Paul Krugman has a good column on the Paulson proposal, called "Cash for Trash."
David Brooks has a funny column about the coming new era of the benevolent old-white-guy dictators in the government, the ones who are going to save us and our money. He just loves the idea of unelected dictators of that type and pines back to the olden times:
Once, there was a financial elite in this country. During the first two-thirds of the 20th century, middle-aged men with names like Mellon and McCloy led Wall Street firms, corporate boards and white-shoe law firms and occasionally emerged to serve in government.
So we have arrived at one of those moments. The global financial turmoil has pulled nearly everybody out of their normal ideological categories. The pressure of reality has compelled new thinking about the relationship between government and the economy. And lo and behold, a new center and a new establishment is emerging.
The Paulson rescue plan is one chapter. But there will be others. Over the next few years, the U.S. will have to climb out from under mountainous piles of debt. Many predict a long, gray recession. The country will not turn to free-market supply-siders. Nor will it turn to left-wing populists. It will turn to the safe heads from the investment banks. For Republicans, people like Paulson. For Democrats, the guiding lights will be those establishment figures who advised Barack Obama last week — including Volcker, Robert Rubin and Warren Buffett.
Just beautiful. I especially enjoyed that "it will turn to the safe heads from the investment banks." So funny, so very funny.
The whole column is most interesting to read, because Brooks seems to be re-branding himself as someone who can write from both sides of his mouth and because of those unintentional glimpses into his desires for a safe daddy lap.
Did Brooks ever strike you as someone who wants to dum down America? I could never quite understand my visceral dislike of his writings and blamed most of that on Brooks' often-expressed contempt towards women as a species, but now I think I might also hate his strenuous attempts at making stupidity seem worth striving to.