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Policy in Brief: Financing Higher Education

On this episode of Policy in Brief, Oren Cass and Chris Griswold discuss how we should finance higher education in the U.S.

Policy Brief: Self-Financing by Colleges

Place higher education’s risks on institutions, not students

Policy Brief: Student Debt Relief the Old-Fashioned Way

Make student debt dischargeable in bankruptcy instead of canceling loans

American Compass Releases Conservative Economic Agenda for 118th Congress

Today, American Compass is releasing New Direction: Conservative Principles & Policies for the 118th Congress, an agenda for economic renewal, focused on the interests of worker, their families and communities, and the nation.

Policy Brief: Worker-Run Benefits

Permit workers to administer their own employee benefits through organizations they control

Policy in Brief: Worker-Run Benefits

On this episode of Policy in Brief, Oren Cass and Chris Griswold discuss a proposal to allow workers to administer their own employee benefits through organizations they control.

Uncle Sam’s Top-Performing Venture Fund

With the Small Business Innovation & Research program, Congress helped build many of the nation’s most innovative firms.

Liz Truss, Supply-Side Crush

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses Liz Truss’s disastrous time as prime minister and the irrational response from supply-siders.

Policy Brief: The Global Tariff

Levy a tariff on all imports that rises until trade is balanced

Policy Brief: The Market Access Charge

Make American goods more attractive to foreigners than American assets

Policy Brief: The Import Certificate

Balance trade by requiring importers to purchase credits from exporters.

Policy in Brief: Balancing U.S. Trade

On this episode of Policy in Brief, Oren Cass is joined by American Compass policy director Chris Griswold to discuss how U.S. trade fell so far out of balance—and some ideas for how to rebalance it.

Skills Gaps Will Force Companies to Do Right by Their Compatriots

Employers who profited from cheap foreign labour cannot now gripe at having to train local workers, writes American Compass executive director Oren Cass.

Bad Trade

“Bad competitiveness” results in weakening demand, which either reduces global production or requires surging debt to maintain demand and production at its existing level. Perhaps that rings a bell, because it is the world we live in.

An Early Conservative Victory in the War on Big Tech

American Compass research director Wells King discusses a promising conservative bill to rein in Big Tech’s monopoly power.

A Nation of Boys at Risk

After decades of intensive effort and investment to create an equitable education system, not least for girls and women, the nation finds itself with a peculiar predicament: It is boys who are falling behind furthest and fastest.

Where Have All the Young Men Gone?

The question of who would pursue non-college pathways, if they were offered, is one that has bedeviled education reform debates for decades.

The American Camry

Wells King and Dan Vaughn, Jr. on how Reagan showed it was possible to wrangle foreign manufacturers to the U.S.

The Import Quota that Remade the Auto Industry

President Reagan negotiated a quota on Japanese imports that bought Detroit time to retool and spurred massive foreign investment in a new manufacturing base in the South.

Policy in Brief: Online Age Verification

On this episode of Policy in Brief, Oren Cass is joined by Chris Griswold to discuss a proposal to create an online age-verification system to keep kids safe online.

Policy Brief: An Online Age-Verification System

Congress should create a publicly provided online age verification system that would allow any person to privately and securely demonstrate their age online.

Our Politics Needs a Pro-Family Policy Agenda

American Compass research director Wells King joins a statement in support of building a truly pro-family policy agenda.

A Home Security System

This paper focuses on two related areas where public policy places homemakers at a significant disadvantage: access to social insurance systems and employer benefits.

American Compass, Moving the Needle

Oren Cass’s pro-worker, pro-family think tank has exercised surprising influence on the broader conservative movement.

Liberty and Tariffs for All

Free international trade is not a vital tenet of liberty in the American tradition; it was adopted, in Burtka’s words, “for the worst reasons and delivered the worst results.”

Don’t Trade on Me

America grew wealthy not from free trade, but behind some of the world’s most imposing protectionist barriers. In fact, the principal tradition of free trade one finds in American history was born in the Confederate South.

The Successful Policy That Progressives Love To Hate

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses a recent report analyzing the effects of welfare reform on child poverty, and how progressives fail to understand the importance of work in designing social safety net programs.

After Student-Debt Relief, America Must Move Beyond ‘College for All’

American Compass research director Wells King argues for building real alternatives to the “college-for-all” education pipeline in the wake of Biden’s misguided student loan forgiveness.

Policy in Brief: The Workforce Training Grant

On the inaugural episode of Policy in Brief, American Compass executive director Oren Cass is joined by policy director Chris Griswold to discuss the Workforce Training Grant, a proposal to create a meaningful alternative pathway to college.

