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Unemployment and the Labors of Love

As I was reading sociologist Sarah Damaske’s new book, The Tolls of Uncertainty: How Privilege and the Guilt Gap Shape Unemployment in America, I was struck by a realization: though I’ve spent a good deal of the past 11 years interviewing working-class young adults in Ohio, I have met relatively few who have received unemployment insurance (UI).

When Work Doesn’t Seem to Pay

If you talk to anyone in poverty, you’ll probably hear a story like mine. We aren’t afraid to work hard, we just want to know there’s a reward at the end of the journey.

Why Do Libertarians Support User Fees but Not a Family Wage?

Wages are to workers’ output what user fees are to highways and toll bridges.

The ‘Uber Economy’ Needs Guardrails

If you are a freelancer like a lawyer or a doctor with a private practice, your experience is very different from a freelancer or contractor accessing work through online labor platforms like Upwork, Clickworker, Uber, or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

Frictionless Exchange: Author Discussion

Wingham Rowan (Modern Markets for All) and Neil Chilson (Charles Koch Institute) discuss the advent of frictionless exchange with Wells King (American Compass).

Grand Old Party and the Working Class with Leader McCarthy

A conversation with Leader McCarthy about what it will take to build a GOP that is better attuned to the concerns of working class Americans and where he sees the party going in the coming years.

What American Workers Really Want Instead of a Union at Amazon

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.

Amazon Union Election Wakes Up Washington, Even Some Republicans

American Compass executive director Oren Cass is featured in a Power Up discussion of the Amazon union drive and conservative support for labor organizing.

How Essential Are the ‘Email Job’ Caste?

Those HR and other middle management types make “busy work” for themselves, though it is darkly ironic that the “busyness” in which they are engaged often results in making my work more difficult and time-consuming.

Fulfillment: A Conversation on Amazon and Regional Inequality with Alec MacGillis

A conversation with Alec MacGillis about his book, Fulfillment, the Amazon behemoth, and the growth of regional inequality in the U.S.

The Amazon Union Drive and the Changing Politics of Labor

In a discussion of the changing politics of organized labor, Benjamin Wallace-Wells cites American Compass’s work on the issue and its promise on the right-of-center.

What’s Wrong With The Unemployment Rate?

Executive director Oren Cass joins CNBC to discuss the unemployment rate.

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How to Raise the Minimum Wage, If You Must

Let’s peg the federal minimum wage to state median wages.

Why Raising the Minimum Wage Will Grow the Economy, Not Kill Jobs

Raising the minimum wage would not increase unemployment; it would increase living standards for low-income workers—and, critically, it would boost overall U.S. productivity growth.

It’s neither the Investor Class nor the Middle Class: It’s the Producer Class, Stupid!

If one believes that ideas matter, then the person who has surely done the most harm to humanity is Karl Marx, as his writings led to Communism, with its repression and tens of millions of deaths (as well the rise of Nazi Germany).

History As It Happens: The GameStop Revolution

American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins the History As It Happens podcast to discuss GameStop, Wall Street, and populism.

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Joe Biden Should Be Doing More That Really Helps Workers

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.

When Does a Labor Economist Ask for a Raise?

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.

Republican Party Platforms On Collective Bargaining, 1920-2020

In 2020 Donald Trump won 40 percent of voters who live in a household with at least one member in a labor union, slightly fewer than the 42 percent of union households who voted for him in 2016.  With the exception of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden won fewer union households than any recent Democratic presidential candidate. 

Worker Power or Loose Borders: You Can Only Pick One

American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses the tension between worker power and loose immigration policy.

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