Paul Krugman famously called the federal government “an insurance company with an army.” In this, unlike most things, he is not entirely wrong. When it comes to domestic policy, the lion’s share of government spending is social insurance payments (Medicare, Social Security, the SSDI disability program, unemployment insurance) and social assistance via the safety net […]
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 […]
Politicians today are out of step with the many elderly—like me—who live on Social Security alone. They propose spending tax dollars on cancelling student loans or health care for illegal immigrants or other proposals that aren’t really “needs.” Meanwhile, this money comes out of the pockets of hardworking Americans, many of whom may depend on […]
Forget American exceptionalism. Tiny social democratic Sweden is the country that embodies humanity’s future in the eyes of much of the global liberal left. A generation ago, the liberal economist Robert Heilbroner famously described his utopia as “a slightly idealized Sweden.” Now, the Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond has tried to draft Sweden for the libertarian […]
“Checks” risks becoming the rallying cry for a hollow form of populism, one that seeks to merely extract value for the masses rather than build something new and permanent.
International evidence shows Paid Family Leave programs can boost fertility rates.
In his latest contribution to our ongoing debate over social insurance and conservatism, Oren Cass clarifies some of our points of disagreement. One of them concerns the meaning and nature of “social insurance” itself. Another is whether certain proposals are sufficiently “conservative.” To Cass, social insurance, or at least the kind of social insurance acceptable […]
Redistribution is a vital topic for conservatives as we question stale orthodoxies and reexamine how first principles can help to address modern challenges. In this respect I agree entirely with recent comments by Sam Hammond, both here on The Commons and at The American Conservative, insisting that the right-of-center must get beyond “hostility to anything […]
In a recent essay for The American Conservative, Oren Cass criticizes a viewpoint, which he attributes to the Niskanen Center, among others on the center-right, that places a central emphasis on free markets and economic growth even when doing so “necessitate[s] a much larger safety net, widespread government dependence, and the loss of a baseline […]