I always knew David Brooks was an asshole ....

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no, it's been a "flashpoint" for a major reduction in crime in America, studies suggest

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 21 April 2005 13:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

It's not that the Bushes disenfranchised black voters in 00 and 04, overtly and covertly stealing those respective elections, and it's not that the separation between church and state is disappearing, and our system of checks and balances is not currently functioning, and a major tv network is unapologetically biased towards conservatism, and we're at war either due to incompetence or outright lies that's poisoning our country, it's that evil abortions happen, and Jesus doesn't like that. I say we exile all the liberals. We can borrow more money from China and Saudi Arabia to build ships and send them to Russia where they belong.

rush hannity, Thursday, 21 April 2005 13:35 (9 years ago) Permalink

[quote]no, it's been a "flashpoint" for a major reduction in crime in America, studies suggest[/quote]

that's from the wacky REAL ECONOMICS book (I totally forget the real name and author, he makes a bunch of broad assumptions from economic data), isn't it? The link is specious, certainly not causal and has some severely troubling overtones (ie ignore the link between poverty and crime, instead cheer on poor folks aborting their criminal progeny, etc.)

milozauckerman (miloaukerman), Thursday, 21 April 2005 13:38 (9 years ago) Permalink

well you can't deny that Roe v. Wade has been a flashpoint for contention, strife, and anger ever since.

Yes, he has a point there, but his argument is no different than arguing against Blacks & Women getting the right to vote. We could very well be having the same contention over many other subjects. (“When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.” -Lott)

diedre mousedropping (Dave225), Thursday, 21 April 2005 13:50 (9 years ago) Permalink

milo, are you referring to Steve Leavitt and Steve Landsburg? Their economics are generally considered "sound" by other economists (Leavitt won the John Bates Clark medal a few years ago, for whatever that happens to be worth, though Landsburg came in for considerable abuse when he was writing "Everyday Economics" for Slate) and folks go all gooey about them because they write about drug dealers, etc.

But as near as I can tell they are basically a couple of big fat neocons with some gee-whiz mathematical gizmos.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Thursday, 21 April 2005 14:04 (9 years ago) Permalink

Flashpoints can be helpful, eg John Brown and the Civil War.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 21 April 2005 14:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

yeah, thank god that such public strife and invective was never around before the ruling, much less with a war that had been going for for 7+ years by that point...

kingfish, Thursday, 21 April 2005 15:08 (9 years ago) Permalink

that's it, Steven Levitt, new book Freakonomics

The very little I've read makes your view look spot on to me with a little PJ O'Rourke BS mixed in for color.

milozauckerman (miloaukerman), Thursday, 21 April 2005 15:12 (9 years ago) Permalink

It's a pretty stupid article. Brooks is a very stupid person.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 21 April 2005 15:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

ie ignore the link between poverty and crime, instead cheer on poor folks aborting their criminal progeny, etc.

uhhhh

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 21 April 2005 15:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

Shorter Brooks: Can we please just cater to the back of the parade so that Wepublicans and Democwats can go back to pretending to like each other at cocktail parties?

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Thursday, 21 April 2005 15:28 (9 years ago) Permalink

new book

old idea

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 21 April 2005 15:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

An old idea that has gotten no better with time and the introduction of calculus.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Thursday, 21 April 2005 15:33 (9 years ago) Permalink

Can people please stop reading anything David Brooks writes? He's a complete and utter shit-for-brains. He's like the most annoying pundit in America. Alex in SF on point.

I think it would be a lot more interesting to have a thread on Steven Levitt, FWIW.

TOMBOT, Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:01 (9 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'd be more curious about him too, actually.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:02 (9 years ago) Permalink

Are we so much the Bell-Curve-police that we can't distinguish between "poor folks aborting their criminal progeny" and "folks, many of whom are poor, aborting their unwanted and likely to be unloved and opportunity-less progeny"?

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:03 (9 years ago) Permalink

Links to Levitt's working papers:
http://www.src.uchicago.edu/users/levit/workingpapers.htm

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

I don't think the distinction entirely changes the discomfort we're talking about G -- you're right about the "unwanted" part, but Milo's talking more about the "opportunity-less."

