More than three years ago, Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to bring U.S. manufacturing back from China. Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Trump’s economic expansion — which became the longest on record — didn’t even manage to restore all the manufacturing jobs lost in the Time of Shedding and Cold Rocks, much less reverse the declines of the previous decade…
[Moving the Chains], a policy plan released by the new think tank American Compass, has collected a number of big ideas aimed at making the U.S. a manufacturing powerhouse once again.
Abandoning the gospel of free trade and embracing industrial policy is a huge leap for the political right; it’s a stance more typical of left-leaning thinkers aligned with organized labor. [Moving the Chains]’s authors give a number of justifications for this tectonic shift. First, they cite the traditional concerns of U.S. national security and soft power. They also mention resilience to global supply-chain shocks — a weakness of the traditional free-trade system that was glaringly exposed by the coronavirus shutdowns. Finally, they assert that bringing supply chains back within the U.S. is useful for productivity and innovation.
On this episode, Oren Cass is joined by John A. Burtka IV to discuss how to cultivate and educate a better elite, what the “mirrors for princes” tradition has to teach today’s leaders, and aristo-populism.
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The pro-worker policy wonk who wants to save the Republican Party from itself.