The Commons

Covid’s Toll on the American Dream Share This

Ruby Nicole Day | Mar 03, 2021 | Coronavirus

The American Dream — people have hung on to those three little words for decades, passed them down for generations. But it’s hard to see how we can believe in the dream right now. To me, the American Dream is having a good paying job, having good health insurance, earning benefits for your family and […]

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Introducing the Edgerton Essays Share This

Oren Cass | Mar 03, 2021 | Edgerton

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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Government Spending Is Already Too Burdensome Share This

Veronique de Rugy | Mar 02, 2021 | Family

[Note: This comment was co-authored by Dan Mitchell of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. It is from a series of responses to the proposal for a Family Income Supplemental Credit.] At the risk of being caricatured as drown-government-in-the-bathtub libertarians, we think the proposal for a Family Income Supplemental Credit (Fisc) from Oren Cass and Wells King […]

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Let Them Eat Daycare Share This

Wells King | Mar 01, 2021 | Family

Our policy debates center on helping working families, but they routinely fail to capture those families’ preferences for their own lives or for policies that would help them most. Proposals most useful to households with all adults in the workforce, like subsidized childcare or paid leave, often receive far more attention from policymakers and pundits […]

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1980 All Over Again? In Search of the Right Analogy for the 2020 Election Share This

Rob Atkinson | Mar 01, 2021 | Democrats

To make sense of the unprecedented presidential election we’ve just been through, pundits have analogized it to past elections: 1896, because of conflict between agrarian (Bryan) and urban (McKinley) interests; 1908, because of the historic rate of turnout; 1920, with Warren Harding promising a return to normalcy; 1968, because of the violent demonstrations; and many […]

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Don’t Federalize Family Policy Share This

Andy Smarick | Mar 01, 2021 | Family

[Note: This comment is from a series of responses to the proposal for a Family Income Supplemental Credit.] Although this is a response to the interesting and compelling Family Income Supplemental Credit (Fisc) proposal by Oren Cass and Wells King, it is meant, more broadly, to engage with those on the political right who argue for more forcefully […]

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Single Mothers’ Attitudes About Work and Motherhood Share This

Amber Lapp | Feb 28, 2021 | Family

Gina, a single mother of three in southwestern Ohio, recently told me that being a mom saved her from despair and addiction. “It’s my life. It’s everything to me. It’s the reason I wake up every day.”  Other poor and working class women I’ve interviewed hold a similarly high view of motherhood connecting it closely […]

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When Farmers Are Not Farmers And Shepherds Are Not Shepherds Share This

Micah Meadowcroft | Feb 28, 2021 | Culture

Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And there have been ranchers, and there have been farmers, ever since. And whatever you think of pastoralism, or of the consequences of the agricultural revolution, there have been both good keepers of herds and good tillers of the earth, […]

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Toward a Family Wage (Subsidy) Share This

Erika Bachiochi | Feb 26, 2021 | Family

[Note: This comment is from a series of responses to the proposal for a Family Income Supplemental Credit.] I could not be happier with the substantive debate over family policy that is now taking shape among conservatives, inspired by Sen. Romney’s proposed “Family Security Act.” It carries me back to the bi-partisan Communitarian movement of the 1990s, whose […]

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Is A Child Allowance Pro-Work for Poor Parents? Share This

Amber Lapp | Feb 25, 2021 | Family

To the current conversation about the merits and demerits of a child allowance, I would like to add another layer of perspective, drawn from the thoughts and experiences of women who are poor and working class. What keeps them from work? What helps them maintain it? I spent a recent weekend talking with five different […]

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The Social Meaning of Family Benefits Share This

Joshua McCabe | Feb 25, 2021 | Family

[Note: This comment is from a series of responses to the proposal for a Family Income Supplemental Credit.] In their thought-provoking essay on policies to better support American families, Oren Cass and Wells King note that child allowances have been justified on a number of grounds – anti-poverty, pro-natal, parenting wage – all of which they find unconvincing. […]

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For Pregnant Mothers, Make Payments Lump-Sum Share This

Daniel E. Burns | Feb 25, 2021 | Family

[Note: This comment is from a series of responses to the proposal for a Family Income Supplemental Credit.] Oren Cass’s and Wells King’s “Fisc” proposal is an outstanding model of the type of innovative policy thinking that the conservative movement needs more of. Contrary to some moralistic takes from both Left and Right, crafting good policy to support […]

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