American Institute for Economic Research

American Institute for Economic Research (AIER)

Background

The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN 04-2121305) in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. AIER describes itself as “dedicated to developing and promoting the ideas of pure freedom and private governance.” Edward C. Harwood (1900–1980) founded the American Institute for Economic Research in 1933.  [1][2]

AIER‘s president, Edward Stringham, earned his PhD. from George Mason University where his professors included Peter J. Boettke, who also serves as a senior fellow at AIER. George Mason University, its Mercatus Center, and its other associated institutes and centers have received more funding from Koch Family charitable foundations than any other organization. Boettke is a professor of Economics and Philosophy at GMU and also director of its F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center. AIER itself received over $60,000 from Koch foundations in 2018. [3], [4]

Stringham is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Private Enterprise, on the board of scholars of the Foundation for Economic Education, and past president of both the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics and Association of Private Enterprise Education. He is a faculty member of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. [5], [6]

AIER also runs the Bastiat Society program, which it describes as “a global network of business professionals committed to advancing free trade, individual freedom, and responsible governance.” The network includes chapters across the United States, as well as in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. [7] 

AIER‘s “sister organization,” the Progress Foundation—also founded by Edward C. Harwood—is located in Zurich, Switzerland and focuses on awarding stipends to students at Swiss universities to fund their studies at the AIER. [28][29]

AIER also owns American Investment Services (AIS), an investment advisory group which helps provide “earnings” to fund AIER. A number of AIS‘s investments are in the fossil fuel and petrochemical industries with holdings including Chevron, Duke Energy, Dow Chemical, FirstEnergy, Entergy, NextEra Energy, OGE Energy, Philip Morris International, Xcel Energy, and ExxonMobil among others. [22]

AIER is a member and has received funding from the Atlas Network, a group that has supported free-market think tanks across the US and worldwide[8], [9]

The Great Barrington Declaration

In October 2020, AIER sponsored the “Great Barrington Declaration,” a controversial statement advocating for a herd immunity strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization and other health experts have suggested a herd immunity strategy would be “unethical,” dangerous, and deadly. [10][11]

AIER also registered the domain name for the website hosting the declaration, gbdeclaration.org: [12], [13]

Domain Registration for gbdeclaration.org

^Screenshot of WHOIS data via CentralOPS (emphasis added)

On October 3, AIER hosted a private gathering in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that included Professor Sunetra Gupta, a proponent of the herd immunity strategy. The declaration reads: [14]

“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”

[…]

“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal.”

The “herd immunity” strategy has been criticized by members of the medical community as “practically impossible and highly unethical.” [15]

The Great Barrington Declaration, named after the Massachussetts town where it was drafted, reportedly had no vetting procedure in place for signatories. Despite claiming to be signed by over 5,000 “Medical & Public Health Scientist”’ and 11,267 “Medical Practitioners,” as well as  over 155,000 members of the public, journalist and academic Dr. Nafeez Ahmed found “anybody could become a confirmed signatory of the Declaration and be categorised as a scientist or medic by falsifying entry information and ticking a box.” [16][12]

AIER‘s editorial director, Jeffrey A. Tucker, responded on Twitter: “Actually admins have been beating back fraudsters from the beginning. It’s not easy to manage a website with millions of views ongoing, plus dealing with trolls,” he claimed.

However when asked how “IER was ‘checking and vetting signatories’ and whether they were contacting people to verify their claimed identities and scientific credentials, he failed to respond.”

AIER also published a video it claims is “part one of a series that seeks to explain the basics of viruses and their spread” featuring Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya promoting the herd immunity strategy. [17]

The town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts—where AIER is located—has distanced itself from the Declaration and many of the town’s leaders believe herd immunity is a dangerous strategy. [18]

We are a COVID safe community, we are not tossing off our masks,” said Town Manager Mark Pruhenski. “This Declaration has gained national headlines and has created harmful misperceptions—just as we are doing all we can to protect residents, employees and visitors.”

In the October 22, 2020 article, titled “Climate Catastrophism and a Sensible Environmentalism,” AIER visiting scholar Joakim Book claimed the declaration had been “silenced” or “viciously attacked” by the “pro-lockdown media.” [19]

“Conspiratorial writers from Byline Times to The Guardian as well as editors at Wikipedia attacked AIER for a minor, inconsequential connection to the ‘evil’ Koch Foundation, damning the Institute’s efforts in a laughable attempt of guilt-by-association,” Book wrote.

He added:  [19]

 “As a carte blanche ‒ the ultimate “gotcha” in these unenlightened and confused times ‒ many of these outlets attacked AIER for ‘downplay[ing] the threats of the environmental crisis,’ and linked specifically to a number of my climate change articles. 

“I don’t see how I have anything to apologize for regarding what’s in those articles ‒ so instead I’ll double down. 

Book went on:  [19]

“[R]enewables ‒ or more aptly called ‘unreliables’ ‒ can’t power a modern civilization, that their intermittency problem is light years behind where its proponents assume it to be, that they’re not energy-dense enough to provide us with the energy and electricity we want. Without the amazing help of fossil fuels we couldn’t do half the things we’re currently doing ‒ living, eating, flourishing, helping, traveling (well…), producing.

“None of that matters; we need to fix the climate, activists say, and quell CO2 emissions urgently. But while we’re at it we must also ensure equal gender representation on corporate boards, and shut down tax havens, and confiscate the rich’s productive assets. And naturally, end racial inequality, and most certainly regulate who may use a public bathroom carrying this or that gendered sign on it. 

“A cynic, perhaps reaching for a tin foil hat or the closest religious text to understand how this could possibly make sense, would conclude that catastrophists are not really addressing the problem they say they are. “

[…]

“If you’re concerned about these other societal problems ‒ which you could be as they are serious concerns in their own right ‒ then you’re also unavoidably telling me that you don’t think the climate crisis is existential or even that bad. After all, if you think climate change will kill millions or billions of people, why would you bother, for instance, throwing everything and the kitchen sink at a coronavirus the mortality of which is a rounding error compared to the apocalyptic climate future you see?”

Book also quotes Michael Shellenberger, who he describes as a “pro-nuclear environmentalist.” [19]

In conclusion, Book suggests a focus on adaptation because “CO2 we’ve already emitted into the atmosphere is that it lingers there for hundreds of years […] much of what will happen to the planet over the next century or so is already ‘baked in.’ ” [19]

“That also means that we must prepare for those changes rather than muck about with blunt tools like carbon taxes or symbolic bans on plastic bags.

“So let’s abandon fanciful and fleetingly ineffective climate policies. Let’s rapidly transition to the cleanest and most reliable electricity source we have (nuclear).  […] “Let’s stop torturing ourselves with totalitarian policies against a virus we can’t control.”

