American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses Liz Truss’s disastrous time as prime minister and the irrational response from supply-siders.
Employers who profited from cheap foreign labour cannot now gripe at having to train local workers, writes American Compass executive director Oren Cass.
The question of who would pursue non-college pathways, if they were offered, is one that has bedeviled education reform debates for decades.
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.”
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.
The problem that the American Workforce Act aims to solve is simple, but deadly serious: In American education, all roads lead to college.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case for a GOP focus on substantive policy ideas, prioritizing efforts that benefit working families.
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.
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.
FINANCIAL TIMES—Oren Cass argues that conservative interest in rebuilding America’s industrial base may finally be overtaking free-market fundamentalism on the right.
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.
American Compass’s Oren Cass argues that the CHIPS Act marks an inflection point for America turning away from globalization and revitalizing domestic industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For progressives, the US Supreme Court’s EPA ruling should have been a teachable moment, argues American Compass executive director Oren Cass.
American Compass’s Oren Cass and Wells King discuss the reality that most young Americans miss out on commencement.
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.
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.
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.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case against rolling back tariffs on China in response to inflation.
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.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case that revitalizing the American industrial base requires moving beyond globalization.
Public policy should recognize that employers, not universities, often provide the most socially valuable form of training and should redirect public resources accordingly.
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.
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.
The question is not will we manage our economy’s interaction with the global market, but how, writes American Compass executive director Oren Cass.
Mutual dependence between capital and labor, not mere “economic freedom,” is what Adam Smith so ably described. Globalization destroys it.
Oren Cass discusses new American Compass research on the effects of globalization on American workers and domestic 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.
Oren Cass and author Freddie Deboer discuss the left and right cases against the college-for-all system that dominates American education.
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.
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.
According to a new American Compass survey, parents have a different answer than activists and policymakers do, writes Oren Cass.
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.
Public education’s primary purpose is preservation of our democratic republic.
At the second National Conservatism conference, Oren Cass discusses the importance of worker power to the future of conservatism.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass reviews Glenn Hubbard’s new book, The Wall and the Bridge, and discusses the limits of market fundamentalism.
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.
American Compass executive director explains what workers want—and are not getting—from organized labor in the U.S. today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Americans want creative policymaking that better supports families, but always with the expectation that families receiving public support are also working to support themselves.
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.
American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses the state of American organized labor and what the working class wants from their unions.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses economic shifts over the past 40 years and why economists and policymakers need to embrace a more holistic view of what it means to be “better off.”
This paper presents the case for policymakers who favor free markets and appreciate the value of a well-functioning financial system to reform the rules governing that system.
The early years of a technological revolution are not, generally speaking, happy ones.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case for disaggregating the Big Tech debate and giving greater focus to the digital age’s novel challenges.
The biggest tech challenges for policymakers go far beyond “Big Tech.”
American Compass’s Oren Cass, in dialogue with Oaktree Capital’s Howard Marks, discusses the negative effects of the growth of the U.S. financial sector.
The key parameters for understanding competing family-benefit proposals.
Some right-of-center analysts have absolute conviction that basic statistics describing some of America’s challenges are obviously wrong
American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses the failed unionization drive at Amazon’s Bessemer, AL, warehouse and what it says about what kind of support and representation workers actually want.
American Compass’s Oren Cass and Richard Oyeniran explore the decline of America’s semiconductor industry and how the U.S. can retake the lead in the great semiconductor race.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case that fortunes are made in financial markets without benefiting the real economy.
This report provides a systematic, firm-level study of declining business investment and the shift among American corporation toward disgorging cash to shareholders.
Confusion over the nature of investment is pervasive among economic policymakers and commentators, has bled into the popular culture, and threatens the nation’s future prosperity.
Jonah Goldberg, Cliff Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute, had a lot to say about American Compass on a recent podcast.
Executive director Oren Cass looks back on the history of welfare reform and explains why fighting poverty requires more than just sending money to the poor.
Executive director Oren Cass on how left-wing critics of our family-benefit proposal are sorely misguided.
The goal of these essays is to help inform policymakers and pundits about what matters most and why to the vast majority of Americans who have no day-to-day connection to our political debates.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass argues that a policy that sustains people in joblessness is not ultimately anti-poverty.
Unilaterally disarming from trade conflict on behalf of open markets, and then making empty demands, is not a plan.
This paper presents the case for a per-child family benefit that would operate as a form of reciprocal social insurance paid only to working families.
In this feature essay for Foreign Affairs, American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses a path forward for conservatism that is no longer bound by free-market orthodoxy.
Preserving our national inheritance requires public policy to get the family right.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses President Biden’s first days in office and why he should focus on policies that help working Americans.
