|by DAVID BROOKS|
And I say, "Good question. Probably because I've never been wrong."
Mistakes (and admitting mistakes) are not for people in my position. They only happen to other people. And that's why I like to simplify issues to two sides: Because one day I might need a soft landing at some conservative think-tank. But not because of anything I write here. I'm far too much of duplicitous weasel to say something that can't be camouflaged as 'right-wing opinion'. No, but someday I could have too much sherry and be caught on tape ranting about elitist Asian-Jewish lesbians have taken over America.
You see, this is how you survive at the NY Times: Take two opposing viewpoints, imagine these are the only variables in the equation, and then feign that you (me) are (is) just an average joe caught in the middle, hoping that everyone will come to a reasonable compromise. If this just happens to mean burning Rome to the ground, so bet it.
Speaking of averages, do I know the difference between a mean and a median? Probably not. But you probably don't either. Some government employees might have better pay and/or benefits than some non-government employees. The average pay and benefits of Obama runs literally into the millions--if this doesn't show that our system is broken, what does? Since we're not talking about employers, we don't have to include them in this calculation. The ruthless greed of our corporate leaders does not excuse the ruthless greed of our school janitors.
And this flawless argument leads me, irrevocably, to the next step: Public employees are not entitled to any kind of job security or benefits of any kind. In other words, they need to suffer just as much private employees do. Sometimes I like to promise my maid a raise next week, and then the next day I fire her. Mainly for my own sadistic enjoyment, but also to make an important point: Capitalism thrives on fear. Therefore, fear is good. And the more insecure and fearful all of America's employees are--the more they quiver in their boots with every outsourcing--the more they dread another medical bill--the more they worry that they won't be able to afford a pill to keep their child alive--then, America, the better off we all shall be.
And if that just happens to lower my tax rate, so be it.