Brooks No Discussion

This may be the Platonic Ideal of a David Brooks column — vapid, pretentious, ahistorical and careless of the lives of people not named David Brooks. Here’s my favorite part:

The weakness with any democratic foreign policy is the problem of motivation. How do you get the electorate to support the constant burden of defending the liberal system?

[snip]

…[P]eople will die for Mother Russia or Allah. But it is harder to get people to die for a set of pluralistic procedures to protect faraway places. It’s been pulling teeth to get people to accept commercial pain and impose sanctions.

Shorter Brooks: It’s soooo hard to find good help these days!

Please feel free to discuss whatever. God knows Brooks raises no issue worthy of conversation.

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90 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    [P]eople will die for Mother Russia or Allah.

    Or to get out of paying subsidized grazing fees.

    There’s nothing too dumb that someone won’t die for it.

  2. 2
    PurpleGirl says:

    Gee, with the number of known Republican chickenhawks (especially including a certain AWOL drunk frat boy cheerleader), Brooks is complaining about getting liberals to fight? What about those Republican chickenhawks? What is keeping them from fighting (besides cowardice)?

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Baud:
    Bundy = High Plains Grifter.

  4. 4

    But it is harder to get people to die for a set of pluralistic procedures to protect faraway places.

    Feature, not a bug.

  5. 5
    danielx says:

    Shorter Brooks:

    It is SO tiresome to have to motivate people to spend lives and money without a single existential threat in sight! It was so much easier when I could just say those people who opposed Dear Leader’s Excellent Adventure were lazy, weak, misguided (and probably French) fools who didn’t understand the issues…

  6. 6
    raven says:

    6 shot in JPL’s hood.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM! BALLOON JUICE!

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Those new GA guns laws are already working, I see. Has JPL checked in?

    ETA: Just saw her comment in the last thread.

  9. 9
    raven says:

    @Baud: She was in the last thread, she’ll pop up.

  10. 10
    raven says:

    @Baud: Kennessaw had/has mandatory gun ownership/

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Jesus. I hope they at least have a public option.

  12. 12
    gogol's wife says:

    Thanks for warning me not to even glance at that page of the paper this morning.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    @Baud:

    The town is noted for its unusual gun legislation. In 1982 the city passed an ordinance [Sec 34-21][19]

    (a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.

    (b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: I haven’t been to Kennesaw in ages, but last time I visited — maybe 20 years ago? — there was a store that sold Klan gear! Honest to god, Imperial Wizard regalia, right there on the main street. I hope and trust that’s gone…

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm.

    Goddamn Kennesaw liberals!

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    David Brooks @ NYTimes Op-Ed Page:

    China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism. The U.S. faces a death by a thousand cuts dilemma. No individual problem is worth devoting giant resources to. It’s not worth it to spend huge amounts of treasure to establish stability in Syria or defend a Western-oriented Ukraine. But, collectively, all the little problems can undermine the modern system. No individual ailment is worth the expense of treating it, but, collectively, they can kill you.

    John Gaddis, another grand strategy professor, directs us to George Kennan’s insights from the early Cold War, which he feels are still relevant as a corrective to the death-by-a-thousand-cuts mentality. He argues that we should contain these menaces until they collapse internally.

    I see Bobo is feeling nostalgic for the containment strategy, with the threat of death by a thousand cuts replacing the domino theory.

    It’s such a shame our president is too weak, and not decisively manly enough, to involve us in another Vietnam or Korean War.

    Clearly, we need leadership based on the historically sound strategy famously summarized by the great William Golding in his classic work, The Princess Warmonger:

    Always get involved in a land war in Asia.

  17. 17
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    It’s been pulling teeth to get people to accept commercial pain and impose sanctions.

    Not nearly as hard as the consequences of a war Mr “I can’t learn” Brooks. One would have thought that anyone with more sense than a soup spoon would have figured that out from the Iraq War.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: KSU has become a huge school and is now absorbing Southern Poly in Marietta. All those northern burbs have exploded in the 30 years I’ve been here. I was at a conference there last year and went to the mall one evening. They may not like it but the demographics have changed drastically.

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    @raven: It’s a good day to be employed by the post office.

    this is the latest update

    About 5:54 a.m. today, the Cobb County Police Department received a call about an active shooter at the FedEx facility at 1675 Airport Road in Kennesaw, Officer Mike Bowman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    “We have multiple victims at this time that have been transported to a local area hospital,” he said in a statement. “We have multiple agencies assisting us with this incident. The area around the building has been secured and the officers are now clearing the incident location. This is still an active and fluid situation.”

