I was asked once again why I continue to slam the so-called "Center for the New Economy," a local stink tank.
Because they are frauds.
But don't take My word for it. Let's use the words of an acknowledged guru of "think tank" policies and procedures, Joseph Overton, to reveal the fraud behind the CNE mask. The quotes used here are from this article.
In short, Overton realized that policy-making is constrained by what is felt to be achievable. Since human beings and politicians act from self-interest, they will weigh possible options from within the range of possibilities and choose those most likely to benefit them personally.
Overton called this the "window of political possibilities," and what he suggested think tanks and policy-making advisors do is to "focus on educating lawmakers and the public in an attempt to change the political climate."
So far so good. Makes sense. Now We come to the so-called Center for the New Economy, a vapid, insipid whisper in the cacophony of Our daily life. Who makes up this misaligned "center"? The Chief Corporate Partners are:
--Grupo Ferré Rangel -- Owners of El Nuevo Dia, major stockholders in the largest local cement-producer and major stockholders in...
--Banco Popular de Puerto Rico -- the largest bank in Our neck of the woods
--Microsoft Caribbean -- 'nuf said
--Banco Santander de Puerto Rico -- second-largest bank in town
--The Ford Foundation
Four banks, including the two largest. The biggest printed media conglomerate with extensive holdings in cement (87% of Our buildings are built with cement) and banking. The leading software provider to the local government, even if it doesn't work for crap. These are the Chief Corporate Partners leading the way to a "New" Economy? That's like having hyenas lead the way to a vegetarian lifestyle.
Again, quoting the article about Overton's window: "Think tanks can shape public opinion and shift the Overton window by educating legislators and the public about sound policy, by creating a vision for how things could be done, by conducting research and presenting facts, and by involving people in the exchange of ideas."
Are think tanks or the so-called Center for the New Economy going to present a vision that isn't completely in accord with the self-interest of its Chief Corporate Partners? What "vision" could these well-entrenched powerbrokers have: one that strengthens their lofty holdings or one that endangers the same in search of a new alternative?
What the so-called CNE has produced is pathetic in both range and scope. Their "research" is sophomoric at best, asinine at worst. Their "findings" have all the intellectual grasp of a junior-high book report, stating the obvious in dull ways. A brief glimpse of their publication list is all that's needed, for not only is it woefully short (they've been around since 1999), it also displays a limp-wristed weakness for superficiality. And their so-called Information Bank is even worse.
I lambasted the CNE's soft-headed book "Restoring Growth in Puerto Rico" because it compiled rather than advised and when it feebly tried to advise, it was as much as 70 years behind the times. As far as being a think tank, the CNE stinks; as far as being a policy-shifting tool it reeks of sanctimonious hypocrisy and raw greed. We deserve better.
The Jenius Has Spoken.