David Brooks: Hello 2013

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times and editor of The Best American Essays 2012, discusses the latest news from Washington, including a late-night fiscal cliff deal. Plus: his annual Sidney Award list of the year's best essays, and his new course, titled "Humility," at Yale University.


David Brooks

Comments [24]

When asked which ideas/positions/policies he would choose from each party, Brooks said that he would adopt the "deregulation program" or "deregulation regime" of the Republicans.

The obvious question which cried-out to be asked of Mr. Brooks was _what_, specifically, he would like to see deregulated and how that would actually advance the _public_ interest, as opposed to private business interests. Would Mr. Brooks suggest, for example, that _reduced_ regulation of the food industry, would result in _fewer_ deadly E. Coli and Salmonella outbreaks? Or that _reduced_ regulation of the coal industry, to take another example, would result in _fewer_ fatal mining accidents? Etc., etc.)

But Lehrer simply allowed Brooks to get away with this lubriciously vague statement, and did not make even the most cursory and weak attempt to challenge it.

Jun. 19 2013 11:01 AM
BigGuy from Forest Hills

Most of David Brooks' stats about US gov't expenses and revenues are complete nonsense. When you have guests who spout cant of the Right, please label it as such. You don't have to debate, you can just say, "Facts have a well known liberal bias. What you've stated just now is factually incorrect."

Jan. 05 2013 04:29 PM
News Guy from The Ichetucknee River

Hi Brian! Please help - David Brooks said he subscribes to a daily email that lists each day's newly released social science research abstracts. Can you ask him what the name of that list is?

Jan. 04 2013 11:06 AM
Ed from Larchmont

"There is nothing more powerful than the humility of God." Mother Teresa

Jan. 04 2013 08:06 AM
jeanine from new york city

While I don't necessarily agree with most of David Brooks's conservative thoughts, he has a very good point about the course on 'Humility' he plans to teach. The 'Me' generation screwed up royally by raising an entire generation of 'entitled people' who will unfortunately will be the leaders of tomorrow. So if a conservative, liberal, or whatever has the opportunity to get to these people when they are still malleable and teach them some lessons, then I'm all for it because not only am I sick of these kids, but most important, as a society we have a major problem if they are to be our 'leaders' of tomorrow.

Jan. 02 2013 12:32 PM
hicoachrich from Murray Hill

Brooks is the Trojan Horse of the 'right' out for Conservatives bearing gifts...but he does stir me to think---by necessitating a cohesive debunking and counter-argument---he is dangerous in that he sucks a lot of folks in with his style and his socio-anthro-societal interests which they take for an healthy interest in humanity---but he always reverts to using the data or study to put forth the need for control of the base nature of humanity and then some conservative value or another. Today's guest appearance gave a hint of how dark he sees the world. However, it is refreshing at times to have a journalist actually introduce a dose of (sad) reality into his reporting. For his course in Humility he should be citing Robert Greenleaf as a primary source (and Meg Wheatley as another reference). It will be a Happy New Year when Paul Krugman makes his first appearance on the BL show.

Jan. 02 2013 11:32 AM
mimette from NY

After 30 years in the arts, I have found that Yalies manage to say "when I was at..." or, "at Yale" within the first 5 sentences of conversation. Only Yalies, in my experience, seem to feel they must mention their alma mater. I wish Mr. Brooks godspeed!

Jan. 02 2013 10:29 AM
JB from NJ

How about showing some humility by teaching the course at a state school or community college?

Jan. 02 2013 10:28 AM
John from Fanwood

I grant that David Brooks is one of the few "thinking" center-right writers. However, he, like every other right winger keeps saying we need spending cuts without saying what spending they want to cut. Of course we know that they feel food suplement programs, college aid, head start, Medicaid, etc. have to go. Spending on tax give-aways to the wealthy aren't part of the deal. The "Rs" are positioning themselves to finally rid the country of the evil socialist programs of the New Deal and the Johnson years. Oui vey!

Jan. 02 2013 10:25 AM
John A

Where to find teachable stories of Humility?
Virtually three quarters of the leadership, but only when chosen from before 1980.

Jan. 02 2013 10:25 AM
Kate from Washington Heights

Hi Brian - I really like David Brooks. Thanks for having him as a guest. I'm not sure why so many of my intelligent liberal friends don't think well of him. He always strikes me as reasonable and balanced and thoughtful. So refreshing to have someone who actually has stuck with the Republican party who is such a worthy interlocutor!

Jan. 02 2013 10:24 AM
Adrienne from Inwood

Seems to me that there are plenty of ways to raise revenue. Here's one:

Right now the government only collects payroll taxes from employers and employees on the first $110,000 earned. Why not continue to collect some percentage (5% maybe?) from employees only? Seems to me to be a relatively easy fix to some of our social security funding woes.

Could everyone please retire the use of the term fiscal cliff. Please? Brinksmanship shouldn't be institutionalized or celebrated.

Jan. 02 2013 10:24 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

"Excruciating pain while unable to move? Blame Congress, David"

Nice one John A.

Jan. 02 2013 10:21 AM
John A.

Excruciating pain while unable to move? Blame Congress, David.
But Seriously,
Can I sign up for his course on Humility?
Will it be available online?

Jan. 02 2013 10:19 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Amen Brooks. The "radical socialist" Obama's starting point was to unsustainably keep the Bush tax cuts for 98% of Americans. Republicans won the 2010 mid-terms by scaring seniors on the specter of entitlement cuts.

And we are surprised that neither party is not serious about anything?

Jan. 02 2013 10:19 AM

David Brooks? Really, Brian? That's no way to start the year.

Jan. 02 2013 10:14 AM
Michael from Manhattan

Thanks, Mr. Brooks for the furtherance of The Big Lie: "Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable." It's simply not true. Part of the Repub overriding strategy: keep repeating the same lie over and over and eventually people (SOME people) will believe it -- especially those who want to do away with SS and Medicare.

Jan. 02 2013 10:14 AM

Everyone is talking about winners and losers, but I haven't heard the big winner mentioned yet - George W. Bush. He knew when he passed them that they'd be impossible to let expire. And now he and his tax cuts live forever. that sucks!

Jan. 02 2013 10:14 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

David Brooks, an American conservative - teaching a course on "humility"? Perhaps he should have a learning annex in the US house for the GOP.

Jan. 02 2013 10:10 AM
Judith from Brooklyn

This Congress has made itself and the U.S. a laughing stock. We go from one manufactured "crisis" to the next. This is not governing. It is a farce.
The greatest threat to the U.S. economy is Congress.

Jan. 02 2013 10:09 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Seems to me we did go over the fiscal a hang glider.

Jan. 02 2013 10:01 AM
john from office

Brian, hope you have a great New Year.

Ask Mr. Brooks why he supported Romney when his stance on everything was open to question, from taxes to his lack of an economic plan. I read Mr. Brooks in the Times and noticed that he went from a neutral stance to out right supporting Romney. What happened, why, was there some promises made to him??. It did not make sense. The whole thing smelled funny.

Jan. 02 2013 09:36 AM
Ed from Larchmont

David Brooks is wonderful!

Humility in Catholic thinking is the ground of all the virtues, as pride is the ground of all sin. Without humility, all other virtues are damaged. Humility isn't self-denying or self-abnegating, but is the truth, acknowledging the truth about oneself and the world.

Jan. 02 2013 08:11 AM
Joe Boris from Manhattan

Wow, David Brooks talking about humility. It must be Irony Week on WNYC.

Jan. 02 2013 03:37 AM

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