  20. 20
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: I bet it has changed, and probably for the better! It’s a beautiful area. I still have a Minié ball I found on Kennesaw Mountain when I was a kid.

  21. 21
    The Red Pen says:

    @raven: Someone went privatized postal.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: When we moved here two plus decades ago, I refused to house hunt in Cobb County.

  23. 23
    GregB says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Re: Klan gear.

    Previously owned by DEMOCRATS!

  24. 24
    Patrick says:

    The weakness with any democratic foreign policy is the problem of motivation. How do you get the electorate to support the constant burden of defending the liberal system?

    I guess it depends what Brooks means by defending the liberal system. I think the idiotic Iraq war made a lot of people think twice the next time.

    Furthermore, I get the sense that Brooks is not familiar with budgets and deficit. Does he realize that wars cost money or is he like the rest of the GOP where he thinks that cost of wars are free? His party has been screaming about the deficit since Obama got elected, and now they want to spend more money on dumb wars.

  25. 25
    Alex S. says:

    Oh yeah, Brooks would LOVE to be part of the elite to manipulate the rubes at will.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m doing a great deal of research on the Georgia Campaign since I learned I am descended from a Confederate soldier who was with the 11th Tennessee at “Cheatham Hill” at Kennesaw and was killed July 22, 1864 at the Battle of Atlanta. It’s strange because most of my family is from Illinois and there is a huge Illinois Monument at “Cheatham Hill”. He and his brother were Confederates and their father was a Federal.

  27. 27
    PaulW says:

    Americans will fight overseas if we’re not LIED TO about it and there’s clear concise humanitarian objectives to it.

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @PaulW: really

  29. 29
  30. 30
    brendancalling says:

    Running Broad Street this Sunday to raise money for Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. It’s one of the best amenities in the city, so if ou have a couple of shekels please donate. I’m 97% of the way to my goal.

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @GregB: My grandfather was a Southern Illinois coal miner and his father was killed in the same mine he worked for 30 years.

  32. 32
    maya says:

    When any of Mitty’s sons enlist, let me know BoBo. If there was a military threat against the Grand Cayman Islands even, would they serve?

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    The shooter in Kennesaw is dead. The news is sketchy about what happened though.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    @maya: If his sons serve, who will be spreading the joys of war at home?

  35. 35
    Belafon says:

    Did Brooks forget the thousands of soldiers that died because of Iraq and Afghanistan? I know what he’s arguing – why won’t the President convince the American people we need to help Ukraine – but it’s not like Americans stay out of conflicts.

    If I could think of a way that us intervening in Ukraine would help, I would support it, because I do feel sad that there’s not much we can do. But, there’s not much we can do short of starting a war with Russia. The really fun question will be what will we do if Russia decides it needs to “protect” Russians in NATO countries.

  36. 36
    MomSense says:

    Last night my 18 year old asked me “Mom, do you ever read the newspaper or watch the news and wonder how that jackass got their job?”

  37. 37
    geg6 says:

    Since this is an open thread and you have to subscribe to this website in order to read it (and in order to subscribe, you must be a student aid professional and member of the organization), I’m going to post a long quote. This is about student loan reform and one of the proposals which is very popular among people in my position. I tend to favor it for numerous reason (and they are all in the quote), but I’m interested to know what the general population thinks about it:

