After all, being a columnist at the NYT is a pretty good gig. Yet he repeatedly shows he doesn't have a clue on the issues on which he pontificates.
In his latest effort he criticizes the people he dubs "radicals" and contrasts them with radicals of prior years. He tells readers:
"Today’s radicals do not want to upend the meritocracy, which is creating a caste system of inherited inequality. They don’t want to stop technical innovation, which is displacing millions of workers."
Really, it is meritocracy that gives us patent and copyright monopolies, that bails out Wall Street billionaires who put their banks into bankruptcy, that protects doctors and dentists from foreign competition? It is meritocracy that gives us a corrupt corporate governance structure that allows CEOs to largely set their own pay? It is meritocracy that gives us fiscal and monetary policies that denied jobs to millions following the collapse of the housing bubble?
That doesn't fit my definition of meritocracy. That sure looks like a rigged system designed to redistribute income upward. (Yeah, I'm plugging my free book, Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer.)
But Brooks makes his case:
"Well, they are wrong that our institutions are fundamentally corrupt. Most of our actual social and economic problems are the bad byproducts of fundamentally good trends."
Okay, if he says so. I thought people were supposed to have to argue for their positions based on evidence, but in David Brooks' "meritocracy" you can make unsupported assertions and get published in the NYT twice a week.