Little persuasion happens in 280-character snippets, but people willing to explain their thinking and answer each other’s questions can still accomplish a lot by clarifying their views and identifying the underlying sources of disagreement. So I was delighted yesterday when the Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh took the time to walk me through his understanding of how wages are set in labor markets.
Being called a “socialist” by George Will in the Washington Post was already a professional highlight. So I was thrilled for the opportunity to talk with him about the future of conservatism. Clearly, we would have a lot to discuss.
At the Soho Forum, American Compass’s Oren Cass and Cato Institute’s Scott Lincicome debate whether the U.S. should adopt an industrial policy.
January 6 was a catastrophe for America. An angry mob, spurred on by the president, some carrying confederate flags, ransacked the Capitol during a joint session of Congress.
American Compass’s Oren Cass makes the case against forgiving billions of dollars of student debt and for rethinking our approach to higher education.
American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses the tension between worker power and loose immigration policy.
In his 2020 Founder’s Letter, Oren Cass describes the timeless principles and creative energies of conservatism that are vital to America’s prospects for adaptation and renewal.
A funny thing happened in the days after we published “What Happened: The Trump Presidency in Review.” The collection’s emphasis on the success of economic policies that pushed the labor market toward full employment attracted substantial interest from proponents of looser fiscal and monetary policy. But that “strange new respect” came with the mandatory caveat that we were still wrong to suggest increased immigration enforcement and a slower inflow of new workers might be part of the same package.
Unsustainable economic stimulus at an expansion’s peak, not tax cuts or tariffs, fueled the Trump boom.
In a Dealbook feature collecting ideas from a wide variety of leaders on how to improve the country, American Compass’s Oren Cass argues for shifting our focus away from college and toward providing strong, non-college career pathways.
The CARES Act, intended to address the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, offers especially generous tax treatment for charitable contributions in 2020, to encourage giving in a time of such extraordinary need. Households can deduct contributions up to 100% of their income for the year, potentially eliminating their tax liability entirely.
American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses the 2020 election, arguing that the outcome simply tells us who will govern us, not who we are.
American Compass’s Oren Cass argues that the future of conservatism lies in a multi-ethnic, working-class coalition.
American Compass’s Oren Cass argues that elections tell us simply who will govern us, not who we are, and it is critical to understand our fellow Americans who voted differently.
The wags are having their fun with an election result that hinges upon whether Joe Biden garners sufficient support from white voters to negate an apparent surge toward Donald Trump among minority groups.
American Compass’s Oren Cass speaks with Yoram Hazony about economic nationalism and what a conservative economic policy should look like.
American Compass’s Oren Cass responds to Michael Watson’s rejection of collective bargaining, arguing that organized labor can advance conservative principles.
American Compass’s Oren Cass talks with Jim Saksa about how unions should be reinvented and not abandoned by conservatives.
American Compass’s Oren Cass joins Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti to discuss the deadly sins of the right, warning the GOP to learn from the 2016 election and update conservative orthodoxy.
American Compass’s Oren Cass joins a distinguished panel to discuss the need for robust family policy from the political right.
American Compass’s Oren Cass describes the process by which leaders of both the Republican and Democratic Parties have become unmoored from the voters they aspire to represent.
In this commentary for the Financial Times, Cass considers what the presidential candidates would be talking about if workers and their interests were of primary concern
American Compass’s Oren Cass critiques public choice theory as applied in defense of a libertarian agenda.
American Compass’s Oren Cass argues that neither Biden nor Trump has given the necessary attention to issues like industrial, education, and labor policy that could help American workers.
Would sectoral bargaining provide a better framework for American labor law?
Would sectoral bargaining provide a better framework for American labor law?
American Compass’s Oren Cass argues that a strong, reformed labor movement has unique potential to advance conservative priorities.
American Compass’s Oren Cass participated in a symposium on “The Vanishing American Dream,” as part of the Brookings Institution’s Future of the Middle Class Initiative, discussing the political roots of economic issues facing lower- and middle-income Americans.
Labor law has failed to evolve alongside a changing labor market. Some labor leaders have been moving ahead anyway.
Would sectoral bargaining provide a better framework for American labor law?
American Compass’s Oren Cass joins a wide range of economists and business leaders to discuss Milton Friedman’s essay, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits,” on its 50th anniversary.
American Compass’s Oren Cass spotlights the ideological contest between libertarian Republicans and post-Trump conservatives for the future identity of the American political right.
American Compass’s Oren Cass suggests that the professional class might learn from the pandemic that “material living standards” do not always translate into “quality of life.”
This morning’s commentary from the Wall Street Journal editorial board is of great scientific import, a fragile creature crushed into a perfectly preserved fossil by the forces of reality. Future researchers tracing the evolution of the American right-of-center from market fundamentalism to a viable economic conservatism will regard it as a vital transitional form—like a fish with legs but no lungs: laughably incoherent, woefully unsuited to its environment, and yet also an unmistakable sign of progress and a harbinger of better things to come.