Why Is the Republican Party Falling Out of Love With Big Business?

American Compass’s Oren Cass joins the Checks and Balances podcast to discuss the conservative approach toward big business and shifting orthodoxies in right-of-center economic philosophy.

Rebuilding from the College Catastrophe Starts Here

The problem that the American Workforce Act aims to solve is simple, but deadly serious: In American education, all roads lead to college.

Policy Brief: Workforce Training Grant

Congress should create a Workforce Training Grant—a $10,000-per-year grant to employers for each trainee engaged in on-the-job training.

Servants No Longer

American Compass policy director Chris Griswold explores the relationship between worker power and the roots of civic friendship.

Republicans Have Great Ideas. It’s Time To Start Talking About Them

American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case for a GOP focus on substantive policy ideas, prioritizing efforts that benefit working families.

Rethinking Conservative Economics With Oren Cass

Oren Cass joins Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer to discuss the Right’s shifting approach to political economy and President Biden’s disastrous student loan forgiveness initiative.

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness is Wrong. Here’s How to Handle College Debt Instead.

America has turned higher ed into a lavishly expensive sacred cow, and now we’re all footing the bill. Let’s make college debt boring again, argues Oren Cass.

State Capacity in Short Supply: Assessing the Biden Administration’s Industrial Strategy

American Compass’s Wells King and Chris Griswold evaluate the Biden administration’s approach to industrial strategy and what it shows about the policy failures of the established ruling class.

What Republicans Should Do if They Win Big This Fall

American Compass’s Oren Cass and Chris Griswold describe how a conservative agenda focused on workers and their families could create new avenues for progress in a divided government.

Oren Cass on Student Loan Debt

Oren Cass joins Paul Ollinger for a discussion of student debt, “college-for-all,” and how to rethink our approach to education in the U.S.

The Chips Act Debate Shows How Far the Republicans Have Moved

FINANCIAL TIMES—Oren Cass argues that conservative interest in rebuilding America’s industrial base may finally be overtaking free-market fundamentalism on the right.

The Problem Joe Manchin Highlighted Is Crucial for America’s Future

Oren Cass makes the case for serious permitting reform, without which it will take years to spend any money building climate-related projects, costing us money and harming the environment.

Conservative Family Policy Must Be Conservative

On family policy, conservatives should avoid two extremes: rebutting any use of government, and assuming that trillions can be spent without negative repercussions.

Chipping Away at Globalization Is a Smart Move

American Compass’s Oren Cass argues that the CHIPS Act marks an inflection point for America turning away from globalization and revitalizing domestic industry.

CHIPS Won’t Help China

American Compass executive director Oren Cass argues that demanding perfect legislation is a convenient excuse for voting no, and a standard by which everyone would always vote no.

American Compass on CHIPS Act Passage: An Inflection Point in U.S. Policy

PRESS RELEASE—America is finally getting serious about returning critical industries to our shores.

It’s Time to Protect Children from Big Tech

Big Tech’s social media platforms are similarly exploiting children today. And just as policymakers needed to act to protect children then, they must do the same now.

Republicans Split on Major China Bill, as Legislation Barrels Toward Passage

As the Senate takes up consideration of the CHIPS Act, American Compass’s work is leading the industrial policy debate.

Pass the CHIPS, Please

Restrictions on investment in China are a good idea, to be sure. The taller and stronger the guardrails, the better. But holding incentives for domestic investment hostage to tougher restrictions on foreign investment may not be wise or necessary, for two reasons.

Recovering a Sense of Papoose

In this week’s Compass Point, Pursuing the Reunification of Home and Work, Erika Bachiochi throws a fascinating curveball into the modern debate over home economics. That debate, to oversimplify, pits the mid-20th-century model of breadwinner-plus-homemaker against the late-20th-century model of the dual-income household.

Pursuing the Reunification of Home and Work

The conflict between responsibilities at home and at work is largely the result of economic transitions to which we still—nearly a century after industrialization and 50 years into the modern feminist movement—have not adequately responded.

Post-Roe, the GOP Is Stepping Up To Support American Families

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses the promising shift on the right-of-center toward supporting generous pro-family benefits like Senator Romney’s Family Security Act 2.0.

The Climate Crisis Is No Excuse for Backsliding on Democracy

For progressives, the US Supreme Court’s EPA ruling should have been a teachable moment, argues American Compass executive director Oren Cass.

