Saturday, April 10, 2021

David Brooks, Liberal Patriot

Say what you will about David Brooks, he writes some good columns sometimes. This is one of the good ones, where he channels his inner Liberal Patriot. I find little to disagree with here.
"The early days of the Biden administration are nothing if not a daring leap....Some people say this is like the New Deal. I’d say this is an updated, monster-size version of “the American System,” the 19th-century education and infrastructure investments inspired by Alexander Hamilton, championed by Henry Clay and then advanced by the early Republicans, like Abraham Lincoln. That was an unabashedly nationalist project, made by a youthful country, using an energetic government to secure two great goals: economic dynamism and national unity.
Bidenomics is a massive bid to promote economic dynamism. It’s not only the R&D spending and the green energy stuff; it’s also the massive investment in kids and human capital.
If, as expected, Biden’s American Family Plan includes universal pre-K education and free community college, that would mean four more years of free schooling for millions of young Americans. As Rahm Emanuel said to me, when was the last time we achieved something as big as that?
It’s also a unifying agenda. For the past several decades the economy has funneled money to highly educated people who live in large metro areas. That has created a ruinous class rift that divides the country and fuels polarization. The Biden measures would funnel money to the roughly two-thirds of Americans without a bachelor’s degree — who work on road crews, in manufacturing plants, who care for the elderly and are disproportionately unemployed."
That's an excellent way to look at Bidenomics. Good for Brooks to get this and say this. Also, the article I wrote with Peter Juul for American Affairs has some similar themes and might be worth a look if you are intrigued by Brooks' column.

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