Corporate Actual Responsibility: A Conversation with Senator Josh Hawley

Senator Josh Hawley talks with American Compass executive director Oren Cass about the empty platitudes and hypocrisy of “woke capital” and why conservatives must work to prioritize the needs of workers and families in their economic policy agenda.

 

Excerpted Comments by Senator Hawley (edited for clarity)

On regulating markets:

Let’s remember that markets are not self-creating things, markets are the products of laws and legal frameworks. … We need to think in the present age when increasingly our economy is dominated by a handful of monopolistic or near monopolistic multinational corporations, we need to think about how do we continue to enact sensible reforms that will actually be good for American workers, good for American neighborhoods, American families, American producers, and of course, American consumers?

On corporations in the community:

If you go back to Missouri, my home state, and you talk to folks who have local businesses there, then they feel that being part of their community, their town, their neighborhood is really, really important. And a lot of times they have a face to face relationship with their customers and they know who their customers are. … And so when they think about making good products and providing good service, it’s not just in the abstract, it’s to the people that they know and it’s to benefit the community in which they live and that they serve, and there’s something I think that’s really wonderful about that. Now, if you’re talking to them about these huge multinational corporations, like say Facebook, then, there I think the attitude is different. They’re thinking about a global profits. They tend to think of their customers in the abstract and they don’t see themselves as American companies.

On local content requirements:

We’ve got to keep in mind that when it comes to economic policy, our main goal is to do something that’s good for American workers and the American nation and the American community, if you like, and we shouldn’t be bashful about that. That ought to be the goal of our American economic policy. I’m happy if American companies also benefit other people in the world, I certainly think that they shouldn’t be for instance, using slave labor in other places in the world, and we can maybe talk more about that, but I think that we shouldn’t be shy about saying, “Listen, we want our economy to work well for Americans, both as producers and as consumers.” And one of the ways I think we can do that is when we talk about our supply chains, particularly in critical areas, pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical products, this is of course much on everyone’s mind because of the COVID crisis, we’ve got to take serious steps on the policy level to bring some of those supply chains back to the United States. And there’s a number of ways, number of different tools we can use to do that. One of them is just to actually enact requirements about manufacturing input so that a certain percentage has to be done in the United States. I think that that is really a tool worth considering among others.

On prioritizing American workers:

Is it so unthinkable that these multinational corporations maybe employ a few more American workers? I mean, I hear all the time, these corporate CEOs complain about how American workers don’t really have the skills they need anymore. They’re not really talented. And so we just can’t use them, but yet they’re willing to pay nothing to people overseas. I mean, I doubt that they’re actually shopping for talent when they’re in Uighur concentration camps. What they’re doing there is taking advantage of these people, the worst sort of advantage of people who are literally imprisoned. So listen, I mean, I’ve heard that a lot of economists have argued that for instance, in the last 20 years with the onset of this hyperglobalization we’ve been talking about that, well, the United States benefits on net. The net benefits outweigh the net cost. The question though is, who benefits precisely? Who in the United States benefits?

On Theodore Roosevelt:

I think there are very significant analogs between the early progressive period and this one, and I think there are a couple of things from Roosevelt that we can learn in a positive sense. And one of them is, is that Roosevelt really understood that concentrations of power are dangerous to democracy and they’re most dangerous to normal, everyday working men and women. Because usually when you have concentrations of power, the people who end up holding the power are the wealthy and the well-connected and highly educated. I mean, that’s typically how it works, in our country at least. The people who get left out when you have concentrations of power are everyday working people. And so he was concerned in his age about the trusts, about the huge combinations of corporate power and in a sense the trusts, to use that historical term, are back again.

And we see them at Big Tech is, is a great example of huge, powerful conglomerations. … And who do they really benefit? It’s a very small group of people. It’s a very, and ever actually decreasing set of people who benefit from the power the tech companies have and who are able to exert that control. So I think, rule number one or lesson number one, is that concentrated power tends to the benefit of the few, of the select, and it tends to work against the everyday working man and woman.

And then I think connected to that, Roosevelt had a great expression, which I will paraphrase here. He said that, “I am for business, but I am for democracy first and I’m for business as an adjunct to democracy.” And I think that’s the right attitude, which is that we believe in the free market, but we believe in the free market in large part because we think it actually aids freedom. We’re for freedom, and freedom means the ability of normal, everyday, working people to control their own lives and to have a share in their own government and to actually participate and have a say [in] what’s going on. So, for that reason we want an economy that helps reward that and where those folks have a chance to get ahead, and where they have a chance to provide for their families, and where they have a chance to be heard. So we should think about economic policy that actually reinforces the voice of the working man and woman. And I think we shouldn’t be shy about that.

