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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 414 of the 2016 second edition of Thomas Sowell’s important volume Wealth, Poverty and Politics (footnote deleted; link added):

This disdain [in Spain] toward those who were economically productive extended to such displays of bigotry as the mass expulsion of Jews in the fifteenth century and of Moriscos in the seventeenth century – mass exports of human capital in both cases. Such attitudes were not unique to Spain. It was said of serfdom in Russia that it simply put “much wealth in the hands of a spendthrift nobility.” In America, the plantation owners in the antebellum South were likewise noted for a spendthrift lifestyle and the region for lagging in the skills, work ethic and entrepreneurship more common in the rest of America. Those who seek to depict slavery as the basis for American prosperity fail to explain why the region where slavery was concentrated and flourished was the poorest and least progressive region of the country, as was also true in Brazil, the second largest slave-owning nation in the Western Hemisphere.

DBx: And also, Brazil clung to slavery longer than did the United States.

The proposition that today’s wealth in capitalist societies is the fruit of slavery is among those propositions that are most irreconcilable with history and most unsalvageable in theory.

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