Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Thinking Vs. Feeling

Tom Sowell isn't exaggerating here at all. I don't know if this has always been the case, or if it started somewhat recently, but there is clearly a confusion about thinking and feeling. You can witness it daily on television, when talking head reporters actually ask people how they feel about something, when they obviously want them to say what they think.

And the worst part of this is that government policies are based far more on feeling than on thinking. Practically the entire Civil Rights movement was justified and guided by emotion rather than reason, with predictable effects — predictable if you think, rather than feel, that is.

Tom Sowell reviews a book on the subject:

A Primer on Race

By Thomas Sowell
Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience.
"Please do not do any more good in my country," he said. "We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done."
That is essentially the message of an outstanding new book by Jason Riley about blacks in America. Its title is "Please Stop Helping Us."

(Buy it at a 37% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 54% discount by clicking here)

The book's theme is that many policies designed to help blacks are in fact harmful, sometimes devastatingly so. These counterproductive policies range from minimum wage laws to "affirmative action" quotas.
This book untangles the controversies, the confusions, and the irresponsible rhetoric in which issues involving minimum wage laws are usually discussed. As someone who has followed minimum wage controversies for decades, I must say that I have never seen the subject explained more clearly or more convincingly.
Black teenage unemployment rates ranging from 20 to 50 percent have been so common over the past 60 years that many people are unaware that this was not true before there were minimum wage laws, or even during years when inflation rendered minimum wage laws ineffective, as in the late 1940s.
Pricing young people out of work deprives them not only of income but also of work experience, which can be even more valuable. Pricing young people out of legal work, when illegal work is always available, is just asking for trouble. So is having large numbers of idle young males hanging out together on the streets.
When it comes to affirmative action, Jason Riley asks the key question: "Do racial preferences work? What is the track record?" Like many other well-meaning and nice-sounding policies, affirmative action cannot survive factual scrutiny.

Some individuals may get jobs they would not get otherwise but many black students who are quite capable of getting a good college education are admitted, under racial quotas, to institutions whose pace alone is enough to make it unlikely that they will graduate.

1 comment:

  1. When I was 14, I got my first job as a "mother's helper" for three hours on Saturday mornings - helping a woman who was partly disabled do the housework she was unable to do. I was paid $1.00 an hour when minimum wage was probably $1.50. My boss also gave me a coke and some cookies halfway through for a little break.

    I was ecstatic to have the job.

    After about a year, she gave me a raise to $3.50 for three hours of work. I kept that job until I turned 16 and was able to get a "real" job for $1.65 an hour. Then I handed it off to my younger sister who was also happy to have the job.