The Commons

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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Steps in the Right Direction: Two Proposals for Funding U.S. Semiconductor Foundries Share This

Julius Krein | Jun 30, 2020 | Economic Development

There are many reasons to be pessimistic about the future of this country at the moment, and most of them are hard to ignore. But there are also new glimmers of hope appearing in important areas, even if they don’t get much media attention. Specifically, it appears that Congress is finally beginning to take semiconductor […]

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Facing the Woke Hyperpower Share This

James Poulos | Jun 30, 2020 | Automation

Re: The Homeless Society

Just a few years ago, it was possible for nationalist Americans to warn foreign enemies like North Korea that the US was a “hyperpower.” A few decades ago, however, the label was a term of abuse: French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine used it to describe an America that had gone beyond even the bounds of […]

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The Homeless Society Share This

R. R. Reno | Jun 30, 2020 | Inequality

Analysts and commentators talk about today’s “precariate.” The term plays on the Marxist notion of the proletariat, recasting it to describe gig workers, college grads whose income is swallowed by student loan debt, and wage-earners who can’t stay ahead of heath costs, childcare costs, car repair bills, and credit card debt. The term is useful. […]

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An Industrial Policy By Any Another Name… Share This

Oren Cass | Jun 29, 2020 | Economic Development

The opinion pages of both the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal have featured calls for industrial policy in the past week, an encouraging trend toward realism about the necessary role for government in a free-market economy. In the Times, yesterday’s editorial warned against “the absence of a proactive industrial policy” and argued that “quick […]

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Should There be Legal and Ethical Limits to National Developmentalism? Share This

Rob Atkinson | Jun 28, 2020 | Industrial Policy

ITIF recently released a report about how “innovation mercantilist” policies were instrumental in enabling China to dominate the global telecom equipment industry, and how that rise came at the expense of global innovation in this industry. A typical response to the report was along the lines of “So what. The United States had industrial policies […]

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America Cottons on to Industrial Policy Again Share This

Marshall Auerback | Jun 27, 2020 | Economic Development

REUTERS / Gary Cameron – Recently, I suggested that the United States would do well to emulate some aspects of China’s economic development model, largely on the grounds that this still constituted the optimal route to reindustrialization. If done correctly, reindustrialization can provide a key means of generating high quality jobs in the U.S. […]

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Should Congress Extend the $600 Federal Unemployment Benefit? Share This

Amber Lapp | Jun 26, 2020 | Coronavirus

In March as Ohio began to shut down, Emily—a thirtysomething mom who asked that I not use her real name—worried about her family, her neighbors, and especially the elderly. She posted on her town’s Facebook page offering to grocery shop for those unable to go to the store, or to share a meal with anyone […]

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Contain China if Necessary, but Emulate Features of its Industrial Policy to Ensure Long Term Economic Prosperity Share This

Marshall Auerback | Jun 24, 2020 | Industrial Policy

Robert Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has just written a very compelling analysis of China’s national industrial policy, especially in relation to the exponential growth of its telecommunications industry. Some of the key findings of the paper, “How China’s Mercantilist Policies Have Undermined Global Innovation in the Telecom Equipment Industry” are as […]

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Riding the Protest Wave: How Elites Will Co-opt BLM Share This

Chris Arnade | Jun 21, 2020

It is easy for the right to look at excesses from the current protest, or the incoherence of some protestors, and dismiss them in total. They don’t know their history! They are yelling about capitalism from an iPhone! Defund the police! Crazy! That is a mistake. The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t simply about the […]

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