[My friend Wolf Howling sent me an email with a “rant.” I was so impressed with the rant that I asked if I could publish it here, and Wolf Howling kindly agreed.]
After reading several articles today, I think that I finally have a better perspective on the phenomena of Bernie Sanders, the curmudgeonly old Socialist and the choice of the under 30 college crowd. Start with Thomas Sowell who opines on The Left’s Central Delusion. The title is a bit off, for Sowell posits two delusions of equal weight. The first is the progressives’ unshakable belief that unequal outcomes are proof that any number of nefarious “–isms” are the root cause, something that Sowell sharply contests using real world examples:
A never-ending source of grievances for the Left is the fact that some groups are “over-represented” in desirable occupations, institutions, and income brackets, while other groups are “under-represented.” From all the indignation and outrage about this expressed on the left, you might think that it was impossible that different groups are simply better at different things. Yet runners from Kenya continue to win a disproportionate share of marathons in the United States, and children whose parents or grandparents came from India have won most of the American spelling bees in the past 15 years. And has anyone failed to notice that the leading professional basketball players have for years been black, in a country where most of the population is white?
Most of the leading photographic lenses in the world have — for generations — been designed by people who were either Japanese or German. Most of the leading diamond-cutters in the world have been either India’s Jains or Jews from Israel or elsewhere. Not only people but things have been grossly unequal. More than two-thirds of all the tornadoes in the entire world occur in the middle of the United States. Asia has more than 70 mountain peaks that are higher than 20,000 feet and Africa has none. Is it news that a disproportionate share of all the oil in the world is in the Middle East?
Whole books could be filled with the unequal behavior or performances of people, or the unequal geographic settings in which whole races, nations, and civilizations have developed. Yet the preconceptions of the political Left march on undaunted, loudly proclaiming sinister reasons why outcomes are not equal within nations or between nations.
Although Sowell does not mention it in his article, this is precisely the same paradigm behind the so-called “war on women.” The oft-quoted fact that women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man proves nothing in and of itself. The reality is that women are far more likely than men to choose lower paying professions, while men gravitate towards the higher paying professions. After adjusting for education, time in the work place, and career choices, comparing apples to apples, the wage discrepancy virtually disappears.