    The proposed one loan program:
    __
    Combines the Federal Direct Loan, the Federal Perkins Loan, the various health professions loans (and perhaps even the Teach Grant) and the Graduate PLUS Loan into a single unsubsidized loan that is available to students enrolled at least half time at eligible institutions. (It would not eliminate the Federal Parent PLUS Loan, which would remain completely separate.)
    Sets annual and aggregate borrowing limits sufficiently high to allow students to cover the cost of education, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level and whether at a public or private institution. This is an important aspect of the one loan program because current loan amounts, while reasonable for some students at some schools, are too low for many students at many schools. Unless these limits are increased under a well-conceived federal loan program, students will continue to turn to private loans, credit cards, excessive work hours, and other alternatives that thwart quick degree completion.
    Continues to allow schools, especially community colleges, to set a lower maximum borrowing limit if they believe a lower limit is appropriate for their students.
    Includes forgiveness provisions for borrowers who work in professions that Congress determines (subject to regular reassessment) are in the national interest to be subsidized in this way.
    Uses income-based repayment and collections through the federal payroll tax system.
    Bears a modest interest rate that is set annually for the life of the loan.
    __
    The one loan program greatly simplifies the financial aid award notice for borrowers and their families. It provides only one set of terms that can be much more easily explained and understood than the confusing terms and options found in the existing panoply of loan programs. It also means borrowers have only one promissory note and one entrance and exit counseling session to complete. A single repayment plan results from a single loan program, further simplifying the process for borrowers.
    __
    The one loan program is also easier to administer and would lower the cost of administration at both the federal and institutional levels. Savings are difficult to estimate, since the federal government does not directly compensate institutions for the costs associated with running the federal loan programs, but the streamlined nature of one loan is likely to save both schools and the government millions of dollars. For example, one loan streamlines awarding by eliminating all of the references to other loan programs; it streamlines disbursement by eliminating the duplicative promissory notes and terms and conditions statements currently required for the different loan programs; and it streamlines collections by focusing on just a single loan repayment.
    __
    With so many clear benefits, why don’t we already have one loan program? One reason may be historic political backing for existing loan programs. If a member of a political party had introduced or promoted previous legislation supporting a specific federal loan program, they would find it difficult to support legislation to end that program. Another factor may be pressure by some higher education groups to discourage increased student borrowing capacity. This perspective stems from two assumptions:
    __
    Increased loan limits will lead to increased cost of attendance and force additional borrowing, and
    Keeping loan limits down will lead to additional gift aid dollars from the federal and governments or schools.
    __
    A 2014 U.S. Government Accountability Office study released this year found no causal relationship between student loan limits and cost of attendance. Similarly, there is no reason to believe that a single loan program would increase the cost of attendance or that reduced loan limits would lead to additional gift aid. In fact, many in the financial aid profession have witnessed the negative effects of reducing access to student loans, as students often bridge the tuition gap in detrimental ways. For example, they enroll in a reduced credit load to lower tuition, which makes their loan money go further but ultimately extends their time in degree and increases their overall debt. They to attempt to borrow private loans, which are often more expensive and/or are out of reach for students who cannot get a cosigner or show adequate ability to repay. They charge education costs to their credit cards with no safety nets and extremely high interest rates. They work excessive hours to pay for tuition, reducing study time and threatening their ability to succeed in attaining the education they are paying for. And they sometimes simply drop out. Clearly, reducing access to federal student loans is not the best for many students.

    Any thoughts? I feel I’m too close to the subject to judge this objectively.

  38. 38
    GregB says:

    @raven:

    No, I meant Yankee or Confederate. Wasn’t questioning your union bonafides.

    Sorry.

  39. 39
    Betty Cracker says:

    @JPL: Well, at least the active shooter nightmare is over. I trust that when it’s all sorted out, guns will be found innocent.

  40. 40
    MomSense says:

    Ok, I just want to say FUCK DAVID BROOKS! He bemoans that it is so tough to get people to want to DIE for their country but Republicans don’t want to even part with a tiny fraction of their GD money for their country. Selflessness and sacrifice is only for the little people according to David Marie Antoinette Brooks.

    Seriously, this man is an ass and should be shunned publicly every waking moment for the rest of his life.

    ETA From now on I am going to refer to him as David Marie Antoinette Brooks, thought leader for the assholigarchy.

  41. 41
    shelly says:

    commercial pain

    What the hell does that even mean? The price of Russian caviar might go up?

  42. 42
    raven says:

    @GregB: Not at all, I just thought it was interesting that it was more of a union song than Civil War. There is no doubt in my mind that I’m a Federal but I also think it’s very reflective of who we are that I had people on both sides. I don’t really know but I think, for these people, it had more to do with where they were when the war started than anything else.

  43. 43
    flukebucket says:

    This is eight minutes of pure joy.

    My God, it is so good to have a President with a brain. I will sure miss him when he is gone.

  44. 44
    Carl Nyberg says:

    The elites have no credibility. And Brooks knows it.

    Liberalism ain’t doing well on credibility from either.

    The elites support liberalism when it’s in their interests. Liberalism can justify their war profiteering but doesn’t restrain their abuses.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    Pa. judge won’t reconsider voter ID ruling

    Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
    Last updated: Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 1:08 AM
    Posted: Monday, April 28, 2014, 6:03 PM

    A Commonwealth Court judge on Monday denied the Corbett administration’s request to reconsider his ruling overturning the state’s two-year-old voter identification law.

