The Commons

Trickle-down Distrust Share This

Amber Lapp | May 15, 2020 | Corruption

Re: Whither Corruption and Conservatism? (Matt Stoller)

In his recent post Matt Stoller observes that a common theme at The Commons thus far is “the reemergence of the state as the key locus of legitimacy for the exercise of power” and urges conservatives to think about corruption and statecraft. What’s needed, he says, “is a vision of how to structure such a […]

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Musings on Neoliberalism Share This

David Azerrad | May 14, 2020 | Neoliberalism

Some time after I first met Oren, we had a good back and forth about neoliberalism, a term that has already appeared several times on this website and is at the forefront of American Compass’s mind. While Oren thought the word useful to describe the reigning economic orthodoxy we both found dissatisfying, I was more […]

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Failing a Test on Trade Share This

Oren Cass | May 14, 2020 | Trade

Professor Dan Drezner has been crudely criticizing Senator Josh Hawley’s New York Times op-ed on U.S. withdrawal from the WTO—treating it  “the way one would treat an undergrad paper in global political economy,” awarding a C-minus, and offering the feedback that, “You can do better work than this, Josh. Put in the effort, do more […]

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Japan Offers a Compelling ‘Back to the Future’ Model Share This

Marshall Auerback | May 14, 2020 | Industrial Policy

Japan has announced newly defined restrictions on foreign investment, which at face value, seem to violate the provisions of the World Trade Organization agreement.  Of course, Tokyo has crafted these restrictions on the vague grounds of “national security”, which is likely to take on a substantially different meaning in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hence, […]

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“One Nation” America Share This

Patrick Deneen | May 13, 2020 | Coalition

Take a guess when these words were written: [What we are seeing is] the perishing of the whole English power of self-support, the growth of cities that drain and dry up the countryside, the growth of dense dependent populations incapable of finding their own food, the toppling triumph of machines over men; the sprawling omnipotence […]

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Why America Needs A Great Civil Service Share This

Chris Buskirk | May 11, 2020 | Governing

Henry Adams described the hopelessness in Washington in 1860 and early 1861 as the country careened towards break-up and war this way: “No one could help. Looking back on this moment of crisis, nearly 50 years afterwards, one could only shake one’s white beard in silent horror.” I’ve thought about this passage a lot lately […]

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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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