As near as I can figure, David Brooks got very high last night, bugged completely out watching YouTube clips of "The Dark Knight Rises" --
-- crapped himself in a paroxysm of "This shit could really happen, man!" terror and then, in a display of remarkably poor judgement, decided to Write An Important Column About The Poors.
Undeterred by piles of facts and sheaves of charts, Mr. Brooks instead spins a millionaire-pundit fireside yarn about how a generation of Reaganomic gutting of the Middle Class and the extraction by the 1% of virtually every dollar created by 30 years outsourcing, factory closings, downsizing, union busting, benefit-shrinkage, unpaid overtime and productivity gains --
-- has nothing whatsoever to do with income inequality (which "Suddenly everyone is talking about"!)
Also, Mr. Brooks finds enough cover behind a few scraps of cherry-picked data to assert that increasing the minimum wage has never helped the Poors in any way.
See, the real reasons for Income Inequality and the plight of the Poors are all vewy, vewy complicated and sociological and cannot be in any way mitigated by, say, government action that might result in raising the taxes of millionaire-pundit parasites like David Brooks.
And of course, what David Brooks column would be complete without a big, steaming log of Brooks Brand "Both Siderism" pooped right on top!
Democrats often see low wages as both a human capital problem and a problem caused by unequal economic power. Republicans are more likely to see them just as a human capital problem. If we’re going to pass bipartisan legislation...
On the plus side, these days when Mr. Brooks makes a poo-poo in the pages of the New York Times there are usually more than just one or two threadbare bloggers of the Night's Watch trying to push back against The Stupid. Today, for example, Dean Baker made immediate and tasty mincemeat of Mr. Brooks' idiocy. Talking Points Memo ("David Brooks Is Tired Of All This Income Inequality Talk") jumped in. Since this story involves math, Paul Krugman effortless disemboweled his fatuous colleague without (per arcane New York Times custom) mentioning him by name. The American Prospect dubbed this "David Brooks’s Worst Column Ever", which it isn't, but only because Mr. Brooks' decades-long record of massively ill-informed drivel has set that bar so terribly low.
The kids at Demos make the adorable, newbie mistake of thinking that maybe Mr. Brooks just doesn't understand the issue, and maybe if they just explained the realities of it to him very carefully.
Media Matters points out that Mr. Brooks scapegoating single moms is both kinda shitty and ignores the underlying economic fundamentals of income inequality. They also very diplomatically avoid any mention of the huge comedic potential lurking just below the surface of someone who has just divorced his wife writing about single mothers.
Also the comment section of Mr. Brooks own article (675 and counting) is a full-on acid bath of well-informed, open-mouthed incredulity that Mr. Brooks still has a job that involves putting words together.
On the minus side, as usual, none of this push-back will make the slightest different. It will not have any effect on the considerable and destructive influence Mr. Brooks and people like him wield, nor will it in any way deter him from writing such calculatedly, traffic-trolling claptrap in the future.
Also too, Wonkette:
Millionaire NYT Columnist David Brooks: Poor People Won’t Be Poor If They Just Act Like Rich People
Also too Gawker:
David Brooks Says Real Inequality Is That Poor People Are Worthless
Josh Barro gets his licks in: "David Brooks Is Wrong About Inequality."
The Atlantic commits the same rookie error as Demos -- believing that "explaining stuff" to David Brooks affects his opinion in any way. Mr. Brooks generally does not read or respond to comments, email or critics. Like Rush Limbaugh, Mr. Brooks' almost never bothers going beyond rifling through his own ideological sock drawer to formulate his opinions.
And Shakes is always a delight to read.
Robert Reich said something that made me laugh:
David Brooks’ Utter Ignorance About InequalitySATURDAY, JANUARY 18, 2014Occasionally David Brooks, who personifies the oxymoron “conservative thinker” better than anyone I know, displays such profound ignorance that a rejoinder is necessary lest his illogic permanently pollute public debate. Such is the case with his New York Times column last Friday...
Dear Dr. Bob,
Having rejoindered merrily away at Mr. Brooks month after month after month for the last 9 years -- sometimes in a chorus but usually alone -- let me give you a piece of free advice: nothing you say or do will in any way affect, deflect or re-direct Mr. Brooks in the slightest. Even if you are reposted by the estimable Wil Wheaton, Mr. Brooks will remain (to quote Jeff Rabin from The Usual Suspects) protected from up on high by the Prince of Darkness.
Also, if possible, don't use the word "lest".
Beyond that, knock yourself out!