The Saturday Essay features American Compass’s efforts to construct a new conservative governing philosophy.
American Compass’s Oren Cass describes the “vital opportunity for the American right-of-center to develop a genuinely conservative economic platform that focuses on working families.”
American Compass’s Oren Cass reviews Joe Biden’s acceptance speech for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
American Compass’s Oren Cass outlines the arguments from an open letter sent to the Business Roundtable calling for corporate actual responsibility.
Business leaders have lost contact with the communities and institutions that might hold them accountable, escaped from the oversight and regulation that would channel their activities, and proven themselves shameless in the face of whatever weak standards of decency the culture still attempts to muster.
Good jobs benefit workers and boost corporate performance, so why aren’t there more of them?
On the most recent episode of Jonah Goldberg’s podcast, The Remnant, AEI director of economic policy studies Michael Strain delivers a harsh assessment of projects like American Compass.
American Compass’s Oren Cass debates University of Chicago professor Todd Henderson over the question, “Does the private equity industry create substantial social value?”
The Wall Street Journal’s defense of private equity (“Populists Don’t Know Much About Private Equity”) is an impressionist masterpiece of market fundamentalism, relying on the unexamined assumption that fees paid to private-equity partners represent “social value.” One can simply step back and gawk in amazement, but true appreciation requires poring over each brushstroke.
The opinion pages of both the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal have featured calls for industrial policy in the past week, an encouraging trend toward realism about the necessary role for government in a free-market economy. In the Times, yesterday’s editorial warned against “the absence of a proactive industrial policy” and argued that “quick adoption or reiteration of a series of long-term industrial goals would … greatly benefit Britain’s post-coronavirus rebuild.” This expands notably on its observation at the pandemic’s start that “governments will have to accept a more active role in the economy” through public services and active labor-market policy. The Journal, for its part, took the confusing step of running an op-ed proposing industrial policy under the headline “America Doesn’t Need an Industrial Policy.” Continuing to haggle over the term even as the substance moves forward will generate some confusion, but it marks progress down the path toward better policy.
American Compass’s Oren Cass describes the parameters of the fight on the right and makes the case for a Post-Trump conservatism.
I was jolted by the familiar echo, reading Chris Arnade’s “Cops and Teachers,” of an argument I’ve made a thousand times. It was an obviously conservative point, turned suddenly into a refutation of a popular conservative stance.
A Response to Samuel Hammond
Professor Dan Drezner is again illustrating how we ended up with a misbegotten consensus on globalization built upon inadequate assumptions and shallow analysis. A couple of weeks ago, we encountered him badly mischaracterizing a study about the supposed value of trade liberalization. Breezing past that issue, he is back now with a more outlandish claim, that: “a world in which ‘trade were balanced, domestic industry robust, and productivity rising’ is a world that not only does not exist, but very likely cannot exist” (emphasis in original).
Outdated environmental regulation poses an irrational barrier to reshoring efforts.
American Compass’s Oren Cass participates in a written debate with Duke University’s Michael Munger over the need for American industrial policy.
Professor Dan Drezner has been crudely criticizing Senator Josh Hawley’s New York Times op-ed on U.S. withdrawal from the WTO—treating it “the way one would treat an undergrad paper in global political economy,” awarding a C-minus, and offering the feedback that, “You can do better work than this, Josh. Put in the effort, do more research and make sharper arguments next time.” He exposes the fundamental weakness of his critique though, with the claim that “Hawley prefers exiting the WTO and rejecting the estimated $2.1 trillion in benefits from trade,” in the process demonstrating exactly what simplistic economic analyses of trade policy get wrong.
American Compass launched in early May to widespread media coverage and generous praise from politicians, scholars, and commentators.
Debates over family policy are centering on the idea that households should be “paid” for raising children.
American Compass’s Wells King and Oren Cass and American Affairs’ Julius Krein summarize their arguments from Rebooting the American System in this short adaptation.
Rich Lowry interviews Oren Cass about the launch of American Compass.
Welcome to American Compass. Our mission is to restore an economic consensus that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity.
Remove the blinders of economic fundamentalism, and it is impossible not to see the social, legal, historical, and institutional scaffolding that buttresses a growing economy, and the role that public policy must play in its construction and maintenance.
One of the nation’s leading opinion platforms cuts a two-minute attack ad against American Compass for prompting debate.
It is a tragedy that Friedrich Hayek’s excesses, invested with the authority of his (deserved) reputation, became the unexamined default for right-of-center economic thinking in America.
Today we are announcing the formation of American Compass, an organization dedicated to helping American conservatism recover from its chronic case of market fundamentalism.
If comparative advantage is created rather than discovered, refusing to play the game has consequences.