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July 02, 2013
Originally published in The Washington Post
When Fred Smith founded the Competitive Enterprise Institute in 1984, he originally called it the Competitive Enterprise Center and designed a nice “CEC” logo. But he remembers a transformative conversation with a friend.
“You don’t want to be a ‘center,’ ” the friend said.
“Why not?” Smith asked.
“Centers are where people go to lose weight.”
The “Competitive” and the “Enterprise” are two strong clues that CEI is a pro-business, anti-regulation think tank. But does the “Heritage” in Heritage Foundation tell you that it’s a conservative think tank? Does “Brookings” connote anything at all?