Tuesday, January 24, 2012

David Brooks wants Obama to... be Obama?

Brooks has a classic column pining for a centrist hero, a "market socialist." Like most of these columns, what he's actually describing is the Democratic party and President Obama. Here's his wishlist:

If President Obama is really serious about restoring American economic dynamism, he needs an aggressive two-pronged approach: More economic freedom combined with more social structure; more competition combined with more support. 
As a survey of nearly 10,000 Harvard Business School grads by Michael Porter and Jan Rivkin makes clear, to get companies to locate their plants in the U.S., Obama is going to have to simplify the tax code, cut corporate rates, streamline regulations, make immigration policy more flexible and balance the budget over the long term. 
To ensure there’s skilled labor for those plants, Obama would have to champion different policies: successful training programs like Job Corps, better coordination between colleges and employers, better treatment for superstar teachers, more child care options and better early childhood education. 
This agenda is libertarian in the capitalist sector and activist in the human capital sector. Don’t triangulate meekly toward the center; select bold policies from both ends. That’s what would help Maddie Parlier and millions like her.

Let's see if Obama has addressed these issues:
Simplify tax code: Check
Streamline regulation: Check
Immigration policy: (Brooks is very vague, but) Check
Balance budget long term: Check
Job training: Check
College/Employer coordination: I don't actually know what this means. And the second google result is Brooks' column. So... no?
Better superstar teacher treatment: Check
Child care options: Check
Early Childhood education: Check (Scroll down to the section "Focus on early childhood education")

Looks to me like the intrepid Mr Brooks really just needs to face reality and vote for Obama. No need for Americans Elect here. Your favored candidate is waiting for you, Mr Brooks. All you have to do is open your eyes.

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