The Commons

The Seduction of the Not-Profit Economy Share This

Rob Atkinson | Jul 29, 2020 | progressives

Over the last several decades a major shift has occurred in how many U.S. elites – pundits, advocates, policy makers, and others – think and talk about corporations. For much of the 20th century most elites viewed corporations as an institutional tool by which America could best achieve its most important economic goals: innovation and […]

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The Shy Trump Voter Share This

R. R. Reno | Jul 27, 2020 | Politics

A new poll of Michigan voters by Robert Calahy’s Trafalgar Group indicates a tight race. What explains the other polls that show Biden ahead by a wide margin? Calahy points to “social desirability bias.” Put simply, people don’t want to admit to socially stigmatized views, and thus won’t admit they are willing to vote for […]

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A Trailer in the Country: Working-Class Attitudes about Redistribution Share This

Amber Lapp | Jul 27, 2020 | Welfare State

At the beginning of a lane of public housing units pink balloons mark the mailbox and a disposable tablecloth flutters in the wind, held down on a plastic table by a box of sprinkled cupcakes with high-topped icing and another box of assorted party favors. On the driveway a few people sit in more-or-less socially […]

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Pod Life or Pod School? Share This

James Poulos | Jul 26, 2020 | Education

“I will not live in the pod.” This commonplace rallying cry among younger Right-aligned people on social media is approaching the status of a credal opening statement. For the uninitiated, it simply marks a public refusal to accept the lifestyle of the young urban singleton residing in the microapartment, feeding the pet, streaming the Netflix, […]

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A Culture Canceled Share This

Chris Arnade | Jul 25, 2020 | Culture

The current debates over cancel culture are odd because few involved in them have been canceled, or risk being canceled, while entire institutions are indeed being canceled. Institutions that serve and amplify the interests of the working class, such as local newspapers, unions, and churches. The death of local journalism is at least acknowledged by […]

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Immigrants and the American Dream Share This

Chris Arnade | Jul 20, 2020 | Immigration

From my ten years documenting the poverty, pain, and frustration of lower-income communities it is easy to conclude that the American Dream is dead for the working class. There is one big exception though: Newer immigrants, who despite poverty, are still optimistic.

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A COVID-19 Economic Recovery Package That Spurs Short-term and Long-term Recovery Share This

Rob Atkinson | Jul 20, 2020 | Coronavirus

With surging COVID-19 cases in many parts of the country and a widely available vaccine months away—and with consumer and investor confidence and spending likely to be weak even with a vaccine—the odds are quite high that economic recovery will be long, drawn-out, and weak. As such, Congress is rightly debating a fifth economic recovery […]

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John Ruskin and the Purpose of Political Economy Share This

Micah Meadowcroft | Jul 20, 2020 | Culture

As we seek a realignment in American political economy we would do well to rediscover the thought of a 19th-century critic who did not like us very much. John Ruskin (1819–1900) found Americans obsessed with a liberty he considered license and naively committed to an ideal of equality he believed impossible: “also, as a nation, […]

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More on Social Insurance and Conservatism Share This

Ed Dolan | Jul 14, 2020 | Social Insurance

Re: Beware “Social Insurance” Salesmen

In his latest contribution to our ongoing debate over social insurance and conservatism, Oren Cass clarifies some of our points of disagreement. One of them concerns the meaning and nature of “social insurance” itself. Another is whether certain proposals are sufficiently “conservative.” To Cass, social insurance, or at least the kind of social insurance acceptable […]

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Russell Kirk & Big Tech Share This

Rachel Bovard | Jul 13, 2020 | American Tradition

The debate about Big Tech often breaks down into one of whether or not a private company should be “regulated.” This is especially true as attention heats up around the use of antitrust enforcement — substantively, definitionally, and applicably different than regulation, though in argument one side attempts to conflate them.  Jim Swift of The […]

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The Impoverished Debate Over Section 230 Share This

Samuel Hammond | Jul 13, 2020

It’s more nuanced than you think.

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Why Neither Party Focuses on the Key Economic Issue: Enterprise Capabilities Share This

Rob Atkinson | Jul 11, 2020 | Economic Development

The partisan rancor in Washington is worse than any time in the last century. But surprisingly when it comes to economic policy, both parties share a common view: policy needn’t be concerned about enterprise capabilities. Conservatives focus on abstract “markets”, while progressives focus on government dictates. Neither gives more than a passing thought to ensuring […]

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