Thomas Sowell

 Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty. Moreover, they can stage demonstrations that the media will not only broadcast but give free air time for the talkers to make their accusations.

 Jesse Jackson has made a science -- and a lucrative occupation -- out of accusations of "racism" against businesses. There is no way to prove that you are not a racist, so the doer's choice is to pay off the talker or face losses of customers from either the bad publicity or an organized boycott.

 These kinds of incentives and constraints help explain a strange anomaly that many have noticed -- big corporations contributing much more to left-wing causes than to conservative or libertarian causes.

 "For every $1.00 major corporations gave to conservative and free-market groups, they gave $4.61 to organizations seeking more government," according to a study by the Capital Research Center, a Washington think tank.

 Why? According to the Capital Research Center: "Many advocacy groups win corporate funding by threatening lawsuits and boycotts and by petitioning government regulatory bodies. Regulatory policies, in particular, give corporations a built-in incentive to pay-off left-wing activists."

 Talkers cultivate an aura of morally lofty goals, while depicting doers as mere selfish money-grubbers. But professional talkers are pretty good at collecting big bucks, some through legalized extortion and others by creating huge windfall gains as their building restrictions cause housing prices to skyrocket.

 The talkers' admirers include people struggling to pay inflated apartment rents and make huge monthly mortgage payments. Even their victims often admire the talkers more than the doers.

Thomas Sowell

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

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