 

Full Transcript

Oren Cass, American Compass executive director: All right, I think we’re broadcasting. We have to give it just a moment for Zoom to escort everybody into the virtual room, but I will kick right off and thank everyone so much for joining us. We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest, we had to upgrade our Zoom subscription, which was very exciting. And we’re looking forward to doing a lot more of these, but for our first one, we’re incredibly honored to have Senator Josh Hawley here with us. Obviously Senator Hawley needs no introduction. He has been making an incredible mark in what has been a fairly short time in Washington, hard to believe, on holding corporations accountable for their rhetoric and for the obligations that they really do have to workers, to their families and communities, and to the nation. So as we kick off our own corporate responsibility project, what we’re calling Corporate Actual Responsibility at American Compass, we were really excited to talk with Senator Hawley about his work.

So Senator thanks so much for joining us.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO): Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Oren Cass: Yeah. I wanted to start with a broad question just about how the right of center has typically thought about these issues. I think the standard dogma is that the role of the corporation is to maximize profit, that with that will come consumer welfare and government’s job is pretty much to get out of the way. And I was curious to get your thoughts on which parts of that you think are still basically right versus which parts we probably need to look at a little bit harder.

Josh Hawley: Well, I mean, listen, I’m all for companies making profits, that’s perfectly fine, but we’ve never said in any circumstance that making profits, no matter how, no matter what, is acceptable. And in fact, we often and we do, we structure markets. Let’s remember that that markets are not self creating things, markets are the products of laws and legal frameworks, that you’ve got to have property rights for market to exist. You’ve got to have an approved and standardized system of exchange between those property rights, for those property rights in order for markets to exist and we have long thought in this country, and I think it has been much our boast to think that the way we structure those markets matter.

So for instance, we don’t allow child labor in this country and that’s exactly right. We look out for worker safety in this country and those I think are commitments that we were right to make historically, and I think we need to think in the present age when increasingly our economy is dominated by a handful of monopolistic or near monopolistic multinational corporations, we need to think about how do we continue to enact sensible reforms that will actually be good for American workers, good for American neighborhoods, American families, American producers, and of course, American consumers?

So there’s a lot to do here in our present set of circumstances, but I think we’ve got to get to a place where absolutely we want people to go out and start a business if they want to do that. We want people to try and make that business successful, but we’ve got to structure the market in such a way that in suffice of doing, that we actually are investing in and working for the good of all of us in the country. And I think that that is something that’s very achievable and as much in our tradition, I might say.

Oren Cass: Yeah, the tradition is a really important point. I think there’s at least a sense that historically business leaders did feel more of an obligation to think about their workers, communities, and the nation for that matter. You’ve certainly spent a lot of time talking, partly interrogating, but also talking with business leaders, where do you see them coming down? Do they not acknowledge that they have these obligations? Do they feel like they can’t fulfill them? Or do they think that they’re doing a good job?

Josh Hawley: Well, I think it really depends on the leader of question. If you go back to Missouri, my home state, and you talk to folks who have local businesses there, then they feel that being part of their community, their town, their neighborhood is really, really important. And a lot of times they have a face to face relationship with their customers and they know who their customers are, whether it’s a local grocery store, whether it’s a local hardware store, whether it’s a little bit bigger regional business, but it serves the state and the region. They feel like they belong in that community and there’s a real rootedness to that. And so when they think about making good products and providing good service, it’s not just in the abstract, it’s to the people that they know and it’s to benefit the community in which they live and that they serve, and there’s something I think that’s really wonderful about that.

Now, if you’re talking to them about these huge multinational corporations, like say Facebook, then, there I think the attitude is different. They’re thinking about a global profits. They tend to think of their customers in the abstract and they don’t see themselves as American companies. I think that’s very, very clear. You just had the tech, I was about to say overlords, is that not nice? The tech titans who were just up before Congress on the House side a couple of days ago, earlier this week, and you listen to them talk about their business and how they see themselves, they’re located in the United States, but they consider themselves global corporations. It’s serving a global audience. And the problem with that is that, listen, it’s fine if you want to compete globally, but it tends towards these abstractions where pretty soon they they’re taking steps that are actually bad for American workers and American consumers. And they do it in the name of their global aspirations and commitments. So I think that’s where in the present environment and our present mode of multinational, global capitalism, we’ve got some tough questions to think through.

