Profiles in Idiocy: David Brooks
Here we go again, with another round of pass-the-buck victim blaming, this time from none other than our favorite NYT columnist, David Brooks. The point of his column, I guess, is that we’re all unemployed because we couldn’t adapt to the “changing economic environment” fast enough. Why is it changing? Stop asking silly questions! All you need to know is that unemployment is nearly 20% and it’s all your fault. David Brooks is sorry, but he wishes you had “adapted” faster to “shifting demands”. If you had, you wouldn’t be “paying the price”.
This recession has exposed America’s social weak spots. For decades, men have adapted poorly to the shifting demands of the service economy. Now they are paying the price. For decades, the working-class social fabric has been fraying. Now the working class is in danger of descending into underclass-style dysfunction. For decades, young people have been living in a loose, under-institutionalized world. Now they are moving back home in droves.
Man, this guy would probably blame a rape-victim for dressing “inappropriately” or “not adapting to a fast-changing daylight regime”. So convenient, isn’t it? We’re all unemployed, but guess what? We only have ourselves to blame.
Oh, but what about those short-sighted economists who failed to see a $15 trillion bubble? You know – the ones who, as late as 2007, were on record saying “The subprime mess is contained“? The ones who currently run our economic establishment? Don’t they deserve some blame, Mr. Brooks? Nah.
Speaking of which, wouldn’t you say, Mr. Brooks, that financial journalists, such as yourself, also had a hand in the current unemployment? After all, they shouted the slogan “buy, buy, buy!” long after it became clear that the Dow was terribly overvalued. They systematically refused to report the grave and serious conversations going on in the halls of Wall Street, even though they knew what was going on.
Or how about this? All those “journalists” who advocated that we cut social spending, and let “the free market” take care of everyone (like *cough* some columnists I know) – you don’t think they deserve some blame for the situation our unemployed workers find themselves in?
Nah, it’s much easier to just blame the workers. So let this be a lesson to you, all ye without steady employment! David Brooks cares about your plight, and wishes it were better! Now get a job, you bums!
Update: Dean Baker agrees.