Saturday, March 25, 2006

First-class Economist Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is one of the finest researchers and thinkers in economics and social sciences. Sowell, a fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, does the research in many areas of economics and race relations. Sowell was the first I saw to research and print how the people of the racial groups work together in countries with two major racial groups. In Race and Culture: A World View he studied nations around the world that have he found that the United States is the only country where the majority race gives preference to the minority race. Here is a sample of his iconoclastic data gathering and anlysis quoted in a feature in the Wall Street Journal by Jason Riley:
"The left likes to portray a group as sort of a creature of surrounding society. But that's not true. For example, back during the immigrant era, you had neighborhoods on the Lower East Side [of Manhattan] where Jews and Italians arrived at virtually identical times. Lived in the same neighborhoods. Kids sat side by side in the same schools. But totally different outcomes. Now, if you look back at the history of the Jews and the history of the Italians you can see why that would be. In the early 19th century, Russian officials report that even the poorest Jews find some way to get some books in their home, even though they're living in a society where over 90% of the people are illiterate. "Conversely, in southern Italy, which is where most Italian-Americans originated, when they put in compulsory school-attendance laws, there were riots. There were schoolhouses burning down. So now you take these two kids and sit them side by side in a school. If you believe that environment means the immediate surroundings, they're in the same environment. But if you believe environment includes this cultural pattern that goes back centuries before they were born, then no, they're not in the same environment. They don't come into that school building with the same mindset. And they don't get the same results."
Since I don't have the book I am quoting from South Paw 68, a reviewer at
The book also covers middleman minorities such as oversees Chinese in Malaysia, Indians in Eastern Africa, and Jews worldwide. It explains why such minorities are resented for their financial success in whatever country they set up shop in and how they get kicked out of the country sometimes even though they greatly helped build the economy. They get accused of exploiting the natives and political pressure is put on them to hire the natives in their industry. Sowell gives the example of Jews who charge high interest for their loans because no one else will take chances on people with poor credit history and who stand a great chance of defaulting on a loan. The Jews must be financially responsible to keep their loan business going so they don't mix too much socially with their customers so as not to take on their bad financial habits. Cultures and ethnic groups that were once backwards become advanced over time especially if they are conquered by a people with a superior culture. Sowell gives the example of the ancient Britons who were conquered by the Romans and became more advanced culturally than the Irish or Scots who were not conquered.
This is the sample from one book. He has written close to 30 books and each is thoroughly researched and well written.

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