In the half-century between 1962 and the present, America has become more prosperous, peaceful and fair, but the social fabric has deteriorated. Social trust has plummeted. Society has segmented. The share of Americans born out of wedlock is now at 40 percent and rising.It's the "fair" and the prosperity that are doing a lot of the work in his overarching argument that are clearly lies. Fewer people have more of the wealth and capture more of the income now than ever before. That means that the prosperity created is divided with out regard to fairness. Indeed, we know that institutions dedicated to creating opportunity for the poors have been consistently underfunded by twits like David Brooks.
He concludes with the idea that the way forward
requires bourgeois paternalism: Building organizations and structures that induce people to behave responsibly rather than irresponsibly and, yes, sometimes using government to do so.By those who have stopped thinking, he means "liberals" who reject the notion that the decline in traditional morals led to the creation of an underclass. Oddly enough, his position is the same one proposed by the rich in the 19th century in response to the social question. He has, in other words, stopped thinking in 1875.
Social repair requires sociological thinking. The depressing lesson of the last few weeks is that the public debate is dominated by people who stopped thinking in 1975.
It's clear that the current economic system doesn't work and everyday see an increase in its dysfunction. Brooks and his fellow travelers blame the victims of the neoliberal economic order while useful idiots insist that an ever larger number of poors can find wealth and satisfaction serving the ever decreasing number but ever wealthier plutocrats.