In Preparation for Power, America’s New Right Builds New Institutions

In a profile of the new institutions springing up to influence the new right’s policy agenda, American Compass is described as “among the more sophisticated,” with proposals that have been “influential among lawmakers.”

Saving Kids from Big Tech with Chris Griswold

American Compass policy director Chris Griswold discusses the historical parallels between child labor in the 19th century and kids’ use of social media today, and suggests steps that policymakers can take to protect them from its harms.

Capital Markets R’Us

Oren Cass joins David Bahnsen to discuss the state of American financial markets, private equity and venture capital, what is going wrong, and potential solutions.

College Is Not for All

American Compass’s Oren Cass and Wells King discuss the reality that most young Americans miss out on commencement.

Brave New Regulation

Silicon Valley’s techno-optimists insist loudly on two contradictory points. On one hand, they celebrate the Internet and its associated innovations with phrases like “paradigm shift” and “creative destruction,” and celebrate themselves as the visionaries leading humanity into (unironically) a Brave New World. On the other, they reject the need for new public regulation, insisting that the legal frameworks of past eras are perfectly adequate to the task. Both cannot be true.

We Peasants of the Metaverse

As we are belatedly coming to realize, online territory must be regulated—by people, not merely by economic laws or algorithms—but we have no idea how or by whom.

Failure to Launch

In the popular imagination, young Americans leave home to attend college, where they earn degrees that launch them into careers. The actual experience is radically different.

Escaping the Bachelor’s Fad

For noncollege pathways to be viable, policymakers must reduce employers’ needless demand for college degrees.

Revitalizing the Federal Apprenticeship System

To capitalize on bipartisan support, federal apprenticeship programs must be rescued from sclerosis.

The Banality of Student Loans

With loans dischargeable in bankruptcy, with subsidies limited to a straightforward grant, and with providers responsible for financing the investments they promise to facilitate, the white-washed “ivory towers” would lose much of their magical allure.

Giving Community Colleges a Clear Purpose

Community colleges are uniquely positioned to partner with industry and credential the workforce.

Colleges Should Only Succeed When Students Do

A promising higher-education funding model ties institutional incentives to labor-market outcomes.

Comprehensive Support for Low-Income Students

To tackle life’s challenges, low-income students deserve comprehensive support systems grounded in evidence.

Embedding Employers in Education

Employers can take an active part in preparing high school students for the workforce.

New Education Models Need New Schools

Education policy should spur the creation of new schools and learning models for job-oriented education.

30 Minutes with Virginia Foxx

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx joined us for a 30 Minutes discussion of how the education system can be retooled to better serve all Americans.

Retooling American Education

How to Move Beyond College-for-All

Introducing Pluralism to Public Schooling

Successful school systems in democracies worldwide point to three essential levers to improve students’ life outcomes.

Foreword: What’s in Your Toolbox?

American education must be equipped with diverse tools fit for students’ diverse aspirations.

Oren Cass Discusses the Future of the GOP

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses whether DC’s conservative institutions will shift after the 2022 primaries to become more responsive to the GOP base.

Who Has the Expertise to Watch the Experts?

What role should experts play in our politics? Of course, they have their own freedom of speech, and are welcome to hawk their wares in the marketplace of ideas. But when election day arrives, their votes count no more or less than others, and they are far fewer in number.

With All Due Respect to the Experts

We need and value expertise, yet our public square tends to amplify precisely those least worthy of our trust. How should we decide who counts as an expert, what topics their expertise properly addresses, and which claims deserve deference?

Rethinking the Way We Help Families

American Compass research director Wells King joins Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson to discuss pro-family policymaking.

What Family Policy Should Look Like in Post-Roe America

American Compass’s Wells King and Brad Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies and AEI make the case for a conservative embrace of an expanded Child Tax Credit in a post Roe v. Wade world.

‘College for All’ Is Broken. Let’s Embrace Opportunity Pluralism Instead.

Bruno Manno features a recent American Compass survey on higher education in a discussion of the failures of the “college-for-all” model.

Cutting China Tariffs Will Offer No Respite From Rising Prices

American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case against rolling back tariffs on China in response to inflation.

Can the Expanded Child Tax Credit Come Back From the Dead?

In a discussion of the potential for a permanent expanded Child Tax Credit, Rachel Cohen highlights American Compass research and Wells King’s analysis of the political environment.

Is Common Good Capitalism the Answer?

American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins Luigi Zingales and Bethany McLean to discuss common good capitalism, China’s relationship with the U.S., Big Labor, and more.

Globalization and NASCAR Changes: Two Errors Wrought by Misguided Elites

American Compass’s Wells King joins Robin Johnson on the Heartland Politics show to discuss globalization and NASCAR.

How the Decline of NASCAR Mirrors the Decline of American Communities

American Compass’s Wells King joins Emily Jashinsky to discuss his American Conservative cover story on the decline of NASCAR.

Is Washington the Next Detroit?

Our latest Compass Point is by James M. Roberts, long-time research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and co-editor of their Index of Economic Freedom, reflecting on his experience in the conservative establishment and the perils of a political movement running on autopilot.

Taking the Right Off Autopilot

Fusionist think tanks established strong brands and large payrolls, and if the donors would keep giving, then the Cold War hawks would find new wars to start, the supply-siders new taxes to cut. They are still doing it today.

Wells King Laments the Decline and Fall of NASCAR

American Compass research director Wells King joins Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson to discuss his essay on the decline of NASCAR.

The Market’s Border Crisis

American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case that revitalizing the American industrial base requires moving beyond globalization.

The Decline and Fall of NASCAR

America’s most Southern sport has betrayed its own fan base, writes American Compass’s Wells King in this cover story.

To Help Children, Democrats Are Going to Have to Reach Across the Aisle

The Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond discusses the potential for a bipartisan bill to support families with children, highlighting American Compass’s Fisc proposal.

From Amazon to Starbucks, Workers Caught Between Big Business & Big Labor Need Support

Emily Jashinsky features Wells King’s analysis of the Amazon union vote on Staten Island in a discussion of the difficulties facing workers organizing today.

The Workforce Training Grant

Public policy should recognize that employers, not universities, often provide the most socially valuable form of training and should redirect public resources accordingly.

Why the Economists Are Losing

The basic quandary for economists in this debate is that they stake their claims to expertise and deference on their field’s purported rigor, but they can uphold their own standards only under artificial conditions inapplicable to policymaking. As a result, their work’s defensibility bears an inverse relationship to its relevance.

What Conservative Critics of Globalization Miss

It is hard, nay impossible, to find a more sophisticated conservative critique of globalization than that articulated by Oren Cass. Perhaps because Cass was once a card-carrying member of the economic establishment himself, he has an exceptionally clear sense of some of the problematic assumptions that have underpinned that establishment’s high level of support for globalization over the past three decades.

Globalists Finally See Reality

When the former high priests of globalization admit it’s not working, the time has come not only to ask why they’ve changed their minds, but also why they were so wrong for so long. Oren Cass’s exposé of the abuses of classical economic theory offers a valuable starting point. But the problems lie even deeper and extend much further.

Big Business and Conservatives Are Headed for Divorce

In a discussion of the changing conservative approach to big business, Adrian Wooldridge highlights American Compass’s work on globalization and labor.

How to Bound the American Market

In his essay, Oren Cass correctly argues that a well-functioning capitalist system requires a “bounded market” within a nation-state that imposes interdependence on labor, capital, and consumers. Frictionless capital mobility across borders, in contrast, decouples the interests of investors from their country and their workers.

Did Globalization Cause the Great Stagnation?

Analyzing the effects of any long-run macroeconomic trend is admittedly a difficult affair. After all, typically more than one big trend is happening at a time, which means that isolating the impact of any particular force requires careful and thoughtful empirical analysis.

Globalization: America’s Biggest Bipartisan Mistake

American Compass research director Wells King explores the history of the Uniparty’s push for globalization at all costs and the fallacies undergirding their arguments.

Why the Free Trade Debate Needs the Real Adam Smith

Oren Cass is right to note that modern economists largely misunderstand Adam Smith. But the misunderstanding runs deeper and traces even further back than editorializing in 20th-century textbooks. For more than two centuries, scholars have ignored the relationship between Smith’s political philosophy and economic analysis.

It’s Time for a Neoclassical Economic Reckoning

Oren Cass’s essay demonstrates how the advantages of industrial policy, apparent to some of the founders of economics and foundational to the success of the United States, were carefully airbrushed out by advocates of free trade in the 20th century.

Freer Trade Isn’t Always Better

Oren Cass takes on the entrenched belief held by the U.S. economics profession that countries should always pursue a policy of free trade. He argues that Smith and Ricardo have been misunderstood for generations because their key assumptions around capital mobility were omitted as the arguments were passed down.

Just Say No to Rejoining TPP

Economic theorists treat globalization as the free market’s natural end state. But trade practitioners know that the opposite is true—that efforts at stitching together the world’s economies are among the messiest sausage-making exercises in policymaking.