    In a 29-page decision, Judge Bernard L. McGinley said the law requiring Pennsylvania voters to produce photo ID at the polls failed “to provide liberal access to compliant photo ID” and, as a result, disenfranchised voters.

    “The evidence showed the voter ID provisions at issue deprive numerous electors of their fundamental right to vote, so vital to our democracy,” wrote McGinley, who struck down the law in January.

    The Corbett administration has 30 days to file an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

    Joshua Maus, spokesman for the Office of General Counsel, said the office was reviewing the ruling.

    Lawyers representing plaintiffs in the case praised the ruling.

    Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/n.....k3FmjtU.99

  46. 46
    Citizen_X says:

    The weakness with any democratic foreign policy is the problem of motivation. How do you get the electorate to support the constant burden of defending the liberal system…it is harder to get people to die for a set of pluralistic procedures to protect faraway places.

    You know what the problem is there, Brooksie? It’s that pesky democracy thing. If we can only lie to the rubes and suppress any dissidents, we can defend “democracy” far, far away somewhere.

  47. 47
    JGabriel says:

    @geg6:

    Any thoughts? I feel I’m too close to the subject to judge this objectively.

    In terms of what we’ve got, it sounds better than the current system.

    I’m divided on the higher limits though. On the on hand, students are already running up more debt than ever. On the other, we certainly want students to be able to cover college expenses and living costs, which ain’t cheap.

    I think it’s good idea overall, but it probably needs to be combined with a more generous grant program and a program to help rein in rising tuition costs.

  48. 48
    Citizen_X says:

    @Carl Nyberg: Huh?

    Brooks is being purposely vague with his definitions. Don’t add to the problem.

  49. 49
    geg6 says:

    @rikyrah:

    Hurrah! YES! In your face, Corbett and Turzai!

  50. 50
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Well, our decade-plus of war in Afghanistan and Iraq has certainly transformed them into bastions of democracy.

  51. 51
    geg6 says:

    @JGabriel:

    If you could see what I see, you’d be in favor of the higher limits. Seriously, who thinks that a borrowing limit of $5500/year (and only increasing to $7500/year for juniors and seniors) is realistic? All it does is force parents to borrow through the PLUS Loan or co-sign for the really horrendous private educational loans (which, like the federal loans, are not dischargable under bankruptcy law). Better that students can borrow what they need under the federal umbrella with all its protections and repayment options.

    ETA: This is just one of the many reasons I support higher limits on the federal student loans:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04.....d=fb-share

  52. 52
    D58826 says:

    Good to see the new Ga. gun law is working so well. Only 6 shot at the FedEx facility today.

  53. 53
    Davis X. Machina says:

    OT, but sweet Jesus is Ron Fournier a tool.

  54. 54
    Schlemizel says:

    @D58826:
    But the problem is NEVER too many guns, it is ALWAYS too few. If those 6 had been armed it would have been gunfight at the OK FedEx and nobody would have died.

  55. 55
    Belafon says:

    @flukebucket: What’s it about? I can’t watch videos at work.

  56. 56
    Yatsuno says:

    @Davis X. Machina: But he haz polls! And numbers! He’s just like Nate Silver!

    Holy Jeebus fuck that thing was hard to read.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I’m not going to waste my time reading Brooks, but Russian propaganda notwithstanding, people were willing to risk their lives, and some lost theirs, in Ukraine to defend what I think Brooks would call “liberal democratic” principles. There was a nationalist element, yes, but most people in the streets were there not for any version of God or country, but more simply: “we’ve seen Europe and we want to be like them.”

  58. 58
    flukebucket says:

    @Belafon: FOX news reporter Ed Henry asks Obama about his supposed “weak” foreign policy and Obama just makes an ass out of the guy. When you get a chance to watch it please do. It is well worth your time.

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @flukebucket:

    That was wonderful. Thanks for the link.

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    @geg6:

    If you could see what I see, you’d be in favor of the higher limits.

    I’m not against higher limits, per se. I’m just worried about the amount of debt college students are graduating with – so I suppose the issue, for me, is that I’d like to see a more generous grant program to help alleviate that problem.

    Since that’s probably not possible in today’s House, I guess I’m for the higher limits too/instead..

