The Mises Institute: Top Pound-for-Pound Educational Organization in the Country
Thebestschools.org ranks [The Ludwig von Mises Institute](www.mises.org) (Mises) #9 of the top 50 “most influential” so-called “think tanks” in the United States. This alone sounds praiseworthy, but a look under the hood at the nuts and bolts of the Best Schools study reveals that Mises vastly outperforms its competitors.
First, as the author of the article relates, there are 1,984 non-profit organizations in the United States. A rank of 9 out of 1,984 puts Mises in the top half of the top one percent of the most influential educational and research institutions in the country. In other words, Mises has gone from a typewriter on Lew Rockwell’s kitchen counter, to one of the most successful non-profit organizations in the country–and probably the world–in about 33 years.
Surely an organization that boasts such dramatic success in a relatively short amount of time must be raking in the donations by the barrel. Not so for Mises. Of the top ten in the Best Schools study, Mises receives far and away the least in average annual revenue: $4.7 million. The Cato Institute (Cato), which clocks in one rank above Mises at number eight in the study, is the next least funded in the top ten, reporting annual average revenue of $29.1 million, 619% that of Mises.
If we were talking about for-profit business here, and “influence” was akin to sales or some other quantitative measure of performance, Mises would be plastered across CNBC, and Lew Rockwell would be on the cover of Forbes: the shrewd, cost-cutting, hyper-efficient founder and Chairman of the board who transforms minuscule revenue into vastly disproportionate success.
If you’re a donor, why would you even consider giving to any other organization in the liberty or free market space? Of the Top 50 organizations listed, the Heritage Foundation (Heritage) and Cato may be considered by some to be Mises’s closest ideological competitors. While both rank above Mises according to Best Schools, their revenue is also much greater, $29.1 million for Cato and $112.7 million for Heritage (2,398% that of Mises!). In fact, the organizations that rank above Mises report much higher revenue, making Mises the top pound-for-pound–or influence per dollar of revenue–educational and research institution in the country. In other words, a dollar donated to Mises stretches much further and accomplishes much more, than a dollar donated to Cato or Heritage.
In fact, examining the figures from the entire ranking reveals that only seven other organizations receive less in average annual income than Mises. That is, while Mises is in the bottom 14% in terms of average annual revenue, it’s in the top 20% in terms of influence. Simply put, Mises does more with less than all the rest.
Likewise encouraging is that Mises crushes the bulk of its ideological opponents. The Soros-backed Open Society Foundation is flooded with $259 million in average annual revenue, but receives a third of the web traffic compared to Mises, and ranks at a dismal #27 in the study. Especially pleasing is Mises’s placement over and 43% higher web traffic than #15 the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an organization that has aided and abetted the perversion of economic science in the mainstream.
So, the 9/50 is great, but the nuts and bolts of the rankings reveal that Mises is doing much better than simply finishing in the top ten of not-for-profit organizations in the US. It’s far and away more efficient than what could be considered by some as its ideological competitors, and it’s far and away more influential than its definite ideological competitors, with only a few well-funded, establishment-friendly exceptions.
This should be abundantly encouraging for lovers of liberty. Not only does the Mises Institute continue to spread the radical truth about economics and political philosophy, but it’s doing an economically efficient and highly influential job of it. The NBER ranking is an affirmation and illustration of that fact.