Liberty and Tariffs for All Share This

Oren Cass | Sep 16, 2022 | The Compass Point

I spoke earlier this week at a private event for a fervently free-market group. Bringing new ways of thinking to such audiences is a favorite pastime of mine, and one of American Compass’s reasons for being. Partly, of course, this presents an opportunity to persuade. As important, I get to hear the questions and counterarguments […]

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What Conservative Critics of Globalization Miss Share This

Anthea Roberts & Nicolas Lamp | Apr 04, 2022 | Trade

It is hard, nay impossible, to find a more sophisticated conservative critique of globalization than that articulated by Oren Cass. Perhaps because Cass was once a card-carrying member of the economic establishment himself, he has an exceptionally clear sense of some of the problematic assumptions that have underpinned that establishment’s high level of support for […]

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Globalists Finally See Reality Share This

Clyde Prestowitz | Apr 04, 2022 | Trade

On March 3, 2018, The Economist declared that the free world had “made the wrong bet” in trying to make China “a responsible stakeholder in the rules based, liberal global order.” Last week, major hedge fund manager and long-time globalization champion Larry Fink declared that “globalization is over.” When the former high priests of globalization […]

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How to Bound the American Market Share This

Michael Stumo | Apr 01, 2022 | Trade

In his essay, Oren Cass correctly argues that a well-functioning capitalist system requires a “bounded market” within a nation-state that imposes interdependence on labor, capital, and consumers. Frictionless capital mobility across borders, in contrast, decouples the interests of investors from their country and their workers. Global capital flows have become massive in volume, unrelated to […]

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Did Globalization Cause the Great Stagnation? Share This

Caleb Watney | Apr 01, 2022 | Trade

Analyzing the effects of any long-run macroeconomic trend is admittedly a difficult affair. After all, typically more than one big trend is happening at a time, which means that isolating the impact of any particular force requires careful and thoughtful empirical analysis. It is somewhat troubling then, that “Where’s the Growth?” doesn’t appear to draw […]

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Why the Free Trade Debate Needs the Real Adam Smith Share This

Paul Winfree | Mar 31, 2022 | Trade

Oren Cass is right to note that modern economists largely misunderstand Adam Smith. But the misunderstanding runs deeper and traces even further back than editorializing in 20th-century textbooks. For more than two centuries, scholars have ignored the relationship between Smith’s political philosophy and economic analysis. It began with Smith’s own friend and biographer, Dugald Stewart, […]

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It’s Time for a Neoclassical Economic Reckoning Share This

Jonathan Askonas | Mar 31, 2022 | Trade

Oren Cass’s essay demonstrates how the advantages of industrial policy, apparent to some of the founders of economics and foundational to the success of the United States, were carefully airbrushed out by advocates of free trade in the 20th century. But he goes too easy on the neoclassical economists. Not only did their defenses of […]

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Freer Trade Isn’t Always Better Share This

Ron Hira | Mar 30, 2022 | Trade

Oren Cass takes on the entrenched belief held by the U.S. economics profession that countries should always pursue a policy of free trade. He argues that Smith and Ricardo have been misunderstood for generations because their key assumptions around capital mobility were omitted as the arguments were passed down. The results have been disastrous. I […]

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Just Say No to Rejoining TPP Share This

Robert Lighthizer | Mar 30, 2022 | Trade

Economic theorists treat globalization as the free market’s natural end state. But trade practitioners know that the opposite is true—that efforts at stitching together the world’s economies are among the messiest sausage-making exercises in policymaking. The protracted process of establishing rules to “liberalize” trade suffers from all the same maladies that free traders warn would […]

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America Should Use Existing Tools, Not Fashion New Ones Share This

Simon Lester | Mar 29, 2022 | Trade

The debate over free trade versus protectionism has been around for hundreds of years, with a level of political prominence that has varied over time. After a relatively quiet period in the post-war era, the modern debate over trade and globalization’s rules and institutions has grown quite contentious. Regaining Our Balance is emblematic of this […]

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Modern Economics Is Not an Illuminati Conspiracy Share This

Stan Veuger | Mar 29, 2022 | Trade

I read “Searching for Capitalism in the Wreckage of Globalization” with more frustration than surprise. Oren Cass’s argument consists, roughly speaking, of two parts. The substance of both parts unfortunately reflects a number of fundamental misunderstandings. The first part of Mr. Cass’s argument is that the entire economics profession has either misread or misinterpreted a […]

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Magical Thinking on China and Trade Share This

Oren Cass | Feb 23, 2021 | Trade

In the Wall Street Journal today, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson gives a rundown of the generic case for “How American Free Trade Can Outdo China.” Three things jump out: 1. He leads with the point that, “America’s economic prosperity and the effectiveness of our political system and global leadership are rooted in domestic economic […]

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