A new approach to tech policy is taking root in the GOP, and it’s not what you might expect from the party of Alan Greenspan and Friedrich Hayek. Led by a Read more…
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.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses Liz Truss’s disastrous time as prime minister and the irrational response from supply-siders.
Oren Cass’s pro-worker, pro-family think tank has exercised surprising influence on the broader conservative movement.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass makes the case for a GOP focus on substantive policy ideas, prioritizing efforts that benefit working families.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a discussion of the changing conservative approach to big business, Adrian Wooldridge highlights American Compass’s work on globalization and labor.
American Compass summer analysts will work in our Washington, D.C. office in research, policy, and communications. Applications are due by February 28.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins the Money Talks podcast to discuss the growing embrace of industrial policy.
Pete Coy discusses the debate over free trade, highlighting Oren Cass’s rebuttal of Glenn Hubbard’s recent book.
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.
Henry Olsen discusses Sen. Rubio’s remarks at American Compass’s inaugural Henry Clay Lecture in Political Economy.
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.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass reviews Glenn Hubbard’s new book, The Wall and the Bridge, and discusses the limits of market fundamentalism.
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.
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 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.
Oren Cass debates Scott Santens on proposals for a universal basic income.
The Common Good Economics grant program will support projects rethinking the role that economic policy can play in advancing the common good.
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.
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.
On this episode of Critics Corner, Oren is joined by Jon Hartley, a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity and a former senior policy advisor to the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins American Moment’s podcast to discuss economics, working class families, and conservatism.
Eliana Johnson explores the right-of-center’s defining fight for the years to come and highlights American Compass as the organization leading the charge to reinvigorate a true conservative economics.
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.”
On this episode of Critics Corner, Oren is joined by Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. Spoiler: Oren is not convinced to sign the tax pledge.
Rachel Lu highlights American Compass’s Oren Cass and our Guide to Economic Inequality in a discussion of the role of Catholic social teaching in pro-labor conservatism.
American Compass research director Wells King reviews two books on the de-growth movement.
On this episode of Critics Corner, Oren is joined by one of our most active critics and open-letter writers, Donald Boudreaux of George Mason University.
While it is true that Sweden adopted some neoliberal reforms after an economic crisis in the early 1990s, Sweden is not, and never has been, a free-market welfare state.
Some right-of-center analysts have absolute conviction that basic statistics describing some of America’s challenges are obviously wrong
American Compass research director Wells King discusses the state of economic inequality in the United States and how conservatives should respond.
Knowing that many Americans see flourishing as the right goal, both the freedom and fairness camps claim their policies generate flourishing. But mostly they don’t.
On the first episode of Critics Corner, Oren is joined by Stephanie Slade, managing editor of Reason magazine. They discuss the importance of liberty to the common good, whether government should fund research or infrastructure, the meaning of free trade in the context of China, and quite a bit more.
Daniel Avis highlights American Compass’s We’re Just Speculating Here collection and proposals to reign in the growth of “non-investment” in the U.S. economy.
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.
The New Right, which stands for nothing if not resuscitating a long-moribund communitarian- and nationalism-inspired strand of conservative thought, is not per se “illiberal.”
As hard as it is to believe, there was a time – before the New Deal – when economists were largely treated like any other interest group, occasionally saying something interesting, but usually ignored by policymakers.
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.
Any political movement or political party worth its salt, when confronted with data evincing the sordid state of the American family, ought to respond by substantively prioritizing the American family’s institutional rejuvenation.
Executive Director Oren Cass joins The Dispatch Podcast to discuss the mission of American Compass, the future of conservatism, and family policy.
Executive Director Oren Cass joins The Federalist Radio Hour to discuss how conservatives can reconcile their principles with the priorities of the working class.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass is included on the 2021 list of 250 most influential public policy experts and advocates.
American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins Consumers’ Research to discuss how underestimating inflation is depriving consumers of the American Dream.
Peter Coy highlights American Compass executive director Oren Cass’s piece in Foreign Affairs on the path forward for post-Trump conservatism.
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.
Christopher Caldwell highlights American Compass’s Oren Cass in a discussion of working-class conservatism and the future of the GOP.
American Compass research director Wells King joins Sam Jacobs to discuss labor unions, the free market, and the proper role of government.
Count Germany as the latest country to abandon the market fundamentalism that has characterized economic policymaking in the West for the past 40 years.
The great moral philosopher Adam Smith is often considered the founding father of the discipline of economics. Like many of today’s economists, his goals include both understanding how and why markets function as they do and making vivid the many potential advantages of markets over alternative ways of organizing economic life.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents an existential conundrum to the structure and principle of employer-based health care and its various supporters and dependents. The loss of a job often cuts off access to health care, adding greater weight to the challenges of dealing with this public health crisis.
The American Revolution was in many ways inspired by the scientific one. But this says at least as much about science as it does about America—and as vaccine-related controversies renew calls to “listen to scientists,” it’s worth considering how the philosophy of science parallels the philosophy of the Founders, and what those parallels suggest about the nature of scientific authority.
“Checks” risks becoming the rallying cry for a hollow form of populism, one that seeks to merely extract value for the masses rather than build something new and permanent.
A strange development of recent years has been the revival on parts of the left and the right of the long-dormant ideology of antimonopolism, once associated with agrarian populists like William Jennings Bryan and progressives like Louis Brandeis.
“Populism” is a term that since the modern era has been generally trotted out to mean a political attitude that reflects widespread anger and resentment against powerful elites, while among stenographers for the power class, populism has been reflexively trotted out to warn against the passions and wants of the mob.
Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Anthony Gonzalez join American Compass executive director Oren Cass for a conversation about how to build a conservative agenda that appeals to a multi-ethnic, working-class base.
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.
Postliberalism and pornography are independently controversial subjects—so perhaps I should have thought twice before conjoining them in a semi-snarky, slightly ambiguous tweet, which sparked a number of strong reactions:
A few years ago, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF, the tech policy think tank I lead) surveyed several hundred DC policy folks to find out, among other things, what they thought ITIF’s political orientation was. About 40 percent said we were moderate, a third said we were conservative, and a quarter said we were liberal. Assuming the latter two groups weren’t clueless, it reinforced to me that on economic policy, the old conservative-liberal lines are anachronistic.
In a feature on our What Happened: The Trump Presidency in Review collection, Eric Levitz notes that “American Compass represents the most intellectually honest tendency within the anti-Establishment right.”
American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses his vision for a worker-centric conservatism, including a focus on unions and non-college pathways, in an interview with Batya Ungar-Sargon.
Nick Burns highlights American Compass’s Oren Cass as a “leading muse” of post-Trump conservatism.
While the unemployment rate had fallen to 6.9 percent in October, the employment-population ratio was 3.7 percentage points lower than in February. 6.7 million workers were no longer looking for work and 3.6 million workers were unemployed for 27 weeks or more.
The 1990s called. They want Judy Shelton’s bankrupt ideology back.
Jon Ward brings American Compass’s Oren Cass on the podcast to discuss efforts to push the GOP in a truly conservative, post-Trump direction.
David Brooks discusses how Biden could successfully work with Republicans in Congress, highlighting the emerging issues that American Compass has focused on as potential opportunities for bipartisan effort.
Following the 2020, election, American Compass’s Oren Cass and AEI’s Matt Continetti discussed where the conservative movement goes next.
Maureen Groppe discusses where the Republican Party will go after the 2020 election if Trump loses, noting American Compass’s key role in defining “post-Trumpism.”
American Compass’s Oren Cass speaks with Yoram Hazony about economic nationalism and what a conservative economic policy should look like.
The authors of “Dignity” and “Hillbilly Elegy” reflect on Ruy Teixeira and Henry Olsen’s essays, describe the dynamics that lead to a politics disconnected from the economic and cultural mainstream, and identify possible glimmers of hope.
There are two theories of how major policy changes happen in the United States of America. One theory is popular, widely believed and mistaken. The other is correct.
American Compass’s Oren Cass critiques public choice theory as applied in defense of a libertarian agenda.
Taking the side of ancient particularity in its long-standing quarrel with modern universalism, I warned in a July Commons post against the temptation to orient American policy towards China around the moralizing language of human rights that has dominated international discourse since the Second World War.
The New Right, in contradistinction to the liberalized Hayekian governing mentality that American Compass’s Oren Cass has called “Let the Market Rip,” is unafraid to wield the levers of political power in the service of good political order.
Trump Threw Stimulus Checks Back Into Play and Called for a Large Economic Aid Package — But Republicans Still Aren’t Backing More Spending
American Compass’s Oren Cass comments on the conceptual tensions underlying Congress’s standoff on COVID-19 economic relief packages.
