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Tweetable: Friedman on Think Tanks

June 10, 2015

I am not on Twitter. I don’t have the time for it. But if I were on Twitter, I would tweet the excerpt below from a 1995 interview with “father of school choice,” economist Milton Friedman.

I would tweet it not because I endorse Friedman’s ideas on school choice and what translates into the reckless bankrupting of American public education, but because what he says is funny.

In this excerpt, Friedman is observing to free-market publication Reason magazine senior editor Brian Doherty that the number of free market publications and organizations has grown. Friedman’s words start out as complimentary, but then Friedman keeps going:

Friedman:  But look at the situation today. You have REASON magazine, you have Liberty magazine. You’ve got all of this stuff that spouts out from the Cato Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a half dozen other think tanks. In fact, I think there are too damn many think tanks now.

Doherty: Why do you say there are too many?

Friedman: You don’t have the talent for it.

Too many think tanks; not enough talent to staff them.

Now that’s funny.



Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has her second book available on pre-order, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, due for publication June 12, 2015.

both books

From → Think Tanks

  1. Gene Glass permalink

    I tweeted the quote about being corrupted about an hour ago.

    _________________________ Gene V Glass Emeritus Regents’ Professor Arizona State University

    -Sent from my mobile-

  2. So Friedman is also an arrogant elitist privatizer. Not surprising.

  3. Christine Langhoff permalink

    Ah, Mercedes! You’d be the bomb on Twitter! You know how to pack so much into so few words.

  4. Jan Kasal permalink

    That is really funny! There are lots of consultants. Are they talents as well?

  5. Mark permalink


    You might want to look into yet another think tank, New America Foundation–a “civic enterprise” (–which just dissed Bernie as the “Windows 95 of Progressive Politics” in the NYTimes. (See article link at the bottom. Sorry about the length!) This is SourceWatch’s info on the self-described “distinctive community of thinkers, writers, researchers, technologists, and community activists”: Very interesting list of funders!

    (NYTimes link:

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