… is from page 113 of Thomas Sowell’s superb 1984 book, Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?:
From an economic point of view, to say that any group is systematically underpaid or systematically denied as much credit as they deserve is the same as saying that an opportunity for unusually high profit exists for anyone who will hire them or lend to them.
DBx: This point, at once so obvious, is obviously overlooked in too many cases. How many are the professors, pundits, preachers, and politicians who insist that women as a group are underpaid? That blacks as a group are underpaid? That low-wage workers as a group are underpaid? That CEOs as a group are over-paid? That minorities as a group are denied adequate access to credit? Some of the people who so insist even claim to have empirical data to support their insistence. Yet almost none of these people act with their own resources on their words, despite in each case being able to personally profit from the alleged market imperfection.
Instead, people who assert that members of some group are systematically underpaid (or overpaid) issue their assertions as a means of prodding government to intervene by, say, imposing minimum-wage requirements (or caps on the incomes of employees who are allegedly overpaid). People who make such assertions, and who offer such policies, systematically fail to put their own money where their mouths are. This fact alone is sufficient to discredit the assertions issued by such people.