Legendary economist Thomas Sowell is as impressed with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s ideas as he is with Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates’ — which is to say, not much.
Sowell, currently a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is out with a new book, “Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective.” Last week, he opened up about his new book and topics related to it in an interview on the “Hugh Hewitt Show,” guest-hosted by this writer.
Asked about in-vogue author Ta-Nehisi Coates and his theory that black America’s plight can be blamed on institutional racism, Sowell said, “It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.”
“What bothers me is that when he says things like that there is no need to produce one speck of evidence to back that up,” he elaborated. “You simply make the assertion and it’s repeated enough — it’s the old formula by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, that the people will believe any lie if it’s big enough and told loud enough, often enough. And that’s the basis of so many of these things that are said. Once you start getting into facts, then all of this stuff crumbles. But the problem is neither the media nor a good share of academia feel like testing these fashionable notions.”
As for the idea promoted by current Democratic presidential contenders Sanders and Clinton that income equality is one of the great problems facing America today, Sowell says, “I think that we’ve become a nation of charlatans and sheep.”
“I am sure that among hunter gatherers there was not nearly as much inequality as there is today in America — do we want to become hunter gatherers?” he continued. “In other words, do we want to argue about different slices of the economic pie, or do we want to make the pie bigger?”
“Now the history of the United States in the 20th century shows an incredible increase in prosperity over that century,” he added. “And it was brought about not because some people’s slice of the pie got bigger — the whole pie got bigger. And so everybody had an increase in prosperity.”
Listen to part one of the interview above and part two of the interview below: