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A recent National Review article is titled “The Return of Conservative Economics.” When a politician or a political writer says his great new idea is “conservative,” grab your wallet and run the other way as fast as you can. Not only will it not be conservative, it will likely be daft — and accompanied by the force of law. The NRO article is a perfect example of this. It opens with:
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 nation’s think tanks. Nearly every group has one. Oddly, the right-of-center’s preeminent public-policy institutions all have the same one: to advance the principles of “limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty” or “free markets and limited, effective government” or “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom” or “individual liberty, limited government, free markets” or “economic choice and individual responsibility” or “individual, economic, and political freedom; private enterprise; and representative government.”