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In Praise of Big Internet: the Economic Importance of Internet Companies

It has become bipartisan sport to attack “Big Tech”, but most of the ire is directed at “Big Internet”: consumer-facing Internet companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Uber.

Private Funds Could Be Your Friends

The basic motivation behind American Compass’s Coin-Flip Capitalism project seems to be scrutinizing the private fund industry—an industry that is indeed poorly understood by most—under the suspicion that, amidst its mysteries and its trillions, it may be detracting from our national welfare. Fair enough.

Libertarianism for Me, Authoritarianism for Thee

If you spend significant time in poor communities, especially poor black communities, you wonder why they don’t explode in protest more often. The inequality that is a concerning statistic to academics and politicians is their daily commute from cleaning the office of a Wall Street bank to a home surrounded by boarded-up buildings. The oppressive state that Libertarians warn about, is the cops who hassle or arrest them about whatever they do. The declining life expectancy that has generated worried op-eds, is their friends, family, and neighbors dying from a batch of heroin gone bad.

Economies of Scale Versus Big Business

Last week, some very large employers – including Salesforce, Tesla, and Walmart – called for a corporate merger moratorium for hospitals and doctors groups. It’s unusual to have the paragons of big business assert the need for aggressive antitrust, but it speaks to how confused our current economic debates really are.

Marco Rubio Takes on Deindustrialization and Race

The decline in American manufacturing hurt workers of every racial background.

What About the Rotten Culture of the Rich?

We used to joke on Wall Street that you should marry a trader at another firm, trade with only each other, and by end of the year one would have Read more…

Time for a Hegelian Synthesis on Trade and Globalization

German philosopher Hegel postulated that history progresses through thesis, antithesis and then synthesis. Today we are seeing the first two dynamics with trade policy and attitudes towards globalization; we desperately need the third.

Free Trade and the Paradox of Consumption

In a recent post, Rachel Bovard rightly defended the notion that in certain instances national security considerations should supersede free trade considerations. She specifically cited the ban on Huawei in the context of a discussion of a recent Real Clear Markets column by economist John Tamny, who makes a traditional free market case against the ban on Huawei in the US market

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.

Hamiltonian Means, Jeffersonian Ends

My American Compass co-blogger, Michael Lind, likes to portray America’s development as a tug of war between the ideals of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson — nation builders and industrialists on the one hand, and laissez-faire localists on the other. 

Yes, We Should Care About Huawei

In a recent Real Clear Markets column, economist John Tamny made the case that Oren Cass’s policy advice is backwards and will result in political doom for, in Tamny’s words, “the hyper emotional Marco Rubio.”

We Will NOT Run Out of Jobs

This seems like a strange headline given that the economy has recently shed almost 40 million jobs. But at some point with the development of a vaccine or an effective treatment, the economy will come back to normal.

Good Policy is Good Politics

Try as we might, those of us who dare to challenge economic orthodoxy within the GOP are unlikely to prevail on policy and moral grounds alone. But the politics of today offer us another course that is just as powerful: offering a prescription to protect from impending electoral doom of the party if the course isn’t corrected. Rejecting economic orthodoxy within the GOP and embracing the largest jobs program in American history may be the only antidote to saving the Senate majority and the Trump presidency.

Trickle-down Distrust

In his recent post Matt Stoller observes that a common theme at The Commons thus far is “the reemergence of the state as the key locus of legitimacy for the exercise of power” and urges conservatives to think about corruption and statecraft. What’s needed, he says, “is a vision of how to structure such a state without succumbing to corruption.”

Musings on Neoliberalism

Some time after I first met Oren, we had a good back and forth about neoliberalism, a term that has already appeared several times on this website and is at the forefront of American Compass’s mind. While Oren thought the word useful to describe the reigning economic orthodoxy we both found dissatisfying, I was more reticent to use it.

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.

Japan Offers a Compelling ‘Back to the Future’ Model

Japan has announced newly defined restrictions on foreign investment, which at face value, seem to violate the provisions of the World Trade Organization agreement.

“One Nation” America

This paragraph was penned by G.K. Chesterton in 1925 about William Cobbett, 1763-1835.

Why America Needs a Great Civil Service

Henry Adams described the hopelessness in Washington in 1860 and early 1861 as the country careened towards break-up and war this way: “No one could help. Looking back on this moment of crisis, nearly 50 years afterwards, one could only shake one’s white beard in silent horror.”

Addressing 21st Century Problems, Not 20th Century Problems

Before we were engulfed by coronavirus panic, Bill McGurn penned a column warning against the perils of American Compass and social engineering (“And Now a Word for Laissez-Faire,” Wall Street Journal, March 7).

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