Friday, February 21, 2014


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.

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.
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:
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.


Uncle Mike said...

The mortgage interest deduction is an "entitlement??" You save for years for the downpayment, eating ramen and fish sticks to afford your mortgage, and he wants to eliminate the one thing that'll give you a little financial breathing room next year??

Pardon my language, but fuck that guy. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Well... isn't that the point?

Because of advances in technology we don't need a middle class anymore. We only need an investor class. A middle class is just something who's labor is no longer needed and who consume resources. Once we have renewable energy that can be placed by building or house, and can 3d print food and medical supplies, and slightly better robotics/ai, we don't even need the infrastructure to support a middle class.

In other words, everything about a middle class will be nothing more than a massive drain on society, the nation, the planet, and those with capital.

That's where this is going. Everything is in place we are just waiting for the foundations to finish drying.

Ultimately, there is no good argument remaining for having a middle class... and several amazing environmental ones way it should be abolished permanently.

Victor said...

Listen, schmuck, lighten up!

That poor Conservative pig has so many layers of lipstick on, it's now stepping on its lips!

What an insufferable, inane, ass.

Jules said...

Brooks is trying to hasten the middle class' descent into the realm of the truly needy so the social safety net can cradle them like a hammock.

Ha ha, just kidding. If America becomes 99% impoverished people and caring for them would require an 1 cent tax increase on the 1%, Brooks would write a long article outlining how the poor should practice restraint and only eat once or twice a year.

Unknown said...

David Brooks, gasconnading once again as a lickspittle for the elite (read: his rich employers)

Cirze said...


Hell, they're standing up and applauding.

Thanks for the reporting!

Ken_L said...

Give the man credit. At least he called the AEI "right wing" instead of the usual "independent" or "centrist" misrepresentation that conservatives usually use.