Foundation for Economic Education

Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

Background

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is a non-profit free market organization based in Irvington, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read, FEE describes itself as “one of the oldest free-market organizations in the United States,” and was one of the first think tanks designed specifically to promote, research and promulgate free market and libertarian ideas.

For Read, general manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, “the free-enterprise philosophy had already become almost a religion”. The group's officers included Read as president, Henry Hazlitt as vice-president, and David Goodrich, chairman of company B.F. Goodrich chairman, as chairman. [2]

The organization was formed to advance what it describes as “the freedom philosophy,” which includes “the sanctity of private property, individual liberty, the rule of law, the free market, and the moral superiority of individual choice and responsibility over coercion.” FEE's mission is to “to inspire, educate and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society.” [1]

FEE publishes a libertarian publication titled The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty which promotes global warming skepticism.

Climate change skeptic Donald J. Boudreaux was president of FEE from 1997 to 2001. The late David Padden, founder of the Heartland Institute, has helped fund FEE among numerous other libertarian organizations. [3]

Stance on Climate Change

“Given the uncertain prospects for drastic climate change in the immediate future and considering the potential for crippling costs of aggressive emissions-abatement policies, reasoned concern and continued study appear to be the responsible courses of action.” [4]

“Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) implies we should do very little to prevent climate change. Instead, we should create wealth. Expanding the productive capacity of the economy will compensate future generations better than reductions in GHG will. A richer world in 2100, after all, will be able to afford to do things like relocating people affected by rising sea levels and constructing new port facilities and seawalls.” [5]

“In the most recent 5,000-year period, there have been numerous periods of distinct global warming and global cooling. However, the overall long-term climatic trend indicates that the earth has been getting cooler, not warmer.” [6]

CO2 generally provides great benefits for the earth and mankind, […] These benefits are in addition to those that are likely to occur in the event that warming actually takes place. Increased temperatures, especially those that occur overnight, will delay the first frost and prolong growing seasons, further expanding crop yields.” [7]

“The dirty little secret behind nearly all the alarmists' policy proposals is that they will not have any noticeable impact on the climate.” [8]

Funding

According to its website, FEE is supported “solely by contributions from private individuals, foundations, and businesses and by the sales of its publications.” [9]

Conservative Transparency breaks down FEE's funding as follows. Note that not all individual values have been verified by DeSmog. View the attached spreadsheet for details on Foundation for Economic Education funding by year (.xlsx). [10]

Donor Name Total
Donors Capital Fund $700,000
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $588,000
Pierre F. and Enid Goodrich Foundation $531,667
The Rodney Fund $508,600
DonorsTrust $269,950
Lowndes Foundation $233,909
Sarah Scaife Foundation $196,500
Chase Foundation of Virginia $138,150
Holman Foundation $105,000
Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation $105,000
Earhart Foundation $97,000
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation $76,267
John Templeton Foundation $75,465
The Roe Foundation $55,000
Armstrong Foundation $45,000
JM Foundation $45,000
The Carthage Foundation $35,000
John M. Olin Foundation $22,500
Philip M. McKenna Foundation $20,000
F.M. Kirby Foundation $20,000
John William Pope Foundation $8,000
Arthur N. Rupe Foundation $5,000
Stiles-Nicholson Foundation $3,500
Hickory Foundation $3,500
Fund for American Studies $1,000
Grand Total $3,889,008

Koch Funding

According to Greenpeace USA, FEE has received at least $117,667 from Koch foundations between 2000 and 2015. [11]

990 Forms

Key People

Staff

As of April, 2013, Staff included: [12]

  • Lawrence W. Reed — President
  • Carl Oberg — Executive Director
  • Jonathan Moody — Director of Development
  • Max Borders — Director of Content
  • Richard Lorenc — Director of Programs and Alumni Relations
  • Michael Nolan — Managing Editor, the Freeman & TheFreemanOnline.org
  • Tsvetelin Tsonevski — director of Academic Affairs
  • Chuck Grimmett — Director of Web Media
  • Sara Walcott — High School Programs Coordinator
  • Todd Hollenbeck — College Programs Coordinator

As of March, 2012, the following staff were listed on FEE's website

  • Lawrence W. Reed — President.
  • Carl Oberg — Executive Director.
  • Linda Newton — Director of Human Resource & Finance.
  • Sheldon Richman — Editor, The Freeman & TheFreemanOnline.org.
  • Margaret E. Poteet — Director of Development.
  • Michael Nolan — Managing Editor, The Freeman & TheFreemanOnline.org.
  • Tsvetelin Tsonevski — Director of Academic Affairs.
  • Anna Cuthrell — Director of Programs and Alumni Relations.
  • Aaron Ensley — Director of K-12 Education Outreach.
  • Brandon Wasicsko — Assistant Director of Programs.
  • Chuck Grimmett — Director of Web Media.

