RECOMMENDED READING
American Compass Releases Conservative Economic Agenda for 118th Congress
Hayek’s Broken Promise
Comparative Disadvantage

The Wall Street Journal has released a two-minute attack ad against American Compass, whose mission is to restore an economic consensus that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity.

For readers who may not have a chance to watch the video, and in anticipation that such a journalistically inadequate product may not remain available on the Journal’s website indefinitely, I’ve transcribed it here with some brief commentary. Read to the end to learn how they spliced audio of my answer to a question about whether I would consider being a socialist, removing the part where I praise Friedrich Hayek and making it sound instead like I start my answer with, “yes.”

The video accompanies a column by Bill McGurn that accuses Compass of having “an unbounded confidence that, whatever the undesirable market outcome identified, all that’s needed is to gather the best and the brightest, give them the power to flip the right switches, and — voilà! — the perfect solution, with no opportunity costs, no unfairness, no unintended consequences”; suggests we support “redesigning an economy from central command”; and then admits “stacking” the debate to “tar anyone who dissents from their pet orthodoxies.”

Wait, correction. In addition to describing our “unbounded confidence” in “perfect solutions” and our commitment to “redesigning an economy from central command,” the Journal accused us of “name calling,” stacking the debate rather than encouraging it, and trying to tar those who dissent from pet orthodoxies.

On to the video.

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Oren Cass
Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.
@oren_cass
Recommended Reading
American Compass Releases Conservative Economic Agenda for 118th Congress

Today, American Compass is releasing New Direction: Conservative Principles & Policies for the 118th Congress, an agenda for economic renewal, focused on the interests of worker, their families and communities, and the nation.

Hayek’s Broken Promise

It is a tragedy that Friedrich Hayek’s excesses, invested with the authority of his (deserved) reputation, became the unexamined default for right-of-center economic thinking in America.

The resulting orthodoxy too often combines a Panglossian insistence on defending market outcomes regardless of their quality with a reflexive belief that policy intervention can only be distortive for the worse.

But when it comes to international trade’s effect on the American economy, a knowing assertion that nothing should be done, followed by yet another “analysis” working backward to an argument that nothing needs doing, will no longer do.

Comparative Disadvantage

If comparative advantage is created rather than discovered, refusing to play the game has consequences.