The Commons

Who Are College-or-Bust Charters Really For? Share This

John Sailer | Sep 30, 2020 | Education

Re: Our Educational Colonialism

In a recent post, Chris Arnade compared the American education system to strip mining, an analogy that Patrick Deneen uses in his book Why Liberalism Failed. A similar analogy comes to mind to describe charter schools—a public policy tool that until recently earned bipartisan favor. If our education system is an intellectual strip mine, charter […]

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War Footing: Made in the Americas Share This

Micah Meadowcroft | Sep 30, 2020 | China

Re: China and Civic Piety

Taking the side of ancient particularity in its long-standing quarrel with modern universalism, I warned in a July Commons post against the temptation to orient American policy towards China around the moralizing language of human rights that has dominated international discourse since the Second World War. Outrageous and inhumane as the tyranny of the CCP […]

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From Freedom to Solidarity on the American Right Share This

R. R. Reno | Sep 29, 2020 | American Tradition

Campaign books are not written for the ages. But they can be telltales. A New Catholic Moment: Donald Trump and the Politics of the Common Good is a good example. It indicates a shift away from freedom as the leading motif on the American right and toward solidarity. The book was put together by, […]

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Give Workers Power to Boost Productivity, Reduce Inequality Share This

Wells King | Sep 29, 2020 | Organized Labor

Re: Why conservatives should embrace labor unions to reduce economic inequality

Last week in USA Today, I argued that reinvigorating the American labor movement could address economic inequality in a way that should appeal to conservatives – achieving a kind of pre-distribution with minimal state interference and greater worker input. It’s an approach that echoes themes of the recent American Compass statement: a well-functioning system of […]

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Industrial Policy, the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court Share This

Michael Lind | Sep 28, 2020 | Supreme Court

Now that the Supreme Court is in the news, with President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it is worth reflecting on what kind of constitutional system is best for a national industrial strategy of the kind favored by a growing number of Americans on the […]

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Is A College Degree the Only Way to Succeed? Share This

Amber Lapp | Sep 26, 2020 | Education

During his growing up years, Mark, an underemployed contract laborer in his 30s, often heard his mother describe their town as “the devil’s thumbprint.” The name alluded to both its literal location in a valley and its social stigma as the watering hole of riffraff. “You gotta go up the hill and get out,” Mark […]

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I Finally Agree With Krugman Share This

Rob Atkinson | Sep 26, 2020 | Industrial Policy

I never thought I would find myself in wholehearted agreement with Paul Krugman. That is, until I ran across the following passage from his 1996 book Pop Internationalism: “If top government officials are strongly committed to a particular economic doctrine, their commitment inevitably sets the tone for policy making on all issues, even those which […]

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Can the GOP Empower the Workers of Today and Tomorrow? Share This

Marshall Auerback | Sep 24, 2020

The Republican Study Committee’s American Worker Task Force has just released a new report, “Reclaiming the American Dream: Proposals to Empower the Workers of Today and Tomorrow”.  As such it represents another in a series of recent attempts to make the GOP the natural home for labor. There’s some good ideas in the paper, notably […]

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How The Elites Rigged Supreme Court Politics Share This

Saagar Enjeti | Sep 23, 2020 | Supreme Court

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg less than 50 days before the 2020 election has dramatically increased the stakes of the election, and is exactly the type of September surprise that could scramble Americans’ voting patterns this late in the game.  What it underscores however is how we’re all getting played by the elites […]

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The Limits of Principle Share This

R. R. Reno | Sep 23, 2020 | American Tradition

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s death roiled an already unsettled the political scene. A pitched battle is underway over who will succeed her and when. David French urges Republicans to stand on principle. He sketches a way forward that has Trump nominating a replacement before the election. The Senate will then hold hearing but refrain from […]

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Three Theses About Cuties Share This

Aaron Sibarium | Sep 23, 2020 | Culture

The debate over Cuties, Netflix’s maligned and muddled take on the pornographication of pre-teens, is really a debate about markets, and whether sex should be governed by one. In the interest of furthering that debate, let me offer three theses about Cuties, each of which is independently plausible, and all of which might be true. They […]

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Refocusing Labor Policy to Unleash the American Worker Share This

Ted Budd | Sep 22, 2020 | Labor Market

American workers are the backbone of this country. In the wake of the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to remove barriers burdening the American worker. On Capitol Hill, the Republican Study Committee’s American Worker Task Force has proposed bold new solutions that would empower our nation’s workers […]

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