His column today really must be read to be believed. That said, don't read it. There is nothing to be gained from believing such an Op-Ed exists, and, I'm sorry to report, much to lose. Reading his condescending tripe has left me feeling weak, sickly even.
There is no reason for me to pick apart what you might graciously refer to as his shitty argument, because Andrew Leonard over at Salon has saved me the trouble. Now, I will pass along to you his wise words. All you need to know about Brooks piece is that in it he says our "economic values" have changed, and we need to start living like we did in the 50s again. Here's a small taste of Leonard's massive takedown. I need a warm bath and some green tea.
"Brooks displays a bizarre historical amnesia throughout his column. For example, he never even mentions the transition from the Roaring Twenties to the Great Depression Maybe it's because the shift from decadence to thrift at that point was also obviously a response to economic incentives. Even worse, a moral revival didn't restore economic growth after the Crash -- government action and ultimately the fiscal stimulus provided by World War II did the trick.
But a far more pertinent point of reference comes much earlier. Has Brooks somehow forgotten that just nine years ago the U.S. operated under a balanced budget and enjoyed a budget surplus? The explosion of public debt since that point has very little to do with the moral failings of Americans, and everything to do with objective fact. George W. Bush cut taxes, but did not match those cuts with spending cuts. Instead, he ramped up spending dramatically, on two wars, healthcare, and finally, a huge bailout of Wall Street."
Preach it, Andy.