The Lost Decade is the latest intellectual entity to make for a cliché ridden column by Mr. Brooks. It is Plato with a heavy garnish of Hegel, not the most palatable repast. But let us begin at the beginning. Mr. Brooks speaks as if The Lost Decade came out of nowhere, as if the acts of legislators, policy advocates, pundits, political hacks and political conformists are wholly meaningless, when these acts of advocacy are played out in historical time. The politics of the Free Market has brought us where we are today, in economic terms, not the mired problem solving ideas of ideological pols, although that has contributed to our burdens. In this excerpt Mr. Brooks almost sounds like a radical while maintaining his Conservative credentials:
“Simplify the tax code. End corporate taxes and create a consumption tax. Reshape the European Union to make it either more unified or less, but not halfway as it is now. Reduce the barriers to business formation. Reform Medicare so it is fiscally sustainable. Break up the banks and increase capital requirements. Lighten debt burdens even if it means hitting the institutional creditors.”
The world made new under Enlightened Capital has the familiar ring of the promise of the Financial Reform of 1999. Dare we trust a man and thinker whose policy advocacy, across many areas of concern, have ended in calamity?