David Brooks is way way too harmless and bumbling to ever seem like much of an "asshole." I mean, this is a guy who spent the fall getting regularly PWNED by Mark Shields, of all people. On PBS. Every now and then he dredges up a sentence that can almost pretend to be incendiary, but for the most part he's a total softy, a socially-"bobo" centrist who seems almost geezery and apologetic about his actual geek-conservatism. He's like if Richard Roeper grew up Bush.

nabiscothingy, Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:41 (9 years ago) Permalink

I'm trying to decide which out of Richard Roeper or David Brooks is the stupidest now. Fuck this is a mindbender.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:44 (9 years ago) Permalink

Milo's talking more about the "opportunity-less."

all of whom are criminals, obv. one factor may be sufficient, but the combination seems to increase the likelihood.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:46 (9 years ago) Permalink

but, as i said at the first, i'm not sure at all what milo's saying. he seems to be objecting to his own point.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:47 (9 years ago) Permalink

The thing that really makes the most uncomfortable about Levitt's thesis regarding abortion and crime rates is that it seems to confuse correlation with causation. (And given his selective sampling I'm not sure about the correlation part, either).

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:51 (9 years ago) Permalink

All of Levitt's research seems fascinating to me, except the one paper about the NFL betting, which is kind of a "well duh" to me. I suppose depending on your viewpoints and experience a lot of his other research might seem "well duh" to other people but I love this kind of shit, it strikes me that he's actually doing a sort of metrics-based anthropology rather than economics with most of it. I'm always a sucker for that.

TOMBOT, Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

The discomfort is that it makes it seem like Roe v Wade is some kind of twisted eugenics experiment, which it isn't. It treads very close to a lot of scary lines people don't like to talk about.

TOMBOT, Thursday, 21 April 2005 17:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

He's no doubt fascinating to read, but it's the reliability of Levitt's models that concerns me. Econometrics does a generally crappy job performing what should be relatively simple tasks (at least within the field), such as forecasting general trends in consumer inflation or payroll employment. I'm not sure how far I should trust it to make sense of complex phenomena over extended time series, like changes in crime rates due to Roe V. Wade.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Thursday, 21 April 2005 17:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

I'm objecting to the specious reasoning, gabbneb. Higher rates of abortion and lower rates of crime - which is extrapolated to the 'poor folks be robbing' mentioned first - do not, in any way, share causality. Levitt's model is based on statewide crime figures and doesn't seem to account for the infinite number of variables present. He's referring primarily to 'blue states' - where you've got less social control (easier access to abortion) and urban poverty. You don't think that maybe the rise and end of the crack epidemic, urban renewal initiatives, a decade of relative prosperity, Giuliani-like crime programs etc. might, just maybe, had a wee something

Whereas the red states - coincidentally restricted in abortion - have more rural poverty. The rural poor didn't have as many alleviating social changes over the past decade or two. So is it any shock, say, that their rates of drug abuse (crime) stayed steady or rose?


Then there's also have the other, more disturbing facet of the reasoning (as nabisco alluded to) - lower crime is good, crime rates are highest among the poor, abortion lowers crime rates - aborting the poor lowers crime and is therefore good. It makes it easier, even unconsciously, to dehumanize and criminalize the poor.

My big problem problem with Levitt (maybe his academic research is better, but his pop-cult economics is what I've seen) is that it extrapolates a great deal from very little and then makes broad, ill-informed pronouncements from the data. ie it's the type of shit that belongs in a humor book or PJ O'Rourke column.

milozauckerman (miloaukerman), Thursday, 21 April 2005 19:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

8 months pass...
Can someone please post the text from his column?

giboyeux (skowly), Thursday, 22 December 2005 17:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

David Brooks is one of those bright, curious, imaginative people who doesn't have a clue about how his naievity, shortcomings, weaknesses and blind spots affect the legitimacy of his premature and often poorly informed conclusions. These traits naturally make him a leading editorial columnist.

Aimless (Aimless), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

Wait, milo, to go back in the way back machine now, did you actually read Levitt's book? Because that's not what he's saying at all. Your mention of Giuliani's programs as if he doesn't delve into those and why they ultimately might not be as effective as people think is what spurred me to ask the question. I don't have the book in front of me (or indeed, anywhere else near me, I borrowed it off someone and had to return it), but I don't think his point was KILL THE POOR or some other neocon nudge nudge nonsense. It rather more comes across as the correlation between abortion rising versus crime declining is just as likely a cause as any of the other things people like to go on about. It's an exercise in making the point that most of the social programs/Giuliani's regime that actually get instituted in urban areas are bullshit and don't actually do anything.

Everyone loves to quote the "abortion lowers crime" blurb but no one seems bothered to actually read what the man wrote in his book.

Fuck David Brooks, why are we talking about him? Also yeah can people start reposting NYT articles? I refuse to BUY a David Goddamn Brooks article.

Allyzay must fight Zolton herself. (allyzay), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

When Big Brother Is You
By DAVID BROOKS
Let's play "You're the President." Let's put you in the Oval Office and see what kind of decisions you make in real-world circumstances.

Because you are president, you are briefed each day on terrorist threats to this country. These briefings are as psychologically intense as an episode of "24," with descriptions of specific bad guys and their activities.

This has had a cumulative effect on your psychology. While many of your fellow citizens have relaxed as 9/11 has faded into history, you don't have that luxury. Your briefings, and some terrifying false alarms that haven't been made public, keep you in a perpetual state of high alert.

You know that one of the few advantages we have over the terrorists is technological superiority. You are damned sure you are going to use every geek, every computer program and every surveillance technique at your disposal to prevent a future attack. You have inherited the FISA process to regulate this intelligence gathering. It's a pretty good process. FISA judges usually issue warrants quickly and, when appropriate, retroactively.

But the FISA process has shortcomings. First, it's predicated on a division between foreign and domestic activity that has been rendered obsolete by today's mobile communications methods. Second, the process still involves some cumbersome paperwork and bureaucratic foot-dragging. Finally, the case-by-case FISA method is ill suited to the new information-gathering technologies, which include things like automated systems that troll through vast amounts of data looking for patterns, voices and chains of contacts.

Over time you've become convinced that these new technologies, which are run by National Security Agency professionals and shielded from political influence, help save lives. You've seen that these new surveillance techniques helped foil an attack on the Brooklyn Bridge and bombing assaults in Britain. The question is, How do you regulate the new procedures to protect liberties?

Your aides present you with three options. First, you can ask Congress to rewrite the FISA law to keep pace with the new technologies. This has some drawbacks. How exactly do you write a law to cope with this fast-changing information war? Even if you could set up a procedure to get warrant requests to a judge, how would that judge be able to tell which of the thousands of possible information nodes is worth looking into, or which belongs to a U.S. citizen? Swamped in the data-fog, the courts would just become meaningless rubber-stamps. Finally, it's likely that some member of Congress would leak details of the program during the legislative process, thus destroying it.

Your second option is to avoid Congress and set up a self-policing mechanism using the Justice Department and the N.S.A.'s inspector general. This option, too, has drawbacks. First, it's legally dubious. Second, it's quite possible that some intelligence bureaucrat will leak information about the programs, especially if he or she hopes to swing a presidential election against you. Third, if details do come out and Congressional leaders learn you went around them, there will be blowback that will not only destroy the program, but will also lead to more restrictions on executive power.

Your third option is informal Congressional oversight. You could pull a few senior members of Congress into your office and you could say: "Look, given the fast-moving nature of this conflict, there is no way we can codify rules about what is permissible and impermissible. Instead we will create a social contract. I'll trust you by telling you everything we are doing to combat terror. You'll trust me enough to give me the flexibility I need to keep the country safe. If we have disagreements, we will work them out in private."

These are your three options, Mr. President, and these are essentially the three options George Bush faced a few years ago. (He chose Option 2.) But before you decide, let me tell you one more thing: Options 1 and 2 won't work, and Option 3 is impossible.

Options 1 and 2 won't work because they lead to legalistic rigidities and leaks that will destroy the program. Option 3 is impossible because it requires trust. It requires that the president and the Congressional leaders trust one another. It requires Democrats and Republicans to trust one another. We don't have that kind of trust in America today.

That leaves you with Option 4: Face the fact that we will not be using our best technology to monitor the communications of known terrorists. Face the fact that the odds of an attack on America just went up.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

What a jerk.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:41 (8 years ago) Permalink

I like how "trust" is some silly fantasy.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

I can look at him for 2 seconds on Lehrer before wanting to take his lunch money. So meh.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

It's touching, this conservative faith in the wisdom and good intentions of Big Government.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

OTM

don weiner (don weiner), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:51 (8 years ago) Permalink

God, I wish you hadn't posted that.
How much does THAT stupid piece of shit get paid?
Fire HIM. Retroactively.

