My word, David Brooks is a fool.
His most recent column defending income inequality is a clear signal that he really, truly, is without a clue. His basic argument is one part that stark income inequality is not really any worse nowadays than it was in the 1980s (!) and one part claim that income inequality is absolutely fine since those on the highest earning levels work such long hours. He also peddles the standard corporate line that a high earning CEO more than produces such value for the compoany that he is worth every dime of the millions he gets.
The notion of proportionality does not get made.
This line of "argument" is notable for being exactly the same one that has oft-been invoked by apologists for massive income inequality and for the export of American jobs. And meanwhile, these same high paid corporate elites do not pause as they ship more jobs overseas, continue to underpay workers with threats of outsourcing as the bludgeon, and the elites' bootlicking lackeys in the mass media nod sagely and tell Americans to continue to accept the diminishment of their livelihoods, standards of living, and future opporutnity so these rich corporate elites can get even more impossibly rich.
Go read James Fallows' piece in the Atlantic where he writes so approvingly of the Chinese onslaught on the US economy and mentiones offhandledly that one region of China has more industrial jobs than all of the US economy.
It is evident here where I live in stark contrast, since white America and black America live in such close proximity. In Richmond, for instance, there are tremendous estates on huge acreage being built and refurbished on the west side of town, while a 10 minute drive will bring you into the heart of the black slum on Jefferson Davis highway. Here in Norfolk, one of my former students is now a real estate developer who just bought a mansion to tear down so he could build a new house more suitable for him (he is 25 years old) while within 3 miles there is a broad section of town with literally blocks of empty lots, a wasteland in the middle of the city. Something is amiss.
Only this time, people with brains and power, such as Jim Webb, are starting to observe that the old line is not true and that it is time for a change. Which is exactly what terrifies peolple like Brooks.
People have started to point out that the emperor wears no clothes.