  61. 61
    JPL says:

    @flukebucket: Thanks! MSM will report on his response during the next decade.

  62. 62
    hoodie says:

    The weakness with any democratic foreign policy is the problem of motivation. How do you get the electorate to support the constant burden of defending the liberal system?

    The best way of protecting the liberal system is to ignore Professors of Grand Strategy. This is particularly stupid:

    It was barely possible when we were facing an obviously menacing foe like the Soviet Union. But it’s harder when the system is being gouged by a hundred sub-threshold threats.

    Yeah, hardly any motivation for 50 years of cold war and massive spending for weapons systems that were never used, and like the world hasn’t constantly been filled with “sub-threshold threats.” It’s amazing that this moron gets column space in the paper of record and gigs at Yale rather than flipping burgers at Mickey D’s. The real threat to liberalism is the absolute incompetence of much of its so-called elites. Thank god Obama is in the WH, otherwise we’d be up in flames.

  63. 63
    geg6 says:

    @JGabriel:

    Hell, I’d love for us to have a more European system with no tuition at all and everything covered by the government (tuition and fees, anyway). But that will never happen here, so this is the best we can get, I think. And even this is too much for the GOPers.

  64. 64
    raven says:

    Some jackass decided 75 million people were under a tornado threat and now everyone is running with it!

  65. 65
    gvg says:

    As a Financial Aid counselor at a major University I’m against it. Completely. We just raised the loan limits a few years ago. Grants haven’t kept up. Raising the loan limits is just a cop out to squeeze the students harder. the more expensive schools seriously need to lower their prices. The Perkins is a better loan and I wish the motivation was there to expand it. This stupid idea wants to eliminate the subsidized loans. Interest accruing while students are still in school drastically raises the borrowing costs and will really hurt down the line. Simplification isn’t worth those trade offs. Now if it was a fixed lower rate that made more of the loans like subsidized instead of unsubs I would be happier. Still think it’s way too soon to raise the borrowing limit again.
    We need more grants but the will isn’t there now. Don’t give up decent loans for an illusion that grants might get raised. That it’s complicated and hard on us, the school workers is just too bad. We are here to serve the students and this is just another greedhead sucker plan.
    I have worked 20 years in the University of Florida Financial Aid Office. A long time ago I was able to avoid sugesting taking loans to most students. That isn’t the case now but still most of our students get through without private or PLUS loans. Sub loans are a lot better than Unsubs.

  66. 66
    Betty Cracker says:

    @flukebucket: I cheered when he pointed out that the critics advocated the “disastrous” Iraq policy and haven’t learned the lesson of the past decade. That was about as close to “In your FACE, McCain and Graham” as we’ll ever hear.

  67. 67
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Betty Cracker: Sometimes I think that we won’t realize what a great President we had until he’s gone.

  68. 68

    David Brooks is sad. He is sad that in the US today it is hard to convince people to ‘defend the liberal system’ which he believes means sending our armed forces abroad to kill and die. It’s almost like, given a choice, people don’t want to waste years of their life learning how to obey orders just so they can be used as goad to ensure compliance with America’s foreign policy. I notice he never ends his column with the words “and in conclusion, that is why I have this special age waiver and I am enlisting in the US Army as a rifleman so that I too can help advance the aims of American foreign policy at home and abroad.”

  69. 69
    Calouste says:

    When Churchill lost the election a few months after WWII had finished, he commented that “this is what we have been fighting for for six years”. He sure thought he was fighting for democracy.

    Of course that single line contains more wisdom than David Brooks’ entire lifetime output.

  70. 70
    Steeplejack says:

    @The Red Pen:

    I used to know a woman who worked at FedEx. She said they joked about snapping and “going parcel.”

  71. 71
    geg6 says:

    @gvg:

    So we do nothing? See, I don’t have that luxury. I’ve worked as a student aid officer at a major public university for over 16 years and there has never been a time that the Stafford Loan limits have covered costs here. Never. The only place I’ve ever worked that the loan limits were fine was when I worked at the local community college, before I got this position.

    Perhaps Florida subsidizes its public universities at a higher rate than Pennsylvania does, which wouldn’t surprise me. When I first got this job, our state subsidy made up 12% of our budget. Now it only makes up about 5% of our budget. It’s getting to the point that even our low-income in-state students with financial aid packages that includes lots of grants and need-based scholarships are not being able to cover the costs. And don’t get me started on the middle-income students who don’t qualify for grants.

