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American Compass Releases Conservative Economic Agenda for 118th Congress
Hayek’s Broken Promise
Comparative Disadvantage

Come November, when Republicans expect to retake one if not both chambers of Congress, the national conservatives hope to translate their budding movement’s energy into a share of that power.

To translate such ideas into policy, new think-tanks have sprung up. Among the more sophisticated is American Compass, founded in 2020. “There was this white space in the institutional landscape to put out new ideas in a rigorous way,” says Oren Cass, its founder. He has no love for Mr Trump, whose actions after the 2020 election Mr Cass called “impeachable offences”. Mr Cass prefers to focus on wonkish proposals in support of the Republican Party’s turn towards statism, which have been influential among lawmakers.

Last year Senator Mitt Romney proposed a universal child allowance to cut poverty and encourage family formation. It shared many characteristics with a scheme from American Compass, but Mr Cass and his colleagues criticised the absence of an incentive for work. A new version of the bill released on June 15th incorporated an earnings requirement. Another proposal from the think-tank to create firm-based workers’ councils, rather than labour unions, has been taken up by Senator Marco Rubio.

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American Compass Releases Conservative Economic Agenda for 118th Congress

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.

Hayek’s Broken Promise

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.

The resulting orthodoxy too often combines a Panglossian insistence on defending market outcomes regardless of their quality with a reflexive belief that policy intervention can only be distortive for the worse.

But when it comes to international trade’s effect on the American economy, a knowing assertion that nothing should be done, followed by yet another “analysis” working backward to an argument that nothing needs doing, will no longer do.

Comparative Disadvantage

If comparative advantage is created rather than discovered, refusing to play the game has consequences.