The Commons

Addressing 21st Century Problems, Not 20th Century Problems Share This

R. R. Reno | May 11, 2020 | Politics

Re: And Now a Word for Laissez-Faire (Wall Street Journal)

Before we were engulfed by coronavirus panic, Bill McGurn penned a column warning against the perils of American Compass and social engineering (“And Now a Word for Laissez-Faire,” Wall Street Journal, March 7). I found it too Manichean: Either laissez-faire dogmatism or the conceits of social engineering. Bill rightly warns against the hubris of policy […]

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No, U.S. Manufacturing Is Not at an All-Time High Share This

Rob Atkinson | May 11, 2020 | Economics

Daniel Moynihan once stated that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” This is no more true than with today’s debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing; a debate that is critical to get right if policy makers are to respond appropriately. Apologists for the status quo paint a Pollyannaish […]

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“Pay Parents” Isn’t a Pro-Family Position Share This

Oren Cass | May 10, 2020 | Family

Debates over family policy are centering on the idea that households should be “paid” for raising children. The latest salvo comes from the New York Times, which celebrates Mother’s Day with an essay by Kim Brooks entitled, “Forget Pancakes. Pay Mothers.” Gladden Pappin applauded it on Twitter as “such an important essay” and chided “pro-family […]

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Toward a New Anti-Corruption Statecraft Share This

James Poulos | May 09, 2020 | Corruption

Re: Whither Corruption and Conservatism (Matt Stoller)

REUTERS / Joshua Roberts – stock.adobe.com Matt poses some important questions below about how conservatives must defend anti-corruption statecraft against (tellingly) American libertarians and Chinese communists. I think it is right to suggest that the founders and their generation generally shared a robust sensibility that opposing, combating, and defeating corruption was properly political activity at […]

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Whither Corruption and Conservatism? Share This

Matt Stoller | May 08, 2020 | Corruption

Oren Cass invited me to contribute to this site not as a conservative but as a lefty and Democrat who is fascinated by the project of intellectual revival in which this network of thinkers is engaged. The contributors share an important goal, which is to rebuild an economic and political consensus in favor of the national […]

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“TRIM” the WTO, Don’t Abolish It Share This

Marshall Auerback | May 07, 2020 | Trade

It is refreshing to see an increasing number of politicians and pundits from across the political spectrum calling for re-establishing their manufacturing base to address the vulnerabilities exposed in the wake of COVID-19.  The latest is GOP Senator Josh Hawley, calling for the abolition of the World Trade Organization, in a NY Times Op-ed. It […]

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The Free-Market-Fundamentalist Menace Share This

Saagar Enjeti | May 06, 2020 | Coronavirus

The Senate is finally back in Washington and negotiations over the next coronavirus recovery package are underway. The White House’s initial salvo was reported Monday and includes a capital gains tax cut, a measure to increase entertainment tax deductions, and a payroll tax cut.  If you tasked me with putting together a parody recovery plan […]

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Josh Hawley, the WTO, & the Shifting World Order Share This

Rachel Bovard | May 06, 2020 | Trade

Re: The W.T.O Should Be Abolished (Sen. Hawley, New York Times)

Sen. Josh Hawley recently opined in the New York Times about the need for the US to back out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and engage the global economy with bilateral trade agreements that better reflect American interests. The piece prompted immediate reactions from groups on the Right. The CATO Institute took issue with […]

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To Reboot America, Reboot the Power of Hard-Working Americans Share This

David Rolf | May 06, 2020 | Inequality and Mobility

Working Americans were in trouble before COVID Before anyone had heard the term “COVID-19,” working America was already in a crisis. Despite a growing economy in the years preceding COVID-19 — with expanding corporate profit margins, soaring capital markets, record-low unemployment, rising levels of educational attainment and (intermittently) rising productivity – real wages for many […]

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The Compass and the Territory Share This

James Poulos | May 06, 2020 | Technology

No particular worldview or ideology is necessary to see the reality of our political situation today. Due to the reshaping of our psychological and social environment by digital technology–a process laid bare by the unfolding coronavirus pandemic–our “map” of America is now out of date. Deep-seated economic and cultural transformations that began decades ago have […]

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On National Growth and Community Well-Being Share This

John Lettieri | May 06, 2020 | Community

For my inaugural post here on The Commons, I want to offer a few thoughts on how one of the pillars of the American Compass mission, community, has too often been a blind spot in the prevailing view of the economy. First, a confession: I’m probably the closest thing to a cheerleader for free markets you’ll find […]

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The Tipped Red Tricycle: Why Economic Growth Is Not Enough Share This

Amber Lapp | May 06, 2020 | Family

The house next door sits empty again. The neighbor across the street leaves a boys jacket on my porch that she scavenged from the overflowing boxes and bags of stuff lining the lawn for the trash man. “It’s a nice jacket—could one of your boys use it? Some of the things in the boxes still […]

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