Think-tanks, continued. Klein has responded to my criticisms. His entire argument is worth considering, but here's the concluding part:

I think money that could be going to start Think Tanks is better off being put in liberal radio stations, and grooming effective left-leaning talk show hosts, and winning elections. You say we need to fund Think Tanks so they can produce and publicize new policy ideas. I think we have the ideas, but they are not being publicized, and I don't see how Think Tanks will aid in that effort.

Do think-tanks help disseminate ideas? Do they help legitimate ideas that are already disseminated? It seems to me that they do both of these things (and much else), but that they're especially important for the latter purpose. Is this worth paying for? Libertarians and conservatives certainly seem to think so. I don't think they've spent hundreds of millions of dollars in vain. As for funding liberal radio and talk shows, I'm all for it. But I don't think there's necessarily a tradeoff here. Seems to me that the left should be pursuing all of these things. So now we're back to the question of whether there's enough money to go around. I think there probably is--or at least I hope so. Still, if push comes to shove, I think we should be investing in future opinion-makers. I'd wager that the returns down the road from that investment would be well worth the money.

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