Industrial Policy Is Unwise But Not Impossible

Ford 2021 Bronco SUVs on the assembly line at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., June 14, 2021. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
Critiques of national-conservative economics based on the ‘knowledge problem’ usually miss the mark.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE D riven by coalitional fissures, many conservatives are rethinking long-established principles. One of them is the primacy of free enterprise. Whereas it used to be conservative orthodoxy that allocating resources by markets rather than government was essential for prosperity, national conservatives have begun to question how far this presumption should go.

While certainly not as hostile to free enterprise as their progressive counterparts, national conservatives are not particularly shy about using public power to supersede or supplement market forces. A prominent item on their agenda — often called “common-good conservatism” — is industrial policy. The national interest requires higher employment and output

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