TOMBOT, Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

First, it's predicated on a division between foreign and domestic activity that has been rendered obsolete by today's mobile communications methods.

these "cellular" "telephones" represent a paradigm shift that our founders never intended

älänbänänä (alanbanana), Thursday, 22 December 2005 18:59 (8 years ago) Permalink

I love how the main drawback to all three stupid ideas is that they're stupid and illegal and bullshit, and thus will be destroyed whenever the public gets wind of them. Damned public! Fuck them!

TOMBOT, Thursday, 22 December 2005 19:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

Yeah alan don't you know electronics and digital transistorized integrated circuits have made our concepts of "citizenship" and "rights" totally obsolete?

TOMBOT, Thursday, 22 December 2005 19:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

"God, I wish you hadn't posted that."

Sorry everyone else asked for it. :(

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 22 December 2005 19:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

why not just put cameras in every room in every building in america? we have the technology! it would prevent attacks right?

m.

msp (mspa), Thursday, 22 December 2005 20:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

These briefings are as psychologically intense as an episode of "24," with descriptions of specific bad guys and their activities.

this reminds me of the one bloom county strip where steve dallas cries when he finds out "knight rider" is a children's show.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 22 December 2005 20:38 (8 years ago) Permalink

Can I mention how fucking sick I am of "24" being used to justify Bush policy? I've never seen the show, but I fucking hate it.

elmo, patron saint of nausea (allocryptic), Thursday, 22 December 2005 20:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

it's for kids.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 22 December 2005 21:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...
from Chris Mathews:

“One of the things I’ve found in life is that politicians are a lot more sincere than us journalists and we are more sincere than the people that read and watch us.µ

vid here

kingfish trapped under ice (kingfish 2.0), Thursday, 10 August 2006 22:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

11 months pass...

On "Meet the Press," challenged on an assertion that 10,000 Iraqis will die every month if the U.S. pulls out, The New York Times columnist admits he just picked the number "out of the air."

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003615101

Martin Van Burne, Monday, 23 July 2007 14:51 (7 years ago) Permalink

I saw the broadcast. He also implied that it's worth losing a few hundred Americans a month if it keeps 10,00,00o,00,000,000 Iraqis from dying. For once Bob Woodward acted like a journalist and went after him.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 23 July 2007 14:54 (7 years ago) Permalink

As much as I hate to defend Brooks, I think this is an unfair "gotcha" slam - he was obviously using the number 10,000 rhetorically to begin with. He's just trying to argue that even more Iraqis will die if we pull out, which may or may not be true but is not exactly an assertion "out of the air."

Hurting 2, Monday, 23 July 2007 14:54 (7 years ago) Permalink

Given that so many generals, Bushies, neocons, and "experts" have offered their own out-of-the-air assertions since 2002, I'm prepared to slap the shit out of Brooks, especially after that slavish Bush column he wrote last week.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 23 July 2007 15:00 (7 years ago) Permalink

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/opinion/brooks-the-piketty-phenomenon.html?hpw&rref=opinion

Many people join the political left driven by a concern for the poor. But, over the past several years, the Democratic Party has talked much more about the middle class than the poor. Meanwhile, progressive political movements like Occupy Wall Street directed their fervor at the top 1 percent. Progressive movies and books have focused their attention on conspiracy and oligarchy at the top, not “Grapes of Wrath” or “How the Other Half Lives” stories at the bottom.

This is natural. The modern left is led by smart professionals — academics, activists, people in the news media, the arts and so on — who tend to live in and around coastal cities.

If you are a young professional in a major city, you experience inequality firsthand. But the inequality you experience most acutely is not inequality down, toward the poor; it’s inequality up, toward the rich.

j., Friday, 25 April 2014 14:46 (4 months ago) Permalink

idk wtf he is tryina say exactly

smooth hymnal (m bison), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:21 (4 months ago) Permalink

this bloke is seriously a professional writer?

it definitely wasn't designed to be a pants pocket player (stevie), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:25 (4 months ago) Permalink

that middle class/bourgie status anxiety is unworthy of whatever legacy Dems have, and it is the face of the new elitist left? just by looking at the quote, not the article

