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The Elite Needs to Give Up Its G.D.P. Fetish

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.”

From the Primordial Supply-Side Soup

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.

How Trump Has Changed the Republicans

The Saturday Essay features American Compass’s efforts to construct a new conservative governing philosophy.

The Republican Party Has A Tough Choice To Make

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.”

A Major Question Still Remains for Biden’s Campaign

American Compass’s Oren Cass reviews Joe Biden’s acceptance speech for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

How Corporate Actual Responsibility, Not Social Responsibility, Would Look

American Compass’s Oren Cass outlines the arguments from an open letter sent to the Business Roundtable calling for corporate actual responsibility.

Constraining the Corporation

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.

Q&A with MIT’s Zeynep Ton

Good jobs benefit workers and boost corporate performance, so why aren’t there more of them?

AEI’s Michael Strain on Projects Like Ours

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.

Private Equity Captures Rather Than Creates Value

American Compass’s Oren Cass debates University of Chicago professor Todd Henderson over the question, “Does the private equity industry create substantial social value?”

Beware “Social Insurance” Salesmen

Redistribution is a vital topic for conservatives as we question stale orthodoxies and reexamine how first principles can help to address modern challenges. In this respect I agree entirely with Read more…

The “Enormous Social Value” of Private-Equity Fees

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.

An Industrial Policy by any Another Name…

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.

The Fight On The Right: A Pre-Trump Or Post-Trump Future?

American Compass’s Oren Cass describes the parameters of the fight on the right and makes the case for a Post-Trump conservatism.

Does Aggressive Policing Create its Own Cycle of Dependence?

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 Better Model for Worker Training

A Response to Samuel Hammond

Balanced Trade, Robust Industry, and Rising Productivity: Pick All Three

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).

On Regulatory Reform

Outdated environmental regulation poses an irrational barrier to reshoring efforts.

Is It Time for an American Industrial Policy?

American Compass’s Oren Cass participates in a written debate with Duke University’s Michael Munger over the need for American industrial policy.

Failing a Test on Trade

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.

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