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“A brilliant book. And among the most important I've ever read.”

― J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy

“No one has better articulated the conservative argument for why work matters . . .

― Mitt Romney

“The essential policy book for our time . . . A must-read.”

― Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs

. . . an unflinching indictment of the mistakes that Washington has made for a generation . . .

― Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

. . . welcome common ground for policy debates across partisan and ideological lines . . .

― William A. Galston, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

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The Working Hypothesis:

How the consumerist consensus led America astray, and how to recover

The American Interest, Nov 2018

Latest News

“What if China sends $50 billion worth of electronics to the United States and we send $50 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds back to China?” asks a new book, The Once and Future Worker. Its author, Oren Cass, has one of the sharpest policy minds in this new vanguard. . . . Cass’s book, timed for publication the week after the midterms, could either be the battle orders for a second Trump term or a to-do list for a successor stamped in the same mold.


[Experts] who lean more to the right may choose to combine wage subsidies with stronger incentives to work and measures that strengthen families and communities, as Oren Cass proposes in his forthcoming “The Once and Future Worker.” This is a debate candidates must join during the forthcoming presidential campaign.


Upcoming Events

October 24, 2018


The New American Heartland: A Panel Discussion on Heartland Talent

More info >>

October 29, 2018

Washington, DC

Challenges for Employers and Workers: New Books on Work, Skills, and Mobility

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November 13, 2018

New York City

Book Launch: The Once and Future Worker

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November 15, 2018

Washington, DC

Throwing Robots Under the Bus: How Blaming Automation Distracts Attention From Real Solutions to Modern Labor Market Woes

More info >>

About the Book

The American worker is in crisis. Wages have stagnated for more than a generation. Reliance on welfare programs has surged. Life expectancy is falling as substance abuse and obesity rates climb.

These woes are not the inevitable result of irresistible global and technological forces. They are the direct consequence of a decades-long economic consensus that prioritized increasing consumption―regardless of the costs to American workers, their families, and their communities. Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency focused attention on the depth of the nation’s challenges, yet while everyone agrees something must change, the Left’s insistence on still more government spending and the Right’s faith in still more economic growth are recipes for repeating the mistakes of the past.

In this groundbreaking re-evaluation of American society, economics, and public policy, Oren Cass challenges our basic assumptions about what prosperity means and where it comes from to reveal how we lost our way. The good news is that we can still turn things around―if the nation’s proverbial elites are willing to put the American worker’s interests first.

Which is more important, pristine air quality, or well-paying jobs that support families? Unfettered access to the cheapest labor in the world, or renewed investment in the employment of Americans? Smoothing the path through college for the best students, or ensuring that every student acquires the skills to succeed in the modern economy? Cutting taxes, expanding the safety net, or adding money to low-wage paychecks?

The renewal of work in America demands new answers to these questions. If we reinforce their vital role, workers supporting strong families and communities can provide the foundation for a thriving, self-sufficient society that offers opportunity to all.