episode 83: Calling for the Return of American Conservative Economics


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“There is more to life than economic freedom. And there is more to economic freedom than economic freedom. A society that attempts to maximize everyone’s freedom at every moment will fail miserably in preserving individual liberty and limiting government over time.”



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“There is more to life than economic freedom. And there is more to economic freedom than economic freedom. A society that attempts to maximize everyone’s freedom at every moment will fail miserably in preserving individual liberty and limiting government over time.”
What is missing from our policy debates is a distinctively conservative approach to economics.
So argues my guest Oren Cass, founder and executive director of 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. Also joining me is Wells King, the research director of American Compass.
Cass points out that the libertarian right and the progressive left have polarized our political debate, with one side favoring fewer government programs and less regulation, while the other advocating more, and that there is a more attractive middle course.
“Neither prioritizes the traditional structures of family and community that provide the foundations of a flourishing society, or the capacities that a nation must nurture and sustain to remain strong. Consensus views across the political, business, and academic elite have enormous blind spots, from the dangers of globalization, to the costs of a college-for-all education system, to the value of belonging to a particular place. At home, the data on collapsing families, shuttering communities, stagnating wages, and declining life expectancy are well known. Abroad, America’s capacity to protect and advance its national interests is likewise waning.”
Making these our priorities would form the bedrock of a return to what Henry Clay called the “American System” and a distinctively conservative guide to statesmanship and economics.
This is a fascinating take on today’s policy debates. Well worth a listen. And well worth taking a hard look at.



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