Hunt3r, Friday, 25 April 2014 15:34 (4 months ago) Permalink

because rich assholes haven't had their asses kissed and their taxes cut enough in the past 15 years . . .
"This is a moment when progressives have found their worldview and their agenda. This move opens up a huge opportunity for the rest of us in the center and on the right. First, acknowledge that the concentration of wealth is a concern with a beefed up inheritance tax. Second, emphasize a contrasting agenda that will reward growth, saving and investment, not punish these things, the way Piketty would. Support progressive consumption taxes not a tax on capital. Third, emphasize that the historically proven way to reduce inequality is lifting people from the bottom with human capital reform, not pushing down the top. In short, counter angry progressivism with unifying uplift." . . . a la sean hannity and rush limbaugh

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:51 (4 months ago) Permalink

fuck david brooks forever, how does such a simple man have such influence in the world

also fuck the rich forever, tax them into poverty then redistribute some of it back to them as welfare

smooth hymnal (m bison), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:55 (4 months ago) Permalink

he doesnt have influence

idontknowanythingabouttechnlolgeez (waterface), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:55 (4 months ago) Permalink

nope, no influence whatsoever. meanwhile in the US

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:57 (4 months ago) Permalink

tell me how he has influence

idontknowanythingabouttechnlolgeez (waterface), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:59 (4 months ago) Permalink

aside from people talking bout his dumb ideas--how does david brooks promote real change and help enact it

idontknowanythingabouttechnlolgeez (waterface), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:59 (4 months ago) Permalink

*folds hands together in a steeple, leans back in chair*

idontknowanythingabouttechnlolgeez (waterface), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:00 (4 months ago) Permalink

he teaches at yale, he writes two op-eds a week for the ny times, he squares off with david shields on a regular basis, he's on the sunday talk shows every weekend. i realize that's less influence than we here at ILX wield, but it's still something

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:00 (4 months ago) Permalink

the gop will never ever ever repeal the estate tax. it was a massive cause celebre during the bush administration when they cut it down to what it is now.

panettone for the painfully alone (mayor jingleberries), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:01 (4 months ago) Permalink

yeah that isn't influence

idontknowanythingabouttechnlolgeez (waterface), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:01 (4 months ago) Permalink

First, acknowledge that the concentration of wealth is a concern with a beefed up inheritance tax. Second, emphasize a contrasting agenda that will reward growth, saving and investment, not punish these things, the way Piketty would. Support progressive consumption taxes not a tax on capital.

This is so bizarrely contradictory that I can only read it two ways: (1) he doesn't understand what the fuck he's talking about or (2) he's saying "let's throw them a bone with the inheritance tax while not actually addressing concentration of wealth"

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:01 (4 months ago) Permalink

x my own p

also realize brooks is on npr all the time and some people only get there news and opinion from it

panettone for the painfully alone (mayor jingleberries), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:01 (4 months ago) Permalink

he does all those things but how do we know everyone he comes into contact with isn't saying "this dude is full of it"

idontknowanythingabouttechnlolgeez (waterface), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:02 (4 months ago) Permalink

yes, everyone he comes into contact with says "this dude is full of it"

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:03 (4 months ago) Permalink

David Brooks talks out of like three to five different sides of his mouth in any given column

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:04 (4 months ago) Permalink

I thought I saw somewhere Obama reads Brooks' column regularly and values his viewpoint, it was a depressing moment, hope I was imagining it

anonanon, Friday, 25 April 2014 16:04 (4 months ago) Permalink

Obama does read it, I wonder how he feels about being called a wimp by noted hardcore alpha male David Brooks

How dare you tarnish the reputation of Turturro's yodel (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:18 (4 months ago) Permalink

sad that he reads/"values" Brooks's opinion, but somehow that makes sense to me, maybe even explains something about Obama

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:21 (4 months ago) Permalink

this guy reminds me of when the onion runs one of those editorial/thinkpieces on politics by a seven-year-old or whatever.

espring (amateurist), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:25 (4 months ago) Permalink

xpost

i think that's obama in populist mode, i.e. "i, too, read these brazenly mediocre columns in the NYT."

espring (amateurist), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:25 (4 months ago) Permalink

"I'm just a regular guy, I read the same smug priveleged assholes as joe lunchpail!"

