The Commons

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environment by digital technology–a process laid bare by the unfolding coronavirus pandemic–our “map” of America is now out of date.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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Government, Not Markets Can Best Pick Winners Share This

Rob Atkinson | May 05, 2020 | Industrial Policy

Finding a Manufacturer (Image Courtesy Wikimedia https://goo.gl/images/ozWa0Q) China’s economic rise and the damage inflicted on U.S. industry has been a wakeup call to many U.S. policymakers. But most conventional economists continue to hold firm to their ideological notion that only the market can respond, and that any more proactive government action, particularly focused on key […]

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The New Fusionism We Need Share This

R. R. Reno | May 05, 2020 | Politics

Almost 60 years ago, Frank Meyer formulated “fusionism.” He explained why 1950s anti-communists, free-market proponents, and social conservatives could unite in a coherent coalition. By his reckoning, all three were concerned to defend freedom. The anti-communists battled against Soviet tyranny. The followers of Hayek and Friedman were opposed to the dirigiste impulses of Keynesian economic […]

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From Protecting Essential Workers to Upgrading Essential Industries Share This

Michael Lind | May 05, 2020 | Economic Development

The COVID-19 panic has drawn long-overdue attention to the economic and health and financial challenges facing many “essential workers” including nurses and health aides, nursing home aides, slaughterhouse workers, truckers, grocery store clerks and other retail workers, warehouse workers, and others upon whom the daily functioning of our continental society depends.  Unfortunately the response of […]

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Thinking Big to Act Small Share This

Patrick Deneen | May 05, 2020 | Community

American Compass proposes that conservatives revisit the question of whether a nation can afford an economic order without a “compass,” a guide that can provide a sense of direction national policy and shared intention.  The question is essential, and the answers on offer on this site portend a new course for the American political order. […]

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A Note of Introduction Share This

Oren Cass | May 04, 2020 | Announcement

Welcome to American Compass. Our mission is to restore an economic consensus that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity. Many of the most insightful and creative policymakers, researchers, and pundits on the American right-of-center, and some on the left-of-center as well, are dedicating tremendous intellectual energy toward […]

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