So many wonderful things are happening at the American Institute for Economic Research. Let’s jump right in with a few.
This week, Phillip Magness joins us in house as a new full time Senior Research Fellow. Phil is author of three books and dozens of articles. More than anyone, he has done the hard work of taking apart the claims that the market society leads to growing inequality that needs to be fixed by the state. His close examination of the data has yielded dozens of fact-based articles. He has already written one for us. His personal bibliography is huge for a scholar of his age.
Magness has a special interest in the history of AIER, and is already digging up remarkable documents. His second day on the job he came to me saying “Ed have you seen all these letters between E.C. Harwood and Warren Buffet’s father?” In one, Howard Buffet talks about how he recommended that his son Warren be a fellow at AIER!
In addition, we are joined in house next week by Pete Earle as our newest full time Research Fellow. He has a long Wall Street and writing career, with a specialization in sound money, banking systems, and financial markets (in which he has extensive experience). He is also a graduate of US Military Academy in West Point, just like E.C. Harwood.
They join a roster of contract researchers that I believe is the best assembly of market intellectuals I’ve seen, including new Senior Fellows Peter Boettke, Donald Boudreaux, Stephen Davies, Richard Ebeling, Antony Mueller, Michael Munger, Veronique de Rugy, and Richard Salsman. Salsman first published with us on the importance of gold thirty years ago and I am thrilled to have him back on our team.
Our writers are all writing not only for AIER but also major venues like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Forbes (speaking of which our editorial director Jeffrey Tucker now has a weekly column, in addition to his daily writing for AIER, that links directly to AIER and gets us loads of attention).
We are publishing 2 to 5 articles per day of the highest quality – reflecting, indeed, some of the best research I’ve seen.
Also, we have been taking major steps to upgrade our digital reach, which, in turn, helps our branding. When I came to AIER, we had 300 followers on the social media website Twitter. This year we’ve already added 1,021 for a total of 2,800, in addition to our other properties for a total of 5,200. It’s far too low (getting followers is difficult) but all we can do is work for progress day by day. Our media reach is very high too, beating some much-more familiar names in the pro-market nonprofit industry. Our search mentions are way up. In 2016, our institution had only 1,810 search mentions on Google; today are up to 7,500 in search mentions, in just two years!
I’m sure you have followed the controversies about Facebook of late. I am not a fan of the website (and was happy to criticize it in USA Today earlier this year) but many people still use it for sharing articles. How much people share articles on the website matters and since the start of this year, the average reach of our posts is 8 times higher than what it was. This is a tribute to the high quality of the content, the professionalism of our social-media team, the growing sophistication of our digital infrastructure, and the growing status of the AIER brand itself.
In addition, several institutions around the world are looking to AIER as an ideal place to which to send their best students to become interns at the office, working with and learning from our in-house staff. Four arrive this Fall from Australia, Netherlands, and Sweden. In 2019, we are hoping to host 2-3 interns at a time in the office. I feel sure that as our reputation grows, the interest in this program will increase.
We have hosted three conferences for graduate students and one for undergraduate students in Great Barrington in the past year and feedback from them has been great.
I hope you have been watching me and other staff members on television recently. Last week I was on Kennedy on Fox Business and BBC World News host Aaron Heslehurst referred to me as “a familiar face on my show.” We’ve been keeping ourselves very busy, commenting on all the economic topics of the day, from trade and debt to economic growth, blockchain technology, and gold. We’ve become a go-to source on all these fronts, and we are being quoted in the news daily.
There’s so much else to report but we’ll leave it there for now.
Edward Peter Stringham