David Brooks is sweating hard trying to defend the one percent against the rest of the country and reality. His column today desperately warns readers:
"Some on the left have always tried to introduce a more class-conscious style of politics. These efforts never pan out. America has always done better, liberals have always done better, when we are all focused on opportunity and mobility, not inequality, on individual and family aspiration, not class-consciousness."
Funny, I thought Social Security, the Fair Labor Standards Act (i.e. the 40-hour workweek), the National Labor Relations Board, and other products of the New Deal were pretty big accomplishments. Much of this was done quite explicitly with a sense of class consciousness. These were all measures that were backed by mass movements that sought to ensure that working people got their share of the economic pie. Good thing we have David Brooks to tell us the opposite.
This is far from the only place where Brooks seems to be at odds with reality. Brooks condemns focusing on inequality because it leads to ineffective policies like raising the minimum wage. He then cites a study by Joseph J. Sabia and Richard V. Burkhauser telling readers:
"Consistent with some other studies, they find no evidence that such raises had any effect on the poverty rates.
"That’s because raises in the minimum wage are not targeted at the right people."
Actually the Sabia and Burkhauser study goes against the overwhelming majority of other studies on the topic as summarized in this analysis by University of Massachusetts professor Arin Dube.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Another terrible David Brooks column
Dean Baker @ CEPR Beat the Press challenges the ignorant ramblings of one David Brooks, Big City Newspaper Columnist and Pop Sociologist: