Daily Clips: February 12th, 2016

Weekly David Brooks analysis: Yes, it’s that time of the week again! In this column, Brooks is stunned that Bernie is upset with the economic status quo. And he can’t get over why millennials buy this stance.

It’s amazing that a large part of the millennial generation has rejected this consensus. In supporting Bernie Sanders they are not just supporting a guy who is mad at Wall Street. They are supporting a guy who fundamentally wants to reshape the American economic system, and thus reshape American culture and values. As he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, he wants to make us more like northern Europe.

And this:

Fourth, Sanders would Europeanize American public universities. It sounds great to make college free. In fact, it’s a hugely expensive program that would mostly benefit the already affluent.

It would create, as in Germany, a legion of eternal students who have little incentive to leave school because the costs are so low. It would give Washington officials greater control over state universities, determining what sort of faculty they could hire and what sort of programs they could run. It would threaten hundreds of private colleges, which could no longer compete against the completely subsidized state system. It would reduce the pressures universities now feel to reform themselves because it would cushion them with federal largess. Slowly, American universities would look more like their European counterparts. They’d be less good.

I love how Brooks is worried about the poor “private colleges” and how free college would effect them. Screw the American students who have to pull out $50,000 in loans! The real victims are institutions that hoard $38 billion and still make their students pay for tuition. He concludes:

It’s amazing that so many young people want to mimic a continent that has been sluggish for decades. It’s amazing that so many look to the future and want a country that would be a lot less vibrant.

Wait, is Brooks suggesting that our economy hasn’t been sluggish for millennials? That wages haven’t increased for us? That university costs haven’t skyrocketed in the last thirty years, leading us to pull out obscene amounts of money? Perhaps all of these factors could explain why young people want to reshape the economic system. Maybe young people feel like all this “vibrancy” isn’t being passed onto us. Good grief, what world is he living in?

Krugman’s take on economic stupidity: A good article on the macroeconomic trends of the US and how “US policy would respond to another downturn.”

Marco Rubio and his extreme tax plan: 

Rubio’s budget is an unwieldy buffet, with morsels to lure every man, woman, and child, provided they don’t think too hard about the math. There is the abolition of investment tax cuts for the rich, and tax credits for the poorer; Medicare for moderates, and balanced budgets for conservatives; Social Security for the old, but the promise of long-term entitlement reform for the young. The result is a plan that promises everything to everyone and leaves nothing to arithmetic.

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Nick Cassella
Nick Cassella graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2014. After graduating, he worked on the Initiative 594 campaign before joining Civic Ventures, where he now manages Civic Skunk Works' social media presence.