America Should Use Existing Tools, Not Fashion New Ones

The debate over free trade versus protectionism has been around for hundreds of years, with a level of political prominence that has varied over time. After a relatively quiet period in the post-war era, the modern debate over trade and globalization’s rules and institutions has grown quite contentious.

Modern Economics Is Not an Illuminati Conspiracy

The first part of Mr. Cass’s argument is that the entire economics profession has either misread or misinterpreted a sentence in Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, and that it has built the case for free trade from that alleged misreading or misrepresentation. This is simply and fundamentally not true.

Weighing In

Commentators and policy analysts respond to our analysis of globalization and proposals to restore balance to the American economy

The Balancing Act

Policymakers can act on several fronts: market access and investment rules to govern the flow of goods and capital; sovereign actions taken in relation to global institutions; and immigration policy that affects labor market composition.

Republican Stance on Free Markets Is Shifting When it Comes to China

Despite the priority traditionally given to the free flow of capital, many now argue that Beijing should be the exception, writes American Compass executive director Oren Cass.

Protecting Children from Social Media

American Compass policy director explores policy options to protect children online with the same vigor that we protect them in the real world.

Wrong All Along

Each argument for globalization appeared sensible on its own terms, but each was built upon faulty premises or failed in the final analysis to support the ultimate agenda.

The Conservative Confusion on Globalization

The question is not will we manage our economy’s interaction with the global market, but how, writes American Compass executive director Oren Cass.

Where’s the Growth?

The era of globalization has coincided closely with the onset of precisely those problems that a clear-eyed analyst might have predicted and delivered outcomes contrary to the ones its ideologues envisioned.

New Report Finds Globalization Failed to Deliver Economic Growth and Good Jobs

PRESS RELEASE—New American Compass report on the failed experiment of globalization and an online quiz that exposes the bipartisan Uniparty’s witless case for globalization

Conflicted Party

The problem was that the powerful and wealthy saw no problem. They benefited from closing American factories and moving jobs abroad. They benefited from lower wages. This was their agenda from the start.

Regaining Our Balance

How to Right the Wrongs of Globalization

Searching for Capitalism in the Wreckage of Globalization

Mutual dependence between capital and labor, not mere “economic freedom,” is what Adam Smith so ably described. Globalization destroys it.

Has the Right Gotten It All Wrong?

Oren Cass joins David Bahnsen to discuss globalization, market orthodoxy, and much more.

American Institutions and the American Family: A Conversation with Yuval Levin

A robust discussion of how well American institutions are fostering the flourishing of American families, hosted by American Compass and Capita.

The Upside of the Downward Trend in College Enrollment

The media have been full of reports of college students, almost a million strong, who have gone missing during the pandemic. Virtually every article quotes experts expressing alarm and dismay.

Oren Cass and Jacobin’s Paul Prescod Debate Labor Policy

Krystal and Saagar are joined by American Compass’s Oren Cass  and Jacobin writer Paul Prescod for a debate on the GOP’s new legislation that would revise the National Labor Relations Act and put workers on some corporate boards.

The Right Is Starting to Represent Workers Outside of Unions

American Compass policy director Chris Griswold discusses recent pro-labor policy developments on the right-of-center and opportunities for further labor reform.

Pushing ‘College For All’ Makes Americans Poorer. Here’s What We Need Instead

Oren Cass discusses new American Compass research on the effects of globalization on American workers and domestic jobs.

Report: College Degree Attainment Far Outpaces U.S. Jobs Requiring BAs

PRESS RELEASE—New American Compass analysis finds that wages have stagnated for college graduates without degree-requiring jobs.

The False Promise of Good Jobs

While the share of American jobs requiring a college degree has increased in recent decades, the share of workers holding college degrees has risen much faster.

Can the GOP Become the Party of the Working Class?

Batya Ungar-Sargon discusses the recent GOP bill that would give workers the opportunity to elect a representative to serve on their corporate boards as part of a voluntary employee involvement organization.

Summer Analysts

American Compass summer analysts will work in our Washington, D.C. office in research, policy, and communications. Applications are due by February 28.

New Ed Surveys Find Surprising Agreement in How Parents & Young People Think

Bruno Manno explores the results of the American Compass Failing on Purpose Survey and the implications for education policy.

The Left & Right Case Against College For All

Oren Cass and author Freddie Deboer discuss the left and right cases against the college-for-all system that dominates American education.

How ‘College For All’ Is Failing Generations Of Americans

American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins The Federalist’s Emily Jashinsky to discuss the failures of the “college-for-all” model in the U.S.

