Brooks Comments on Morgenson ArticleJuly 22, 2008
David Brooks is certainly paying attention to the idea of thrift and debt. In the second time in as many months he weighed in on the issue, this time reacting to an article by Gretchen Morgenson in this Sunday’s New York Times. The Morgenson article has spawned a great deal of blog commentary — predictable stuff given the content of the article. The central argument that is being played out is a very old, in in some sense politically intractable, one. How much are individuals to blame for their own reckless behavior versus how much the government should protect people from those who would seek to take advantage of this behavior? In the typically shrill voices of blogs and Internet-posted comments, plenty of people claim to know the answer.
I don’t know the answer.
I find these kinds of arguments rather meaningless, Internet-enabled screaming that gets us nowhere. That is why over the course of the next two weeks I’ll post some proposed changes in law that will avoid the above argument entirely, focusing on some low hanging fruit that will help people protect and grow their savings.