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Just when I thought David Brooks reached the basement of  misinformation, he lowers it again. Mr. Brooks how low can you go. How is he able to get away with this?

A popular topic of the GOP The work ethic and Democrats don't have it

The American colonies were first settled by Protestant dissenters. These were people who refused to submit to the established religious authorities. They sought personal relationships with God. They moved to the frontier when life got too confining. They created an American creed, built, as the sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset put it, around liberty, individualism, equal opportunity, populism and laissez-faire

Laissez/faire   The laissez faire slogan was popularized by Vincent de Gournay, a French intendant of commerce in the 1750s. Gournay was an ardent proponent of the removal of restrictions on trade and the deregulation of industry in France. Can someone cite a legitimate source where any of the founding faters advocated this?

Mr Brooks: Please give me a break: Please cite a source where Jefferson or Paine or Franklyn used the term Laissez/faire  The newly formed nation enacted strict tariffs in the beginning of this country to encourage the development of industries.

he "tariff of abominations" of 1828 revived the issue. By this time in the United States, the North had become economically dominant due to manufacturing, and the South was beginning to suffer from exhausted land. The government enacted tariffs on foreign manufactures to protect Northern business, which raised the price of goods to be sold throughout the US

Jefferson advocated for public works schools, roads and bridges: hardly liasssez-farie
If I can research this material why can't Mr Brooks

Also in his article he totally ignores "The New Deal" and the G.I.Bill which created the"middle class" The Free Market and/or Laissez-faire economics  did not create the middle class But this mantra continues to dominate the discussion partly because "journalists"(?) like Mr Brooks go unchallenged  When will it end
I can go on about the"collective experience" of Latinos and/or Asians but that is another diary

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

    by Jamesleo on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:45:46 PM PST

  •  Please Read a Book. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    real world chick, terrybuck, Ckntfld

    Flatland would be informative.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:52:54 PM PST

  •  Brooks is a kindler, gentler hack (8+ / 0-)

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:55:24 PM PST

  •  there is none, because none did. (11+ / 0-)
    Can someone cite a legitimate source where any of the founding faters advocated this?
    the founding father of modern economic theory, adam smith, was resolutely against it, citing a need for government regulation, to keep the merchant sector from routinely destroying the economy, directly as the result of laissez-faire. he also advocated for a progressive form of taxation, and was the source for our use of that method today.

    brooks may or may not know this, but it wouldn't matter if he did, it's his job to be a hack.

  •  Brooks is such a bastion of bullshit that I (5+ / 0-)

    nearly cast aside Isaacson's biography of Ben Franklin when he referred  to Brooks in the early pages as a "social critic." I continued with the read anyway, and found the book worth the go - Isaacson had done his homework and had mountains of primary source material with which to work; it was impossible for him to squeeze Franklin into the bowl of jello that now contains the oxymoronic conservative thinker.
    I was accused (in another blog) of exhibiting bias because of this behavior of mine. I contend it was good judgement that caused me to think twice about reading anything written by one of David's admirerers , even if it was a former boss.
    Brooks has a shovel in both hands, that's his idea of balance while he hacks away.

  •  The first European colony in North America... (8+ / 0-)

    Was established by the Spanish in Florida in 1565.

    The first English colony was established in 1585.

    The first successful English colony was established in 1607.

    Plymouth Colony, the first established specifically by religious dissenters seeking freedom of worship, was established in 1620.

    So apparently the first colonies in America were established by Protestant dissenters...except for the ones established in the 55 years before the Protestant dissenters established one.

    I think Brooks needs more than just one history book.  And here I thought UC was a quality school.

    P.S.  My brother didn't know him well but he lived in the same dorm as Brooks for a time.  He suggests Brooks was overly impressed with his own intellect back then, too.

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:46:10 PM PST

    •  yes, and "settled" is an offensive description (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The American colonies were first settled by Protestant dissenters.
      The colonists (they called themselves "planters") did consider themselves to be "seating" the land, but the people who got there millenia before they did didn't see it that way.

      "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

      by pianogramma on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:02:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jefferson may not have actually uttered (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes, sydneyluv

    the term 'laissez faire', and the federal government has played a greater role in shaping American history than many conservatives will ever admit.  However Brooks is right that there has been throughout American history a creed of individualism and fear of government power that was and is strongly felt by large segments of rural, white Protestant America.  Among other things, Jefferson once wrote:

    “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.’”

    “I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.”

    “I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple. Were we directed from Washington when to sow, when to reap, we should soon want bread.”

    “I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."

    A more obnoxiously Randian, teabaggerish set of statements, you cannot find.  But the fact is, the sentiments uttered above by Jefferson are deeply embedded in white Protestant American culture.  As historian Richard Hofstader wrote in The Age of Reform:
    The fear that Americans might be completely divested of control over their own affairs confirmed a well-established trait in the national character: the distrust of authority…This distrust of authority has often been turned against the government, particularly when the government was felt to be strong or growing in strength.  It was called upon during the agitations that led to the American Revolution, and it gave tenacity to the most ardent supporters of the Revolutionary War.  It helped impede the adoption of the Federal Constitution, it was invoked to justify secession, it caused Americans to postpone into the twentieth century governmental responsibilities that were assumed decades earlier among other Western societies, and in recent years it has sustained a large part of the population in its resistance to the innovations of the New Deal.  (Hofstader, The Age of Reform, 229)
    So while, as you say, Americans have long used the federal government to shape the private sector, whether through public works, tariffs or public education, the very same Americans have strongly-held and seemingly contradictory notions of hyper-individualism and unfettered economic liberty.  I'm no fan of David Brooks, but here his telling of this particular aspect of American history and culture is not bullshit, it was and is very real.

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 12:38:44 AM PST

  •  Brooks is talking about the original colonists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So Jefferson, Adam Smith, et seq are beside the point. But although the first colonists as a group wanted to be left alone, but they certainly didn't leave their neighbor alone if the latter strayed from the dogma. That's why there were so many schisms early on, as settlers broke off from the Massachusetts colony and went to Connecticut, etc.

    •  The original settlers also... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rapala, Minnesota Deb

      Believed in the role of government.  I mean, they established one, eh?

      What exactly does it take these days to rise? What exactly happens to the ambitious kid in Akron at each stage of life in this new economy? What are the best ways to rouse ambition and open fields of opportunity?
      Look, this I agree with, David.  Let us take a look at what is stopping people from rising, because we're not going to find the jack-booted feet of the government, we're going to find inadequate educational systems (exacerbated by the move to for-profit schools), we're going to find an established and growing aristocracy (the rich), we're going to find theocracy determining what's acceptable thought and what is not, and we are going to find oppression (of votes, of specific races.)

      What we are also going to find is that the role of the government has been shrinking, that the ability of government to correct these faults has been hamstrung.

      And we're going to find that one party has been behind all of that.

      So, let's do that study.  Please.

  •  Laissez/faire (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, Ohkwai, UniC, Minnesota Deb

    Pillage, rape, then burn.

    “The work ethic is not a traditional value. It is a Johnny-come-lately idea. In ancient times, work was considered a disgrace inflicted on those who had failed to amass a nest egg through imperial conquest, profitable marriage, or in forms of organized looting”
        Barbara Ehrenreich
    Organized looting is exactly what the colonists engaged in.

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 04:22:17 AM PST

  •  He's also wrong on religious freedom. (6+ / 0-)

    See, the Pilgrims and Puritans emigrated to the "new world" (sorry, native Americans) not so much to have freedom to practice their religion. No, it was because they were so horrified that in relatively pluralistic, relatively tolerant England, they were obligated to live and worship next door to heathens and heretics like Catholics.

    In other words, they wanted to build a pure, intolerant, "perfect" society where only their religion was permitted. They weren't fleeing for religious freedom. No, they were fleeing so they could prevent anyone else from having religious freedom.

    And, really, the joke was on them when Quaker Pennsylvania and Catholic Maryland set up shop.

  •  i thought all the slaveholders were protestants (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sydneyluv, UniC
    liberty, individualism, equal opportunity,
    uh, really? and don't get me started on how these wonderful protestant men shared their philosophy with their native american neighbors

    I've already forgotten who the Republican candidate was in 2012

    by memofromturner on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 04:49:39 AM PST

  •  Not one approved by Texas Board of Ed, though n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:37:11 AM PST

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