Thursday, May 06, 2010



By Kevin Stoda

David Brooks wrote a controversial article on public policy in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

In order to calm down the extremist factions in America which are in super-blue or super red-states, Brooks suggests that public policy has more negative influence in its toolbox on society than it does positive ones, i.e. in trying to help marginal folks in society. Brooks writes, “Most of the proposals we (public policy peoples) argue about so ferociously will have only marginal effects on how we live, especially compared with the ethnic, regional and social differences that we so studiously ignore.”

In a nutshell, Brooks proposed, “(T)he first rule of policy-making should be, don’t promulgate a policy that will destroy social bonds. If you take tribes of people, exile them from their homelands and ship them to strange, arid lands, you’re going to produce bad outcomes for generations. Second, try to establish basic security.”

I cannot really argue with the concept of the state needing to avoid policies which break family bonds. I think nearly 100 years of USA public policy promoting the individualist “nuclear family” concept has led many Caucasian Americans to become sidelined in terms of good economic and social development in the post WWII eras. For example, I believe that one reason that many white Americans are opposed to foreign immigrants from Latin America, the Middle East and Asia today are because these migrants believe in strong extended family ties—Heck, some of them can take turns standing for each other in welfare lines all day. Isolated individualist Americans cannot compete if they have no family members to stand in unemployment and welfare lines with or for them. American bureaucracies make most poor single American adults (with no family members) spend 50% of their time fighting for their rights and welfare when they should be spending time with their children or getting more skills in order to find a better job.

Brooks also states, “If the government can establish a basic level of economic and physical security, people may create a culture of achievement — if you’re lucky.”

That, too, seems to be a no-brainer. If the USA would stop harassing foreign-looking peoples and begin promoting peaceful coexistence in America, perhaps unemployed (often having already been left in the lurch by America´s biggest and wealthiest banks) peoples could get along better in 2010.

Next, Brooks writes, “Third, try to use policy to strengthen relationships.”

Well, this sounds like a recap of the suggestion that family’s should be supported in America. However, the government would do well to help Americans to work together—instead of playing (1) the employed against the unemployed, (2) the mothers with no jobs against mothers who have to work and others who shouldn’t be working, and (3) conservatives versus liberals, the whole uSA would be better off.

Finally, Brooks makes some rather bad comments. Brooks says, “The best policies, like good pre-school and military service, fortify emotional bonds.”
I say YES to promoting emotional bonds in AMERICA, but If the government can establish a basic level of economic and physical security, people may create a culture of achievement — if you’re lucky. Third, try to use policy to strengthen relationships.”what is this about throwing more money into the USA military.

Come now, Mr. Brooks!!!.

Why can’t boy scouts help America? Why can’t church groups help? Why can’t other clubs help Americas and its peoples´ emotional bonds? Why do you imply, Mr. Brooks, that community groups working for peace cannot help fortify American’s emotional and community bonds, too?



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