Below are summaries and links to a video interview with Thomas Sowell related to his new book, Economic Facts and Fallacies:
The conventional wisdom instructs that the rise of women in corporate America in the latter half of the 20th century was due to the implementation of anti-discrimination laws championed by the feminist movement. In reality, a greater proportion of American women held high-level occupations in the first half of the 20th century. What gives? Thomas Sowell sets the record straight on this and other male–female employment fallacies.
It has been reported that the incomes of most American households have remained flat in recent decades. But Sowell says this is a misleading statistic, since “households” are a moving target — varying over time in size, among population groups, and from one income level to another. Says Sowell, “Whenever I see somebody quoting household income, he's trying to make things look bad.” The mainstream media, it turns out, works overtime to make most income data look bad.
Sowell discusses the outrage that is faculty tenure. Tenured faculty members, he says, run universities for their own best interests — not the interests of students. They schedule classes on their own time, not students’ time. They wield tremendous influence, in particular into areas where they have no expertise. Why, asks Sowell, should someone who teaches French literature decide whether ROTC should be allowed on campus? The trouble with tenure extends far and wide.
We’re programmed to think that if we want to make it big in life we need to attend the crème de la crème of colleges. Thomas Sowell says that’s not true at all. Higher-ed institutions also spread the notion that the price of tuition — though astronomically high — doesn’t even cover the full cost of educating each student. Another misleading statement, says Sowell. How can one separate higher-ed truth from fiction? Sowell has the answers.
Fallacies about race run rampant through our culture. For instance, racial discrimination is often listed as a root cause of criminality among blacks, but Sowell points out that black crime was declining prior to the 1960s and the civil-rights and anti-poverty laws that emerged during that decade. What then is the source of black criminality in the post-1960s? Simple, says Sowell: “They stopped punishing criminals.”