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David Brooks: Spokesman for Economic Elitists

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There are many reasons for the New York Times to be ashamed of what it publishes. A major one is giving space to columnist David Brooks. His values, opinions and worldview should be despised by most Americans. His latest attack on objective truth was the column "The Populist Myths on Income Inequality." It was a defense of the current American economic system and an attack on all those "populists" that see a morally bankrupt economy under the control of elitists and operated for their benefit. Brooks has a knack for turning reality upside down, inside out and getting away with it. Time for the Times to stop it.

The first point of Brooks-the-liar was that "workers are not getting a smaller slice of the pie." Here is some economic injustice truth: Since 1970, the share of gross domestic product going to wages and salaries has shrunk 8.3 percent. If the 2006 American economic pie were divided into 1970-sized slices, with workers today receiving the same share of gross domestic product workers received in 1970, each American household would receive about $9,600 more in paycheck income this year. Brooks rejects arguments about rising economic inequality. Here's the latest truth: Income inequality grew last year, as the richest fifth of households took home 50.4 percent of all income, their largest share since the government began tracking the data in 1967. Of course, Brooks sees the world through elitist eyes, as shown by this statement: "The rich don't exploit the poor. They just out-compete them."

The second point of Brooks-the-elitist was that "outsourcing is not decimating employment." This is such a remarkable lie that one wonders if there are any editors at the Times doing their job. Rather than look at how outsourcing has robbed Americans of good, high-paying jobs, Brooks, like other pro-business shills, uses an irrelevant statistic on all jobs lost. One wonders how Brooks has such chutzpah. And WHY does Brooks want to dismiss years of outsourcing manufacturing, engineering, computer, software design, legal, technical support, and various medical jobs. Not only have jobs been lost, but those jobs remaining in the U.S. pay lower salaries because of the competition from outsourcing. Has Brooks noticed that virtually no product he has purchased in recent years is made in the USA? Has he noticed the foreign accents of people he is talking to on the phone when he seeks technical support or has an issue with a credit card account? High-paying jobs have not kept pace with population growth, with GDP growth or with productivity growth. That is the depressing economic truth. The many trade agreements sought so aggressively by business interests keep harming working- and middle-class Americans. And a major underlying reason is that new jobs, not merely existing ones here, are being created overseas. Business shills like Brooks are correct when they say that there has been increased wealth creation in the U.S. The problem is simple – that wealth creation is being dispersed to the Upper Class, the economic elites. The economy grows but wealth is NOT being distributed in any fair way to working- and middle-class Americans.

Brooks-the-deceiver is adept at finding statistics that seem to support his biased beliefs. He continues to assert that "the meritocracy is working." Apparently he has no contact with the army of well educated, experienced Americans who cannot find good jobs, take low-wage jobs just to survive, or remain unemployed and depressed. Brooks-the-elitist is so completely out of touch with economic reality that you have to wonder exactly why the New York Times wants to appeal to readers who happily accept the twisted facts and logic of Brooks or, worse yet, are totally fooled by them. There have been a number of serious examinations of Brooks' journalistic integrity that have found him to have major deficiencies, especially an inquiry by Nicholas Confessore in the Washington Monthly. Brooks has said "People want reality that tells them how right they are all the time." That explains why Brooks creates his own reality. Here is another glimpse into the Brooks psyche: "We pretend to be a middle class, democratic nation, but in reality we love our blue bloods. ... We love the prep school manners, the aristocratic calm, the Skull and Bones mystery, the dappled lawns stretching before New England summer homes." Does Brooks speak for you or anyone you know?

Others also see the shameful notions of Brooks expressed in his recent column. Jared Bernstein, on MaxSpeak, pointed out: "Brooks argues that declining unionization is not a 'driving force' because it only explains 10-20 percent of the rise in inequality. But that's as big as any other force that economists have measured. ... Does Brooks or anyone else seriously believe that the increase in trade, investment flows and multinational corporate activity has had no impact on inequality? Does he believe that large and sustained trade deficits have nothing to do with the loss of manufacturing jobs and the fall in the relative wages of non-college educated workers? At this point, I'm not aware of any serious analysis of inequality that is anywhere near this dismissive of these impacts. ... I think we all have to agree that this brooks' column is hugely effective: 600 short words that pack enough distortions, bad statistics, and headfakes to keep honest folks scrambling and needing 3 times as many words to expose as the flim-flammery they are. ... the most obnoxious aspect of Brooks's production is not the distortions which he advances, but that they are allowed to be published in a news journal which purports to offer veridical information in regards to news worthy subject matter."

Dean Baker wrote on The American Prospect online some strong criticism. He said Brooks "gets almost everything in his article wrong. ... David Brooks comes up with almost nothing in his column that would contradict the vast body of evidence showing that most workers have not been benefiting from the economy's growth over the last quarter century – and that this is the result of deliberate policy decisions."

With his latest diatribe in favor of economic inequality and injustice the time has come for serious thinkers concerned about the sad state of our union to BOYCOTT THE NEW YORK TIMES in print and on the Internet. Often described as the Times' token conservative, David Brooks is an insult to truth, objective reality and all attempts to improve the quality of America's democracy and economy. He is an embarrassment to journalism and an insult to the vast majority of Americans who, unlike Brooks, are not economic elitists.
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Joel S. Hirschhorn is the author of Pandemic Blunder: Fauci and Public Health Blocked Early Home COVID Treatment, Delusional Democracy - Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government and several other books, as well as hundreds of (more...)

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