Oren Cass: Yeah. It’s a shift also, that is something we’re trying to point to a lot in our project. That one way the world is different is that all of our assumptions about how well markets were going to work were really based back in Adam Smith’s time on an assumption that the business leaders were folks like the people you described in Missouri. Adam Smith had no conception of the multinational corporation. And so obviously that genie is out of the bottle, we’re not going to run mom and pop Facebook’s in every town, but do you see a path toward actually kind of persuading business leaders to think differently? Or do you see particular kind of concrete changes you’d like to be making at the policy level that would force their attention back where it needs to be?

Josh Hawley: Well, I think we’ve got to keep in mind that when it comes to sort of economic policy overall, so just focusing in on policy here, that part of our goal, our main goal, excuse me, is to do something that’s good for American workers and the American nation and the American community, if you like, and we shouldn’t be bashful about that. That ought to be the goal of our American economic policy. I’m happy if American companies also benefit other people in the world, I certainly think that they shouldn’t be for instance, using slave labor in other places in the world, and we can maybe talk more about that, but I think that we shouldn’t be shy about saying, “Listen, we want our economy to work well for Americans, both as producers and as consumers.”

And one of the ways I think we can do that is when we talk about our supply chains, particularly in critical areas, pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical products, this is of course much on everyone’s mind because of the COVID crisis, we’ve got to take serious steps on the policy level to bring some of those supply chains back to the United States. And there’s a number of ways, number of different tools we can use to do that. One of them is just to actually enact requirements about manufacturing input so that a certain percentage has to be done in the United States. I think that that is really a tool worth considering among others. My point, I guess, Oren is this, that there are various tools, policy tools, that we have at our disposal to think about structuring the market environment in a way that benefits American workers and that benefits American consumers. I think that we shouldn’t be shy about doing that and pursuing that as a goal.

Oren Cass: Yeah, the point about just requiring domestic manufacturing is a really interesting one and one that we’ve done some work on, because on the one hand, that sounds like kind of the most oppressive, invasive move you could make, but on the other hand, I think it’s actually quite simple and limited. You’re making a very straightforward rule. You have to make it here. And then within that, you’re saying by all means, let the market flourish. Let’s see all that innovative power and profit motive now actually focused on what we want, which is the American jobs and the outcome in the American economy. You alluded to China, which sort of hovers over all our conversations at this point it seems. And I want to talk about the supply chains and the slave labor side of it, but I want to start a little bit broader, which is, it seems like we’ve kind of run into this problem where all of our assumptions, particularly on the right of center, are built kind of on the basis that we’re going to have this free market, everyone’s going to kind of be a liberal democracy and then it will work.

It seems like we’ve run into a real challenge that’s frankly, confusing people when the folks we’re trying to have free trade with our communists, are an authoritarian communist country. We’re seeing these tensions between free trade and free markets on the one hand and free speech and even free labor on the other. And so, I’m curious how you’ve seen that play out in practice either in the technology context or the outright slavery context. What happens to free market fundamentalists when they realize that can lead to some pretty ugly things in China?

Josh Hawley: Well, let’s take it from this angle, from a historical angle. I think it’s important to realize that the global market and even the nature of what capitalism looks like in this country and globally, it changes over time. I mean, it’s a historical phenomenon. It’s not static. You alluded to this in your comments about Adam Smith. I mean, what Adam Smith understood the market to be and how he would have defined the free enterprise system, is he was working from a different set of historical data than we lived with today. That’s not to say his insights are irrelevant. I mean, far from it, but we should just acknowledge that markets and the system of capitalism changes over time and there can be better or worse iterations of it. I have to say that the form of hyper globalist capitalism, if you want to call it that that we have seen in since really the 1990s, I mean really accelerating beginning in the early 1990s, I think has resulted in a lot of problems for this country, because as it turns out, one of the cornerstones of that, maybe the cornerstone, of the 1990 system was this idea that it doesn’t matter who you trade with, doesn’t matter who you do business with. We’ll try to make all the world one market. The nation state is really sort of outmoded and regulation laws passed at the nation state level are impediments to progress, rather than guarantors of security or guarantors of values. And so we should try to minimize the role of the nation state plays. And what’s happened is, is that as allowed countries like China in particular, not only to gain access to the international trade system, but really to weaponize it. And it has resulted in a loss of over 2 million jobs to China since they got permanent normal trade relations and joined the WTO about 20 years ago. It has resulted in all sorts of tax arbitrage that our companies, our multinationals engaged in. I mean, so few of these big corporations pay any taxes in this country.

