The Commons

Does Anyone in Power Notice When Government Services Fail? Share This

Dorothy Ramsey | Apr 20, 2021 | Edgerton Essays

Take a deep breath and hold it for ten seconds. Imagine doing that over and over again, 31,536,000 times, not knowing where your children were. That’s ten years—or as long as my daughter was separated from her two disabled sons after their non-custodial father abducted them. But when she went to the police, they barely provided […]

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If We Can’t Agree on a Global Minimum, Abolish the Corporate Tax Share This

Marshall Auerback | Apr 15, 2021 | Economics

Along with his proposals to raise the U.S. corporate tax rate to 28% (President Trump cut it to 21% from 35%), President Biden has offered something up to his global counterparts that has been around for a while, but which no U.S. president had heretofore seriously contemplated: a global minimum corporate tax rate of 21%, which […]

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No, Adopting an Industrial Policy Doesn’t Mean We’re Emulating China Share This

Rob Atkinson | Apr 14, 2021 | China

As the Biden administration and Congress consider “industrial policy” legislation (e.g., the Endless Frontier Act, the CHIPS Act, funding for shoring up domestic supply chains, and a more robust R&D credit) it’s perhaps not surprising that many pundits, journalists, and policymakers are asking how this is any different than what China is doing. After all, […]

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Justice Thomas, Countervailing Power, and Big Tech Share This

Marshall Auerback | Apr 07, 2021 | Big Tech

In a non-binding concurrence, Justice Clarence Thomas (joined by no other justices), argued that social media platforms could be labeled “common carriers,” and should therefore be treated like phone companies or similar utilities. Thomas’ commentary accompanied a Monday Supreme Court order instructing a New York district court to dismiss as moot a lawsuit against former […]

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The Fed’s Most Harmful Statistics Error Share This

Rob Atkinson | Apr 06, 2021 | Economics

Government economic statistics are critical to understanding the economy and making policy. For example, the Federal Reserve relies on accurate information about inflation to make monetary policy. Accurate statistics are also important for understanding structural economic changes and economic performance. Nowhere is this more important than in understanding what has happened to manufacturing output and […]

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Small Business Boards: How to Help Small And Medium Businesses Compete Share This

Michael Lind | Apr 06, 2021

Large numbers of American workers are trapped in low-wage jobs in low-tech, low-profit industries in the nontraded domestic service sector, including leisure and hospitality, retail and child and elder care. To raise wages significantly, firms would have to increase their productivity by investing in innovative technology, but their profit margins are too small for them […]

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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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