Reaganism Live with Oren Cass and Kevin Roberts

American Compass’s Oren Cass and the Heritage Foundation’s Kevin Roberts join the Reagan Institute for a conversation about the future of conservatism.

A Guide to College-for-All

The college-for-all model fails most Americans in favor of a “Fortunate Fifth” who proceed smoothly from high school to college to career.

The New Age of Interventionism—the Big State Is Back in Business

American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins the Money Talks podcast to discuss the growing embrace of industrial policy.

Many Countries Are Seeing a Revival of Industrial Policy

A special report on industrial policy and the relationship between business and the state cites American Compass executive director Oren Cass as one of the leading voices calling for a rethinking of industrial policy’s potential in the modern market.

Can Free Trade Work for Everyone?

Pete Coy discusses the debate over free trade, highlighting Oren Cass’s rebuttal of Glenn Hubbard’s recent book.

Founder’s Letter: The Return of Political Economy

Political economy has no inviolable truths. Anything that economists or political scientists claim as inviolable truth, then, is incomplete—it may hold within the narrow confines of their analysis, but it will not hold in reality over the long run.

Coming Apart in the Hoosier State

Farah Stockman’s new book, American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears, documents the closure and relocation of an Indianapolis Rexnord bearing plant to Mexico and Texas. Stockman, a New York Times reporter, was assigned to cover the Rexnord plant after then-candidate Trump tweeted about its pending closure and the scheduled relocation of a nearby Carrier plant to Mexico in 2016.

A Battle for the GOP’s Future Is Under Way

Oren Cass makes the case that the Republicans must move beyond the dog-eared 1980s playbook of tax cuts and deregulation if they are to succeed.

Woke Capitalism Is a Smokescreen

American Compass research director Wells King argues that woke corporate activism attempts to launder self-interest through liberal ideology and to renege on actual obligations.

The Five Deadly Sins of the Left: An Update

Even the financial crisis of 2008–09 did not spur any real realignment of voters toward the left. Nor have—so far—the twin economic and health crises brought on by the COVID pandemic. What has gone wrong?

Staying the Course

We should continue the state – and community-level work that is bringing to life a more pluralist approach to schooling, argues Andy Smarick.

Make Good (School) Choices

Johns Hopkins’s Ashley Berner and the Manhattan Institute’s Andy Smarick discuss options and tradeoffs in restructuring American public education.

Reform Requires Reformers

Ashley Berner makes the case for a pluralist structure that embraces district, charter, and private schools, while insisting on quality.

An Emergent Educational Order

The Manhattan Institute’s Andy Smarick discusses how an intelligent system emerged in American education over many years.

Between the Common School and the Market

Johns Hopkins’s Ashley Berner discusses the benefits and tradeoffs of a pluralistic approach to education in America.

What Are Public Schools For?

According to a new American Compass survey, parents have a different answer than activists and policymakers do, writes Oren Cass.

Survey Finds U.S. Public Education Ignores Priorities of Parents and Students

PRESS RELEASE—Education reformers have lost sight of what most Americans say public education is for, according to a new American Compass survey.

Failing on Purpose Survey

The American Compass Failing on Purpose Survey explores the perspectives and experiences of those in closest contact with the American education system—namely parents, current students, and recent graduates.

20 Years of “Free Trade” with China

We have adapted Senator Rubio’s speech as an essay, which we are pleased to present as this week’s Compass Point: Trading It All Away.

Trading It All Away

Adapted from remarks delivered by Senator Marco Rubio on the 20th anniversary of China’s ascension to the WTO.

The Citizenship Test

Public education must instill civic virtues and shared allegiances.

Marco Rubio Gets It. Our Economic Addiction to China Is a National Security Threat.

Henry Olsen discusses Sen. Rubio’s remarks at American Compass’s inaugural Henry Clay Lecture in Political Economy.

Senator Marco Rubio Delivers the Inaugural Henry Clay Lecture in Political Economy

Sen. Rubio assesses how the flawed bipartisan economic consensus went so tragically wrong and offers a clear-eyed approach to economic policy that can serve the national interest and the common good.

Laboratories for Democracy

Public education must advance national power.

Making Meritocrats Moral

Public education must form a virtuous elite.

Failing on Purpose

How We Forgot What Public Education Is For

Conservative Scholars Rethink Public Education’s Purpose

PRESS RELEASE—Essay series explores how public education is failing in both practice and principle

Foreword: Teach for America

Public education’s primary purpose is preservation of our democratic republic.

The School of Self-Rule

Public education must empower the common citizen.