How is it possible? Well, it’s because they’re taking advantage now of this hyper globalist system that really came into its own beginning of the 1990s. I have concerns about this present structure. And the other point I want to make is those were the results of policy choices. That didn’t just happen accidentally. They didn’t just evolve on their own. They were deliberate policy choices about how we were going to structure trade, how we were going to structure international institutions, how we were going to structure global capital flows.

They represented in the 1990s, a deliberate choice by this country and others to actually depart from what had been our standard practice and our basic posture for the previous 50 years. I think now, given what China has done with the global market, given the results that we’re seeing for American workers, we need to ask ourselves, did some of those decisions that American policymakers and others made in the nineties, were those really the right decisions? And is this form of hyper globalized, multinational capitalism, is that really the best form of the market and free enterprise for the American people? I think there’s tough questions to be asked there.

Oren Cass: Yeah, of course, the benefit that we’re told we get is cheaper stuff. I think that there’s an interesting connection there to the supply chain question and even the idea of having slave labor in our supply chains. You’ve introduced a bill essentially requiring corporations to make sure there is no slavery in their supply chains. Talk a little bit about what do you see out there in the world that requires such legislation. Are American led companies really oblivious to, don’t care are happy to have slave labor in their supply chains? And what does the response to that look like?

Josh Hawley: Yeah, unfortunately I think the answer to that question is yes. Again, it’s not just any American companies, it’s these multinational companies that are the ones who are always talking about how socially responsible they are, what good corporate citizens they are, but you take a company like Nike, for instance, have multiple reports from multiple different outlets have said that Nike and have reported that Nike relies on the slave labor of Uighur concentration camps in China to make a series of their products. Now, my view is this, that number one, Nike, shouldn’t be profiting on such labor in China or anywhere. It should not be profiting on what is literally slave labor, forced involuntary labor. They have an obligation to report, should have an obligation, to report what labor they’re relying on. And if it’s in their supply chains, they should either eradicate it or they should be penalized for it.

I do think that one of the tough questions, and it’s a systemic question, that we ought to pose is, is one of the reasons it’s been so profitable for some of these big multinationals, to move jobs overseas out of this country and over to other countries – Is it because in a number of these countries, they’re really relying on forced labor, on slave labor? So yeah, that labor is cheap. I mean, they’re not getting compensated in any meaningful way and we can talk about Nike, or we could talk about Starbucks, we could talk about Adidas, we could talk about Apple and that connection. And that’s why I’ve introduced legislation that would require these multinationals to certify that they’re not relying on slave labor. And if they are, that they are taking steps to eradicate it or they face penalties.

Oren Cass: It’s really interesting. I want to read you something economics professor, Tyler Cowen wrote a column, I think it was earlier this week, maybe last week. He was very critical of the bill that you proposed. What he wrote is, he said, “I get a tough approach has superficial appeal, yet placing an investigative burden on companies may not lead to better outcomes. And in fact he wrote, the net effect of the bill contrary to its stated intent might be to increase slavery worldwide. And his argument was that essentially companies who couldn’t certify that something was slave free would just leave markets that might have slave labor and go to ones with shorter, transparent supply chains. And the result essentially would be to make matters worse and in the process, he emphasized, raise prices for American consumers. I’m curious about your perspective on those kinds of concerns.

Josh Hawley: Or they could just bring jobs back to the United States. Imagine that. I mean, is it so unthinkable that these multinational corporations maybe employ a few more American workers? I mean, I hear all the time, these corporate CEOs complain about how American workers don’t really have the skills they need anymore. They’re not really talented. And so we just can’t use them, but yet they’re willing to pay nothing to people overseas. I mean, I doubt that they’re actually shopping for talent when they’re in Uighur concentration camps. What they’re doing there is taking advantage of these people, the worst sort of advantage of people who are literally imprisoned. So listen, I mean, I’ve heard that a lot of economists have argued that for instance, in the last 20 years with the onset of this hyperglobalization we’ve been talking about that, well, the United States benefits on net. The net benefits outweigh the net cost. The question though is, who benefits precisely? Who in the United States benefits.

