Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thomas Sowell: Intellectuals Peddle Racial Fallacies

Strangely, liberals don't seem troubled by all-Asian staffs at Chinese restaurants. They pick and choose their racialist outrages. (And excuse Barack Hussein Obama)
Both the Progressives at the beginning of the 20th century and the liberals at the end started from the same false premise - namely, that there is something unusual about different racial and ethnic groups having different achievements.

Yet some racial or ethnic minorities have owned or directed more than half of whole industries in many nations. These have included the Chinese in Malaysia, Lebanese in West Africa, Greeks in the Ottoman Empire, Britons in Argentina, Indians in Fiji, Jews in Poland, and Spaniards in Chile - among many others.

Not only different racial and ethnic groups, but whole nations and civilizations, have had very different achievements for centuries. China in the 15th century was more advanced than any country in Europe. Eventually Europeans overtook the Chinese - and there is no evidence of changes in the genes of either of them.

Among the many reasons for different levels of achievement is something as simple as age. The median age in Germany and Japan is over 40, while the median age in Afghanistan and Yemen is under 20. Even if the people in all four of these countries had the same mental potential, the same history, the same culture - and the countries themselves had the same geographic features - the fact that people in some countries have 20 years more experience than people in other countries would still be enough to make equal economic and other outcomes virtually impossible.

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