    Now, if the world was run the way I’d like it, you’d be proposing common sense and perfectly reasonable solutions. But it isn’t and I want my students to be able to afford an education, even if it means they will have debt. Better debt from the federal loan system with its protections and varied payment plans than private educational loans, which are more and more what our families and students are stuck with.

  72. 72
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Hoods-R-Us?

  73. 73
    geg6 says:

    @Helmut Monotreme:

    Heh. Indeedy.

  74. 74
    Keith G says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Sometimes I think that we won’t realize what a great President we had until he’s gone.

    We won’t because no one can.

    The legacy of any president can be hard to suss out until the consequences (both good and ill) of their decisions have time to “grow up” and play to out. And even then, those realizations do not come all at once, but accumulate slowly as accumulated impacts change in significance.

  75. 75
    Patrick says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I cheered when he pointed out that the critics advocated the “disastrous” Iraq policy and haven’t learned the lesson of the past decade. That was about as close to “In your FACE, McCain and Graham” as we’ll ever hear.

    What boogles my mind is that all those folks that advocated the disastrous Iraq still have such a huge megaphone when it comes to foreign policy. Why doesn’t the MSM clarify that whenever McCain/Graham are on TV that they also were behind the disastrous Iraq war? If you are going to give them a huge megaphone, you also have a responsibility to show the viewer whether they have any credibility.

  76. 76
    Chris says:

    Ah, another vapid asshole with an “edgy” and “provocative” “new” idea, which just happens – coincidentally! – to amount to “the people are sheep and weaklings who become lost and confused when they don’t have an authoritarian concept to rally around.”

    It’s a tired rendition of the old cliche the fascists used to spout in the 1930s about democracies being inherently weak, decadent and inefficient, and dictatorships strong and efficient. Which really doesn’t take a PHD in political science (which I don’t have) to test – if it was true, the fascists would’ve won World War Two, or the communists would’ve won in the Cold War, or absolute monarchies would’ve outlasted republics in Europe. People had no problem “accepting pain” or “dying” for those abstract concepts of Brooks’ in World War Two, or the various revolutions of the nineteenth century.

    So maybe the problem isn’t that democratic citizens are weak and confused. Maybe they’ve just heard the words “we must fight this war over there or the communists/terrorists win!” so many times for conflicts that had nothing to do with preserving liberal democracy that by now they know bullshit when they hear it.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It’s really hard to get cowardly airhead shit like Brooks to commit to die for anything.

    You have to do it for them.

  78. 78
    Phantom 309 says:

    @Helmut Monotreme: Of course not. Because friendly fire.

  79. 79
    Goblue72 says:

    @geg6: yet in those 16 years, Penn State still managed to educate thousands of students & those thousands of students were able to attend.

    An un-subsidized loan dramatically raises the total cost of borrowing – and thus, of attendance. More student debt isn’t the answer. We have gotten to the point where student loan debt is getting so high that for some students, the college education payoff is evaporating. Household formation for young people is at rock bottom trend lines. We have a rental housing crisis in this country now because young people are so saddled by student loan debt that they can’t come close to being able to buy a house – and are stuck renting forever.

    Over-extended consumer borrowing is part of how we got in this mess. More is not going to fix it.

  80. 80
    geg6 says:

    @Goblue72:

    Okay, fine then. I’ll be telling my students who can’t borrow enough to pay to go get a job and forget about an education because they’ll have too much debt. At least, they can do that until the magical unicorn poops enough gold for them to pay cash.

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    Betty Cracker says:

    @Keith G: And yet it’s blindingly obvious that GWB was a shitty president. He relies on an argument similar to yours to keep from swan-diving into the woodchipper, though.

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Betty Cracker: Precisely. Our incompetent elites have learned nothing from the Iraq disaster. One of the key reasons why they’re incompetent.

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Patrick:

    Why doesn’t the MSM clarify that whenever McCain/Graham are on TV that they also were behind the disastrous Iraq war?

    Because as far as the MSM is concerned, the Iraq war was not a disaster. It was good for ratings. The MSM loves war. War is good for ratings, the hookers and blow budget of its executives, and other growing things.

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    goblue72 says:

    @geg6: Yes, maybe you should. Friend of mine who graduated law school same time I did is currently teaching part-time at a law school (his day job is with the state AG). The school is not a member of the T-14 – its more middle tier, being ranked in lower half of top 100. Career prospects are ok for grads of that school, but certainly nothing close to the white shoe $125k+ jobs for a T-14 grad.

