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 CNN Opinion, 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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How Corporate Actual Responsibility, Not Social Responsibility, Would Look Share This

Aug 20, 2020

WASHINGTON EXAMINER—American Compass’s Oren Cass outlines the arguments from an open letter sent to the Business Roundtable calling for corporate actual responsibility.

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Left-Right Coalition Releases Open Letter to Business Roundtable on Corporate Actual Responsibility Share This

Aug 12, 2020

PRESS RELEASE—After a year of empty promises from CEOs, the groups propose a framework for substantive action.

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Where Do Republicans Go From Here? Share This

Aug 07, 2020

THE NEW YORK TIMES—David Brooks features American Compass and executive director Oren Cass leading efforts to “push the G.O.P. in a post-Trump direction.”

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Constraining the Corporation Share This

Aug 05, 2020

A well-functioning market in which businesses fulfill their obligations to workers, families, communities, and the nation depends upon legal, economic, and social constraints that have fallen away in recent decades.

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AEI’s Michael Strain on Projects Like Ours Share This

Jul 30, 2020

Re: The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg

On the most recent episode of Jonah Goldberg’s podcast, The Remnant, AEI director of economic policy studies Michael Strain delivers a harsh assessment of projects like American Compass. According to Michael, “the arguments that they put forward just aren’t well developed,” “they aren’t supported by evidence, they aren’t convincing,” and “the work they’re doing just […]

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Private Equity Captures Rather Than Creates Value Share This

Jul 23, 2020

NEWSWEEK—American Compass’s Oren Cass debates University of Chicago professor Todd Henderson over the question, “Does the private equity industry create substantial social value?”

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Ivanka Teams With Apple, IBM to Push Job-Skills Schooling Share This

Jul 15, 2020

REAL CLEAR POLITICSRCP talks with American Compass’s Oren Cass about a new White House initiative to connect Americans with education and training programs that can be accessed immediately without requiring the time or money of a bachelor’s degree.

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Beware “Social Insurance” Salesmen Share This

Jul 10, 2020

Re: Social Conservatism and the “Small Government” Straightjacket

Redistribution is a vital topic for conservatives as we question stale orthodoxies and reexamine how first principles can help to address modern challenges. In this respect I agree entirely with recent comments by Sam Hammond, both here on The Commons and at The American Conservative, insisting that the right-of-center must get beyond “hostility to anything […]

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The “Enormous Social Value” of Private-Equity Fees Share This

Jul 01, 2020

Re: Populists Don't Know Much About Private Equity

The Wall Street Journal’s defense of private equity (“Populists Don’t Know Much About Private Equity”) is an impressionist masterpiece of market fundamentalism, relying on the unexamined assumption that fees paid to private-equity partners represent “social value.” One can simply step back and gawk in amazement, but true appreciation requires poring over each brushstroke.

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An Industrial Policy By Any Another Name… Share This

Jun 29, 2020

The opinion pages of both the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal have featured calls for industrial policy in the past week, an encouraging trend toward realism about the necessary role for government in a free-market economy. In the Times, yesterday’s editorial warned against “the absence of a proactive industrial policy” and argued that “quick […]

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The Fight On The Right: A Pre-Trump Or Post-Trump Future? Share This

Jun 25, 2020

THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE—American Compass’s Oren Cass describes the parameters of the fight on the right and makes the case for a Post-Trump conservatism.

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Does Aggressive Policing Create Its Own Cycle of Dependence? Share This

Jun 19, 2020

Re: Cops and Teachers

I was jolted by the familiar echo, reading Chris Arnade’s “Cops and Teachers,” of an argument I’ve made a thousand times. It was an obviously conservative point, turned suddenly into a refutation of a popular conservative stance. Speaking in the context of safety-net policy, I often try to distinguish between policies that maintain households in poverty […]

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