Stance on Climate Change

October 1, 2019

Richard M. Ebeling, former president of the Foundation for Economic Educationwrote at AIER: [20]

“[H]ere we are with a hyped-up hysteria supercharged by the impassioned declarations of a 16-year-old [Greta Thunberg] placed front and center on the world stage as if she is a learned expert on climate science pointing an accusatory finger on her shaking hand about how the world is about to become uninhabitable in the way we have known life up till now on this planet. And … how dare you!

Here we see another representation of politics in the 21st century, this time on the global stage. We see the constantly repeated naïve and arrogant turning to and presumption of ability by ‘government’ to solve the problems of humanity, and in this case, a ‘problem’ that is dubious about being a problem as serious as the proponents of global warming run around warning about.”

January 14, 2019

AIER senior fellow Raymond C. Niles wrote: [21]

“So, what is the bottom line? If global warming will only reduce the annual growth rate in our standard of living by 0.13% per year, what should we do? The most plausible economic answer is: nothing. Because the cure is worse than the disease and likely to hurt the economy by much more than that.

“Moreover, the ‘cure’ will provide a huge new pot of revenue for the government to spend and dissipate, reducing our standard of living even further.

“If global warming has such a small effect, as described by the experts cited in the NYT, then the only responsible conclusion is that we should do nothing. Wealth creation is the answer to global warming. A society that is 18x (!) wealthier 82 years from now — or even 6x or 3x wealthier — will probably be able to air condition entire cities in domes — just like in a science fiction novel — if the world were 1.4–5.8 degrees warmer then, as predicted by the consensus of global warming scientists.

“Economics and statistics matter. They are embarrassingly absent from the scaremongering “scientific” research and general media articles on global warming today.”

November 2–3, 2007

Senior economist Michael J. Rizzo made the following statements in an introduction to AIER‘s conference on “The Global Warming Debate,” according to the proceedings as reported in AIER‘s Economic Education Bulletin[22]

“What Do We Know About the Science of Climate Change? Climate science is extremely complex for three reasons, according to the climate scientists at our conference—Carl Wunsch (Professor of Oceanography at MIT), David Chapman (Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah), William Gray (Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State) and Richard Lindzen (Professor of Meteorology at MIT). First, it is an immature science. The observational records cover a time period that is dwarfed by the relevant geologic time scales. Given the current state of understanding, accurate prediction is not possible.”

[…]

“[M]odern climate science relies on large, complicated models that seek to describe and predict the climate system, but these models are inherently unreliable and unstable.”

[…]

“Evidence abounds to suggest that CO2 is far from the most important contributor to global warming. Previous interglacial periods were much warmer and had far lower concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere; and it might eventually be demonstrated that CO2 concentrations lag temperature increases. When the temperature change is within a few tenths of a degree, it is difficult to identify the particular causes.”

[…]

“The IPCC’s views on global warming are widely portrayed as representing an objective, scientific consensus, but David Henderson (a former chief economist at the OECD, now at the University of Westminster, U.K.) demonstrated that the IPCC reporting process is flawed and lacks rigor, inclusiveness, and impartiality… . Environmental economist Ross McKitrick (University of Guelph, Ontario) affirmed Henderson’s analysis with an account of his own experience with the IPCC.”

[…]

“The challenge is not, ‘Either we believe in global warming and rescue the planet or we all die.’ It is largely a choice between how much action to take now and how much in the future; and a choice between preventing or adapting to it. The science is still young. Some people take uncertainty as a reason to act, others take it as a reason to proceed slowly. Future generations will have the benefit of greater scientific knowledge, better technology, and greater wealth… . . The range of views expressed at our conference suggests that the debate is far from being over, and that there is still time for much-needed rational discussion.”

July 2001

The following from an AIER Economic Education Bulletin titled “A Climate of Opinion: The Kyoto Protocols and Atmospheric Science”: [31]

“Climate is a word for regional weather variability. The earth has many climates, and life has lasted through severe global climate variability. Climate scientists readily agree that the earth has been warming for thousands of years following the peak of the last major glacial age. The warming has not been smooth and may or may not continue.”

[…]

“Climate scientists also agree that 98 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions have non-human sources (mostly water vapor) and that only some two percent of all greenhouse gases come from human sources. For comparison, the termite and ant family alone digest and compost plants, thereby reportedly releasing carbon dioxide at a rate double that of all human emissions.”

[…]

“Interestingly, the U.S. surface temperature record for the last 20 years or so shows no statistically significant warming trend, a record that agrees with the balloon and satellite records. Only recently noted is that the widely reported global temperature increase may be attributable in part to sloppy measurement outside of North America and Western Europe.”

October 5, 1992

Below are some excerpts from an issue of AIER‘s Research Reports (Vol. LIX, No.19): [30]

“Global warming is only one of the supposedly human-caused ‘crises’ that are severely questioned by genuine scientists. The latter often are too busy working on genuine problems to take the time to refute the sensational assertions of the ‘activists’ so avidly reported by the media. If the socialist agenda that has become the goal of the so-called environmentalists is advanced, the material costs will be huge and the benefits small. The ultimate cost would be human freedom.”

[…]

“Nearly everyone believes that the earth is heating up. Is it? Probably not — at least there is no evidence that it is. Why then do so many believe in global warming? Because everybody says so.”

[…]

“Considering the lack of evidence to support the theory of global warming, coupled with the facts that 1) if global warming should occur, it is not carbon dioxide that is the important greenhouse gas anyhow, rather it is water vapor. It is water vapor and clouds that would account for 98 percent of the effect, and 2) carbon dioxide is not an air pollutant. It is produced whenever any kind of organic material is burned or oxidized and, more than that, it is absolutely necessary as a nutrient for all green growing plants. The plant world is the only source of oxygen on which all of us depend to stay alive. Carbon dioxide has a positive benefit for green plants — the more of it that is in the atmosphere, the better they like it. If the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should double, and this has been done experimentally by controlling the atmospheres in which plants grow, it results in a 30 percent increase in growth and in harvest yield. But the public never hears about this. Well, so much for global warming.”

Funding

AIER Funding

AIER wrote in a 2008 “Economic Education Bulletin” publication: [22]

“Financial support for the Institute is provided primarily by the small annual fees from several thousand sustaining members, by receipts from sales of its publications, by tax-deductible contributions, and by the earnings of its wholly owned investment advisory organization, American Investment Services, Inc.”

The below funding values are from publicly available 990 forms, reviewed by DeSmog. View the attached spreadsheet for additional information on American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) funding (.xlsx).

