Here's David Brooks today, conceding a critique of contemporary capitalism while working his way through a column telling us that capitalism is wonderful, albeit possibly in need of improvements to make it even more wonderful:
This economy produces very valuable companies with very few employees. Meanwhile, the majority of workers are not seeing income gains commensurate with their productivity levels.You might think Brooks is leading up to an acknowledgment that this problem requires a liberal or left-centrist remedy. If so, you're quite naive. Literally four paragraphs later, Brooks writes this:
This puts a strain on the essential compact that you can earn your success. As Joel Kotkin has argued, the middle class is being proletarianized, and the uneducated class is being left behind.
Republicans need to declare a truce on the social safety net. They need to assure the country that the net will always be there for the truly needy. Then they need to point out that it is the web of middle-class entitlements, even the home mortgage deduction, that really threaten benefits to the poor.Ponder that for a second. David Brooks has just told us that the economic status of middle-class people is declining. However, he knows that his ideology requires him to reject any economic-redistribution ideas that take so much as a dime from the rich. So he tells us that middle-class tax benefits like the mortgage interest deduction have to be reconsidered, even though that deduction benefits a group he told us four paragraphs earlier is on the verge of becoming a proletariat.
Doublethink. Pure doublethink. And his fans, including the liberal and centrist ones, probably won't even notice.