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article imageOp-Ed: Who is Thomas Sowell?

By Alexander Baron     Jun 30, 2013 in Politics
Stanford - Thomas Sowell is 83 years old today. If you haven't heard of him, it's because he tells it like it is, not how the liberal media would like it to be.
There is a widely held misconception that "right wing" economists and politicians are exclusively white and - shock horror - closet racists. Thomas Sowell is a rare but by no means exclusive exception. Born at Gastonia, North Carolina 83 years ago today, he is the author of, among many other works, the 1984 book CIVIL RIGHTS: Rhetoric or Reality? Unlike certain self-styled liberal social justice advocates, Sowell does not whine about how the civil rights movement (a misnomer in any case) failed because America now has a black President and a black richest (self-made) woman - Oprah Winfrey.
Sowell is not simply a formidable intellect but one of the few truly great minds in economics, an iconoclast who has published widely in his chosen field, his research on alleged race and gender bias is undoubtedly his most compelling work. Where "anti-racists" and campaigners against sexism base most of their arguments on statistics that have been torn out of context or even fabricated, Sowell has looked behind the statistics to see the bigger picture. Here are some of the points he makes in his aforementioned book. Commenting on Chinese dominance in the Far East, he points out that the Chinese have never experienced equal opportunity in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand or the Philippines. Indeed, in Malaysia, anti-Chinese discrimination is written into the constitution, yet this 5% of the population owns the majority of these nations' wealth including 75% of rice mills in Philippines and 80-90% rice mills in Thailand. They also earn twice the average Malay pay. (Bear in mind these figures are thirty years old, and may have changed since).
A common whine of certain black politicians and intellectuals is that the system is stacked against them by racism, yet by 1969, Japanese-American families were earning one third more than the average.
If you don't have a copy of this book, there are plenty of videos of Sowell discussing the findings and implications of his work especially on YouTube. Here he is looking a few decades younger dissecting in an incisive manner the nonsense the likes of the loony feminists and other self-styled "equal rights" campaigners are still spouting today.
And here he is destroying a well-intentioned white liberal who is probably wishing she had stayed home to cook her husband dinner.
Another clip, here he is with grey hair but sounding half his age discussing basic economics as per his textbook of the same name. One final clip, here he is on economic facts and fallacies, in which he also covers race.
Incidentally, these videos and many others of him are on the Hoover Institution channel, with which Sowell is affiliated, as was Antony C. Sutton. Great minds do truly think alike.
The conclusions of Sowell's researches with regard to race, gender and economics have never been refuted, indeed they can't be, so instead they are ignored in the United States, in Europe and worldwide.
The result of this especially for the United States has been an unmitigated disaster. Social policy has been based on ludicrous notions of a mythical and totally unobtainable racial and gender balance which has led to legislation for racial and gender quotas - ie discrimination. And of course when these quotas are not met, it can only be racism or sexism at work. Perpetuating these myths has also inflamed both real and imagined grievances and racial tensions, particularly among lower class blacks. And of course, anyone who points out the truth can only be racist or sexist, or in Sowell's case an Uncle Tom. Yes, he has actually been called that.
Sowell himself has identified this problem succinctly in his book on civil rights: "Lies and deceptions 'in a good cause' are all too common..." Three decades on, nothing has changed.
Another field in which lies, and more often self-deception have contributed to disastrous social policy is that of recreational drug use. Here is Sowell from his book Compassion V Guilt & Other Essays, explaining both the real drug problem and its solution in under five minutes. Three decades on, these words sound even wiser, but what are we doing about it?
It has to be said that Sowell is not perfect; leaving aside his views on American foreign policy and the Occupy Movement, like all mainstream economists he has not seen through the delusion of full employment, but if the American Government in particular were to adopt his common sense approach to both race and gender, we would see not only better race relations but an alleviation of most of the real socio-economic problems caused by politicians and planners in their endless quest to cure mythical ones.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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