Donor 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Grand Total
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation                 $68,100   $68,100
Atlas Economic Research Foundation                 $54,133   $54,133
Network for Good     $10,124 $25,874 $17,990           $53,988
National Philanthropic Trust                 $45,000   $45,000
Foulke Foundation Trust $6,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $4,000   $45,000
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund                 $11,225 $10,150 $21,375
Orcas Bay Foundation $5,000 $4,000 $1,000               $10,000
Bartley J Madden Foundation                 $10,000   $10,000
Woodford Foundation for Limited Government                 $5,000   $5,000
George and Wilma Leonard Charitable Foundation           $1,000   $1,000   $500 $2,500
Community Building Foundation CO Katy Sheehan                 $1,500   $1,500
Baltimore Family Fund       $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100   $600
Shell Oil Company Foundation       $50 $52 $100 $100 $200     $502
Grand Total $11,000 $9,000 $16,124 $31,024 $23,142 $6,200 $5,200 $6,300 $199,058 $10,650 $317,698

Bastiat Society Funding

The following from DeSmog’s review of public 990 forms combined with data from the Conservative Transparency project: [32]

Donor 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Grand Total
Pierre F and Enid Goodrich Foundation       $25,000 $25,000 $25,000 $25,000   $100,000
JP Humphreys Foundation   $10,000 $15,000 $25,000 $25,000 $10,000 $10,000   $95,000
Woodford Foundation for Limited Government $6,000 $6,000 $7,500 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $20,000   $69,500
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation   $8,000 $10,000   $20,000 $23,000     $61,000
Sarah Scaife Foundation           $35,000     $35,000
Atlas Economic Research Foundation $15,000 $9,000 $10,000           $34,000
Krieble Foundation   $5,000 $5,000 $10,000         $20,000
John William Pope Foundation             $14,000   $14,000
Richard E Fox Charitable Foundation       $10,000         $10,000
Lowndes Foundation         $10,000       $10,000
Donors Capital Fund           $2,000     $2,000
The Roe Foundation         $1,000       $1,000
Richard Seth Staley Educational Foundation               $100 $100
Grand Total $21,000 $38,000 $47,500 $80,000 $91,000 $105,000 $69,000 $100 $451,600

American Investment Services

American Investment Services is wholly owned by AIER. According to its website, “Our investment approach is consistent with AIER’s scientific research findings, as described in its popular book How to Invest Wisely. We are governed by a Board of Directors appointed by AIER.” [23]

A Guide to Classical-Liberal Think Tanks,” written by the Heartland Institute’s former president Joseph Bast, described the relationship: “The American Institute for Economic Research has an investment subsidiary (American Investment Services Inc.) that subsidizes the nonprofit think tank.” [24]

The AIS website provides the following description of its “corporate relationships,” in response to articles covering AIER‘s involvement in the controversial Great Barrington Declaration that advocated for a herd immunity approach to the COVID-19 pandemic: [25], [12]

On October 5, 2020, the Great Barrington Declaration, co-authored by three eminent professors of epidemiology, was released to the public following a gathering hosted by our parent company, the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER). The meeting’s objective was “to discuss the policy response to the virus SARS-Cov-2, and its public health effects on the poor, children, business, the arts, and trade.”

Since its publication, the Declaration has roused substantial controversy and prompted significant press coverage and commentary, some of which referenced our firm. Unfortunately, certain articles contained gross inaccuracies concerning the services we provide and the precise business and operating relationship between our two firms.

Business Relationship: While a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIER, AIS is a separate legal entity that has been an SEC-registered investment adviser since 1978. Although governed by a Board of Directors appointed by AIER’s Trustees, AIS conducts its investment advisory business independent of AIER’s day-to-day operations.”

As of October 21, 2020, AIS‘s estimated portfolio value was $ 284,492,000. See below a summary for the reporting period of June 30, 2020: [26]

