The Commons

The Surprising Nordic Lesson for U.S. Welfare Share This

Michael Jindra | Jul 20, 2021 | Welfare State

Cash payments to families with children will begin this month, thanks to the Biden administration’s stimulus that significantly enlarges and extends child benefits. This won’t end the debate over the best way to reduce poverty—it will only become more pressing as the benefit’s one-year expiration date approaches. Is this the best way to help struggling families? Some […]

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Enabling Families to Support Each Other Share This

MeChell Roache-Johnson | Jul 12, 2021 | Coronavirus

Although I know that some of my opinions are solid and will not be changed, I usually keep them to myself—and wish a lot of other people would as well sometimes. This is a personal topic to me, but since we just celebrated Pride month, it’s important for me to be honest: I have a […]

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Why Do Libertarians Support User Fees but Not a Family Wage? Share This

Michael Lind | Jul 08, 2021 | Economics

If there is one thing that libertarians, free-market conservatives, and even many center-left neoliberals agree on, it is the logic of paying for highways and other forms of infrastructure out of user fees rather than general taxes. This approach, they argue, is both fairer and more efficient: fair because it ensures those who use the […]

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A Template for Harnessing the Private Sector for the Public Good Share This

Marshall Auerback | Jul 01, 2021 | Industrial Policy

Markets do not naturally tend toward “equilibrium.”  They are wrecking balls if not properly harnessed. High levels of debt, which can be a source of strength (by enabling higher levels of investment than could be financed otherwise), can also be a source of vulnerability if the government fails to coordinate investment, curb excess capacity, and […]

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“Family Policy” Should Include Caring for Maternal Health Share This

Bianca Labrador | Jun 29, 2021 | Edgerton Essays

Lots of people have been talking about “family policy.” Let’s not forget that family policy starts with mothers. More than half of new mothers experience the “baby blues,” but for some, it becomes even more serious. I know firsthand. In 2014, I had my first daughter. I managed to stay upbeat, though worn out from […]

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High School and Beyond: Creating Pathways to Opportunity Share This

Bruno Manno | Jun 23, 2021 | Education

The high school movement, an early 20th century American grassroots shift in secondary education, produced “a spectacular educational transformation,” according to Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz. Between 1910 and 1940, 18-year-old enrollment grew from 19% to 71%, and graduation rates rose from 9% to more than 50%, boosting the country to the forefront […]

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Operation Warp Speed Accelerated Biotech Innovation. Now What? Share This

David Adler | Jun 22, 2021 | Coronavirus

Operation Warp Speed (OWS) was a nearly miraculous COVID-19 vaccine success story. What is less widely recognized is that it has also unlocked a biotech revolution. The mRNA technologies that OWS helped bring to market have numerous potential applications, ranging from cancer treatments to hormone replacement therapies to radical new ways to treat infectious disease. […]

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The Problem of Tech Is Bigger Than Big Tech Share This

Oren Cass | Jun 22, 2021 | Big Tech

The early years of a technological revolution are not, generally speaking, happy ones. In The Technology Trap, Oxford University’s Carl Benedikt Frey documents the fallout of the Industrial Revolution begun in the late eighteenth century: “The conditions of the [English] working class did not improve before the 1840s, and for many people, living standards were deteriorating.” […]

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Making It Easier to Make Ends Meet Share This

Hannah Ketcham | Jun 16, 2021 | Edgerton Essays

6 a.m. is much too early for this tired mama. But nonetheless, I hear that little pitter-patter of onesie-covered feet coming down the hall into our room. With a soft “Mom, can I have a banana?” my day begins, whether I’m ready for it or not. A few minutes later, my husband is out the […]

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The Costs of Tech Policy Inaction Share This

C.J. Mahoney | Jun 14, 2021 | Technology

Lost in the Super Market offers a useful point-counterpoint guide to thinking about the challenges that the United States faces as it considers how to regulate the digital economy. As with many important questions, those on opposite poles in this debate make valid points that policymakers of all political persuasions would do well to consider. […]

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Want More Humane Technology? Look to the Supermarket Share This

Adam Kovacevich | Jun 10, 2021 | Technology

Are we the passive victims of rapacious technology? Or fully knowledgeable about how technology works and in control of its role in our lives? That’s a central tension of many of today’s tech policy debates, including the “Lost in the Super Market” essays: if data-driven services, sticky online content, and digital labor markets are surreptitiously […]

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Reflections on the Digital Revolution Share This

Chris Buskirk | Jun 08, 2021 | Big Tech

“In the real world outside economic theory, every business is successful exactly to the extent that it does something others cannot. Monopoly is therefore not a pathology or an exception. Monopoly is the condition of every successful business.” —Peter Thiel “Meet the new boss, same as the old ” —Roger Daltrey The problems and challenges posed […]

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