American Compass’s Oren Cass criticizes corporate decision making’s disconnect from corporate obligation in Christopher Ingraham’s review of a recent economic report.
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.
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.
An exposé on the future of the Republican Party features American Compass’s efforts to lead a return to traditional, family-first values.
Since at least the inauguration, a central question of this presidency has been whether Trump could cease campaigning and learn to govern.
Reason magazine’s Stephanie Slade cites American Compass’s work on Corporate Actual Responsibility as evidence that conservatives are pushing libertarianism out of the Republican Party.
In March, I could see that our social response to the coronavirus would be more consequential than the virus itself. Natural disasters can do great damage, but they do not usually change societies. By contrast, mass mobilizations for wars in the modern era have been deeply consequential.
Two Federal Reserve economists have just come out with a paper on the social consequences of widespread monopolization of markets by large corporations.
David Brooks features American Compass and executive director Oren Cass leading efforts to “push the G.O.P. in a post-Trump direction.”
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.
Over the last several decades a major shift has occurred in how many U.S. elites – pundits, advocates, policy makers, and others – think and talk about corporations. For much of the 20th century most elites viewed corporations as an institutional tool by which America could best achieve its most important economic goals: innovation and increasing living standards. To be sure, there would always the occasional Enron or Tyco scofflaw, but these were seen as the exception, to be prosecuted and shunned.
At the beginning of a lane of public housing units pink balloons mark the mailbox and a disposable tablecloth flutters in the wind, held down on a plastic table by a box of sprinkled cupcakes with high-topped icing and another box of assorted party favors.
American Compass’s Oren Cass shares his thoughts on the Lincoln Project and his hopes for the future of the GOP.
With surging COVID-19 cases in many parts of the country and a widely available vaccine months away—and with consumer and investor confidence and spending likely to be weak even with a vaccine—the odds are quite high that economic recovery will be long, drawn-out, and weak. As such, Congress is rightly debating a fifth economic recovery package.
Ezra Klein interviews American Compass’s Oren Cass about challenging the right-wing economic orthodoxy and its quasi-religious veneration of markets, and focusing instead on clear social goals that put families first, eschew economic growth as the be-all-end-all of policymaking, and recognize the inescapability of government intervention in the economy.
In his latest contribution to our ongoing debate over social insurance and conservatism, Oren Cass clarifies some of our points of disagreement. One of them concerns the meaning and nature of “social insurance” itself. Another is whether certain proposals are sufficiently “conservative.”
In a recent essay for The American Conservative, Oren Cass criticizes a viewpoint, which he attributes to the Niskanen Center, among others on the center-right, that places a central emphasis on free markets and economic growth even when doing so “necessitate[s] a much larger safety net, widespread government dependence, and the loss of a baseline expectation that people everywhere can become productive contributors to their communities and form stable families capable of self-reliance.”
A long-standing intellectual tradition offers not only a comprehensive critique of market fundamentalism and consumerism, but also a constructive path forward.
“We are conservatives, and conservatives believe in supporting families directly.”
Responding to the Coin-Flip Capitalism project, University of Chicago Professors M. Todd Henderson and Steven Kaplan say to leave investors out of it: the fees to fund managers prove the social value.
American Compass’s Oren Cass describes the parameters of the fight on the right and makes the case for a Post-Trump conservatism.
The Conversation finds “a new spirit of what might be called ‘economic morality'” in the founding and mission of American Compass.
Amitai Etzioni includes American Compass among the leading voices in the emerging “communitarian” faction on the Right, alongside Senators Rubio, Cotton, Romney, and Hawley.
Jim Antle quotes American Compass’s Oren Cass on the significant of innovative economic policymaking by several GOP senators.
American Compass’s first special project, “Coin-Flip Capitalism,” was featured by Bloomberg Politics, challenging established economic views on the right.
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.”
American Compass launched in early May to widespread media coverage and generous praise from politicians, scholars, and commentators.
Daniel Moynihan once stated that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” This is no more true than with today’s debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing; a debate that is critical to get right if policy makers are to respond appropriately.
Oren Cass invited me to contribute to this site not as a conservative but as a lefty and Democrat who is fascinated by the project of intellectual revival in which this network of thinkers is engaged.
City Journal contributing editor Chris Rufo spotlights American Compass’s leading role in challenging the orthodoxy of “growth for growth’s sake.”
American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses the next round of GOP proposals to address the coronavirus pandemic.
American Compass’s Wells King outlines his arguments from his essay on “Rediscovering a Genuine American System” in this adaption.
The Senate is finally back in Washington and negotiations over the next coronavirus recovery package are underway. The White House’s initial salvo was reported Monday and includes a capital gains tax cut, a measure to increase entertainment tax deductions, and a payroll tax cut.
For my inaugural post here on The Commons, I want to offer a few thoughts on how one of the pillars of the American Compass mission, community, has too often been a blind spot in the prevailing view of the economy.
;Columnist Henry Olsen describes American Compass as a “tool with which future conservative leaders can guide the American ship of state.”
AEI’s Yuval Levin reflects on the role of American Compass in strengthening the debate on the role of the state on the right.
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.
The NYT features American Compass as a new organization with plans to foster debates on economic issues dividing the right, accentuated by the present national crisis.
American Compass’s Oren Cass and Wells King join the Bill Walton Show to discuss Rebooting the American System.
American Compass proposes that conservatives revisit the question of whether a nation can afford an economic order without a “compass,” a guide that can provide a sense of direction national policy and shared intention. The question is essential, and the answers on offer on this site portend a new course for the American political order.
Rich Lowry interviews Oren Cass about the launch of American Compass.
TAC’s Jordan Bloom interviews Oren Cass about the launch of American Compass and the future of American conservatism.
The comprehensive, conservative case for a return to robust national economic policy
The fact that government planners are not omniscient is obvious, but it does not automatically follow that planning is always ineffective. Perfect information is simply not a precondition of successful planning in either the private or the public sectors.
The American system of innovation, combining strategic investment and private enterprise, made our nation’s industry the envy of the world. It can pave the way for widespread prosperity and security again today.
Economic stability, national security, widely shared prosperity, strong families, a pluralistic society—in short, the American way of life—are achievements plainly worth conserving. So is the only approach to economic policy that has ever proved capable of producing them.
America’s ability to meet the challenges of tomorrow rests on our conviction to turn a new economic page today.
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.
THE ECONOMIST—With delightful British spelling, The Economist reports on American Compass: “an impressive organisation” of the “dissident faction … led by some of the most interesting conservative thinkers” that rejects “market fundamentalism.”
American Compass’s Oren Cass argues that “one lesson we can and should learn from all this is that you can’t just flip a switch on strong, effective government when you need it.”
Rubio’s essays and speeches on his idea of common-good capitalism draw heavily from his Catholicism and from the work of policy experts such as American Compass’s Oren Cass.
American Compass’s Oren Cass joins the Ronald Reagan Institute’s Reaganism podcast to discuss his organization’s mission to save American conservatism from what he calls its “chronic case of market fundamentalism.”
American Compass’s Oren Cass talks about extraordinary measures the government needs to take in the economic crisis to generate growth and prosperity for the future.
American Compass’s Oren Cass joins Congressman Dan Crenshaw to discuss stimulus measures which would bring desperately needed economic relief to Americans in the age of COVID-19.
American Compass’s Oren Cass responds to the Wall Street Journal’s negative coverage of his analysis on America’s economic challenges.
One of the nation’s leading opinion platforms cuts a two-minute attack ad against American Compass for prompting debate.
Columnist Bill McGurn criticizes American Compass for using the term “market fundamentalism” to “squash debate.”
Columnist Bill McGurn accuses American Compass of “name calling” and laments that analysis of the challenges facing American families “can lead to rhetoric that at times can sound an awful lot like Bernie Sanders.”
What does it cost for a family to thrive? Oren Cass joins The Chris Buskirk Show to talk about his work to define this.
American Compass’s Wells King discussed his views on public policy and the goals of American Compass with National Review’s Daniel Tenreiro.
The challenge for Cass is to help restore conservative ideas to their proper primacy — the conservatism of Main Street, that is, not the libertarian pseudo-conservatism that so often trickles down from plutocratic donors.
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.
Oren Cass joins The Realignment to announce American Compass, his new organization that’s arguing for a new conservative approach to economics.
Conservative Intellectuals Launch a New Group To Challenge Free-Market ‘Fundamentalism’ on the Right
Oren Cass believes conservatives have blundered by outsourcing GOP economic policymaking to libertarian “fundamentalists” who see the free market as an end unto itself, rather than as a means for improving quality of life to strengthen families and communities.
If comparative advantage is created rather than discovered, refusing to play the game has consequences.