Security Shares Value
VUG / Vanguard Growth Index Fund 135053 $27,293,000
GLDM / SPDR Gold MiniShares 1430881 $25,412,000
IBM / International Business Machines Corp. 139863 $16,891,000
IAU / iShares Gold Trust 859158 $14,597,000
VZ / Verizon Communications, Inc. 240335 $13,250,000
DOW / Dow Chemical Co. (The) 324960 $13,245,000
XOM / Exxon Mobil Corp. 293216 $13,113,000
VTV / Vanguard Value Index Fund 104362 $10,393,000
MGC / Vanguard Mega Cap Index Fund 73991 $8,098,000
CVX / Chevron Corp. 84661 $7,554,000
AAPL / Apple, Inc. 19211 $7,008,000
SPY / SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust 21272 $6,559,000
QQQ / PowerShares QQQ Trust 26262 $6,502,000
VEA / Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund 157348 $6,104,000
VWO / Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund 115147 $4,561,000
BSV / Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund 47482 $3,947,000
VSIIX / Vanguard Small-Cap Value Index Fund 35638 $3,810,000
VNQ / Vanguard REIT ETF 45863 $3,602,000
VB / Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund 23480 $3,422,000
VPU / Vanguard Utilities Index Fund 26106 $3,229,000
SPDW / SPDR(R) Portfolio Developed World ex-US ETF 90914 $2,511,000
VBMFX / Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund 27762 $2,452,000
VLCSX / Vanguard Large-Cap Index Fund 15310 $2,189,000
GOOG / Alphabet Inc. Class C 1538 $2,174,000
BNDX / Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund 37501 $2,165,000
MDLZ / Mondelez International, Inc. 41550 $2,124,000
SHY / iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF 24324 $2,107,000
GOOGL / Alphabet Inc. 1452 $2,059,000
SCHA / Schwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF 29236 $1,910,000
VTI / Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund 10457 $1,637,000
SPLG / SPDR(R) Portfolio Large Cap ETF 40352 $1,463,000
TSLA / Tesla Motors, Inc. 1284 $1,386,000
BRK.B / Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. 7692 $1,373,000
IVW / iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF 6462 $1,341,000
SCHX / Schwab U.S. Large-Cap ETF 17338 $1,285,000
ETR / Entergy Corp. 13168 $1,235,000
IWF / iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF 6053 $1,162,000
SPEM / SPDR(R) Portfolio Emerging Markets ETF 34538 $1,156,000
DUK / Duke Energy Corp. 14143 $1,130,000
PEP / PepsiCo, Inc. 8210 $1,086,000
SCHV / Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Value ETF 21435 $1,074,000
SCHF / Schwab International Equity ETF 35930 $1,069,000
FE / FirstEnergy Corp. 27318 $1,059,000
MRNA / Moderna Inc 16477 $1,058,000
ES / Eversource Energy 12386 $1,031,000
SLYV / SPDR(R) S & P 600 Small Cap Value ETF 20941 $1,029,000
SPYV / SPDR(R) Portfolio S&P 500 Value ETF 34308 $994,000
XEL / Xcel Energy, Inc. 15648 $978,000
SCHE / Schwab Emerging Markets Equity ETF 38499 $937,000
IJS / iShares S&P Small-Cap 600 Value ETF 7750 $933,000
AMT / American Tower Corp. (REIT) 3585 $927,000
CMS / CMS Energy Corp. 15308 $894,000
LNT / Alliant Energy Corp. 17991 $861,000
AEP / American Electric Power Company, Inc. 10742 $855,000
PLD / Prologis, Inc. 9131 $852,000
WEC / WEC Energy Group, Inc. 9511 $834,000
EQIX / Equinix, Inc. 1182 $830,000
NWE / NorthWestern Corp. 14808 $807,000
TIP / iShares TIPS Bond ETF 6551 $806,000
HD / Home Depot, Inc. (The) 3187 $798,000
AEE / Ameren Corp. 11081 $780,000
AGG / iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF 6488 $767,000
BKH / Black Hills Corp. 13453 $762,000
DLR / Digital Realty Trust, Inc. 5222 $742,000
PNW / Pinnacle West Capital Corp. 10111 $741,000
PM / Philip Morris International, Inc. 10410 $729,000
IJR / iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF 10330 $705,000
POR / Portland General Electric Co. 16737 $700,000
IVV / iShares Core S&P 500 ETF 2227 $690,000
NI / NiSource, Inc. 30357 $690,000
SPIR / Spire Corp. 10194 $670,000
AVA / Avista Corp. 18384 $669,000
SBAC / SBA Communications Corp. 2236 $666,000
SPSM / SPDR(R) Portfolio Small Cap ETF 25035 $665,000
EEM / iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF 16515 $660,000
TCB.WS / TCF Financial Corp. 11792 $658,000
OGS / ONE Gas, Inc. 8424 $649,000
MCD / McDonald’s Corp. 3428 $632,000
VNQI / Vanguard Global ex-U.S. Real Estate Index Fund 13496 $630,000
IDA / IDACORP, Inc. 7179 $627,000
MA / MasterCard Incorporated 2101 $621,000
PG / Procter & Gamble Co. (The) 4969 $594,000
INTC / Intel Corp. 9760 $584,000
GLD / SPDR Gold Shares 3486 $583,000
PSA / Public Storage 2972 $570,000
PNM / PNM Resources, Inc. 14780 $568,000
IWM / iShares Russell 2000 ETF 3923 $562,000
ATO / Atmos Energy Corp. 5568 $554,000
ALE / ALLETE, Inc. 10052 $549,000
SIPE / SPDR Barclays 0-5 Year TIPS ETF 5926 $542,000
VICSX / Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund 5482 $522,000
FIXX / Homology Medicines, Inc. 31136 $473,000
NEE / NextEra Energy, Inc. 1969 $473,000
LLY / Eli Lilly & Co. 2850 $468,000
AVB / AvalonBay Communities, Inc. 2759 $427,000
VFINX / Vanguard 500 Index Fund 1502 $426,000
CL / Colgate-Palmolive Co. 5804 $425,000
V / Visa, Inc. 2189 $423,000
SPG / Simon Property Group, Inc. 6095 $417,000
EQR / Equity Residential 6959 $409,000
OGE / OGE Energy Corp. 13387 $406,000
O / Realty Income Corp. 6808 $405,000
ARE / Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. 2435 $395,000
CI / Cigna Corp. 1983 $372,000
SCHO / Schwab Short-Term U.S. Treasury ETF 7173 $370,000
VEU / Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Fund 7490 $357,000
IVE / iShares S&P 500 Value ETF 3259 $353,000
DEO / Diageo plc 2471 $332,000
NKE / Nike, Inc. 3384 $332,000
ICF / iShares Cohen & Steers REIT ETF 3070 $310,000
ESS / Essex Property Trust, Inc. 1288 $295,000
INVH / Invitation Homes Inc. 10695 $294,000
SHV / iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF 2596 $287,000
IWD / iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF 2530 $285,000
VSIGX / Vanguard Intermediate-Term Treasury Index Fund 4028 $284,000
JPM / JPMorgan Chase & Co. 2936 $276,000
BRK.A / Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. 1 $267,000
MDT / Medtronic plc 2902 $266,000
MSFT / Microsoft Corp. 1290 $263,000
BXP / Boston Properties, Inc. 2864 $259,000
DRE / Duke Realty Corp. 7201 $255,000
SUI / Sun Communities, Inc. 1840 $250,000
EFA / iShares MSCI EAFE ETF 4087 $249,000
DIS / The Walt Disney Co. 2225 $248,000
VTEB / Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund 4350 $236,000
EXR / Extra Space Storage, Inc. 2510 $232,000
ELS / Equity Lifestyles Properties, Inc. 3552 $222,000
TEL / TE Connectivity Ltd. 2689 $219,000
VDE / Vanguard Energy Index Fund 4350 $219,000
UDR / UDR, Inc. 5691 $213,000
IWC / iShares Micro-Cap ETF 2325 $203,000
HST / Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. 14147 $153,000
CSTR / CapStar Financial Holdings, Inc. 10000 $120,000
GE / General Electric Co. 11965 $82,000
GRAND TOTAL   $284,492,000

Independent Contractors

AIER‘s highest paid independent contractors, according to data from publicly available 990 tax forms, included:

Year Contractor Name Service Compensation
2018 Emergent Order LLC* Marketing Consulting Services $510,000
2014 Rubenstein Associates Inc. Public Relations $124,831
2013 Rubenstein Associates Inc. Public Relations $111,111
2006 8 Corporate Circle Graphic Services $53,018
2002 SK Design Group Inc. Engineering $103,632
2001 Shea & Gardner Legal $80,137
2001 Fennemore Craig Legal $59,960
Grand Total $1,042,689

*Byline Times  reported Emergent Order “itself receives extensive Charles Koch Foundation funding” with a total of $1.4 million since 2014 for “general operating support” from the foundation. Desmog’s review of 990 forms confirms Emergent received at least $1,466,847 from Koch-controlled foundations. [27]

“The latest available corporate records filed with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirm that, in 2018, AIER paid $510,000 to Emergent Order for ‘marketing consulting services’. This included production of a viral YouTube video, ‘The March of History: Mises vs Marx – The Definitive Capitalism vs. Socialism Rap Battle’, which began production in May 2019 and was released in December.”

Emergent Order has supported other Koch-backed organizations including the Pacific Legal Foundation ($175,558 from Koch Foundations, according to 990 data), the American Enterprise Institute ($2,276,121), and the Independent Institute ($210,000). 

