Tuesday, January 17, 2017

David Brooks Will No Longer Respond To Trump The Fool

David Brooks has been looking for things to write about now that his Party has been taken over by Donald Trump.  Most of the article is about the crucial role played by fools in cultures that have become too serious and hierarchical.  The fools, job along with carnivals, is to make fun of social conventions.  They were a good way for letting off steam for ordinary people who had tough lives.  He argues that Trump is partly fool and perhaps partly a serious person who is ready to become more presidential.  Trump plays the fool with his Twitter account.  It delights the ordinary people who want to make fun out of serious issues and participate in his carnival.  Brooks has decided not to write about Trump the fool.  He hopes that other journalists will follow his lead.  He will focus his attention on the serious issues that Trump must be hiding from us.  He may not have much to write about.  Trump frequently raises serious issues but does not offer many details about the solutions that he tweets about.

Healthcare is a serious issue.  Trump and the Republican Congress intend to repeal Obamacare which its base has been taught to hate.  Brooks wrote a serious article about the replacement plan being developed in Congress.  He defended the core of the congressional plan which treats healthcare as a typical commodity that will respond well to market forces.  He attacked Kenneth Arrow's argument that healthcare is not like other commodities that respond well to market forces by claiming that it is old fashioned and does not consider the impact of digital media which gives everyone to information that used to be only available to doctors.  We can all be good consumers and the market will become more competitive just like the market for commodities.

Its easy to understand why Brooks has turned his attention to Congress on serious issues.  He believes that Trump will continue to play the fool on healthcare and Congress will produce the replacement for Obamacare. However, he may need to pay more attention to Trump's tweets about healthcare.  There are serious disagreements between Trump and the orthodoxy in Congress which insists that market forces will cure our healthcare problems.

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