David Brooks double dips


This cartoon dovetails very nicely, and timely (same day), with the point of this blog.  I don’t make any money doing this, and I don’t plan on it.  Granted if someone wanted to pay me, I would take it more seriously and blog more frequently.  I just appreciate that you are reading my thoughts.

While, I don’t get paid, David Brooks, columnist at the NY Times and weekly contributor on PBS’s Newshour does get paid.  Sometimes for saying the exact same thing, which must be sweet!

Here Brooks is talking in his Friday night “deabte” with Mark Shields.

DAVID BROOKS: And they’re free from the corporate cultures, and they’re doing OK, which is not to say that losing Detroit as it exists will not be a cataclysm.

But my basic philosophy — and I think it’s the philosophy that’s been the tradition of American politics of both left and right — is that we have this creative destructive system. Companies rise, companies fall.

We protect workers. We give them a safety net. We give them unemployment insurance, in theory, and I hope we give them health care security in the near future. But we don’t mess up with that creative destructive process.

We don’t get the government in the way of that process, preserving failing companies, because if you do that, you will get — every CEO in America will be saying, “Hey, you helped out those guys. Circuit City, I matter. I’m a newspaper. I matter. Help me out, too.”

And we’ve already got — this has been a boom time for lobbyists already in Washington now, and they’re all lining up to get all this money.

Same day this was his column in the NYTimes,

Over time, American government built a bigger safety net so workers could survive the vicissitudes of this creative destruction — with unemployment insurance and soon, one hopes, health care security. But the government has generally not interfered in the dynamic process itself, which is the source of the country’s prosperity.

But this, apparently, is about to change. Democrats from Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi want to grant immortality to General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. They have decided to follow an earlier $25 billion loan with a $50 billion bailout, which would inevitably be followed by more billions later, because if these companies are not permitted to go bankrupt now, they never will be.

This is a different sort of endeavor than the $750 billion bailout of Wall Street. That money was used to save the financial system itself. It was used to save the capital markets on which the process of creative destruction depends.

Granting immortality to Detroit’s Big Three does not enhance creative destruction. It retards it. It crosses a line, a bright line. It is not about saving a system; there will still be cars made and sold in America. It is about saving politically powerful corporations. A Detroit bailout would set a precedent for every single politically connected corporation in America. There already is a long line of lobbyists bidding for federal money. If Detroit gets money, then everyone would have a case. After all, are the employees of Circuit City or the newspaper industry inferior to the employees of Chrysler?

I acknowledge that it is pressing issue inside the Beltway and as such he felt the need to write about it, and that Jim Lehrer asked about it.  And heck, if I think I come up with a clever frame, I will beat it like a dead horse.  But he is getting paid to say the same thing that he wrote, I for one would ask for a discount when he is double dipping.

I really think we are going to hold Brooks to his enthusiasm for health security for workers.  I am sure he might wiggle out based on ideological differences over how it is structured.  Don’t worry, I am sure his column on the topic will be repeated on the Newshour.



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