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Today we are announcing the formation of American Compass, an organization dedicated to helping American conservatism recover from its chronic case of market fundamentalism. In preparation, we have been perusing the mission statements of many of our nationā€™s think tanks. Nearly every group has one. Oddly, the right-of-centerā€™s preeminent public-policy institutions all have the same one: to advance the principles of ā€œlimited government, free enterprise, and individual libertyā€ or ā€œfree markets and limited, effective governmentā€ or ā€œfree enterprise, limited government, individual freedomā€ or ā€œindividual liberty, limited government, free marketsā€ or ā€œeconomic choice and individual responsibilityā€ or ā€œindividual, economic, and political freedom; private enterprise; and representative government.ā€

Without question, those principles are vital. But an emphasis so monotonal is neither supportive of effective deliberation nor genuinely conservative. ā€œWhy donā€™t we look at a policy and just ask, does it expand economic freedom?ā€ suggests Heritage Foundation vice president Jack Spencer. Because there is more to life than economic freedom. Also, there is more to economic freedom than economic freedom. A society that attempts to maximize everyoneā€™s freedom at every moment will fail miserably in preserving individual liberty and limiting government over time.

What is missing from our public debates is a distinctively conservative approach to economics.

Continue Reading at National Review
Oren Cass
Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.
@oren_cass
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