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AEI's new wonk-in-chief

Posted by Christopher Shea  July 15, 2008 11:22 AM

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Arthur Brooks

The American Enterprise Institute, home or at least temporary perch to such right-wing stalwarts as Richard Perle, John Yoo, Charles Murray, David Frum, and John Bolton -- and, as a result, unsurprisingly, a bete noire of the left -- has a new president. He's Arthur Brooks, a professor of government and business at Syracuse University.

I wrote about Brooks when he first arrived at AEI as a visiting scholar, and I saw him present at the DC think tank the ideas and data underpinning his book "Who Really Gives"? (The short answer: Religious conservatives. Who doesn't? Secular liberals and -- a fact played down in his book -- secular conservatives.) Some readers thought my profile was unduly skeptical, but judge for yourself.

Brooks's latest book is "Gross National Happiness." Its main finding, according to the AEI website: "The values that bring happiness are faith, charity, hard work, optimism, and individual liberty. Secularism, excessive reliance on the state to solve problems, and an addiction to security all promote unhappiness."

Brooks succeeds Christopher DeMuth, who has led AEI since 1986.

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