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

Wall Street has never been particularly popular in the American imagination, but the recent growth of conservative populism threatens to erode its position even further. A case in point is a new think tank, American Compass, run by Oren Cass, a former policy director for Mitt Romney. One of its first major projects—“Coin-Flip Capitalism”—concludes that investment funds, like private equity and venture capital, are socially wasteful.

A primer on Coin-Flip Capitalism, published in May, reviews the returns of various funds over the past decade and concludes that “most fund managers are generating the results that one might expect from an elaborate game of chance—placing bets in the market with odds similar to a coin flip.”


The report laments that “the nation’s top business schools have sent nearly thirty percent of their graduating classes into finance,” where these people “invent, create, build, and provide nothing.” Barack Obama has made a similar point, writing in the Economist that “too many potential physicists and engineers spend their careers shifting money around in the financial sector, instead of applying their talents to innovating in the real economy.”

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Recommended Reading
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.