David Brooks: Tom Joad Gave Up





[David Brooks is a columnist for the NYT.]

Sometimes it’s hard to remember what good government looks like: government that disciplines itself but looks to the long term; government that inspires trust; government that promotes social mobility without busting the budget.

That kind of government existed for decades right here in California. Between 1911 and the ’60s, California had a series of governors — like Hiram Johnson, Earl Warren, Goodwin Knight and Pat Brown — who were pro-market and pro-business, but also progressive reformers....

They disdained partisanship. They continually reorganized government to make it more businesslike and cost effective. “Thus,” the historian Kevin Starr has written, “California progressivism contained within itself both liberal and conservative impulses, as judged by the standards of today.”...


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