36 votes

Thomas Sowell Destroys Feminism and Racialism in under 5 minutes

World-renowned free market thinker Thomas Sowell is an economist, social theorist, philosopher and author. In 1981, Sowell appeared in a televised debate on a show called Firing Line, featuring William Buckley. This epic debate puts Sowell's free market philosophy to the test.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Here's Tom today

Sowell doesn't "destroy

Sowell doesn't "destroy feminism". He makes an argument that men and women, and whites and blacks, are paid equally for equal work (or that women and blacks may even be paid more).

Aggregating people is a statist's game

Aggregating people is a statist's game. Especially if the aggregates are crude, like the numbers quoted by the woman. Thomas Sowell rightly attacked her crude groups; single women, for instance which would include previously married woman who likely had spent 15 or 20 years raising children.

So crude aggregates, or groups, are the very worst, but even more precise ones like Thomas prefers are still malignant. People have widely varying abilities, character traits and innate drive. It makes no sense to average numbers relating to two or more individuals and think your understanding of them is increased.

ONLY individuals who want to control others from a superior position have any interest in these bogus aggregates. They use the numbers to increase their own personal power and influence over others.

A free sovereign individual who also considers everyone else free and sovereign does not think in aggregates and has no use for aggregates promoted by others.

One thing is certain

1981 had much more interesting hair.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.

http://shadesofthomaspaine.blogexec.com

Also author of Stick it to the Man!

http://www.amazon.com/Stick-Man-Richard-Moyer/dp/1484036417

A Question of Silence

I first thought Dutch magistrate for the woman's hair. Wig-wise, it actually looks close to wigs worn in Colonial Williamsburg, but given the subject of this post, there's no doubt a reason why the Netherlands came to mind: A Question of Silence.

That's a great Dutch film and feminist classic about a pending trial of three women accused of murder and the psychologist assigned to interview them. (There's a movie trailer on you-tube.)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I can't stand this. Sowell

I can't stand this.

Sowell and Friedman and all these old-school guys love to go on and on without FACTS to support it.

Sowell says that he can "guarantee" that there is no discrimination against women...OK, then prove it. See, you can do a google search and find hundreds of well-research papers and articles showing that the discrimination exists, factoring in for all the factors Sowell talks about.

Guys like Sowell and Friedman come from a time pre-internet. They aren't used to being challenged on-the-spot...they're used to their word being golden. Sowell especially falls into this issue where his verbal logical reasoning is, in his eyes, absolute. The real-world facts MUST align with his verbal reasoning, because it is logical...

On top of that, this is how Sowell writes. His articles are filled with these kind of anecdotal pieces of evidence. I absolutely can't stand him.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

I think you are wrong ...

... show us some evidence to support your case.

Show us some evidence that people of different race or sex, who have the same job with the same education and the same work experience, are getting paid different amounts.

Thanks.

Haha.

Well said.

Welcome to the internet era, where you get challenged on the spot, and your words aren't taken to be golden.

Show me the figures!

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.

http://shadesofthomaspaine.blogexec.com

Also author of Stick it to the Man!

http://www.amazon.com/Stick-Man-Richard-Moyer/dp/1484036417

http://jec.senate.gov/public/

http://jec.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=9118a9ef...

http://www.justicetalking.org/ShowPage.aspx?ShowID=604

http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/censusstatistic/a/womenspay.htm

http://www.gao.gov/products/A83444

Altonji, Joseph G. and Rebecca M. Blank (1999). Race and Gender in the Labor Market, in Orley Ashenfelter and David Card (eds.), Handbook of Labor Economics, Vol. 3, Elsevier Science B.V., 1999,

http://www.denverpost.com/newsheadlines/ci_5735341

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/happy-equal-pay...

Boraas, S., & Rodgers, W. M., III. (2003). How does gender play a role in the earnings gap? An update. Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 126, No. 3, pp. 9–15.

Carman, Diane. Why do men earn more? Just because. Denver Post, April 24, 2007.

http://www.businessweek.com/careers/workingparents/blog/arch...

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

I think that's lazy on your part ...

... to just post a bunch of links that might or might not prove your point and expect me or anyone else to go off on a wild goose chase trying to find the bits and pieces to see if you are right or wrong.

We already know that feminists make claims about wage gaps, so we expect there will be tons of resources making that claim. The question on the table (that Thomas Sowell addressed) is: Are their claims valid?

In taking a quick look at your links, I found:

#1 is a government report that summarizes testimony. Where are the ACTUAL REPORTS that PROVE your position? Please cite the SPECIFIC language.

It's a 256-page report that I'm not going to wade through only to find that you did not bother to read it yourself. But looking at the table of contents, we see that they took "testimony" of people. That is not a report, where we can examine methodology to see if they are honest or dishonest.

However, we see at B(3) the section "Report: 'Earnings Penalty for Part-Time Work: An Obstacle to Equal Pay" and we can immediately see that this whole document might very well be nothing but feminist bias.

There is no economic reason why part-time employees should make the same as full-time employees, which is likely what that "report" will argue (notice, the title makes a subjective statement; it is not an objective conclusion).

So, I suspect that document is worthless in proving your point. But go ahead and prove me wrong. Show me in THAT 256-page document that there is evidence for your position.

#2 is just a bunch of bios of feminists. Where is there any EVIDENCE to prove your point in that?

#3 summarizes a report and provides evidence AGAINST your position, when it states, "In attempting to explain the discrepancies in pay between men and women, the GAO concluded: Women in the workforce are also less likely to work a full-time schedule and are more likely to leave the labor force for longer periods of time than men ..." and "Women have fewer years of work experience."

This was PRECISELY Sowell's argument. So, your own citation supports Sowell's position, not yours.

#4 is the same report as #3.

#5 is an opinion based on anecdotal evidence.

#6 is VERY interesting because it talks about a study of FEDERAL EMPLOYEES where women make less than men. And we all know that it is ILLEGAL for the government to discriminate. To the contrary, they bend over backwards to get women and minorities hired over white males.

So, there must be something ELSE at work ... OTHER THAN just their sex difference, and this was Sowell's point.

#7 is a dead link.

Now, take a look at sources that SUPPORT Sowell's position, and explain WHY that gap exists (yes, it exists, but NOT because of sex discrimination):

This study shows that:

(a) Men CHOOSE careers that are more dangerous and higher paying.
(b) Men CHOOSE to work in higher-paying fields.
(c) Men CHOOSE to work longer hours and long distances from home.
(d) Men CHOOSE to work nights and weekends.
(e) UNMARRIED women make MORE than unmarried men (Sowell made this point, saying it is really married women versus everyone else).
(f) Women business owners (who by definition will not discriminate against themselves) make LESS than male business owners because the women often CHOOSE priorities other than maximizing income.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-28246928/the-gender-p...

Here is a Department of Labor study (2009) that says:

"... the raw wage gap continues to be used in misleading ways to advance public policy agendas without fully explaining the reasons behind the gap. The purpose of this report is to identify the reasons that explain the wage gap ..."

See how this is ON POINT? The report goes on to state that the difference in pay is due to WOMEN'S CHOICES versus men's. It is not due to discrimination.

http://www.consad.com/content/reports/Gender%20Wage%20Gap%20...

So, as I said before, show me evidence that the same pay, same experience, same job, etc. proves discrimination (and NOT simple choices made between men and women).

I doubt you can do it because I don't think such a study exists.

But go for it.

What you said about being pre-internet applies

to both sides. For example, in the 70's the feminist rhetoric totally distorted the picture of women who chose to be at home raising their children themselves - not the politically correct choice. Well before there was a shift, stay-at-home mothers were viewed as if dinosaurs when, in fact, they were still in the majority. The erroneous *perception* helped drive the trend.

In fact, I just went back and listened again because I couldn't recall Sowell saying he "guaranteed" anything. (Not that I'm saying he didn't say it, but if he did, I must have missed it twice now.) I happened to note how the woman said, "the fact is, in the overwhelming majority of American homes, the women also work." Now the year of the program was 1981, but she'd said she was looking at statistics from 1978. Take your pick. Aside from Sowell rightly pointing out the issue of part-time work, what would you call an "overwhelming" majority? Here's a chart from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on "Women's labor force participation rates." (It's a comparison of different countries, but with gov't sites down at the moment, it'll do.) http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2011/women/images/ilc_labor_for...

I'm not saying there hasn't been discrimination against women in various forms, including as involves employment. But the right way to address the issues was how Sowell was looking at things - comparing "like" backgrounds. He was right in observing that the career experience of a 40-year old mother who'd been at home for some amount of years raising children and had returned to the workforce was not the same entity as that of a 40-year old male, or female, who'd been working in a career continuously.

And he was saying with race that the real issue didn't lay in an employer's hiring policies; blacks and whites with similar backgrounds, similarly educated, had similar incomes. Rather the fact that relatively few blacks *had* the same education as their white counterparts was the issue; that is, he was saying that the crux of the problem wasn't job discrimination but a far larger societal problem. I'd agree, and it's one that still exists. Ever see Waiting for Superman?

Sowell *was* being logical. Why do you have a problem with that? It's in his looking at the issue the way he was that would be the difference between a Band-Aid approach - regulate hiring policy (that, at the same time, would expand government power) vs. getting to the crux of the problem and seeing that all children received a quality education.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

"In fact, I just went back

"In fact, I just went back and listened again because I couldn't recall Sowell saying he 'guaranteed' anything. (Not that I'm saying he didn't say it, but if he did, I must have missed it twice now.)"

Sorry, I wasn't referring to this video. I am actually a fan of Sowell, but for different reasons. He has said this many times in his interviews; he uses the phrase a lot, ie "Black people had greater buying power in the 50s...I guarantee it!" Things like that.

