Discrimination and Disparities

Discrimination and Disparities

An empirical examination of how economic and other disparities arise Economic and other outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups, and nations. Many explanations have been offered for the differences. Some believe that those with less fortunate outcomes are victims of genetics. Others believe that those who are less fortunate are victims of the more fortunate....

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Title:Discrimination and Disparities
Author:Thomas Sowell
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Edition Language:English

Discrimination and Disparities Reviews

  • Gordon E. Castanza

    Sowell has done it again! His scholarship and insistence on hard-evidence debunks the mythology of the Progressives and Postmodernists. Unfortunately those who would gain the most from this book will never read it.

  • Rob

    At 87 years old, Sowell is a national treasure. He hit this one out of the park.

    This is a dispassionate and carefully analytical look at discrimination and disparities in society.

    Carefully researched and brilliantly logical, he highlights why much of today's conventional wisdom is simply wrong.

    One of the more fascinating aspects of his analysis is that early on in this book, he analyzes and defines discrimination. "So what," you might say. "That's pretty basic and of course everyone understan

    At 87 years old, Sowell is a national treasure. He hit this one out of the park.

    This is a dispassionate and carefully analytical look at discrimination and disparities in society.

    Carefully researched and brilliantly logical, he highlights why much of today's conventional wisdom is simply wrong.

    One of the more fascinating aspects of his analysis is that early on in this book, he analyzes and defines discrimination. "So what," you might say. "That's pretty basic and of course everyone understands that." But Sowell notes that there are conflicting meanings (some actually positive in nature; others benign; others racist) and if we are to carefully study the impacts, we need to be absolutely certain what we're looking at.

    His analysis highlights many errors of reasoning and missed variables that are rarely considered in mainstream consideration of these issues. He also brings to bear a long and wide view of historical situations that add to the perspective.

    He also highlights exactly why many government policies - while well-meaning - were intellectually flawed and, in fact caused more damage to the groups they were designed to help than anything else.

    There are many jaw-dropping statements that left me floored; and when highlighting popular misconceptions, he writes with a fair amount of humor as well.

    A must read. And this makes me realize I need to go back and go to town on more of his books.

  • Ian Hammond

    Thomas Sowell challenges the basic assumption that equal outcomes between groups would be the norm in society in the absence of discrimination. He illustrates the way figures propagate errors by omitting certain variables or committing certain fallacies so as to support a particular vision of society. The big takeaway for me was that public intellectuals are reductionistic, either intentionally or unintentionally, in their advocacy for causes. The result of this is that a distorted view of reali

    Thomas Sowell challenges the basic assumption that equal outcomes between groups would be the norm in society in the absence of discrimination. He illustrates the way figures propagate errors by omitting certain variables or committing certain fallacies so as to support a particular vision of society. The big takeaway for me was that public intellectuals are reductionistic, either intentionally or unintentionally, in their advocacy for causes. The result of this is that a distorted view of reality is perpetuated within the society as a whole leading to solutions that tend to make the lives of individuals worse off.

  • Douglas Wilson

    Sowell is just magnificent. A combination of horse sense, clear writing, and a passionate commitment to the truth.

  • Cindy Rollins

    I love anything Sowell writes. This was published in 2018 when Sowell was in his mid-eighties. His towering intellect and clear communication shine in dark corners and bring hope and common sense to some very hard things.

  • Gary Moreau

    Throughout his long and distinguished career Thomas Sowell has been a consistent stickler for truth. In this book he takes empirical aim at the truth about outcomes. In short, social scholars and economists inevitably over-simplify cause and effect and fail to accept that “grossly unequal distributions of outcomes are common, both in nature and among people, in circumstances where neither genes nor discrimination are involved.”

    The book is short, to the point, and very clearly written

    Throughout his long and distinguished career Thomas Sowell has been a consistent stickler for truth. In this book he takes empirical aim at the truth about outcomes. In short, social scholars and economists inevitably over-simplify cause and effect and fail to accept that “grossly unequal distributions of outcomes are common, both in nature and among people, in circumstances where neither genes nor discrimination are involved.”

