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Today’s Wall Street Journal has a wonderful profile of Thomas Sowell.   Although I strongly disagree with Sowell on some issues – for example, on U.S. foreign policy (he’s far more interventionist than I am) and on the role of the judiciary in the United States (he’s far too Borkian) – on matters economic I regard Sowell to be one of the all-time greatest sources of insight, wisdom, research, and popular teaching.  Here are two slices from the WSJ‘s profile of him:

Thomas Sowell turned 85 years old this summer, which means he has been teaching economics to Americans through his books and articles for some four decades. So it seems like a natural question: Have we learned anything? Has the level of economic thinking in political debate gone up at all?

“No—in fact, I’m tempted to think it’s gone down,” Mr. Sowell says, without much hesitation. “At one time you had a lot of people who hadn’t had any economics saying foolish things. Now you have well-known economists saying foolish things.”


Another problem is that the “disparate impact” assumption misidentifies where group differences originate. He sets up an example: “If you have people in various groups in the country, and their kids are all raised differently, they all behave differently in school, they do differently in school. And now they’re grown up and they go to an employer, and you’re surprised to find that they’re not distributed randomly by income.” It’s “just madness,” he says, to assume “that because you collected the statistics there, that’s where the unfairness originated.”

I’m honored to have been a guest earlier this week on the Tom Woods Show.

George Will puts into perspective the silly effort to pressure the owners of the Washington Redskins to change that team’s nickname.  Here’s his conclusion:

This is liberalism’s [that is, “Progressivism’s”] dilemma: There are so many things to be offended by, and so little time to agonize about each.

Arnold Kling reflects on Bryan Caplan’s recent post on labor economics.

Here’s Alberto Mingardi, writing over at EconLog, on the E.U.’s antitrust persecution of Google.  (Scholars who are familiar with the history of antitrust legislation – both its origin and its use – know that antitrust, or ‘competition law,’ is overwhelmingly a cudgel used to protect politically influential producers from the competition posed by politically less influential producers.  Antitrust, in short, is a crony-capitalist tool.)

With help from Georgetown University philosopher Jason Brennan, GMU Law’s Ilya Somin tackles the ages-old question “Why Smart Politicians Say Stupid Things.

Tim Carney explains some of Hillary Clinton’s ties to cronyism.