Think tanks today are nothing more than organizations intended to give an air of legitimacy to corporate dominance. Virtually no think tank offers the slightest quarter to the advance of Socialism, which even the UN states is unsustainable.
Today’s think tanks are all about making the rich richer and the powerful more powerful. That’s not an oversight, that is the role they have relegated themselves to by absolute intent.
The fact they are no longer trusted is because they do not offer facts that are relevant to real people but only elitists. Eventually they will lose funding and cease to exist because the elite only fund think tanks to obtain results in their own favor.
This is especially true of economists. The majority of economists are intimately tied to Wall Street and corporate supremacy, hence their rhetoric is so consistent as to be cloned. Each one sounds exactly like the other, with few exceptions such as Dr Richard Wolff. Robert Reich offers valid economic statements while his political stance remains favorable to the neoliberal power structure, effectively negating his own academic message.
For think tanks to remain viable, maybe they should consider doing some actual thinking.