Thomas Sowell

 Other differences are due to the sins of man -- discrimination, conquest, slavery and more. Yet, whatever the sources of the differences among people, those differences are huge and the economic consequences are huge.

 None of this is hard to understand in itself. But much of it gets confused and twisted by the rhetoric, the visions and the crusades of the intelligentsia, politicians, mush heads and hot heads.

 Even our courts of law are ready to consider different distributions of groups in employment as evidence that the employer discriminated, since it is apparently beyond the pale to consider that the groups themselves may differ, whether in quantifiable ways like age or in intangible ways like attitudes.

 So deeply ingrained is this egalitarian dogma that different rates of passing tests from one group to another are taken as evidence that something is wrong with the tests. Different rates of promotion at work or in school are taken as virtual proof that the employer or the school is doing something wrong.

 Best-selling author Shelby Steele has argued persuasively that whites are afraid of being considered racists and blacks are afraid of being considered innately inferior -- and that both do many foolish and counterproductive things as a result. Such attitudes apply even beyond racial issues.

 A nation's laws and policies need to serve more serious purposes than allowing people to escape their psychological hangups. The time is overdue for these laws and policies to be based on realities and geared toward consequences.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate