Sunday, February 28, 2016

Unequal outcomes …

… The University Bookman: Reading Sowell in the Badlands. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Much of Sowell’s writing here feels like common sense—and it is. But we are losing touch with common sense given what passes for discourse in our era. Faulty premises are contagious, and Sowell is helpful in identifying many places where we are at risk of infection, such as the “toxic confusion” caused by calling achievements “privileges.” More to the point of today’s “debates” is the critical question of why anyone expects equality now when it has never existed on our planet. Outcomes for any human activity from economics to inventions to sport cannot be random (or “equal”) because people act purposefully in response to varying needs, circumstances, and incentives. Labeling wealthy people “greedy” does not explain why anyone would give them money. In fact, people become wealthy when they produce something that others want or need.
The neighborhoods mentioned at the top are quite familiar to me. I lived in Germantown for 20 years, and was born in Germantown Hospital. I spent the first eight years of my life about 10 blocks from that Broad and Erie intersection.

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