AIER 990 Forms

Bastiat Society 990 Forms

Key People

Trustees/Directors & Highest Paid Employees Via 990s

Name 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Description (AIER Affiliation in Caps)
Benjamin W Powell         Y Y TRUSTEE. Senior fellow, Independent Institute.
Bruce M Gore           Y FACILITIES MANAGER
David C Michaels Y Y Y Y Y Y COMPTROLLERRETIRED 5/11/2018
Douglas L Harwood           Y TRUSTEE
Edward P Stringham         Y Y PRES. & DIR. OF RESEARCH & EDU.
Frederick C Harwood Y           TRUSTEE
Gail S Roger     Y Y Y Y DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES
Gerald E Sohan   Y Y Y Y Y TRUSTEE
Gerald Lamarsh Y Y Y Y Y Y TRUSTEE
Gregory M Van Kipnis       Y Y Y CHAIR
Harold F Dvorak Y Y Y Y     TRUSTEE THROUGH 10/2016
J Eric Smith Y Y Y Y     CHAIRMAN THROUGH 8/2016
Jeffrey A Miron Y           TRUSTEE. Policy Scholar at the Cato Institute and has been a research fellow at Independent Institute.
Jeffrey A Tucker           Y EDITORIAL DIRECTOR. Also a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute and affiliate fellow of the Acton Institute and Mackinac Institute.
John R Skar   Y Y Y Y Y SECRETARY. Acted as President Pro Tem and Secretary in 2016 and 2017.
Jonathan E Sylbert         Y Y CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Katherine H Delay       Y Y Y TRUSTEE
Keith A Hocter   Y Y Y Y Y TRUSTEE
Latimer B Eddy     Y Y Y Y TRUSTEE
Laurie B Pshenishny           Y INTERIM COMPTROLLERAS OF 5/12/18
Matthew Gulker       Y Y Y SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW
Michele M Kearns           Y VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE
Natalia V Smirnova Y Y Y Y Y   SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, DIR. OF EDU.
Reed E Phillips Y Y Y Y Y   TRUSTEE THROUGH 10/2017
Richard M Doncaster Y           TRUSTEE
Richard W Brewer Y Y Y       CHAIRMAN THRU 10/2015
Robert J Hughes   Y Y Y Y Y SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW
Robert J Vodicka       Y Y Y TRUSTEE
Ronald A Gilmore Y Y Y Y Y   TRUSTEE THROUGH 10/2017
Rosalind J Greenstein   Y Y Y     DIR. OF R&E THROUGH 11/2016
Roy E Bouffard   Y Y Y     TRUSTEE THROUGH 4/2016
Stephen J Adams Y Y Y Y     PRESIDENT THROUGH 8/2016
Steven R Cunningham Y           DIR. OF RESEARCH AND EDUC.
Walker F Todd   Y Y Y Y Y TRUSTEE
William H Southwick Y Y Y Y Y Y TRUSTEE

Governance

Category & Name 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Description
Board of Trustees                      
– Benjamin Powell               Y Y Y  
– Douglas L. Harwood               Y Y Y  
– Edward H. Adolph Y                   Chair
– Edward Philip Welker Y Y Y               Trustee Emeritus
– Frederick C. Harwood Y Y Y Y             Trustee Emeritus
– Gerald E. Sohan         Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Gerald W. LaMarsh   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
– Gregory M. van Kipnis             Y Y Y Y Chairman
– Harold F. Dvorak Y Y Y Y Y Y         Trustee Emeritus
– Henry J. Miller, III                 Y Y  
– J. Eric Smith       Y Y Y         Chairman
– J.R. Clark                 Y Y Corporate Secretary
– Jeffrey A. Miron     Y                
– John M. Wilson, Jr. Y Y                 Trustee Emeritus
– Katherine H. Delay             Y Y Y Y  
– Keith A. Hocter         Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Latimer B. Eddy           Y Y Y Y Y  
– Marjorie H. Greer Y Y                  
– Nelson Furlano                 Y Y  
– Peter A. Lee Y Y Y               Trustee Emeritus
– Reed E. Phillips     Y Y Y Y Y        
– Richard M. Doncaster Y Y Y Y             Trustee Emeritus
– Richard W. Brewer Y Y Y Y Y           Trustee Emeritus
– Robert J. Vodicka             Y Y Y    
– Ronald A. Gilmore   Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– Roy E. Bouffard         Y Y          
– Sidney Rose Y Y                 Trustee Emeritus
– Walker F. Todd         Y Y Y Y      
– William H. Southwick   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
– William S. Peirce Y Y Y               Trustee Emeritus
Officers                      
– David C. Michaels Y Y Y Y Y Y Y       Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller
– Edward P. Stringham             Y Y Y Y President
– J. Eric Smith Y Y Y Y             Chairman
– John R. Skar         Y Y Y Y     Secretary of the Corporation
– Jonathan Sylbert               Y     Chief Operating Officer
– Michele Kearns               Y Y Y Vice President, Finance
– Rosalind Greenstein         Y Y         Director, Research and Education
– Stephen J. Adams     Y Y Y Y         President
– Steven R. Cunningham Y Y Y               Director, Research and Education
Standing Committee                      
– Andrew H. Davis, Jr. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– Bradley K. Hobbs                 Y Y  
– Daniel W. Baker             Y Y Y    
– Donald R. Grant       Y Y Y Y        
– Douglas L. Harwood         Y Y Y        
– Edward Philip Welker Y Y                 Trustee Emeritus
– Edward W. Spurr               Y Y Y  
– Gerald W. LaMarsh Y Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– Grant R. Randall         Y Y          
– Harold F. Dvorak Y                   Trustee Emeritus
– Henry J. Miller, III             Y Y      
– James C. Lordeman                 Y Y  
– James E. Greer     Y Y Y Y Y        
– John R. Skar               Y     Secretary of the Corporation
– Katherine H. Delay Y Y Y Y Y Y          
– Keith A. Hocter Y Y Y Y              
– Kirk E. Harwood                 Y Y  
– Laura A. Fiske     Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Peter T. Calcagno                   Y  
– Phebe Jane Moore Y Y                  
– Reed E. Phillips Y Y Y Y Y Y          
– Richard M. Salsman               Y Y Y  
– Ronald A. Gilmore Y Y Y Y              
– Roy E. Bouffard Y Y Y Y              
– Seth Lipsky               Y Y Y  
– Stephen C. Miller             Y Y Y Y Chairman
– Stephen M. Robinson               Y      
– Walker F. Todd           Y          
Voting Members                      
– Andrew H. Davis, Jr. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Anthony C. Breuer Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Benjamin Powell             Y Y Y Y  