And when you have a system where the benefits are captured by a certain group of people, by a professional class and the benefits sort of pool, if you like, in one place, whereas your middle class or working class individual is not seeing benefits. In fact, is seeing historically flat wages, in some cases in industries, declining wages, then you have a policy problem. And is it a market problem? Yeah, probably is. But it’s also, it’s a policy problem because again, we’ve gotten here because of policy choices, very deliberate policy choices. So I would just say that there’s a qualitative aspect to this, Oren, that we have to ask about, or maybe better a normative. We’ve got to ask some normative questions. Is this really the kind of country we’d want to have?

Do we want to have a country where basically, if you don’t have an advanced degree, you don’t have any chance of getting a good paying job and sustaining a family. I mean, do we want to have a country where you can’t get decent skills education unless you’re willing to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash? Is that really the kind of economy and country we want to have? I think the American people have been in recent elections have been trying to send the message that that is not the kind of economy and the kind of country that they want to have. And I think they’re right about that.

Oren Cass: And what do you see as the political dynamics? I think, one reality, at least, in the short run is if we use well-paid American labor instead of underpaid, potentially not paid at all foreign labor, that does suggest things get more expensive. That people won’t be able to buy as much stuff, that the flat screen TV won’t be as big as it otherwise would have been. And that’s something in a lot of cases people are going to notice before they notice the general trends in the economy feeling better. How do you think about communicating that and what do you think the response or feeling of your typical constituent is to thinking about that trade off?

Josh Hawley: I think people know when they have work or not, and when they feel secure in their job or not, and when they feel like they have a future in that job or not. And I think that goes a long way toward their assessment of their economic prospects personally, and their economic assessment of how the country is doing. In other words, I mean, if prices are increasing dramatically but they can’t get a raise or they can’t get a good job then they’re going to be upset. That’s not a sustainable position. Unfortunately, that’s a position that we’ve been in a number of times just in recent decades. But I think if people are feeling in their own lives… I get a good job. Maybe I have a choice of jobs and I’m getting a raise. And I feel like there’s a future for me here in this country.

And that I can acquire a skill. I can practice a trade. I can support my family on that. Then I think you’ll see people say that, I feel like I’ve got the kind of purchasing power I need and that they will feel happy and satisfied with that. So we’ve heard from economists of a certain sort for many, many years that we cannot question this bargain, this globalization bargain, that we have to commit. It’s either it’s hyper globalization or nothing. It’s the ’90s way or nothing. We couldn’t possibly go back to some earlier version or craft a different way of doing business globally and internationally. I think that’s just false. Our own history proves it’s false. We did this differently ourselves in this last century. America had a different basic approach to trade, to global capital flows and from, say, then late 1940s until the early 1990s, very different from what we have today.

So in our own history we know that there are different ways to approach and to manage the global economy in ways that actually protect and encourage American workers, that actually help American families feel secure. So I just think that some of what you hear from some quarters of the economics profession that it’s like, “Oh my gosh, if we make any changes at all, it will be the end. I mean, the market will collapse and prices will skyrocket and inflation will go crazy.” And I just think that that is both ahistorical and frankly, a terrible lack of imagination, which is a bad combination for policymakers.

Oren Cass: I find myself in those conversations myself. That rings very true. We have a couple minutes left so I want to come back to the kind of the corporate actual responsibility idea. And as we think about these goals and values that we have, what is it that we actually want to ask of corporations? And what I’m struck by is that for a very long time, the left has been very comfortable asking all sorts of things of corporations. And we know the sort of standard progressive set of demands, which ironically seems to have nothing to do with actually helping workers or their families in a lot of cases. Whereas the right’s position has been, well, we don’t want to demand anything. We don’t think we should ask corporations to do anything.

It’s interesting and exciting in a sense to think, well, conservatives can make demands too. And those might be ones that advance our priorities a lot more effectively. And so, as you’re thinking about what are the most important things you want to demand and we should all demand either as a cultural matter, this is what it means to be responsible, or this is what Congress is going to tell you you have to do. We’ve talked about making things in America. Are there other things at the top of your list in terms of how you treat workers with their families, how you relate to local communities that you see as really most important?

Josh Hawley: Well, I think when we talk about writing things into law, I would start with what we’ve just been discussing, which is about the kind of labor that these multinational corporations use in this country and overseas. And we certainly would never accept them using forced, involuntary labor in this country that has been illegal and indeed unconstitutional now for over a century. Thank goodness. It took us a long time to get there, but thank goodness that, that is the law. And we need to expect the same as a baseline for these big multinationals operating overseas. If you consider yourself an American company and if you have any tie to this country, legally, you should not be profiting on slave labor, particularly not to the detriment of American workers. So I think that that is a… do you want to start the conversation about responsibility? That’s a place to start.

