I'll say again that the author of this opinion piece is not on the staff of the NY Times. Arthur Brooks is the president of the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute: http://www.aei.org/. I think most people feel the Times leans left. I happen to like the NY Times.
Here is Arthur Brooks in a short video done for Prager U. He explores some of the same the same philosophical territory as in his Charlie Parker column: if people just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and did the right thing, then everything would be okay. My reaction is the same: While I agree with pulling oneself up by the bootstraps and doing the right thing is good, I also know that life isn't that simple.