Thomas Sowell: The dumbest idea about inequality

The dumbest idea about inequality, by Thomas Sowell.

If there were a contest for the most stupid idea in politics, my choice would be the assumption that people would be evenly or randomly distributed in incomes, institutions, occupations or awards, in the absence of somebody doing somebody wrong….

Chess is a simple example.

A recent article in the New York Times saw as a problem the fact that females are greatly under-represented among the highest rated chess players. …

Are there girls out there dying to play chess, who find the doors slammed shut in their faces?

Are girls and boys not allowed to have different interests? If girls had the same interest in chess as boys had, but were banned from chess clubs, that would be something very different from their not choosing to play chess as often as boys do. As for chess ratings, that is not subjective. It is based on which players, with which ratings, you have won against and lost to.

Are women and men not to be allowed to make different decisions as to how they choose to spend their time and live their lives?

Who benefits from this obvious falsehood?

Chess is not the only endeavor that can take a huge chunk of time out of your life, and unremitting efforts, to reach the top. If you want to become a top scientist, a partner in a big law firm or a top executive in a major corporation, you are very unlikely to do it working from 9 to 5, or taking a few years off, here and there, to have children and raise them.

Applying the same unsubstantiated assumption to differences in “representation” between different racial and ethnic groups likewise produces many loudly expressed grievances, political crusades, and millions of dollars from lawsuits charging discrimination, all without a speck of evidence beyond numbers that do not match the prevailing assumptions.

Everyone knows its a dumb assumption, but grievance mongers and the politically correct find it very convenient. Beneficial for some parasites, but it is an assumption that has blighted many lives in the last few decades.

hat-tip Chris