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Social Justice Fallacies af Thomas Sowell
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Social Justice Fallacies (udgave 2023)

af Thomas Sowell (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
1336206,896 (4.29)Ingen
"The quest for social justice is a powerful crusade of our time, with an appeal to many different people, for many different reasons. But those who use the same words do not always present the same meanings. Clarifying those meanings is the first step toward finding out what we agree on and disagree on. From there, it is largely a question of what the facts are. Social Justice Fallacies reveals how many things that are thought to be true simply cannot stand up to documented facts, which are often the opposite of what is widely believed" --… (mere)
Medlem:snowish-99
Titel:Social Justice Fallacies
Forfattere:Thomas Sowell (Forfatter)
Info:Basic Books (2023), 224 pages
Samlinger:Read - Leftie Loons
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:non-fiction, United States, race, blacks, economics, education, crime, victimology, knowledge, government

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Social Justice Fallacies af Thomas Sowell

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Thomas Sowell always has great information written clearly and concisely. He is an intellectual who writes in an understandable and eye-opening way. A must-read. ( )
  khoyt | May 3, 2024 |
This has to be one of the more challenging books I have read in recent times.

Not because it is dense or badly written as it is clear, concise and eschews jargon nor because it is very long, as it is only 130 pages long, not including some 70 pages of notes and an index.

Rather this book, written by Black American Thomas Sowell, a 93 year old economist who has written nearly 50 books on economics, social justice, race, statistics and related topics, turns upside down many of what are seeming well established policies and thinking around social justice.

Sowell's thesis is in essence that many social justice initiatives are ill conceived, not founded on logic or statistics, are unlikely to have the intended benefits (and indeed in some cases are positively harmful).

Most, but not all, of his examples are based on the US experience, and as such it is a little difficult for an Australian to stress test the facts/examples that Sowell puts forward to support his contentions, but the 70 pages of citations as to books, papers and reports should provide anyone who wanted to conduct such a stress test should it be required.

Sowell suggests that in many cases where people say that X (eg more /less women/men) 'should' be the case (be implored in a particular sector/ holds particular roles (eg CEOs) or be paid more, that these statements are often based on false premises.

Thus whilst there are more professional hockey teams in the (US) NFL than in Canada, there are more Canadian players in the NFL than Americans (not withstanding the US population is 8 times that of Canada), and more Swedish players in the NFL than Californian players (notwithstanding California's population is almost 4 times that of Sweden. There are some obvious reasons why that might be the case, and it is not an isolated example.

Thus African Americans are over-represented in US professional basketball, whites in tennis and Hispanics in Major League Baseball.

So when people assert that women are underrepresented in Silicon Valley and men underrepresented in Education, does the fact that women obtain only 30% of higher level engineering degrees and men obtain only 20% of education degrees, have anything to do with it? And do those numbers reflect individual people's choices as to what degrees they wish to study, what roles, and the sectors/industries they wish to work in rather than there being 'something wrong' that needs to/ should be fixed by encouraging more women to take up STEM degrees/careers and more men to pursue education as a career?

Take the oft heard statement that the rich are getting richer and the poor are increasingly worse off. Obama is quoted as having said (in 2013) "The top 10 percent no longer take in one third of our income, it now takes half". And Sowell states that if the same people remained in the same income brackets over time, sucha conclusion would be justified, but Sowell goes to show that people don't remain in the same income brackets over time that:
- more than 50% of taxpayers in the bottom quintile moved to a higher quintile within 10 years
- more than 50 % of US adults are in the top 10% of income recipients at some point in their lives usually in their later years
- a study looking at the period 1975- 1991, showed that individuals who were in the bottom 20% in income in 1975 had their income rise over the years not only at a higher rate than those in higher brackets but also in several times larger amount (with 29% of those who started in the bottom bracket reaching the top bracket by 1991, with only 5% remaining in the bottom bracket, the rest having risen and distributed in other brackets in between).

Sowell looks at many other examples including, paydown loans, minimum wages, housing decisions , affirmative action (as to university placement), racism etc.

Sowell is careful to not conclude that everything should or should not be leveled. That is not the aim of the book, which instead is to highlight that many social justice initiatives are based on false premises (at least based on the oft stated basis of the particular SJ initiative).

Unfortunately, but understandable given the focus of this short book, Sowell does not provide much by way of away forward as to specific topics (affirmation active as to university placements is one exception). Indeed he suggests that there are reasons why programmatic 'approaches' may be impossible to implement in any event (but that is another story).

And with Sowell being 93 years old, we may not see another book from him to take us further ahead. I hope I am wrong on that account.

Big Ship

23 April 2024 ( )
  bigship | Apr 22, 2024 |
That this nonagenarian hasn't won a Nobel prize is a travesty. (Friedman did.) The man is a national treasure. His writing is lucid, his arguments are cogent, his documentation is impeccable.

Sowell here builds on his previous works and extends it into a discourse against some of the arguments, if they can be called that, of the Social Justice Warriors who inhabit and inhibit academe, politics, and society in these wayward days. He takes on the fallacy that people are "equal" in any sense but legally/politically, i.e., the fallacy that there should be "equity" among groups. He takes on fallacies of racial disparities. He takes on what he calls the "chess pieces" fallacy, the idea that people don't change their behavior due to changes in stimuli. He takes on what he calls "knowledge fallacies," i.e., that some people have better knowledge and should tell you what to do. Or, that, in Reagan's words (Sowell doesn't quote him, but I will) that "a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."

The book is slim, so I won't go into specific detail. The main text is in large font and only comprises 130 pages (the notes occupy pp. 131-188; the index pp. 189-201). Buy it, read it. It is amazing and his argumentation is thorough, his writing engaging, and his conclusions are bold and common-sensical. ( )
  tuckerresearch | Feb 2, 2024 |
Absolutely incredible. Mr. Sowell is very clear in his arguments and provides citations that cover one third of the pages in his book. ( )
1 stem highlander6022 | Dec 26, 2023 |
If you've read a decent amount of Sowell, you will identify a great deal repetition, but all of these serve a purpose to prove his points.
Well written, thoroughly researched and cited, clear and to-the-point. ( )
1 stem atrillox | Nov 27, 2023 |
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"The quest for social justice is a powerful crusade of our time, with an appeal to many different people, for many different reasons. But those who use the same words do not always present the same meanings. Clarifying those meanings is the first step toward finding out what we agree on and disagree on. From there, it is largely a question of what the facts are. Social Justice Fallacies reveals how many things that are thought to be true simply cannot stand up to documented facts, which are often the opposite of what is widely believed" --

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