"I happened to note how the woman said, "the fact is, in the overwhelming majority of American homes, the women also work." Now the year of the program was 1981, but she'd said she was looking at statistics from 1978. "

That is fine. But one, just because she does it does not mean Sowell should. Two, she is a nobody. Thomas Sowell is an established, educated, and respected economist. She lies or exaggerates, who cares. He does it, and people will take his word as gold.

"'m not saying there hasn't been discrimination against women in various forms, including as involves employment. But the right way to address the issues was how Sowell was looking at things - comparing 'like' backgrounds."

No, that is the correct way to do it. My point is that, Sowell says something like this:

"Look at the issue by comparing people of like backgrounds...they make the same!"

He's implying that the latter part of that statement is true. But if you actually look at it, it isn't true. You can do it by years in the workforce, education level, and even job title, and men get more IIRC. I remember in 1993 this was posed to him at an academic conference. HE simply said that there must be some difference that hadn't been accounted for.

"He was right in observing that the career experience of a 40-year old mother who'd been at home for some amount of years raising children and had returned to the workforce was not the same entity as that of a 40-year old male, or female, who'd been working in a career continuously."

Again, he pretends that studies that look at income inequality don't already do this. That is the danger of Sowell; he makes a lot of arguments and conclusions with NOTHING to back it up.

That is the thing with Sowell. I agree it has been exaggerated. I agree that legislation cannot fix it. But I don't agree that the gender gap simply does not exist...

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

I don't think we're in disagreement here.

I think that maybe that video clip just wasn't a good example of what you apparently know from elsewhere.

And no, I don't think that just because one side would use statistics (or just outright lie) to mislead, that it makes it all right for the other side to. But, whoever that woman is, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the influence of her and those like her: while they themselves might not be known, their message came across loud and clear (louder than Sowell's) via universities, tv & movies, commericals, magazine articles... and it worked! (Bearing the brunt of their success has been a generation of home-alone children.)

I imagine that some of the studies re gender and race do, and some of the studies do not, take into account the kind of factors that Sowell raised in that clip. Unfortunately, outside of academic circles - and, to be sure, within enough of them (especially within the education community) - people don't know enough about statistics to even know what to look for. "How To Lie With Statistics" should be required reading of all high schoolers! http://www.amazon.com/How-Lie-Statistics-Darrell-Huff/dp/039...

FYI, re the race gap and education, I highly recommend Abigail Thernstrom's No Excuses: Closing The Racial Gap in Learning.

And I do believe there is a gender gap. In part that's *because* of the feminist agenda. And, while I imagine that Sowell has done enough analyses to know that the income gap is less the fault of employers' hiring-policies than his debating partner would have it appear, nonetheless, whatever is at the crux of it, it's a problem that those 40-year old women returning to the workplace are *not* going to have the same career experience or incomes as the 40-year olds who'd worked in a career all along; well, it's not the inequity, per se, that's the problem. The problem is that so many women fall into poverty as a result if they are the household head.

Thanks for the reply. And I've made a note to check out some of those resources you listed in a comment above. But no fair, your throwing out that you're actually a fan of Sowell's and not saying why! :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

"I am actually a fan of

"I am actually a fan of Sowell, but for different reasons."

What reasons do make you a fan of Sowell?

As I mentioned, he is spot-on

As I mentioned, he is spot-on right when he describes how government cannot solve so many issues. How legislation misfires or even backfires.

The problem is, he takes it one step further when he says "there is no problem". That is where you go too far.

For example, I would agree with Sowell when he says that you cannot really legislated away the bias people (for example, a juror) have against Blacks when it comes to crimes/death row.

But I do think that such a bias exists (look at the crime/imprisonment numbers, look at the way crimes are handled differently based on the race of the committer, and look at the logic behind drugs laws in the first place). Sowell takes the stance that it doesn't exist/is wildly exaggerated.

On other issues, I think he is a good spokesperson for the Chicago-School of economics. Under a fixed-exchange model, I think his views have a ton of merit.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Very powerful stuff.

Society is becoming discriminatory against men. Destroying the feminist argument will restore some equality.

Just to clarify

There's a world of difference between actual feminism and misandry.

Like so many other political/politicized labels, the term feminist has been hijacked by radicals who don't want equality, but supremacy. Ever look into the 'RadFem' movement? They openly advocate the extermination of all men. But hey, it's totally not a hate group!

A signature used to be here!

That Fellow...

Is Awesome. All she could do was retreat to her false statistics and drone on like inane background noise.

"The Yankee is compelled to toil to make the world go around."
-Admiral Raphael Semmes, CSN
http://standrewsnews.org

Thank you

for posting this, I'm unfamiliar with Sowell but I'm taking a Philosophy of Feminism class right now and this will probide some usefull ammo in some if my arguments.

How dare this uppity afroid

How dare this uppity afroid man use truth and evidence to politely shatter the delusions of progressivism, especially while Harriet Pilpel is wearing a Founding Fathers tribute wig?

Common sense.

How refreshing in this age of lies and deceptions.

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783
"I have one word for you...predator drones. Oh, you think I'm kidding?" Obombya

It wasn't in this age

it was 3 decades ago when some common sense could still be found in public.