David Brooks’ Solution to Poverty: Work More

English: David Brooks

English: David Brooks.  He doesn’t get out much.

David Brooks can be a … well,  I shouldn’t say, but it starts with pompous and ends with ass.

In Brooks’s spin on the nation’s economic inequality problem, he focused on everything but the realities of income distribution.  He did write about “unequal economic power“, but it is hard to see how — especially in this day and age — one can have economic power without resources.  

But never mind.

Rather than focus on impolite topics like incomes, Brooks chose to focus on social issues, you know the standard canards about single motherhood, lack of education, moral decline.  All the obvious “personal responsibility” reasons for blaming the victim, right?

Certainly these social issues are significant factors defining the divide, but Brooks is at best arguing a chicken-or-egg argument that is misplaced.     The status of economic inequality — especially the inequality of opportunity — exists, it is real.  How we got here is hardly helpful at this point.  And Brooks’s assessment fluctuates between asinine irrelevance to blatant insult.

Take his observation about wages, for example.  The poor are not poor because wages are too low.  No.  Brooks argues:

“The primary problem for the poor is not that they are getting paid too little for the hours they work. It is that they are not working full time or at all.”

Really, David?  Really?  Ah, the wise musings of an aging pseudo intellect…

Perhaps David Brooks would like to try living on a full-time, minimum wage income.  Hell, let’s be generous and let him try living on double the minimum wage.  Perhaps he could then write an essay with substance and explain to the millions who must living on low wages how they can regain their economic power.

Go for it, David.


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