Oren Cass

Oren Cass is the executive director of American Compass and author of The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America (2018). He is a contributing opinion writer for the Financial Times and his work also appears regularly in publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

From 2005 to 2015, Oren worked as a management consultant in Bain & Company’s Boston and Delhi offices. During this period, he also earned his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was elected vice president and treasurer of the Harvard Law Review and oversaw the journal’s budget and operations. While still in law school, Oren also became Domestic Policy Director for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, editing and producing the campaign’s “jobs book” and developing its domestic policy strategy, proposals, and research. He joined the Manhattan Institute as a senior fellow in 2015 and became a prolific scholar, publishing more than 15 reports for MI and editing its popular “Issues 2016” and “Issues 2020” series, testifying before seven congressional committees and speaking on dozens of college campuses. He founded American Compass at the start of 2020.

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The Left’s Welfare Extremism Share This

Mar 05, 2021

NATIONAL REVIEW—Executive director Oren Cass on how left-wing critics of our family-benefit proposal are sorely misguided.

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Introducing the Edgerton Essays Share This

Mar 03, 2021

The population of policy analysts and commentators is drawn inevitably from the ranks of the college-educated professionals who excel at and enjoy reading and writing all day. But as more of our politics and policies become nationalized, those doing the politicking and policymaking have tended to become ever more removed from large segments of the […]

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Put Working Families at the Front of the Line for Help Share This

Mar 02, 2021

THE NEW YORK TIMES—American Compass executive director Oren Cass argues that a policy that sustains people in joblessness is not ultimately anti-poverty.

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Magical Thinking on China and Trade Share This

Feb 23, 2021

In the Wall Street Journal today, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson gives a rundown of the generic case for “How American Free Trade Can Outdo China.” Three things jump out: 1. He leads with the point that, “America’s economic prosperity and the effectiveness of our political system and global leadership are rooted in domestic economic […]

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The Family Income Supplemental Credit Share This

Feb 18, 2021

A proposal to expand the social compact for working families

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A New Conservatism: Freeing the Right From Free-Market Orthodoxy Share This

Feb 12, 2021

FOREIGN AFFAIRSAmerican Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses a path forward for conservatism that is no longer bound by free-market orthodoxy.

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Foreword: One Generation Away Share This

Feb 10, 2021

Preserving our national inheritance requires public policy to get the family right.

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Joe Biden should be doing more that really helps workers Share This

Feb 01, 2021

FINANCIAL TIMES—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.

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When Does a Labor Economist Ask for a Raise? Share This

Jan 28, 2021

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 […]

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The Immigration Shimmy Share This

Jan 25, 2021

Immigration expansionists face a difficult challenge: they support high levels of immigration—including many more less-skilled immigrants—for a variety of legitimate reasons, but the less-skilled immigration has detrimental economic effects on vulnerable American workers, including earlier generations of immigrants already in the country. That tradeoff is one the expansionists would make, but it is understandably unpopular. […]

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A Tale of Two Conservatisms Share This

Jan 19, 2021

Being called a “socialist” by George Will in the Washington Post was already a professional highlight. So I was thrilled for the opportunity to talk with him about the future of conservatism. Clearly, we would have a lot to discuss. Last week, American Compass and the Wall Street Journal co-hosted that event, “What Now? A […]

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Should the U.S. Adopt an Industrial Policy? Share This

Jan 13, 2021

EVENT—At the Soho Forum, American Compass’s Oren Cass and Cato Institute’s Scott Lincicome debate whether the U.S. should adopt an industrial policy.

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