– Bradley K. Hobbs               Y Y Y  
– Bruce M. Rodenberger Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Charles E. Murray Y                    
– Christopher Tormey               Y Y Y  
– Daniel W. Baker       Y Y Y Y Y Y    
– Daniel W. Barwick     Y Y Y            
– Dave Nadig       Y Y Y Y Y      
– David C. Colander         Y Y Y        
– David G. Tuerck               Y Y Y  
– Donald A. Lindley Y Y Y Y Y Y          
– Donald R. Grant Y Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– Donald S. Howard     Y Y Y Y Y        
– Douglas L. Harwood Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Edward E. Donaldson Y Y Y Y              
– Edward H. Adolph Y                   Chair
– Edward Philip Welker Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Trustee Emeritus
– Edward W. Spurr Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Evan Miller       Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Frank P. Statkus Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Frederick C. Harwood Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Trustee Emeritus
– Frederick J. Schroeder             Y Y Y Y  
– Gail Roger Y Y Y Y             Director of Human Resources
– George Terwilliger Y Y                  
– Gerald E. Sohan Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Gerald W. LaMarsh Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
– Grant R. Randall Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Gregory M. van Kipnis Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Chairman
– Harold F. Dvorak Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Trustee Emeritus
– Henry Hackel Y Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– Henry J. Miller, III Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Howard Kent Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– J. Eric Smith Y Y Y Y Y Y         Chairman
– J. Scott Abercrombie Jr. Y Y                  
– James A. Yannes Y Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– James C. Lordeman               Y Y Y  
– James E. Greer Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– James J. Finnerty           Y Y Y      
– James L. Olsen           Y Y Y Y Y  
– James M. Greer Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
– Jeffrey A. Miron   Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– John H. Foulke Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– John L. Barry Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– John M. Wilson, Jr. Y Y                 Trustee Emeritus
– John R. Skar       Y Y Y   Y     Secretary of the Corporation
– John W. Ward Y Y Y                
– Joseph (Bill) Schwaiger Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
– Karen T. Chin Y Y Y Y              
– Katherine H. Delay Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Keith A. Hocter Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Kerry A. Lynch Y Y Y Y Y            
– Kirk E. Harwood Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Latimer B. Eddy Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Laura A. Fiske Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Lawrence Pratt Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Lincoln R. Sander Y Y                  
– Marjorie H. Greer Y Y Y                
– Mary M. Davis         Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Mary Schwaiger Y Y                  
– Maureen Foulke Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Meyer A. Gross     Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Michael J. Dixon       Y Y Y Y Y      
– Michael Rozelle         Y Y Y        
– Michael S. Hoffman Y Y Y Y Y Y          
– Michelle L. Harwood Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Neil D. Holden Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Nelson Furlano               Y Y Y  
– Opal Gilmore Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Paul S. Fabian Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
– Paula H. Palmer Y Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– Peter A. Blacksberg         Y Y Y        
– Peter A. Lee Y Y Y Y Y Y Y       Trustee Emeritus
– Peter T. Calcagno               Y Y Y  
– Phebe Jane Moore Y Y                  
– Philip R. Murray Y Y Y Y Y Y Y        
– Ramon P. DeGennaro                   Y  
– Reed E. Phillips Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Richard A. Seeley Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Richard M. Doncaster Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Trustee Emeritus
– Richard M. Ebeling   Y Y Y Y Y Y       Senior Fellow
– Richard M. Salsman               Y Y Y  
– Richard W. Brewer Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y     Trustee Emeritus
– Robert J. Vodicka           Y Y Y Y Y  
– Roger G. Knudson Y                    
– Ronald A. Gilmore Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Roy E. Bouffard Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Samuel N. Hibbard Y Y Y                
– Sarah B. Foulke Y Y                  
– Saul Cohen Y Y Y                
– Seth Lipsky         Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Shaun A. Buckler Y Y Y                
– Sidney Rose Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Trustee Emeritus
– Stephen C. Miller             Y Y Y Y Chairman
– Stephen M. Doncaster             Y Y Y Y  
– Stephen M. Robinson           Y Y Y      
– Steven E. Landsburg             Y Y Y Y  
– Surse T. Pierpoint               Y Y Y  
– Terry W. Anker               Y Y Y  
– Thomas E. Gift           Y Y Y Y Y  
– Timothy J. Birney Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Todd H. Hoffman Y Y Y Y Y            
– W. Blake Foster Y Y Y                
– W. Scott Harwood Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– Walker F. Todd Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– William F. Harwood Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
– William H. Southwick Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
– William J. Bergman               Y Y Y  
– William S. Peirce Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Trustee Emeritus

