He [Zachary Carter] is aghast that Friedman could so absurdly believe that the fundamental problem surrounding race relations in South Africa was government intervention in imposing highly rigid social and economic segregation laws between whites and blacks in practically every aspect of everyday life. Mr. Carter seems to have not done any homework on other writings that explain in great detail how apartheid came about in the 1940s, and for what economic purposes to benefit selected groups in the white community.
He might have had a better understanding if he had looked through William H. Hutt’s The Economics of the Color Bar (1964) or Walter E. Williams’ South Africa’s War Against Capitalism (1989). He would have discovered that it was precisely to prevent the integrational opportunities and outcomes that open and competitive markets make possible that segments of the white community turned to the anti-competitive and race-separating coercive powers of the state. After all, if separation of the races came “naturally” to different peoples, and if white farmers, professionals, manufacturers, and workers were really “inherently” superior to blacks, then why was it necessary to impose domestic monopoly protectionism on so many segments of the society to ward off potential black competitors? (See my article, “South Africa and Ending Apartheid: The Free Market Road Not Taken”.)
Sever merit from the social mechanisms that allocate social rewards, and the idea of personal responsibility must go, too. And also the aspiration for an open society in which individual striving rather than government — political power — determines who thrives.
If anybody believes that financing that infrastructure bill with debt will create jobs, pay for itself, and grow the economy, prepare to be disappointed. As I’ve reported many times in the past, the economic literature doesn’t support this, especially in the short term and when the spending is done at the federal level.
However, a law review article entitled “Microaggressions, Questionable Science, and Free Speech” by professors Edward Cantu and Lee Jussim argues strongly that, as science, the microaggression research is laughably weak, the scholars behind it do not respond as scientists should when their work is questioned, and the project of trying to root out microaggressions has socially caustic and legally pernicious effects.