How dare you tarnish the reputation of Turturro's yodel (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:29 (4 months ago) Permalink

lol reading

Hunt3r, Friday, 25 April 2014 16:32 (4 months ago) Permalink

I give credit to Brooks for even supporting the inheritance tax. I also think he has a fair point that if the inequality issue is nothing more than the upper-middle-class envying the upper-upper-middle class, then maybe it's not such a big deal. However, obviously the inequality issue is about a lot more than that. Brooks doesn't mention anything about how this dynamic affects the distribution of political power, or the social dynamic in a society in which inherited wealth begins to play a large role. Maybe because he doesn't buy Piketty's arguments that we are headed that way. But his breezy dismissal of Piketty's careful arguments lacks substance.

o. nate, Friday, 25 April 2014 20:15 (4 months ago) Permalink

I also think he has a fair point that if the inequality issue is nothing more than the upper-middle-class envying the upper-upper-middle class, then maybe it's not such a big deal.

How is this a "fair point" given no real evidence that that's the case?

However, obviously the inequality issue is about a lot more than that. Brooks doesn't mention anything about how this dynamic affects the distribution of political power, or the social dynamic in a society in which inherited wealth begins to play a large role.

But this is the big DUH point about the whole issue that every conservative pundit DELIBERATELY glosses over, reducing inequality to "I eat at Per Se you eat at Outback, I drive a Rolls you drive a Ford, what's the big deal?"

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 25 April 2014 20:48 (4 months ago) Permalink

also I'd quibble with "begins to play a large role"

basically stop being "fair" to david fucking brooks

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 25 April 2014 20:49 (4 months ago) Permalink

Another signature Brooks attempt to incisively analyze "the left" that is almost wholly projection

Also lots of clunky half-hearted 8th grade book report prose in here

Well, of course, this book is going to set off a fervor that some have likened to Beatlemania.

The book is very good and interesting, but it has pretty obvious weaknesses.

Piketty predicts that growth will be low for a century, though there seems to be a lot of innovation around.

anonanon, Saturday, 26 April 2014 08:55 (4 months ago) Permalink

I don't know why it's hard for me to hate Brooks as much as he clearly deserves.

o. nate, Friday, 2 May 2014 02:03 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ten-miles-square/2014/05/i_dont_know_whether_this_point050439.php#

Brooks says Simpson-Bowles-like commissions push populist reforms. Author of the piece questions Brooks' understanding of populism and democracy

curmudgeon, Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:35 (3 months ago) Permalink

Author of the piece questions Brooks' understanding of populism and democracy

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:41 (3 months ago) Permalink

No surprise. Brooks said a month ago on NPR with one of his trademark embarrassed chuckles that he wished we were ruled by elites.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:42 (3 months ago) Permalink

David Brooks has taken his valuable NYTimes column inches to inform his readers that George Orwell and Leo Tolstoy are good writers.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 23 May 2014 14:57 (3 months ago) Permalink

His other lesson for writers, even opinion writers, is that it’s a mistake to think you are an activist, championing some movement. That’s the path to mental stagnation. The job is just to try to understand what’s going on.

But I digress, next on my list of white male writers...

bnw, Friday, 23 May 2014 15:05 (3 months ago) Permalink

People are always asking me what my favorite books are.

instant lol

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 23 May 2014 16:02 (3 months ago) Permalink

Hi, I'm David Brooks

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 23 May 2014 16:21 (3 months ago) Permalink

I've read books.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 23 May 2014 16:22 (3 months ago) Permalink

he wished we were ruled by elites.

it must be awesome to have your wishes fulfilled so easily

Οὖτις, Friday, 23 May 2014 16:24 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

i thought this was a lovely brooks column:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/opinion/brooks-president-obama-was-right.html

Mordy, Friday, 6 June 2014 23:16 (2 months ago) Permalink

He spent his NPR segment praising the president.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 June 2014 23:29 (2 months ago) Permalink

i was kinda down on this decision. since after the shalit trade i've been feeling very cynical about these prisoner swaps (and brooks only refs it obliquely but sometimes you don't even get a living soldier in return). but he makes i think a very rational and on some level moving case about why it's honorable to do so.

Mordy, Friday, 6 June 2014 23:31 (2 months ago) Permalink

you needed david brooks for that? jesus

balls, Friday, 6 June 2014 23:46 (2 months ago) Permalink

Despite all our polarization, we do accept the election results, even when the other party wins

o rly

mookieproof, Friday, 6 June 2014 23:55 (2 months ago) Permalink

compared to lots of other "democracies" accepting election results is one of our strongest areas!

Mordy, Saturday, 7 June 2014 00:45 (2 months ago) Permalink

ffs balls does everything need a snarky remark? xxp

Mordy, Saturday, 7 June 2014 00:48 (2 months ago) Permalink


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