Staff & Leadership

Name 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Description
Aaron Nathans               Y Y         Communications & Public Affairs Manager
Adam Thierer                         Y Research Fellow
Alexander Gleason                         Y Publications Associate
Alexander William Salter                     Y Y Y Senior Fellow, Sound Money Project
Amanda Knarr                 Y         Program Coordinator
Anca Cojoc           Y               Research Fellow
Andrés Cusme Franco                         Y Bastiat Society Latin American Regional Coordinator
Ann Grochmal                         Y Academic Programs Administrator
Art Carden                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Arthur M. Diamond, Jr.                         Y Senior Fellow
Belinder Frenny Odek                         Y Bastiat Society African Regional Coordinator
Brad DeVos                     Y Y Y Director of Programs
Brian C. Albrecht                     Y Y Y Fellow
Bruce Gore   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Facilities Manager
Campbell Bridges   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y     Director of Information Technology
Carisa Weinberg             Y             Research Fellow
Cathy Fletcher   Y                       Customer Service Representative
Cathy Marchand   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Development Associate Supervisor
Charles Baird                         Y Senior Fellow
Charles E. Murray Y Y Y                      
Chloe Anagnos                     Y Y   Publications Manager
Daniel Serralde                     Y     Director, Teaching Free Enterprise
David C. Michaels   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y       Chief Financial Officer
David Hart                         Y Literary Consultant
David R. Henderson                         Y Senior Fellow
Declan J. Sheehy         Y                 Director of Development & Outreach
Donald J. Boudreaux                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Ed Shepardson     Y                     Director of Marketing
Edward Peter Stringham                   Y Y Y Y President
Eric S. Taylor       Y Y                 Graphic Designer & Web Content Manager
Evelyn O’Byrne                         Y Event Coordinator
Fergus Hodgson                     Y     Managing Editor
Gail Roger   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Director of Human Resources
George Gilder                       Y Y Senior Resident Fellow
Gerald P. Dwyer                       Y Y Senior Fellow, Sound Money Project
Gerald P. O’Driscoll, Jr.                     Y Y Y Senior Fellow
Gretchen Hayn   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Executive Assistant
J. Eric Smith Y                         Director of Operations and Development
J.P. Koning                     Y Y Y Fellow, Sound Money Project
James Czerniawski                       Y   Program Coordinator
James L. Caton                     Y Y Y Fellow, Sound Money Project
Jason Kelly                       Y Y Data and Analytics Manager
Jean White   Y                       Customer Service Representative
Jeffrey A. Tucker                     Y Y Y Editorial Director
Jennibeth Gomez             Y             Social Media Coordinator
Jerry L. Jordan                     Y Y Y Advisor, Sound Money Project
Jessica Shiner   Y Y                     Communications Assistant
Jia Liu           Y Y Y Y         Research Fellow
John Carden                         Y Major Gifts Officer
John Tamny                         Y Research Fellow
Jonathan Sylbert   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y     Chief Operating Officer
José Niño                     Y     Contributor
Joshua R. Hendrickson                     Y Y Y Senior Fellow, Sound Money Project
Judge Glock                     Y Y   Fellow, Sound Money Project
Jules Clark             Y Y           Research Analyst
Julie Zhu         Y Y               Research Analyst
Kelly Fox     Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y       Director of Member Services
Keming Liang   Y Y Y                   Research Associate
Kenneth D’Amica Y Y Y                     Research Associate
Kerry A. Lynch Y Y Y Y                    
Laurie Pshenishny   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Assistant Comptroller
Lawrence H. White                     Y Y Y Advisor, Sound Money Project
Lawrence Pratt Y Y Y                      
Linda Lis   Y                       Cook
Linda Stimers   Y Y                     Customer Service Representative
Lucinda Weiss                 Y         Production and Managing Editor
Lucio Saverio Eastman                         Y Design Technologist
Luke F. Delorme             Y Y Y         Research Fellow
Marcia Stamell   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y         Book Editor
Maria Taro                         Y Assistant to the President
Max Gulker                 Y Y Y Y   Senior Research Fellow
Melissa Byrne                 Y Y     Y Development Associate
Micha Gartz                         Y Research Associate
Michael Munger                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Michael Rizzo Y                         Senior Economist
Michele Kearns                       Y Y Vice President, Finance
Michelle Ryan             Y Y Y Y       Education Programs Coordinator
Natalia V. Smirnova           Y Y Y Y Y       Senior Research Fellow, Director of Education
Nick Zaiac                     Y     Contributor
Nicolás Cachanosky                     Y Y Y Senior Fellow, Sound Money Project
Nicole Kreisberg             Y Y           Senior Research Analyst
Olav Dirkmaat                     Y     Contributor
Pat Rotondo             Y             Graphic Designer and Web Content Manager
Patricia Areano                       Y Y Social Media Specialist
Patrick Coate                 Y         Research Fellow
Paz Gómez                     Y     Contributor
Peter Boettke                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Peter C. Earle                       Y Y Research Fellow
Phillip W. Magness                       Y Y Senior Research Fellow
Polina Vlasenko   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y         Senior Research Fellow
R. D. Norton Y Y Y Y                    
Rachel Shabani                 Y Y Y Y Y Graphic Designer
Raymond C. Niles                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Reagan Sobel                       Y Y Bastiat Society Program Manager
Richard Donovan             Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Facilities Technician
Richard M. Ebeling Y Y                   Y Y Senior Fellow
Richard M. Salsman                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Robert Batesole             Y Y Y         Front End Developer
Robert E. Wright                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Robert Hughes             Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Senior Research Fellow
Rosalind Greenstein               Y Y         Director of Research and Education
Ryan Higgins                         Y Bastiat Society Program Coordinator
Ryan T. Goodenough Y Y                        
Samantha O’Connor           Y               Librarian
Samantha Woodson     Y Y Y                 Librarian
Sarah Todd         Y Y               Editor
Scott A. Burns                     Y Y Y Fellow
Sean Stein Smith                         Y Visiting Research Fellow
Shaf Chowdhury     Y                     Research Associate
Shaun A. Buckler Y                         Chief Financial Officer
Shelly X. Liang         Y                 Research Fellow
Stephen Adams           Y Y Y Y         President
Stephen Davies                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Steve H. Hanke                     Y Y Y Advisor, Sound Money Project
Steven R. Cunningham       Y Y Y               Director of Research and Education
Suzanne Hermann             Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Librarian
Taleed Brown                       Y Y Media Production Specialist
Theodore Cangero             Y Y Y         Data Scientist
Thomas L. Hogan                         Y Senior Research Fellow
Timothy Rogers                       Y   Development Director
Tricia Beck-Peter                         Y Events Communications Coordinator
Ute Arnold DeFarlo                 Y         Development Manager
Vanessa Pardo                         Y Housekeeper
Veronique de Rugy                       Y Y Senior Fellow
Vincent Geloso                         Y Senior Fellow
Walker F. Todd Y Y Y Y Y Y Y             Research Fellow
Wayne Pugh   Y                       Research Associate and Deputy Director of Academic Programs
William J. Luther                     Y Y Y Director, Sound Money Project
Zack Pshenishny   Y                       Residence Coordinator
Zinnia Mukherjee         Y Y               Research Fellow

Actions

February 2, 2021

AIER released an article titled “The Political Economy of Mass Panic” comparing the COVID-19 pandemic to a “severe pandemic flu.” [33]

“This is certainly higher than the seasonal flu, but very close to a severe pandemic flu, like the one the world experienced in 1957 and 1968 (without doing anything to ‘tackle’ them),” Ivan Jankovic, an assistant professor of economics, wrote. [34]

“[S]ometimes the best and most rational way of encountering social or economic problems or other sources of modern anxieties is just to sit back and do nothing!” He wrote. 

“If a recession is approaching the media will start pumping stories about human suffering that outrage or scare the public and politicians have to engage in fiscal policy (debt-financed spending) to show they are doing something: climate change panic, please do something, carbon tax, ban this or mandate that; epidemic, lock up everybody, order them to wear masks, or space suits, or anything. Do something!”  [33]

He also claimed “direct economic and noneconomic costs will be much higher than without lockdowns.” In conclusion: “The situations of collective insanity characterized by mass hysteria and panic are almost impossible to handle reasonably in a democratic society. A positive feedback loop between media ‘reporting’ on disasters, real or imagined, the sense of dread, panic and urge to do something by the public and the response of the politicians to satisfy this collective demand for ritual action make calm and rational handling of the situation all but impossible.”  [33]

September 2020

According to the FaceBook Advertising archive, AIER launched a series of ads on the platform promoting its articles opposing lockdowns and mask mandates. One August 2020 ad, with an estimated reach of more than 1 million users, read:

“This country needs a serious anti-lockdown movement, one that is not just political but cultural and intellectual, one that is deeply educated on history, philosophy, law, economics, and all sciences, and can rally around traditional American civic postulates concerning individual freedom and the limits of governments, and also around universal principles of human rights.
~Jeffrey A. Tucker”

Some additional examples below:

November 2–3, 2007

AIER sponsored a conference titled “The Global Warming Debate Science, Economics, and Policy.” [22]

AIER wrote in its issue of its Economic Education Bulletin covering the event:

“Much of the public discussion of global warming focuses on strategies to prevent it, but we also brought in speakers who talked about the potential for ‘mitigation and adaptation.’ They addressed the science and the economics behind proposals that focus on adjusting to global climate change, rather than preventing it.”

The list of participants included:

According to AIER:

“We also included a panel of speakers to address a topic that has received little attention from the media: the theology and ethics of global warming. Views on the environment often have theological or spiritual undertones. For some, the guiding principle is God’s command in Genesis that man shall ‘have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.’ But many also view Nature as an expression of God’s handiwork and still others find in Nature a substitute for formal religion or a belief in God. Both of the latter groups tend to view Nature as something to be protected from mankind. This view, as much as scientific understanding, seems to drive fears and warnings that global warming could be a calamity for the planet and for mankind.”

This latter panel included discussion from E. Calvin Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, who introduced himself as “ explicitly as a Christian committed to the Bible as the Word of God and as the source of the world view that enables us properly to understand God’s creation.”