Realignment Conference: The Future of Populism

American Affairs’s Julius Krein, American Compass’s Wells King, and the Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond discuss the new right, populism, and the debate over neoliberalism.

Why National Conservatism Needs Worker Power

At the second National Conservatism conference, Oren Cass discusses the importance of worker power to the future of conservatism.

Have I Got a Bridge to Sell You: The Limitations of Econ 101

American Compass executive director Oren Cass reviews Glenn Hubbard’s new book, The Wall and the Bridge, and discusses the limits of market fundamentalism.

The Fed Soc Debate Turns Inward

American Compass coalitions director Wesley Hodges discusses the developing debate within the Federalist Society about the roles and potential threats of corporate and government power.

Why China Matters to You

Twenty years into the foolish experiment of Chinese ascension to the World Trade Organization, America now has a strategic peer whose values and goals in conflict with our own. We have committed to an international system on the assumption that we would set its course, and face a hoisting by our own petard if adversaries gain leverage within its institutions.

After Hegemony

After decades of foreign policy debates centered on dealing with states and actors far weaker than ourselves, the United States has lost the “finger tip feel” and grammar for determining how to respond to a nation that is comparable to us in power.

Washington Is Showing How Much It Really Cares About Blue Collar Families (Not Much)

American Compass policy director Chris Griswold discusses the “blue-collar blueprint” for infrastructure and how DC politicos fail to listen to their actual blue-collar voters.

California Dreamin’

San Francisco’s mainstream media and political elite have tried to downplay such stories. But the trends are impossible to ignore. California is one of just a handful of states to see dramatic increases in its homeless population.

Oren Cass: Here’s What Workers REALLY Want From Unions

American Compass executive director explains what workers want—and are not getting—from organized labor in the U.S. today.

The Cult for Growth

In this week’s Compass Point, Marginal Prophets, Matthew Walther turns his perceptive gaze to the “magical thinking” of neoliberalism, and brings along a delightful guide: 19th-century anthropologist James Frazer, author of The Golden Bough and keen observer of humanity’s superstitious traditions and priestly castes.

Marginal Prophets

Magical thinking is evident in Homo oeconomicus’s serial recital of the “benefits of trade”; his blithe attitude toward financialization and the rise of cheap digital consumer technology; his utter indifference to the economic pressures bearing down upon the working family…

The “Big Quit” Is an Opportunity to Fix Our Broken Education System

A broad rethinking of work and human capital development is occurring while 10.4 million jobs sit unfilled and more than 8.4 million unemployed individuals look for work.

Of Snowflakes and Slip-and-Falls

In this week’s Compass Point, The Snowflakes Aren’t Melting, Michael Brendan Dougherty offers a sharp, revisionist account of “safetyism.” The term commonly refers to the phenomenon of young people coddled through their childhoods and thus unable to cope with the conflicts and travails of adulthood.

The Snowflakes Aren’t Melting

Most so-called snowflakes accumulate not in society’s quiet valleys where we might expect to find gentler souls genuinely struggling to cope with conflict, but rather atop the peaks of elite institutions to which our most aggressive strivers have clawed their way.

Gimme Shelter

Only the Rich Can Play is an uncomfortable reminder that no matter how much you may appreciate an idea’s intellectual lineage or conceptual clarity, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. It deserves inclusion on political science syllabi as a case study in how a billionaire’s idea can flow from a Davos brainstorming session to Washington’s halls of power and become the law of the land.

The Work-Ethic Welfare State

Lind’s essay marks the launch of a new series, The Compass Point, that will present in-depth commentary from leading scholars and writers on topics vital to the future of conservatism. Expect them most Fridays over the next couple of months.

The Government Should Keep Its Hands Off Your Medicare

The path to a more secure and generous American welfare state lies not in rejecting the work ethic and the distinction it makes between contributory social insurance and non-contributory social assistance, but rather in embracing it.

Munk Debate: Universal Basic Income

Oren Cass debates Scott Santens on proposals for a universal basic income.

Announcing the Common Good Economics Grant Program

The Common Good Economics grant program will support projects rethinking the role that economic policy can play in advancing the common good.

Critics Corner with Vinnie Vernuccio

In this episode, Vinnie Vernuccio joins Oren in the Critics Corner. Vinnie is the president of the Institute for the American Worker and a senior fellow at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

A Better Bargain: Worker Solidarity and Mutual Support

Straightforward federal reforms could enable state and local governments to partner with new labor organizations in administer portable benefits and sector-wide training.