    The book is short, to the point, and very clearly written. You don’t need a degree in sociology or economics to follow. The arguments are steeped in common sense, which is where we often lose sight of the truth in our admirable but misguided desire to do the “right” thing.

    The problem is actually much bigger than the areas of social justice addressed in the book. It is a problem that is quickly eroding the value of all of our political, social, educational, and economic discourse.

    Type “This is what science says about …” into Google and you’ll get close to 1.5 billion hits. News outlets and social commentators use the heading daily. In reality, however, “science”, which is an empirical methodology, not a body of knowledge, probably says nothing about the topic of the article, and whatever apparent “facts” the author includes probably say even less in the larger context of truth and meaning.

    Technology, of course, is making the problem worse. Technology gives a voice to every would-be opinion-maker, and falsely reinforces, in all of its 1’s and 0’s, that math and statistics are inevitably and inherently “true.” That's not true. To the extent it is true it is typically so only in the one dimension in which the author uses it to advance his or her point in the article. That’s not the multi-dimensional and dynamic world, however, where most important reality, like opportunity, compassion, and fairness actually lives.

    My only complaint is that the electronic book is over-priced for what it is. The author doesn’t typically set the price and Mr. Sowell is a premium intellect that deserves a premium price tag on his thoughts. It is, nonetheless, an empirically supported criticism, so I’m hopeful Mr. Sowell will forgive me that.

  • Charlie

    It is amazing to see Thomas Sowell still writing books at 87, an age when most will have long since retired. Much of this will be familiar to those who have read Sowell’s other works. He offers a fact based explanation for differences in disparities that is at odds with the prevailing social vision.

  • Matthew Horsfield

    I read this book with an open mind as it was recommended to me by my right-leaning nephew in law. I appreciated his logical explanation of disparities but feel he failed in explaining discrimination, or why it might continue to persist. He himself seems to feel the poor and people of color, especially blacks are practically worthy of discrimination with the way he sets up examples and the biased language he uses (‘lazy’ ‘hoodlums’ ‘hooligans’). These descriptions seem more like social commentary

    I read this book with an open mind as it was recommended to me by my right-leaning nephew in law. I appreciated his logical explanation of disparities but feel he failed in explaining discrimination, or why it might continue to persist. He himself seems to feel the poor and people of color, especially blacks are practically worthy of discrimination with the way he sets up examples and the biased language he uses (‘lazy’ ‘hoodlums’ ‘hooligans’). These descriptions seem more like social commentary than economic explanation of reality. And while the chapters near the end were title ‘Solutions’, I didn’t hear (I listened to the audiobook) any kind of idea that would improve any of the situations he described.

    And it seems like he’s been working this same broken record since at least 2006; see this preview of a critical article:

    (Doesn’t open properly in the GR app)

  • Guy Mendt

    A rehash of the tired and weak arguments from Thomas Sowell that basically say let the market solve the problems of poverty and racism, and if that doesn't work, then blacks just need to act more like white people to fit in economically. The author cherry picks examples that back his premise but offers very little in terms of research and real evidence. You can get the same viewpoint by watching Fox News.

  • Jake Peterson

    I would not recommend this book if it's going to be the only book on the topic of discrimination and institutional racism that you read. It would be easy to read this and confuse the opinions and fuzzy logic for solid evidence if you have no other information to compare it to.

    If you are already educated on institutional racism, fine, give it a quick read. The book is well written so it can be difficult at times to catch the author in a logical leap from fact to opinion/conjecture/bias since he

    I would not recommend this book if it's going to be the only book on the topic of discrimination and institutional racism that you read. It would be easy to read this and confuse the opinions and fuzzy logic for solid evidence if you have no other information to compare it to.

    If you are already educated on institutional racism, fine, give it a quick read. The book is well written so it can be difficult at times to catch the author in a logical leap from fact to opinion/conjecture/bias since he presents everything as fact.

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