And then we can have a discussion beyond that about how much of your supply chain can you move back to this country? How much can you feasibly afford to put here? We could also talk about the corporations that have the wherewithal, again, it’s probably going to be these big multinationals, that have the wherewithal to set up skills training programs, and local communities who can actually help their workers or their potential workers acquire a skill so that they don’t have to go to an expensive college that they don’t want to go to in order to get a degree that won’t benefit them, but they would like to get a skill. I’d love to see more of these big multinationals rather than complaining about the fact that, “Oh, American workers just don’t have any skills.” Well, set up a program to help them get the skills and then recruit out of that pool. That would be a tremendous benefit. And they could do that, by the way, in underserved areas, in rural areas, in the urban core.

I mean, there are things that I think, that these corporations can do voluntarily, that we should be encouraging them to do, that would be a tremendous benefit and would be far more significant and have far more impact than the sort of virtue signaling that they routinely performed by contributing this or that to this or that cause, or charity or outfit. So, I would say to summarize or not it’d come back to, in the law, let’s start now by saying that you can’t use force slave labor. Surely we can all agree on that. And then let’s move on from that to think about how we can encourage them and ask them to actually work for the benefit of local communities, American workers, helping them get those skills to get good jobs.

Oren Cass: That seems reasonable to me. Last question for you, I want to ask you about Teddy Roosevelt, because I know it must seem like a lifetime ago or an entirely different one. You wrote a frankly excellent scholarly biography of Teddy Roosevelt. You are an expert on the man and he, at the turn of a previous century, faced in some ways parallel challenges of extraordinary corporate power and in some respects, irresponsibility. And so I’m curious, to what extent do you see analogs between then and now, and what would Teddy do?

Josh Hawley: Well, I think there are very significant, actually, analogs between the early progressive period and this one in the turn of the last century, and I think there are a couple of things from Roosevelt that we can learn in a positive sense. And one of them is, is that Roosevelt really understood that concentrations of power are dangerous to democracy and they’re most dangerous to normal, everyday working men and women. Because usually when you have concentrations of power, the people who end up holding the power are the wealthy and the well connected and highly educated. I mean, that’s typically how it works, in our country at least. That’s typically how it works. The people who get left out when you have concentrations of power, are everyday working people. And so he was concerned in his age about the trusts, about the huge combinations of corporate power and in a sense the trusts, to use that historical term, are back again.

And we see them at Big Tech is, is a great example of huge, powerful conglomerations. Big Tech, probably the most powerful corporations in history, certainly in the history of this country. And who do they really benefit? It’s a very small group of people. It’s a very, and ever actually decreasing set of people who benefit from the power the tech companies have and who are able to exert that control. So I think, rule number one or lesson number one, is that concentrated power tends to the benefit of the few of the select, and it tends to work against the everyday working man and woman. And then I think connected to that, Roosevelt had a great expression, which I will paraphrase here. He said that, “I am for business, but I am for democracy first and I’m for business as an adjunct to democracy.”

And I think that’s the right attitude, which is that, we believe in the free market, but we believe in the free market in large part because we think it actually aids freedom. We’re for freedom, and freedom means the ability of normal, everyday, working people to control their own lives and to have a share in their own government and to actually participate and have a say what’s going on. So, for that reason we want an economy that helps reward that and where those folks have a chance to get ahead, and where they have a chance to provide for their families, and where they have a chance to be heard. So we should think about economic policy that actually reinforces the voice of the working man and woman. And I think we shouldn’t be shy about that. Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t and I don’t agree, by the way, with all his policies. He had some really bad ideas and he did some really bad stuff.

Oren Cass: He was the original progressive.

Josh Hawley: Way too much concentration of power in government, actually. And we could talk about that a different time, but I think that while he maybe answered those questions in a way that I wouldn’t, I think the questions that he posed are really worth hearing again.

Oren Cass: I can’t wrap it up any better than that. So, thank you for posing those questions and pushing forward this discussion in Washington, and for joining us. It’s a fascinating topic and one that we’re hoping to work on and look forward to seeing the work that you continue doing as well.

Josh Hawley: Thanks for having me.

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