Nicholas Kristof Pens Another Obtuse Column
Was Nicholas Kristof always a bard of false equivalence or did he become one recently? St. Nick thinks that the Republicans should get some credit for bringing to light the causes of poverty, even if they get the solutions wrong. He may be damning them with faint praise but I think he is giving the Republicans far too much credit.
According to St. Nick they get the rhetoric right, never mind their actual policies. May be that was true in some bygone era, these days, even their rhetoric drips contempt. Has St. Nick forgotten the 47% moochers of the last election season?
So what are the conservatives/Republicans right about according to Kristof?
Strong Families: Conservatives highlight the primacy of family and argue that family breakdown exacerbates poverty, and they’re right.
Way to confuse cause and effect. Poverty makes it hard on a family or to even have a family. Being married is no guarantee to economic prosperity. Also what is this strange obsession conservatives have about people’s marriages? At best, this is a peripheral issue to the macroeconomics of income inequality and poverty. You are already entitled to bigger tax deductions if you have a family. What more besides arranging marriages can the government do on this front?
JOB CREATION President Reagan was right when he said that the best social program is a job.
It is sad that Kristof has the exhume Reagan to come up with a sensible Republican voice. The actual policies of the Republican are much more favorable to people with investment income, than they are to wage earners. Despite productivity gains, trickle down economic policies have not made the average American wealthier. The gains have gone to a tiny sliver of the population, the so called 1%.
SCHOOL REFORM Republicans were right to blow the whistle on broken school systems, for education in inner-city schools is the civil rights issue of the 21st century.
How is demonizing teachers and their unions going to make problem schools perform better?
Kristof may not accept the Republican solutions, but he adopts their framing which only serves to obfuscate the issue of income inequality and blames the poor. Doesn’t NYT already have David Brooks to do that?
Why should the party of the Ryan Budget get credit for shedding crocodile tears over the problems that they helped create and are doing nothing to solve. In fact they have thrown every conceivable road block in President Obama’s effort to jump start the economy right from early 2009. The refusal of Republican governors to expand Medicaid in their states is a recent case in point. Via Paul Krugman,
this is what the health economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the principal architects of health reform — and normally a very mild-mannered guy — recently summed it up: The Medicaid-rejection states “are willing to sacrifice billions of dollars of injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. It really is just almost awesome in its evilness.” Indeed.
It is high time that supposedly liberal columnists stopped giving Republicans a fig leaf to hide their sheer callousness and ineptitude.