    His general advice to his 1L students is that they should seriously dropping out immediately as the debt they will graduate with will likely hold them back for decades given their realistic career prospects – and with applying the focus that got them into law school, they probably would have a better career as a plumber – or utilizing their undergrad degree to get a toehold job for a company somewhere and climb the corporate ladder, developing skills along the way. (Personally, if I had not been accepted at a T-14 school, I would not have attended law school – the math just didn’t work otherwise)

    There’s also the broader public policy issue in this country that we send too many people to college. We are fairly unique in the industrialized world as a country completely allergic to developing a national industrial policy – because, you know, that would be Socialism. We have an economy where the message is either (1) go to college or (2) a lifetime working at McDonalds. And the fact is we just have too many kids being funneled into the college system (which drives up costs) – many of whom fail to graduate or take far too long to graduate.

    I’m a hiring manager in my job within a professional services company – I can say quite honestly, that there is a tier of colleges that if they appear on a resume, I pretty much don’t consider that resume since the degree from those institutions doesn’t really tell me anything about the candidate.

    We need to stop trying to funnel every kid into college – our youth employment rates are horrible. The Germans have a much superior system. They send a far lower percentage of their 18-24 year olds to college and funnel a far higher percentage into trade schools. And their youth employment rates are quite good – even more so when compared to the rest of the Eurozone. There’s nothing wrong with being an electrician, plumber, nurse, industrial lab tech, etc.

  85. 85
    goblue72 says:

    @geg6: Also – in your own words, you are “too close to the subject to judge this objectively.” You came on here asking for people’s thoughts. They gave them to you – including one from a fellow financial aid professional. Don’t get pissy just because people don’t agree with you when you ASKED for their opinions. Unless you didn’t really want other people’s opinions and just wanted validation of your own.

  86. 86
    Gretchen says:

    @geg6: My thought is why does it have to be unsubsidized? Doesn’t an educated populace benefit us all? We have some young people starting their lives deep in the hole, and others deciding not to pursue an education because they don’t want to start their lives deep in the hole. I know one medical student who will start her life, at age 28, a half-MILLION dollars in debt. How does this make sense, for her, or for our country, to be treated by doctors who owe a half-million bucks before they’ve bought a house or a car?

  87. 87
    Chris says:

    @goblue72:

    There’s also the broader public policy issue in this country that we send too many people to college. We are fairly unique in the industrialized world as a country completely allergic to developing a national industrial policy – because, you know, that would be Socialism. We have an economy where the message is either (1) go to college or (2) a lifetime working at McDonalds. And the fact is we just have too many kids being funneled into the college system (which drives up costs) – many of whom fail to graduate or take far too long to graduate.

    We’ve spent years telling everyone that going to college is the path to success (particularly true when you put that next to all the memes devaluing blue collar jobs as worthless, overpaid, lazy and Union Thuggish). Now that the problems associated with that have become too obvious to ignore, suddenly the powers-that-be are telling us all “look, you need to realize that not everyone can go to college!” Which would be a lot easier to take seriously if the system hadn’t spent the last thirty years utterly decimating the blue collar industries, so that the alternative to college now is, indeed, increasingly “work at McDonalds your whole life.”

    Not honestly sure which of you two I’m agreeing with, since the bottom line is that no matter what you do (go to college, don’t go to college), you’re in trouble.

    Education right now is where health care was before the ACA. Everyone else in the industrialized world figured it out just fine. We can’t, because Socialism, and because the fact that other people do it a certain way in itself means we aren’t allowed to, because American Exceptionalism. Things that might actually solve the problem are unacceptable because they’re Thoughtcrime, and things that aren’t are basically a band-aid on a much more serious injury. At least health care is on the way to a solution, but there’s still a ways to go. Education, oy. I don’t foresee meaningful change there until the next time we have the kind of majority we did in 2008-2010, which could be a long time.

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    Gretchen says:

    @flukebucket: Thank you. Good video of the president.

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    sm*t cl*de says:

    China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism.

    Forf Ucks Ache. This is what comes of pretending that corporations are people. Next thing you know, empty-headed pundits start believing that any random self-governed landmass is a person too, and they feel qualified to pontificate about the personalities and value systems of those non-existent persons.

  90. 90
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @flukebucket:

    that was fucking awesome. Thanks!

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