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281 of 312 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Willful Error...Forever., February 14, 2008
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This review is from: Economic Facts and Fallacies (Hardcover)
Economic Fallacies is the third book by Thomas Sowell I've read this year and it continues to illustrate why he is one of the most important conservatives in America today. His writing beams with scholarship and clarity. There are no wasted words and the work is an arsenal of information. These chapters should be read and reread as they thoroughly refute the positions of those who irrationally regard America as being a racist, sexist and corrupt state.

Sowell debunks the myth of female oppression by highlighting the way that statistics are jiggled in the hopes of morphing the USA into a patriarchy. Indeed, in my opinion, our nation is closer to being a matriarchy than it is anything else. The old 74 cent to the dollar feminist canard is refuted after he teases out the example of unmarried, childless women. They oftentimes are anything but oppressed. Indeed, in many cases they make even more money than their male age-mate peers. Much of the difference between the sexes, in terms of wage, is a result of personal choice. Women work fewer hours and are more likely to choose stability over cash when deciding on a career. Women also select less dangerous jobs than do men as indicated by the statistic he cites showing that 92 percent of those who die in job-related accidents are male.

In terms of class, all of us who ever have tried to debate the left comprehend the error in their perceptions--as does Sowell who eliminates their positions with ease. Unfortunately, it's a serious challenge to ever get them to come around as they would feel contaminated should they ever try to examine world events through the eyes of a conservative. Rife among our opposition is the belief that only a finite amount of money exists in the world, and, if you have lots of it, that automatically means that thousands have none of it. While pseudo-liberals appear to have heard of "economic growth" they have yet to internalize its meaning. This is why they are so enamored with redistributing the rest of population's wealth. They dub this larceny "social justice" despite real social justice embodying the practice of letting people keep what they earn. Tragically, without a basic understanding of economics the left will continue to hike taxes until...the welfare state collapses along with the nation as a whole. Once they eradicate the rich there will be no one left to fund the dole.

With race, Sowell tears apart [yet again] the notion that blacks make less due to discrimination. He refers to an argument here I never heard elsewhere--but greatly appreciate--which is that when a particular group's mean age is lower, as is the case with blacks, they generally have lower incomes than do groups with higher mean ages. This makes perfect sense as a group of 20-year-olds never make as much as those nearing the end of that particular decade; although, his insight matters little as the mainstream media has no use for nuance. They crusade against injustice even though, most often, they are ones who perpetuate it.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 9, 2008 7:48:29 PM PDT
Christopher says:
Mr Chapin, I enjoy your reviews. I particulary enjoyed this quote from above: "While pseudo-liberals appear to have heard of "economic growth" they have yet to internalize its meaning." Pseudo-liberals, yes indeed. They are the new fascists. Intolerant and sneering of opinions that don't fit into their world picture.

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 3:25:50 PM PDT
M. McKenna says:
Loved the review, but I don't like calling Sowell a conservative. He favors outright legalization of all drugs. That's libertarian. He's nowhere near today's neo-con fascists. He is an enlightened classically liberal thinker.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 6:01:01 AM PDT
Jay DiNitto says:
Thanks for this review. I'm an (very) amateur student of libertarian economic theory, and only recently have I heard of Sowell's work via Justice Clarence Thomas' biography.

I wanted to read this book, but after reading this review I NEED to read this book.

Posted on Nov 23, 2008 2:55:09 AM PST
You have said what I have been telling all my Obama-supporting friends for the past six months: "Tragically, ......the left will continue to hike taxes until...the welfare state collapses along with the nation as a whole. Once they eradicate the rich there will be no one left to fund the dole." People in this country fell bigtime for the notion that we can have all the social programs, and expect "the rich" to foot the bill. It almost seems like Obama's goal is to get rid of the rich. When the rich are gone, you still have the uber-expensive government, and only the middle class is left to slave away to pay for it. For the rest of their lives.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2008 12:37:17 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2008 12:45:12 AM PST
M. Mckenna:

Unfortunately your beloved Sowell has been demonstrably hawkish, sharing much of the same foreign policy sentiments as the so called "fascist" neo-cons. In a recent interview he rightly criticized the American public for obsessing over the demographics of the presidential candidates when there are real issues at stake in the presidency which demand nothing more or less than the most qualified person for the job. What was the single issue he used as an example of what was at stake? A nuclear Iran.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2009 12:07:23 PM PDT
While I like your review, I do want to emphasize a certain mistake in your reivew (and I am quite sure you just miswrote this):

>>>"Rife among our opposition is the belief that only a finite amount of money exists in the world, and, if you have lots of it, that automatically means that thousands have none of it."

Actually, there is a finite amount of money in the world (that is what gives it its value). I think you meant to say that there is an error in thinking that there is a finite amount of WEALTH in the world. In fact, the error is in thinking that money and wealth are the same thing. There is a finite supply of money in the world, but wealth can be created out of thin air.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2009 6:28:23 PM PDT
A distinction well put.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 11:14:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 28, 2009 11:15:32 AM PDT
hazeleyes says:
Excellent review. Thank you. I have been forcefully converted to libertarianism by recent events.
Quote and question:
'Tragically, without a basic understanding of economics the left will continue to hike taxes until...the welfare state collapses along with the nation as a whole. Once they eradicate the rich there will be no one left to fund the dole."
Do you think we are nearing or at the point of welfare-state collapse? I have my fingers crossed that other nations will turn their backs and wash their hands of us.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2009 5:19:12 AM PDT
I don't know how we can pay for medicare and social security let alone health care. I fear for the future.

Posted on Sep 23, 2009 8:44:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 23, 2009 8:44:26 AM PDT
Rhianna says:
Well thought out review. I respect it. Though I have not yet read the book, I think I'll be hard-pressed to believe that women don't struggle economically more than men do. We'll see what Sowell has to say, but so far, your arguments here don't jibe generally with what I see in my own life and in the lives of other women I know.
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