When Student Loans Pay for Nothing but Palm Trees

What we gave our children (and paid dearly for) was a mountain of debt and no job opportunities to be had. So much for the American Dream.

Extending the Child Tax Credit to Undocumented Immigrants Is Playing with Fire

Buried within the Democrats’ multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation package is a provision to extend the recently expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) to undocumented immigrants. This would be a grave mistake, and I say that as both a supporter of the CTC expansion and as a proponent of more liberal immigration.

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On the Biden CTC, Expert Endorsement Rings Hollow

American Compass’s Oren Cass and Wells King discuss the pitfalls of “evidence-based policymaking” and the importance of prioritizing work and long-term effects in designing the Child Tax Credit.

The Labor Movement Is ‘Woking’ Itself to Death

American Compass research director Wells King explores the failures of the modern American labor movement and what workers really want from unions.

Woking 9 to 5

Not What They Bargained For, the American Compass survey of worker attitudes, highlights the ways that the labor movement’s focus on progressive politics has undermined its own popularity and alienated the lower and working classes. Workers similarly disdain “woke” employers.

The American Dream Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Misunderstood

In order to fulfill your dreams, you must aspire to be what you desire. That is the American Dream, to me. And I think some people don’t understand what fulfilling that American Dream can take.

A Better Bargain: Worker Power in the Labor Market

This paper explains the advantages of broad-based bargaining, the key parameters that policymakers must establish, and the gradual process of experimentation by which it could gain prevalence in the American economy.

Can Antitrust Be Pro-Worker?

In 1776, Adam Smith made perhaps the most famous statement linking monopoly power to labor. “Masters,” he wrote in The Wealth of Nations, “are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform, combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate.” Today, however, rather than taking Smith’s maxim as a warning, most lawyers and judges have come to treat it as a guidebook.

We Need to Listen Better to Working-Class Parents

The Ethics and Public Public Policy Center’s Patrick T. Brown highlights the American Compass Child Tax Credit Survey in a discussion of what working-class parents want from family policy.

Keep the Child Credit Tied to Work

Americans want creative policymaking that better supports families, but always with the expectation that families receiving public support are also working to support themselves.

New Survey: Vast Majority Want Expansion of Child Tax Credit Tied to Work

PRESS RELEASE—New American Compass/YouGov survey finds Americans reject unconditional cash benefits outside context of pandemic relief.

Americans Support a Generous Child Benefit Tied to Work

A significant opportunity exists for bipartisan cooperation on a permanent, expanded Child Tax Credit that maintains a connection to work.

New Survey Finds Modern American Workers Want Unions To Stop Playing Politics

American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins The Federalist Radio Hour to discuss the Better Bargain Survey results, what workers want from organized labor, and working-class perspectives on politics.

Adam Smith or Alexander Hamilton?

At ISI’s “The Future of American Political Economy” conference, American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses political economy and the American System’s lessons for today.

Future of Work: Futureproof

American Compass’s Oren Cass is featured in a PBS documentary on the future of work and how “future-proof” jobs against robots, AI, racial and economic disparities, and pandemics.

A Better Bargain: Worker Voice and Representation

This paper proposes two complementary policies that together offer a genuinely better bargain for American workers: formal recognition of “works councils” and a mechanism by which workers could elect representation to their corporation’s board.

A Better Bargain

Greater Voice, Power, and Support for Workers

New Survey Finds Union Political Activism the #1 Obstacle to U.S. Labor Movement

PRESS RELEASE—Labor policy reforms should be focused on strengthening labor-management cooperation and delivering concrete economic benefits

Not What They Bargained For: A Survey of American Workers

The Better Bargain Survey explores workers’ attitudes about their jobs and organized labor; their appetite for greater support, voice, and power in the workplace; and their reactions to political messages and policy reforms

American Labour Unions Should Stop Playing Politics

American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses the state of American organized labor and what the working class wants from their unions.

Oren Cass Joins Politico Playbook Deep Dive Podcast

American Compass’s Oren Cass, “an influential voice in this new economic counterculture,” joins to discuss the conservative debate on economics and the free market.

How to Put Woke Capital Out of Business

Ramaswamy sees what so many establishment conservatives and libertarians refuse to see: in the eyes of the woke Left, we on the Right are all racists who should be made untouchables.

The Emergence of Anti-Corporate Progressivism

Opposition to globalization. Efforts to weaken intellectual property protections. Pushing for municipal broadband. Calls for the National Institutes of Health to develop drugs. What do these positions have in common? They are all examples of the recent turn toward anti-corporate progressivism.

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