The Commons

Social Media Requires Utility Style Regulation Share This

Marshall Auerback | Jun 17, 2020 | Big Tech

I’ve raised the issue of social media regulation before. This is an issue that won’t be going away anytime soon in the wake of Google’s decision to ban two websites from its ad platform over protest articles, namely The Federalist and Zero Hedge.  As Mike Masnick has argued, this appears to be less a case […]

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Dignity Inequality Share This

R. R. Reno | Jun 16, 2020

A great deal of ink has been spilt over the issue of income inequality. This is not an undue concern. As Alexis de Tocqueville observed nearly two hundred years ago, the democratic spirit aspires to an equality of condition. But income should not be our only concern. A healthy society should also encourage an equality […]

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Taking Back America From the Libertarians Share This

Patrick Deneen | Jun 15, 2020 | American Tradition

Washington Post columnist George Will has added his voice to that of Brad Thompson in decrying the rise of an un-American conservative authoritarianism, represented, among others, by such thinkers as Adrian Vermeule, Sohrab Ahmari, and yours truly.  Will and Thompson invoke the American Constitutional tradition as the cure for this “anti-American” threat from the Right.  […]

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If Only Private Funds Still Enabled American Power Share This

Wells King | Jun 15, 2020 | Finance

Re: Private Funds Could Be Your Friends

Grant Kettering’s critique of Coin-Flip Capitalism defends private finance as “a major competitive advantage and source of comprehensive national power.” In his view: In alliance with other sectors such as government- and academically-funded scientific research institutions, private funds have served effectively as tutors to companies pursuing American innovation in absolutely foundational areas such as semiconductors […]

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What are America’s pensioners getting from private equity? Share This

Sam Long | Jun 11, 2020 | Finance

Re: Coin-Flip Capitalism

Imagine a schoolteacher in a mid-sized American city. She earns approximately $60,000 per year and each month contributes somewhere between 6 and 12 percent of her wages to the state’s public employee pension plan. Given her salary and associated living expenses, a robust personal savings plan seems out of the question. For the teacher – […]

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Balanced Trade, Robust Industry, and Rising Productivity: Pick All Three Share This

Oren Cass | Jun 10, 2020 | Trade

Re: Failing a Test on Trade

Professor Dan Drezner is again illustrating how we ended up with a misbegotten consensus on globalization built upon inadequate assumptions and shallow analysis. A couple of weeks ago, we encountered him badly mischaracterizing a study about the supposed value of trade liberalization. Breezing past that issue, he is back now with a more outlandish claim, […]

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Chaos In The Time Of Covid Share This

Chris Arnade | Jun 10, 2020 | Community

In physics, to reveal deeper truths, you slam particles together to expose their inner structure. The pandemic has been like that, slamming different parts of the country together, revealing it to be deeply divided by geography, race, education, and wealth. It is hard to imagine it once fit together or will ever fit together again.

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A Tale of Two Media Share This

James Poulos | Jun 08, 2020 | Big Tech

Re: In Praise of Big Internet

Faced over the past few years with a deepening sense of dread around the increasing irrelevance of academic political theory, I shifted much of my perspective on the accelerating unraveling of the modern order to media theory–specifically, media theory rooted in the work of Marshall McLuhan and his son Eric. While political theory as an […]

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How Should We Regulate the Social Media Companies? Hint: More Competition Might not be the Answer Share This

Marshall Auerback | Jun 04, 2020 | Big Tech

natanaelginting – Donald Trump threatened to close Twitter down a day after the social media giant marked his tweets with a fact-check warning label for the first time. The president followed this threat up with an executive order that would encourage federal regulators to allow tech companies to be held liable for the comments, […]

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In Praise of Big Internet: The Economic Importance of Internet Companies Share This

Rob Atkinson | Jun 04, 2020 | Big Tech

Image: Shawn Collins – It has become bipartisan sport to attack “Big Tech”, but most of the ire is directed at “Big Internet”: consumer-facing Internet companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Uber. While much of the so-called techlash is focused on the purported negative social impacts – abuse of data, platform bias, and […]

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Private Funds Could Be Your Friends Share This

Grant Kettering | Jun 03, 2020 | Finance

Re: Coin-Flip Capitalism

The basic motivation behind American Compass’s Coin-Flip Capitalism project seems to be scrutinizing the private fund industry—an industry that is indeed poorly understood by most—under the suspicion that, amidst its mysteries and its trillions, it may be detracting from our national welfare. Fair enough. But as a long-time participant in the industry, and even more […]

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Libertarianism For Me, Authoritarianism For Thee Share This

Chris Arnade | Jun 01, 2020

If you spend significant time in poor communities, especially poor black communities, you wonder why they don’t explode in protest more often. The inequality that is a concerning statistic to academics and politicians is their daily commute from cleaning the office of a Wall Street bank to a home surrounded by boarded-up buildings. The oppressive […]

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