August 15, 2012

Foundations of Liberty: Competitive Enterprise Institute

By: Adam Barrett

Founded in 1984, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is a 501(c)(3) educational organization in Washington, D.C. dedicated to advancing the principles of free enterprise and limited government. It believes consumers are best suited to make their own decisions, not government.

The staff of CEI seeks “to promote both freedom and fairness by making good policy good politics. We make the uncompromising case for economic freedom because we believe it is essential for entrepreneurship, innovation, and prosperity to flourish.”

CEI is an effective advocate for freedom on a wide range of critical policy issues, including energy, environment, business and finance, immigration, labor, technology, telecommunications, as well as food and drug safety. Its flagship publications Ten Thousand Commandments and Agenda for Congress both stress the need for government deregulation.

Published annually, Ten Thousand Commandments has pegged the cost to U.S. businesses face complying with government regulation at $1.75 trillion. Agenda for Congress, a biennial report to Congress aimed at restoring limited government and reviving America’s economy, calls for regulations to be subjected to the same scrutiny as taxes, expenditures, and other government functions.

Unique among free market groups, CEI also pursues its advocacy in the courtroom. It has brought lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of various statutes, interstate agreements, and regulations, and also sued government agencies to force the disclosure of information relevant to the public interest.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s talented, well-respected attorneys, policy analysts, and scholars will continue to play a critical role within the liberty movement for many years to come. To learn more, please visit

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