Except Fake [More...]
Classic libertarian public relations propaganda about climate change.
Catotonic History
Cato's Letters, among other non-libertarian things, rail against the undue influence on government of very rich men, such as the Koch brothers who effectively control the Cato Institute and innumerable other think tanks and lobbying organizations.
Court Libertarians on Parade [More...]
Cato Unhinged attributes the CATO/Koch infighting to Ed Crane badmouthing David Koch. In addition, a scathing description of the underhanded political machinations of a supposedly "pure" organization.
David Boaz (6 links)
One of the senior tools of the Kochtopus, who disseminates vulgar libertarianism for the Cato Institute.
Debunking CATO Institute Propaganda: Koch-Founded Outfit a GOP Bad Ideas Mill, Home to John Yoo and Rupert Murdoch [More...]
Mark Ames debunks CATO claims of being a principled critic of Bush II, as opposed to the GOP as the Democrats, not stacked with Republicans, and home of "independent" scholars
Economic Freedom of the World [More...]
The Cato Institute's and Fraser Institute's annual report that gives a pseudoscientific measure of what the extremely rich and international corporations value. An international comparison, irrelevant to ordinary people.
Ed Crane And The CATO Institute vs. The Kochtopus! [More...]
Brad DeLong pieces together the amazing story of the Koch lawsuit for control of Cato. As noted in Libertarianism in One Lesson; The Second Lesson : "We should look to examples of private organizations such as the Libertarian Party USA as role models..."
Flat-Earth economics: Equality Bites [More...]
Jonathan Chait's takedown of Cato Institute denialist hack Alan Reynolds.
Libertarians: Only now, at the end, do you understand... [More...]
"Here are a bunch of smart people who truly, honestly believe in their worldview [...] discovering for the first time that they are in fact merely a proxy army for people who don't take them or their worldview seriously at all."
Naomi Klein Strikes Back at Critics of Her 'Shock Doctrine' Book [More...]
Naomi Klein responds to the shockingly poor criticisms from the Cato Institute's Johan Norberg and The New Republic's Jonathan Chait.
Slovakia Vs. The Cato Institute [More...]
Reaction to right wing reforms (including to the pension system) along Cato recommendations led to a 2012 landslide win for the “populist” center-left Smer party.
The Battle for the Cato Institute [More...]
Plutocrat Charles Koch battles autocrat (and sycophant to other plutocrats) Ed Crane for who gets to use the Cato Institute as their catspaw.
The Kochtopus vs. Those Individuals Now Seized Of The CATO Institute; Or, No Libertarians In Foxholes Department [More...]
Brad DeLong continues to piece together the amazing story of the Koch lawsuit for control of Cato. A schadenfreude party for liberals! "From my perspective, of course, the delicious irony is that the arguments against the Kochtopus--powerful and convincing arguments--are not libertarian but rather Burkean, communitarian, and social democratic ones, and thus arguments that no true libertarian could ever possibly make..."
Various Lies From The Libertarian Cato Institute [More...]
"... professional libertarians need to lie a lot about history and current events."
Why libertarians apologize for autocracy [More...]
Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, the Cato Institute and Hans-Hermann Hoppe all have expressed preferences for autocratic rule instead of democratic rule.


See, Cato Institute types that have huge blindspots when it comes to things such as the limited liability corporation (a creation of government), “intellectual property” (ditto), absentee land ownership (impossible without government enforcement), the range of voluntary exchange and cooperation (they assume that it begins and ends with for-profit business) and labor (they seem to think only one side of the labor/capital equation can organize for its self-interest) are wonderful for right-wingers to point at when they need a wonkish sounding justification for the status quo.
'b-psycho', "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
To those of us outside the movement, the fact that libertarians are a proxy army has always been painfully obvious. The key piece of evidence was always the set of issues that libertarians chose to emphasize. Most Americans share the idea that civil liberties are good, war is to be avoided, and high taxes are bad. But the fact that our country's libertarian movement spent so much time fighting high taxes and so little time fighting the encroaching authoritarianism of conservative presidential administrations was a clear sign that some priorities were seriously out of place. Should we really be more afraid of turning into Sweden than turning into Singapore? The contrast between libertarians' continual jeremiads against taxes and their muted, intermittent criticism of things like warrantless wiretaps, executive detention, and torture was a huge tip-off that the movement was really just some kind of intellectual front for America's right wing.
Noah Smith, "Libertarians: Only now, at the end, do you understand..."