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Thread: The Heritage Foundation

  1. #1
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    The Heritage Foundation

    I often come across "The Heritage Foundation" when browsing the internet and searching the library which is a neo-conservative think tank.(For Criticism please see: http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.pht...age_Foundation) I am thinking the Fraser Institute would be their Canadian equivalent.

    Curious, just how large a role do these lobby groups play in policy concerning sustainable cities and urban planning? The documents I have read by them are total garbage and even from a conservative point of view don't seem to make sense. However, people must believe the stuff.

    Supporters? Lets hear why?

    Regard,
    John

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Obviously Heritage is conservative policy think tank (don't know about "neo" as that definition changes daily) and is highly regarded by the folks who pay attention to think tanks.

    I am not as familiar with their work on urban or planning issues. Seems to me the Brookings Insitution a more liberal or progressive think tank (IMO) has written more actively on these types of issues.

    And If i could, the website where you found its review is, let me be gentle, mildy far left wing...so be careful.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The more credible of these groups, whether conservative or liberal, are publishing legitimate research, generally written by PhD's and having gone through peer review. I would classify Brookings among this group.

    There is a second group of think tanks, less focused on a scholarly approach, in which I would put the Heritage Foundation. This group of organizations is mostly interested in promoting a certain platform, in a thoughtful, coherent manner.

    There is a final group of "think-tanks" where it is often impossible to see any intelligent thought in their positions, or if there is any thought, the organization is nothing but a front for some other organization, industry, etc.

    Both of the first two are legitimate. The third is not.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Cardinal:

    i don't disagree. Although Heritage does in fact do scholarly work. Brookings has certainly done much more analystical work in the planning field.

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    In terms of legitimate Conservative think tanks, I think the Cato Institute or the Texas Public Policy Institute are much more reasonable than the Heritage Foundation. Heritage is little better than the Reason Institute or the Wendell Cox Consultancy; which is to say, totally unreputable.

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    I agree with jordanb. Heritage Foundation fosters the appearance of scholarly work, but quite clearly starts with the conclusions and builds the analysis to suit.

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    Heritage may not have the rigor of Cato or Brookings, but it is incredibly influential on Capitol Hill, and bound to become even more so...It's really an arm of the Republican party. Cato is much more independent, but its positions are libertarian. But it seems to me -- this is totally my impression -- that Cato has had more influence and has inspired more similar think tanks around the country. The growth of conservative think tanks is part of the reason that the Republican party has become the majority party. Back in the 1970s, the Republican party was intellectually bankrupt. Republicans had become outsiders of the traditional academia, and these think tanks, plus a handful of unapologetically conservative colleges, have given the party a political philosophy to put up against the liberals.

    Brookings has done a on suburban sprawl and urban planning -- much of it quite good -- as have other liberal leaning and middle of the road Washington-based think tanks. Heritage has done some of its own, not surprisingly concluding that sprawl is a good thing. Something to that effect.

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    True enough. And the reason it is so influential right now IS its lack of rigor.

  9. #9
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    I totally agree with Kovanovich and he summed up my question very nicely saying that institutes come up with conclusions and then find the research to back it.

    Thanks for everyone for helping with answers.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    In terms of legitimate Conservative think tanks, I think the Cato Institute or the Texas Public Policy Institute are much more reasonable than the Heritage Foundation. Heritage is little better than the Reason Institute or the Wendell Cox Consultancy; which is to say, totally unreputable.
    This summer, I reviewed a Reason Institute "study" that purported to show that Inclusionary Housing Programs are Bad! Bad! Bad! Now, no matter what one ultimately thinks about mandatory inclusionary housing (I am somewhat skeptical myself), even a non-academic, non scholar like myself could see how utterly poorly designed and downright useless the "study" was. And, putting a PhD behind a researcher's name means nothing. San Jose State should be ashamed of itself for allowing this kind of junk to be put out by their professors.

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