Beisner said:

“As we think about creation stewardship, then, the very first thing we must keep in mind is the doctrine of God—particularly, that an infinitely wise, infinitely powerful Creator made and sustains the universe and every part of it. From this we can infer that the design of all things reflects the wisdom of God, and the sustaining of all things reflects the power of God. These truths are immediately relevant to creation stewardship in general and to the climate change debate in particular.”

[…]

“In short, these developments provide good reason to reject or at least to question seriously the popular claim that human action is driving catastrophic climate change and to conclude instead, as the Cornwall Alliance’s ‘Call to Truth’ did, that recent and foreseeable climate change are cyclical, largely (even if not totally) natural, well within the bounds of historic variability.”

On coal, he commented:

“we dig up the coal, burn it, and make from it energy that serves our needs plus carbon dioxide that enhances plant growth […] Any Christian should recognize the figure: death,
burial, and resurrection to impart new life to others.”

Related Organizations

  • Atlas Network — Member. [8]
  • Progress Foundation AIER’s “sister organization located in Zurich, Switzerland.” [28]

The Progress Foundation was established in 1973 in Lugano by AIER‘s founder Edward C. Harwood. “The purpose of the Progress Foundation was to ascertain the beneficial and detrimental influences in the progress of civilization, and offer these insights directly to the public.” Initially, the foundation “concentrated on awarding stipends to students at Swiss universities to fund their studies at the AIER.” It moved its headquarters to Zurich in 2002. [29]

According to the Progress Foundation, “Prior to this, the Foundation spent a long period responding to legal proceedings that stemmed from a dispute between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Harwood, and the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), founded by Harwood, in the United States. The SEC was of the opinion that Harwood had also used Progress Foundation for services that needed to have been registered in the United States.”

  • American Investment Services — Wholly owned by AIER[28]
  • Bastiat Society — Run by AIER[7] 

Contact & Address

According to the AIER website: [1]

250 Division Street | PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230-1000
Telephone: 1-888-528-1216 | Fax: 1-413-528-0103

Social Media

Resources

  1. Who We Are,” AIER. Archived October 19, 2020. Archive URLhttps://archive.vn/faFN0

  2. Edward C. Harwood: A Biographical Sketch in Film,AIER, March 20, 2019. Archived October 19, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/wgI7O

  3. Edward Stringham. “Stringham appointed as the Davis Professor for Economic Organizations and Innovation at Trinity College,” ThinkMarkets, May 20, 2015. Archived October 22, 2020. Archive URLhttps://archive.vn/YQUpU

  4. Peter J. Boettke,” Peter-Boettke.com. Archived October 22, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/YQUpU

  5. Edward Peter Stringham’s CV, as of Fall 2020. Retrieved from Trinity College. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  6. Edward Stringham,Trinity College faculty profile. Archived October 22, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/MKMX9

  7. About the Bastiat Society,” AIER. Archived October 20, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/7y6N3

  8. AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH,“ Atlas Network global directory. Archived October 20, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/3S5Ca

  9. Lee Fang. “SPHERE OF INFLUENCE: HOW AMERICAN LIBERTARIANS ARE REMAKING LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS,” The Intercept, August 9, 2017. Archived October 19, 2020. Archive URLhttps://archive.vn/594Pw

  10. Dozens of public health groups, experts blast ‘herd immunity’ strategy backed by White House,” The Hill, October 15, 2020. Archived October 21, 2020. Archive URLhttps://archive.vn/OIw8m

  11. WHO chief says herd immunity approach to pandemic ‘unethical‘,” The Guardian. October 12, 2020. Archived October 21, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/VzXle

  12. Climate Science Denial Network Behind Great Barrington Declaration,” Byline Times, October 9, 2020. Archived October 19, 2020. Archive URLhttps://archive.vn/ihgEF

  13. Domain Whois record for gbdeclaration.org. CentralOPS. Report generated October 19, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  14. Great Barrington Declaration,” gbdeclaration.org. Archived October 19, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/4NCm5

  15. Researchers Blast ‘Dangerous’ COVID-19 Herd Immunity Strategy,” MedPage Today, October 14, 2020. Archived October 19, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/bkx2v

  16. The Great Barrington Declaration claiming to represent over 5,000 medical & public health scientists to promote herd immunity from #COVID19 is a gigantic fraud,” Twitter thread by user @NafeezAhmed. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  17. What Is Herd Immunity? (video),” American Institute for Economic Research, October 15, 2020. Archived October 20, 2020. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. Archive URL:https://archive.vn/HnvEk 

  18. Town Rejects Affiliation with ‘Great Barrington Declaration’,“ Great Barrington Massachusetts, October 15, 2020. Archived October 22, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/DWQly

  19. Joakim Book. “Climate Catastrophism and a Sensible Environmentalism,” AIER, October 22, 2020. Archive URLhttps://archive.vn/EEG0L

  20. Richard M. Ebeling. “Impeachment at Home and Climate Hysteria Abroad,AIER, October 1, 2019. Archived October 10, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/mxxYB

  21. Raymond C. Niles. “Climate Change and the Power of Scaremongering,” AIER, January 14, 2019. Archived October 21, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/6P5R0

  22. “The Global Warming Debate: Science, Economics, and Policy” (PDF), Economic Education Bulletin (Published by AIER), Vol. XLVIII No. 5 (May 2008). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  23. About AIS,American Investment Services. Archived October 22, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/UnoBF

  24. NO. 106 – A GUIDE TO CLASSICAL LIBERAL THINK TANKS,” The Heartland Institute, February 10, 2005. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  25. About AIS,” American Investment Services. Archived October 22, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/UnoBF

  26. American Investment Services, Inc. – Latest 13F Holdings, Performance, AUM,” Fintel. Accessed October 21, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  27. Nafeez Ahmed. “Koch-Funded PR Agency Aided Great Barrington Declaration Sponsor,Byline Times, October 13, 2020. Archived October 22, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/TblQT

  28. Our Staff,AIER.org. Archived April 25, 2008. Archive URL: https://archive.is/Wj0UQ

  29. HISTORY,” Progress Foundation. Archived October 22, 2020. Archive URLhttps://archive.vn/LpKqX

  30. “Global Warming and Other Environmental Myths: The Economic Consequences of Fact vs. Media Perception” (PDF), Research Reports (Publication of AIER), Vol. LIX, Nol. 19 (October 5, 1992). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  31. A Climate of Opinion: The Kyoto Protocols and Atmospheric Science” (PDF), Economic Education Bulletin, Vol. XLI, No. 7 (July 2001). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  32. Search for “Bastiat Society,” Conservative Transparency. Search performed December 10. 2020.

  33. Avian Jankovic. “The Political Economy of Mass Panic,” AIER, February 2, 2021. Arrchived February 17, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/LtKpH

  34. Ivan Jankovic,” AIER. Archived February 17, 2021. Archive URLhttps://archive.vn/FVWOM

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