The Commons

How Essential Are the ‘Email Job’ Caste? Share This

Gord Magill | Apr 03, 2021 | Coronavirus

Despite the impact of “Stupid-19,” life rolls on in a very essential fashion for myself and many other workers. In my case, I work in energy distribution, and here in the cold northeast, the “propane must flow” if homes were to be kept warm this past winter, and some level of comfort is to be […]

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Freedom, Fairness or Flourishing: America’s Fundamental Economic Policy Choice Share This

Rob Atkinson | Apr 01, 2021 | Economics

Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan is big and bold. Most pundits and the media see it as a rejection of the prior half century of small government, free-market conservative thinking and a new kind of growth policy. As the Wall Street Journal puts it, “It all marks a major turning point for economic policy. The […]

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A Weighty Matter: The Cost of Fat America Share This

Micah Meadowcroft | Mar 31, 2021 | Health Care

In a world so “Orwellian” that the term has lost its oomph with too much use (one wonders if Eric Blair would advise against continuing its employ on grounds that now it, too, is “ugly and inaccurate”) perhaps “health care” is our most Orwellian bit of obfuscation. There are lots of reasons to suggest this, […]

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Post-Liberal America Share This

R. R. Reno | Mar 31, 2021 | American Tradition

In my Catholic corner of the world, a surprising number of people are talking about “integralism.” The term comes from nineteenth and twentieth century French debates about the relation of the Church to the state. The liberal and secularist forces insisted that the Church should have no power over civic affairs. Traditionally minded Catholics argued […]

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Putting Down Roots Share This

Patrick T. Brown | Mar 26, 2021 | Agriculture

There’s a simplistic way to talk about the history of American associational life that goes something like this: Neighbors used to help each other raise barns, churches provided much-needed charity, and benevolent societies covered costs due to injury or untimely death. Then the New Deal or the Great Society stepped in and Americans began bowling, […]

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Pro-Life, Pro-Family Share This

Micah Meadowcroft | Mar 24, 2021 | Family

Before I suggest, humbly and carefully, that there is a silence from many of them that should be addressed, I would be remiss not to acknowledge the efforts of nearly 50 years by pro-life activists to protect unborn life in America. By every measure but their own—for Roe v. Wade is still not overturned and […]

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The Relationships That Don’t Fit on a Spreadsheet Share This

Mary Thompson | Mar 24, 2021 | Edgerton Essays

A few nights ago, several of my six (mostly grown) children were around the dinner table, reminiscing about the days when their maternal grandparents would care for them. Their fondest memories were the little moments you’d think would have gone unnoticed: “Nana knew exactly how much milk to pour in my bowl of Cheerios,” said […]

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Jonah Goldberg Takes On Public Policy Stuff Share This

Oren Cass | Mar 19, 2021 | Politics

Jonah Goldberg, Cliff Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute, had a lot to say about American Compass on a recent podcast, beginning around the 15:00 mark (and still going at the 25:00 mark…).

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The Deliberalizing Imperative Share This

Josh Hammer | Mar 17, 2021 | Politics

The New Right, which stands for nothing if not resuscitating a long-moribund communitarian– and nationalism-inspired strand of conservative thought, is not per se “illiberal,” but certainly questions the limitations of a “conservative” right-liberalism defined by little more than values-neutral proceduralism. Various shades of “illiberals,” “post-liberals,” and even plain-old conservative skeptics of our overly liberalized post-World War II “conservative […]

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A Dream Achieved—Through Mere Luck Share This

Peter Martuneac | Mar 16, 2021 | Edgerton Essays

Improvise, adapt, and overcome. The instructors at Marine Corps Recruit Training drilled those three words into the heads of my friends and myself back in 2010. It’s a pretty linear concept on a battlefield. But what do you do when asked to apply this to chasing the American Dream? It’s ironic—that dream we’re all chasing, […]

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Calling on the Wrong Profession: Time to Listen Less to Economists Share This

Rob Atkinson | Mar 15, 2021 | Economics

As hard as it is to believe, there was a time – before the New Deal – when economists were largely treated like any other interest group, occasionally saying something interesting, but usually ignored by policymakers. All that changed when Keynesian economics started to be seen to the solution of business cycle downturns, and then […]

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A Consolidationist Agenda for the Right Share This

Josh Hammer | Mar 10, 2021 | Politics

Like so many others here on The Commons, I have been delighted by the recent explosion of intellectual energy on the American Right as it pertains to family policy. Considering the near-ubiquitous rhetorical rebranding of the post-Trump GOP as a working-class party, and the party’s envisioned future political base as that of a multiracial working-class […]

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