Tuesday, February 05, 2008

An Interview With Thomas Sowell

Political campaigns are filled with economic rhetoric where each candidate uses his own subjective contextual basis to validate a policy. Socialists are particularly good at that game where catch phrases such as "paying their fair share" and "vanishing middle class" become rallying cries for the ignorant masses.

There is an excellent interview in Right Wing News today conducted by John Hawkins with one of the most esteemed economists of our day, Thomas Sowell, about his new book, Economic Facts and Fallacies .

A sample:

It was also very interesting to read in your book some of the facts and fallacies about the poorest 20% of Americans. Can you tell us why most, but not all, of the poorest 20% of Americans are poor?

Again, we have to distinguish between statistics and people. Of course, most of the people who are in the bottom 20% at a given time are gone inside of a decade. They don't spend their lives down there. A lot of them are just young people starting off in their careers and this is one of the reasons income for that particular set of people nearly doubles in a decade.

(Other) people who are down there are down there for another reason. There are people who have already been up in higher brackets and are down there because they have an off-year -- for example, business people. A millionaire can have an off year and lose money. One of the things that struck me immediately was how many -- I think its hundreds of thousands of people who earn less than $20k a year and are living in homes that cost $300,000 and up. Obviously, if this is a permanent situation, it seems very odd that so many people could afford those kind of houses. But, if you live in that kind of house and you have an off-year and your income drops for that one year, it's perfectly understandable how that can happen.
Read the interview and then consider buying the book.

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