The Commons

Another Kind of Redistribution; The Case for a Job Guarantee Program Share This

Marshall Auerback | Jul 10, 2020 | Economic Development

Recent posts from Sam Hammond , Ed Dolan, and Oren Cass, have opened a very thoughtful debate on the role of redistribution in a future economic agenda. They rightly observe the corrosive effects of mindlessly expanding re­distributive policies without addressing many of the flaws in our current system that give rise to the need for such redistribution in […]

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Beware “Social Insurance” Salesmen Share This

Oren Cass | Jul 10, 2020 | Social Insurance

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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On Buy American: Trump Should Listen To Steve Bannon, Not Steve Moore Share This

Saagar Enjeti | Jul 09, 2020 | Industrial Policy

A 2020 presidential contender unveiled a 700 billion dollar ‘Buy American’ plan today to rebuild America’s manufacturing sector devastated by the coronavirus. It’s a great idea that free market fundamentalists despise and real economic conservatives have been pushing for. The only problem is that the candidate who unveiled the plan was presumptive Democratic nominee Joe […]

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The Self-Serving Mirage of MarketWorld Share This

Patrick T. Brown | Jul 09, 2020 | Neoliberalism

Image: Steve Cukrov – Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, by Anand Giridharadas (Alfred A. Knopf, 304 pp. $27) The HBO series “Westworld” was set in a futuristic theme park that featured life-like humanoid robots offering wealthy guests an immersive experience without any fear of lasting consequences. A 2018 book […]

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Social Insurance and Dependency on Government Share This

Ed Dolan | Jul 08, 2020 | Social Insurance

In a recent essay for The American Conservative, Oren Cass criticizes a viewpoint, which he attributes to the Niskanen Center, among others on the center-right, that places a central emphasis on free markets and economic growth even when doing so “necessitate[s] a much larger safety net, widespread government dependence, and the loss of a baseline […]

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How We Do the Work Is As Important As Where We Do It Share This

Marshall Auerback | Jul 07, 2020 | Labor Market

Repatriating supply chains to home shores has become an increasingly fashionable topic in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the rationale is to ensure that adequate redundancy and resiliency are built into our economies, even at the cost of “just in time” inventory accumulation practices (which have prioritized short term profitability at a […]

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On the Astonishing Success of Tucker Carlson Share This

Josh Hammer | Jul 07, 2020 | Media

Last week, I joined Steve Deace’s BlazeTV podcast to discuss the astonishing success of Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and the forward-looking implications of that success for both conservative media and American conservatism itself. Carlson, much to the chagrin of “woke” capitalists and astroturfing leftists, now has the highest-rated cable news show in television history. […]

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Social Conservatism and the “Small Government” Straightjacket Share This

Samuel Hammond | Jul 06, 2020

Re: The Fight on the Right: A Pre-Trump or Post-Trump Future?

“We are conservatives, and conservatives believe in supporting families directly.”

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All Productivity is Good: Even Automation Share This

Rob Atkinson | Jul 02, 2020 | Automation

OmniVeyor HV-100 (Image Courtesy Wikimedia One of the few times when I have found myself in agreement with Paul Krugman is when he famously wrote, “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.” Yet, today, this statement is not only passé, but downright suspect, at least among many U.S. elites. […]

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

Oren Cass | Jul 01, 2020 | Coin-Flip Capitalism

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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Rethinking Welfare Capitalism Share This

Michael Lind | Jul 01, 2020 | Welfare State

Re: Fringe With Benefits? The Case for Welfare Capitalism.

Since the neoliberal era began in the 1970s, many public policy thinkers have assumed that America’s employment-based benefit system of welfare capitalism is doomed to extinction by the growth in freelance or gig workers. To replace employer benefits, the left tends to support welfare statism and the right tends to support welfare individualism, in the […]

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Is Hamilton a “Bootstraps” Story? Share This

Amber Lapp | Jul 01, 2020 | American Tradition

As we tend to do with momentous occasions, I clearly remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the first lines of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. It was a hot and humid day in August, my parents had the kids so I was prepping for an insulation project in our attic, and […]

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