Editor's note: The following is a review at The Washington Free Beacon of an upcoming book by Oren Cass, The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America.
How do we make sure everyone has enough? This is a simple question, but answering it has long vexed policymakers. In general, we all desire to live in a society where the poor are cared for, where families do not go unfed, and where a rising tide lifts all economic boats. But how do we get there?
In The Once and Future Worker, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Oren Cass argues that for decades, politicians on both sides of the aisle have tried to solve this problem in the same way. Namely, they have aimed to maximize Americans' ability to consume: to buy more, more cheaply, and more often.
The way to do this is, it is generally agreed, by maximizing aggregate wealth, and then redistributing it so that everyone has adequate purchasing power. Republicans are a little more focused on maximizing the size of the economic "pie" with tax cuts, while Democrats favor redistributive programs to divvy it up. But both sides share this fundamental framework.
Charles Fain Lehman is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon.