Watch out, America, because David Brooks has written another one of his famous “theme” columns, in which he takes on a gimmick — like pretending to be Kierkegaard, or a doctor researching some new Obama disease, or a cartoon Asian Buddhist Negro being attacked by the Internet — and proceeds to embarrass himself for hundreds of words. Today he pretends to be a historian, or maybe just a Wikipedia writer, composing a brief summary of how during the Obama years, the majority party took a so-so economy, ran up the budget and made so many bad decisions that the American people started distrusting the government and other institutions of power completely. Just to repeat, he says this is what the future will look like.
The last paragraph, it is nerdy:
The nation had essentially bet its future on economic models with primitive views of human behavior. The government had tried to change social psychology using the equivalent of leeches and bleeding. Rather than blame themselves, Americans directed their anger toward policy makers and experts who based estimates of human psychology on mathematical equations.
That’s fine, robot historian, and there’s plenty to criticize w/r/t the stimulus package and Tim Geithner’s non-plan to fix the banking system. But… what should we have, then? Many of our “elite” conservative pundits like Brooks, George Will, and of course Peggington have taken to ranting about how shameful it is to spend all of this money, but they’re not quite retarded enough to support the “Republican alternative” — this magical sack of rats designed to keep government deficits down by eliminating all forms of government revenue. (Maybe George Will is? We don’t actually read him, just saw a headline or summary somewhere.)
Maybe David Brooks can send us a nice e-mail and tell us what he thinks would be a good idea, from the right. Paul Krugman hates on everything in his column today, too, but then states precisely what he wants. This is a basic standard of argumentation that we should expect from our major newspaper columnists. So should we have a different spending stimulus? Tax cuts? Nothing? Should the biggest banks, all insolvent now, be allowed to go under? Is the risk of hyperinflation or government default a bigger threat? These are impossible questions to which our dystopian future historian would know the answers! Please tell us, in the cartoon Asian Buddhist Negro voice.
The Worst-Case Scenario [NYT]