Archbridge Institute

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The Archbridge Institute a Washington D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit "think tank" aimed at supporting limited government."[1]. The Archbridge Institute commissioned its first paper in 2016.[2] It was founded by Atlas Network Alum Gonzalo Schwarz[3] with the mission "to lift artificial and natural barriers to economic mobility, by producing and disseminating multidisciplinary academic and policy research, to empower individuals to thrive and strengthen civil society."[4] The Archbridge Institute is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN) -- a web of state pressure groups that denote themselves as "think tanks" and drive a right-wing agenda in statehouses nationwide[5] -- and the Atlas Network.[6]

News and Controversies

Arguments Against Raises to Minimum Wage

Ben Wilterdink, the director of outreach and policy research at the Archbridge Institute, penned an op-ed for the Hill in March of 2018. In which he cites research from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University to argue that raising the minimum wage would lead to "America’s youth missing crucial opportunities to gain the skills for long-term economic success" and therefore "policymakers should think twice about raising the minimum wage."[7]

Arguments Against Licensing for Skilled Low Income Work

Occupational licensing laws for jobs lead workers to suffer "economic burdens" according to a study from the Archbridge Institute. The paper, "Too Much License? A Closer Look at Occupational Licensing and Economic Mobility," was circulated heavily around right-leaning media outlets such as Reason and [The Washington Examiner]].

Ties to the Koch Brothers

President of the Archbridge Institute Gonzalo Schwarz is an alum of the heavily Koch-funded George Mason University School of Economics. Schwarz also was a 2009 Koch Foundation Fall intern.[3]

Koch Wiki

Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

According to the ALEC website, The Archbridge Institute's Director of Outreach and Policy Research Ben Wilterdink, "directs the ALEC Task Force on Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development, where he coordinates the three annual ALEC meetings and connects policymakers with industry and policy experts."[8]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Funding

The Archbridge Institute funders have included:

Core Financials

2016[2]

  • Total Revenue: $295,350
  • Total Expenses: $69,995
  • Net Assets: $229,078

Personnel

As of June 2018[10]

Staff

  • Gonzalo Schwarz, Director/President/CEO
  • Ben Wilterdink, Director of Programs

Board of Directors

  • Mort Taylor, Director
  • Magatte Wade, Director
  • Andreas Widmer, Director
  • Ingrid Gregg, Chairman
  • Gonzalo Schwarz, Director/President/CEO

Contact Information

Archbridge Institute
810 7th Street NE,
Washington, DC 20002
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Archbridge
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArchbridgeInst
Email: info@archbridgeinstitute.org

References

  1. The Hill Bio for Ben Wilterdink The Hill, March 29, 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 Archbridge Institute, 2016 IRS Form 990, ProPublica NonProfit Explorer, Accessed June 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Atlas Network Gonzalo Schwarz organizational website, accessed June of 2018
  4. Archbridge Institute Home organizational website, accessed June of 2018
  5. State Policy Network, Directory, organizational website, accessed June 2018
  6. Atlas Network Archbridge organizational website, accessed June of 2018
  7. Ben Witerdink How rising minimum wages undercut long-term economic success The Hill, March 29, 2018
  8. ALEC Ben Wilterdink American Legislative Exchange Council, accessed June 2018
  9. DeSmogBlog Atlas Foundation DeSmog, accessed June 2018
  10. Archbridge staff organizational website, accessed June 2018