Tuesday :: Jan 25, 2005

The Paradox of Brooksianism

by dj moonbat

It's quite astonishing, really, that David Brooks's cranium can withstand the stress of holding the wildly contradictory hodgepodge of beliefs that's crammed inside.

Most conservatives would stay away from the topic of diminishing American social mobility like it was infected with plague. This aversion makes good sense. A movement that fought tooth and nail to lower taxes on capital gains and large estates--taxes that serve the goal of social mobility more directly than any policy aside from education subsidies--has little credibility when it claims that, darnit, our society is for some wacky, unknown reason, starting to resemble an aristocracy again.

But not Brooks. It's all just some weird coincidence:

In his State of the Union address, President Bush is no doubt going to talk about his vision of an ownership society. But homeownership or pension ownership is only part of a larger story. The larger story is the one Lincoln defined over a century ago, the idea that this nation should provide an open field and a fair chance so that all can compete in the race of life.

Today that's again under threat, but this time from barriers that are different than the ones defined by socialists in the industrial age. Now, the upper class doesn't so much oppress the lower class. It just outperforms it generation after generation. Now the crucial inequality is not only finance capital, it's social capital. Now it is silly to make a distinction between economic policy and social policy.

And of course, this "outperforming" has nothing to do with the ongoing Republican attempts to starve our public schools, and to tax wealth less than labor. Nothing at all. Brooks just couldn't bring himself to believe something like that. His brain would explode.

dj moonbat :: 6:32 AM :: Comments (29) :: Digg It!