The Commons

From the Primordial Supply-Side Soup Share This

Oren Cass | Aug 25, 2020 | Politics

Re: Trump’s Second-Term Opening (WSJ)

This morning’s commentary from the Wall Street Journal editorial board is of great scientific import, a fragile creature crushed into a perfectly preserved fossil by the forces of reality. Future researchers tracing the evolution of the American right-of-center from market fundamentalism to a viable economic conservatism will regard it as a vital transitional form—like a […]

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Some Naturally Negative Thoughts Share This

Micah Meadowcroft | Aug 25, 2020 | Family

It is all going to get worse. No matter what happens in November, the weirdness and hysteria that have made 2020 feel so extremely like itself will only escalate into 2021. Millennials, who wait in packs for crumbs to fall from the Boomers’ table, are well into their 30s with little more than social media […]

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The Gig Economy Is Paving the Road to Serfdom Share This

Marshall Auerback | Aug 23, 2020 | Labor Market

The tech industry buzzword “gig” has distracted society from important questions about the gig economy that are surprisingly traditional: whether a business has employees or contractors, and how it can avoid payroll taxes and legal liability. Countless Silicon Valley business models have been built under the guise of gigs. Uber and Lyft are two of the best-known cases, […]

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The Non-Voter Share This

Chris Arnade | Aug 22, 2020

Like the largest political group in America, the non-voter, I completely ignored this year’s Democratic convention. Like an overwhelming majority of Americans I didn’t watch any speeches, didn’t go online to read hot takes spinning those speeches, and I didn’t fight on Twitter over whatever happened. Instead I spent the week doing what I usually […]

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Giganticism After COVID Share This

R. R. Reno | Aug 21, 2020 | Coronavirus

In March, I could see that our social response to the coronavirus would be more consequential than the virus itself. Natural disasters can do great damage, but they do not usually change societies. By contrast, mass mobilizations for wars in the modern era have been deeply consequential. The lockdowns and country-wide quarantines have been exercises […]

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Monopolization as a Challenge for Both Parties Share This

Matt Stoller | Aug 20, 2020 | Monopoly

Two Federal Reserve economists have just come out with a paper on the social consequences of widespread monopolization of markets by large corporations. And the short story is, nothing good. The paper suggests that elevated market power causes: Declining labor share and rising profit share of national income Rising income and wealth inequalities Rising household […]

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Integralism, Rightly Understood Share This

Aaron Sibarium | Aug 17, 2020 | American Tradition

Since at least Woodrow Wilson and arguably since the Mayflower, Americans have struggled to conceive of their interests as distinct from their ideals. Blurring that distinction is sometimes said to be the original sin of neoliberalism (or “globalism”; take your pick), but the truth is it’s been blurry for almost four centuries, from John Winthrop’s […]

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More Than Materialists: Class and Religion Share This

Micah Meadowcroft | Aug 15, 2020 | Religion

Re: The Strange Death of the Populist Dream and the Victory of Woke Integralism

When does something become a cliché? I’m not sure. Truisms lose a certain power after much repetition, but it doesn’t make them less true. That fundamental political conflicts are always theological is an old observation by theorists that still bears repeating, always suggesting something new. Examples: Our idea of nature or creation shapes our idea […]

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Uber’s New Labor Law: Placation Without Representation Share This

Wells King | Aug 13, 2020 | Organized Labor

Re: I am the C.E.O. of Uber. Gig Workers Deserve Better.

The “gig” may soon be up for Uber. A San Francisco judge’s ruling that ride-sharing services must treat their drivers as employees has both Uber and Lyft threatening to discontinue service in California, seemingly conceding that their money-losing business model relies not only on the subsidy of endless investor capital but also the legal arbitrage […]

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American Nihilism Share This

R. R. Reno | Aug 13, 2020

Over the last two months protests and Twitter mobs have called for the cancellation of a great deal of America’s heritage, and in many instances civic leaders have cooperated. Daniel Mahoney describes it as a reckless and nihilistic “assault on the nation’s cultural and political patrimony.” Mahoney is not the only person of deep learning […]

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Women’s Work Preferences Are Diverse Share This

Amber Lapp | Aug 10, 2020 | Family

In less than 24 hours I will be wheeling my bag through the large revolving doors of the hospital, through the Covid screening point, and up the elevator to the ninth floor to deliver my fifth child due to a medically-necessary induction. Things are more or less ready, and so I find myself ruminating on […]

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Industrial Security Policy: New Missions for DoD, SBA and CFIUS Share This

Michael Lind | Aug 10, 2020 | Industrial Policy

Thanks to the near-criminal negligence of neoliberal globalist policymakers in both the Democratic and Republican parties, America’s national industrial base, the foundation of its global power, has eroded to the point of collapse. The microchip was invented in the U.S., but America is dependent for its microchip supply on Taiwan and other countries and has […]

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