I never really know what a think tank was when they were first brought up in class.  I had heard of them but I have never used them in class nor have come across one before in passing.  For this week’s blog I had to do a significant amount of research to gain a better understanding of think tanks and their importance.  

The Wikipedia page was particularly helpful.  I was able to learn about think tanks and also click on some links that gave me some examples.  I ended up selecting Center for Media and Democracy.  the CMD can be considered a broad think tank because it gives analysis and opinion on policies such as the economy, environment, and national security.  I thought the CMD was interesting because it covers so many different topics.  Furthermore, it promotes citizen journalism and aims to expose corporate spin and government propaganda.  If this class has shown me one thing it is that media plays a big part of day to day life.  The CMD covers many categories as can be seen on their website.  Click Here

I still don’t know enough about think tanks to make a sound decision on what type I would work for; however, I would have to choose between Private or University funding.  I feel like private funding could be very useful because if your mission is strong enough, there is a way to get a significant amount of grants and donations.  University funding could be tricky but I believe that research funding can also be very helpful and is actually something the general public hears about consistently.  At the risk of sounding narrow minded I would not like to work for a government think tank.  I often feel that the government has the reputation for being “the bad guy” and I would rather work for a think tank that has a significant amount of support.  For example, people are always going to support research funding if it goes towards a greater good that everyone supports.

If I could create a think tank to explore and be a part of I would choose to focus on immigration.  Specifically I would like to focus on athletes from other countries coming to the United States.  There are a significant amount of athletes that are recruited from other countries but hardly any of them make it to the big league.  I would be interested in learning more about this process and what can be done about this situation.  Often times the athlete/immigrants are left hanging high and dry without any resources or money to even return to their home countries.  The MLB has faced much criticism for recruiting in the Dominican Republic.  Other sports have faced opposition as well.  This has been a topic that has always intrigued me and thats what I would focus my think tank on.

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3 responses »

  1. Connie says:

    I am fascinated by the idea of your think tank! Going kind of along those lines, I think it would be really interesting to investigate immigration and age-restriction laws with regards to Little League Baseball. I’m not sure if you remember about a decade ago, there was a huge scandal with Little League pitcher, Danny Almonte, and his age. Apparently, Almonte’s birth documents were falsified, and it turned out that he was actually too old to be playing in the Little League. While this isn’t exactly what your think tank idea is about, I think both situations concern the exploitation of these athletes to some extent. This may be generalizing, but I feel as if many of these athletes just want to be able to showcase their talents, and move out of poor living conditions in their home countries. However, they don’t necessarily have the money or resources to be able to do this on their own, so they often get taken advantage of.

  2. Marc says:

    I also had a tough time wrapping my head around the idea of a think tank. I do like your suggestion for a think tank though. When I first read that you would do a think tank about immigration, I was intrigued because it seems like a pretty dry topic for someone our age to be interested in. However, I like the spin that you put on it. I’m sure the issue of recruits being brought into the country and left hung to dry is one that is not that is very well known, but definitely fits into the hot topic that is immigration today. I’m curious about that process as well and would be interested to hear if you find out more about the topic.

  3. Hannah says:

    I’m with you in that I would not want to work for a government funded think tank. I feel like because there is always some important above to answer to, I would feel as if I would be under a lot of pressure to produce the “desired” results, not the actual results. I like the idea of a University or privately funded think tank because there just seems to generally be more freedom in both what you want to research, how you conduct your research and how to interpret your actual findings.

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