- Hardcover: 324 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0688018912
- ISBN-13: 978-0688018917
- Package Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective Hardcover – 1983
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''Sowell gives us the facts and analytical tools with which to understand ethnic and racial experiences in all countries. No scholar thinks or writes more lucidly than he. No one has shown his skill at solving the ethnic and racial equivalents of Rubik's Cube.'' --Professor Edward Banfield, Harvard University --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
About the Author
THOMAS SOWELL has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst, and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar-in-residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has been published in both academic journals and such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Fortune, and he writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Overall, politics has the power to produce programs that are relative to the politicans in power. Human capital is developed through cultural processes that aren't always at the mercy of third party politicians. Sowell also points out that throughout history where ever dominate groups gained power to discriminate they did and were quite effective. However, it was not pervasively effective in the long run. Ex. Much of the Jews wealth was confiscated by the government in Germany however they were able to produce wealth again in other countries they migrated to. Blacks were not allowed to learn how to read at one point in our country however they closed the literacy gap with two centuries.
If you'd like to understand what politics can and can't accomplish and its impact on culture and economic outcomes this is an excellent read.
Dr. Sowell earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, a masters in Economics from Columbia University and a bachelors degree in Economics, magna cum laude from Harvard College.
Perhaps because the subject matter is so emotionally charged, Dr. Sowell has a footnote to references for almost every factual assertion.
His only conclusions with which I disagree are his views on overpopulation. He looks at overpopulation as a global issue that has economic solutions. I tend to look at overpopulation as a local issue whether it presents itself in a family with 12 children when the family could only support two or three or whether it presents itself in a country like Haiti which does not have the population density of many successful countries, but which none the less can't support its population. Dr. Sowell is probably correct that such countries could maintain their populations with sufficient human and economic capital. The problem is that they don't have what it takes to maintain existing populations and are not likely to get what it takes. Population self restraint is an unlikely but more direct solution.
Probably what frustrates those who oppose Dr. Sowell's views is that his facts are well researched and the logic usually irrefutable. Sometimes the truth hurts.
If there is any shortcoming in this book it is that he proposes few concrete solutions to the world problems other than suggesting that we look at what has worked for other oppressed people in the world who have succeeded. You cannot read this book without seeing dozens of solutions that are implied but not enunciated. Perhaps this was his intent.
I rate this book as one of the best books that I have ever read. I am currently reading a re-release of his book "A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles" which also exhibits a profound insight on human nature.
Read this book. You may disagree with many of Dr. Sowell's views, but you will be hard pressed to find good reasons to support your disagreement. If you then want to know why you disagree, read his book A Conflict of Visions.
In addressing these and other questions, Sowell sifts through the data to show how cultural values, economic acumen, ingenuity, family stability, and so forth all play a role in the relative success or failure of an ethnic group or race to assimilate and succeed in a new environment. Because so much depends on the internal fabric of these subcultures, attempts to help a group through wealth-transfer programs will have little positive effect on them. Instead, it hurts both those from whom wealth is taken and those to whom it is given.
One may disagree with some of Sowell's conclusions. But one cannot read this book without finding much to ponder in what Sowell is saying.