Previous:

Initial Officers

  • David M. Goodrich — Chairman (also Chairman of the B.F. Goodrich Company)
  • Leonard Read — President
  • Henry Hazlitt — Vice President
  • Fred R. Fairchild — Secretary; Professor of economics at Yale University
  • Claude Robinson — Treasurer; President of the Opinion Research Institute

Faculty

As of March, 2012, FEE listed the following among their “Faculty”:

Trustees

According to 990 tax forms last filed by FEE in 2010 (PDF), trustees have included: [13]

As of April, 2013: [14]

  • Wayne Olson — Chairman
  • Harry H. Langenberg — Vice Chairman
  • Roger R. Ream — Secretary
  • Jeff Giesea — Treasurer
  • Don Smith
  • Ethelmae Humphreys
  • Michael S. Yashko
  • Peter Boettke
  • Kris Alan Mauren
  • Harold (Jay) Bowen, III
  • Stephen (Steve) R. Hennessy
  • Edward M. Kopko
  • Ingrid A. Gregg

Board of Scholars [15]

Distinguished Scholars

  • Peter J. Boettke
  • Burt Folsom
  • Steven Horwitz
  • Israel Kirzner

Members

  • Scott Beaulier
  • Brad Birzer
  • Art Carden
  • Anthony Carilli
  • Christopher Coyne
  • Sanford Ikeda
  • Robert Higgs
  • Peter Leeson
  • Edward Lopez
  • Adam Martin
  • Ivan Pongracic Jr.
  • Benjamin Powell
  • Edward Stringham
  • Nikolai G. Wenzel
  • Lawrence H. White
  • Claudia R. Williamson

Actions

Ongoing

Through its publication, The Freeman, FEE regularly publishes articles questioning the existence of man-made climate change and opposing the implementation of any sort of emissions reductions policy. A number of its articles are published by prominent climate change skeptics, and use inflamatory language such as “alarmists” to refer to those who accept the mainstream global warming science.

The following are sample publications in The Freeman relating to climate:

September, 2004

The Freeman published an article that attempted to rebut a previous study published in Nature linking global warming to increased extinction rates.

The FEE article points to a previous study co-produced by the Marshall Institute with the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change as refutation. Both of these organizations have known connections to oil industry funding.

According to the Freeman article, “the threat of climbing temperatures alone need not be a cause for alarm … global temperature averages always change.” [16]

Foundation for Economic Education Contact & Address

As of May 23, 2016 the main contact address was: [20]

1819 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30309
USA

Main Line: (404) 554-9980
Toll Free: (800) 960-4333
Fax: (404) 393-3142

https://fee.org/

Related Organizations

Resources

  1. About,” Foundation for Economic Education. Accessed April, 2013.

  2. The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty - March 1984,” Vol. 34, No. 3. Archived October 6, 2008.

  3. David H. Padden, R.I.P.,” Anniversary Benefit 2011 from the Heartland Institute, October, 2011.

  4. J. David Bethel. “Global Warming: Not an Immediate Problem,” The Freeman, Vol. 46, Issue 12 (December, 1996).

  5. Daniel Sutter. “Climate Consensus: Do Little for Now,” The Freeman, December 27, 2012.

  6. Michael Heberling. “Unprecedented Global Warming?”, The Freeman, May 1, 2001.

  7. Roy Cordato. “Should There Be a Carbon Subsidy?”, The Freeman, July 1, 1998.

  8. Roy E. Cordato. “A Carbon Tax Will Fix Global Warming? It Just Ain’t So!” (PDF), The Freeman, May 2007.

  9. A Tradition of Freedom,” Foundation for Economic Education. Accessed March 26, 2012.

  10. Foundation for Economic Education,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed May 25, 2017.

  11. Foundation for Economic Education (FEE): Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace USA. Accessed May 25, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mCFy1

  12. Staff,FEE. Accessed April 20, 2013.

  13. “Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax: FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION, INC - 2010” (PDF), Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, March 5, 2012. Retrieved from DocumentCloud.

  14. Board of Trustees,” FEE. Accessed April 20, 2013.

  15. “Board of Scholars,” FEE. Accessed April 20, 2013. 

  16. Lingle, Christopher, “Higher CO2, More Global Warming, and Less Extinction?“ The Freeman Online, Vol. 54, Issue 7, September 2004.

  17. Foundation for Economic Education,” SourceWatch Profile. 

  18. Foundation for Economic Education,” Wikipedia entry.

  19. “Koch Industries: Still Funding Climate Denial 2011 Update” (PDF), Greenpeace, April 2011.

  20.  “Contact,” Foundation for Economic Education. Archived May 23, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hjTfzamx