The Republican Party has drifted toward a market fundamentalism in which freer markets and bigger tax cuts are the answer to every question. Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey recently declared that “capitalism is nothing more than economic freedom.” And former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley tweeted that “as we are dealing with changes in our economy, tax cuts are always a good idea.”

This is not conservative in any meaningful sense of the word. Conservatives value economic freedom, absolutely, but a well-functioning economy is a means to the greater ends of strong families, stable communities and a flourishing nation under limited government.

Markets are wonderful, but they only solve some problems. And, sometimes, they are the problem.

Contrary to Toomey’s assertion, conservatives recognize that capitalism only works when legal rules and a moral culture channel the pursuit of profit toward advancing the common good.

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Oren Cass
Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.
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