Thomas Sowell on the Myths of Economic Inequality

I listened to the audio version of this interview while running errands this afternoon.  As usual, Thomas Sowell demonstrates his clear as light thinking about topics as diverse as his journey from Marxism to libertarian conservatism, the disastrous impact of minimum wage laws and welfare on youth, both in the U.S. and worldwide, and the damage being done by affirmative action to bright minority students mis-matched with the élite educational institutions to which they are admitted.... [Read More]


Book Review: Into the Cannibal’s Pot

“Into the Cannibal's Pot” by Ilana MercerThe author was born in South Africa, the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Benzion Isaacson, a leader among the Jewish community in the struggle against apartheid. Due to her father’s activism, the family, forced to leave the country, emigrated to Israel, where the author grew up. In the 1980s, she moved back to South Africa, where she married, had a daughter, and completed her university education. In 1995, following the first elections with universal adult suffrage which resulted in the African National Congress (ANC) taking power, she and her family emigrated to Canada with the proceeds of the sale of her apartment hidden in the soles of her shoes. (South Africa had adopted strict controls to prevent capital flight in the aftermath of the election of a black majority government.) After initially settling in British Columbia, her family subsequently emigrated to the United States where they reside today.

From the standpoint of a member of a small minority (the Jewish community) of a minority (whites) in a black majority country, Mercer has reason to be dubious of the much-vaunted benefits of “majority rule”. Describing herself as a “paleolibertarian”, her outlook is shaped not by theory but the experience of living in South Africa and the accounts of those who remained after her departure. For many in the West, South Africa scrolled off the screen as soon as a black majority government took power, but that was the beginning of the country’s descent into violence, injustice, endemic corruption, expropriation of those who built the country and whose ancestors lived there since before the founding of the United States, and what can only be called a slow-motion genocide against the white farmers who were the backbone of the society.... [Read More]


TOTD 2018-04-22: Charon on Radio Derb

While researching my recent Thought of the Day post for 2018-04-19, “Where am I in the Solar System?”, I came across a curious detail about the recently-named features on Pluto’s moon Charon.  It occurred to me that this is just the kind of item John Derbyshire likes to use in the “Closing Miscellany” section of his Radio Derb podcast at, so I passed it along to him.  He used it as the final item of the 2018-04-21 episode of the weekly podcast.  ( is changing their hosting configuration and has experienced some instability and problems with security certificates; if you get errors or warnings, either plow through them or be patient—they’re working on it.  Radio Derb appears on the Ratburger Podcast Feed, but due to these problems the link to this week’s episode is bad; use the direct link above.)

Here is the E-mail I sent to John Derbyshire on April 19th:... [Read More]