Brooks succeeds Christopher DeMuth, who rescued AEI from financial collapse and led it for two decades. Today, AEI has 145 resident scholars (along with 80 adjuncts) and a budget of about $30 million. "I don't want to sound like I'm sucking up, but I think Arthur was a brilliant choice," said Murray, who remains at AEI. Brooks brings new energy at what Murray describes as "both one of the most important and one of the most interesting times I have ever experienced at AEI."
Brooks and Murray stand for the proposition that conservatives are more generous than liberals, happier than liberals (because more virtuous), and that the underclass is genetically, shall we say, disadvantaged, such that welfare will never cure them of the evils they bring on themselves. What caught my eye, though, was the budget. $30 million per year buys a whole lot of thinking. So much philanthropy for making the world better. AEI is, their solication says, "a sound investment in limited government, private enterprise, vital cultural and political institutions, and a strong foreign policy and national defense." So what would be wise investor get as a solid return on that sound investment in public policy? Higher minimum wage, environmental protections, robust public goods, and greater social justice. Just kidding.