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The Invincible Dogma (Thomas Sowell)
Creators Syndicate ^ | April 3, 2012 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 04/02/2012 10:17:01 AM PDT by jazusamo

A long-standing legal charade was played out again recently, when Federal Express paid $3 million to settle an employment discrimination case brought by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Federal Express was accused of both racial discrimination and sex discrimination. FedEx denied it.

Why then did they pay the $3 million? Because it can cost a lot more than $3 million to fight a discrimination case. Years ago, the Sears department store chain spent $20 million fighting a sex discrimination charge that took 15 years to make its way through the legal labyrinth. In the end, Sears won — if spending $20 million and getting nothing in return can be called winning.

Federal Express was apparently not prepared to spend that kind of money and that kind of time fighting a discrimination case. The net result is that the government and much of the media can now claim that race, sex and other discrimination are rampant, considering how many anti-discrimination cases have been "won."

At the heart of these legal charades is the prevailing dogma that statistical disparities in employment — or mortgage lending, or anything else — show discrimination. In both the Federal Express case and the earlier Sears case, statistical differences between the mix of the workforce and the population mix were the key evidence presented to show discrimination.

In the Sears case, there was not even one woman who worked in any of the company's 900 stores who claimed to have been discriminated against. It was all a matter of statistics — and of the arbitrary dogma that statistical disparities show discrimination.

Once statistical disparities have been demonstrated, the burden of proof shifts to the employer to prove his innocence, contrary to centuries of legal tradition that the burden of proof in on the accuser.

No burden of proof whatever is put on those who argue as if there would be a random distribution of racial and other groups in the absence of discrimination.

Happenstances may be random but performances seldom are. Most people are right-handed but, among major league hitters with lifetime batting averages of .330 and up, there have been 15 left-handed batters and only 5 right-handed batters since the beginning of the 20th century. All the best-selling beers in the United States were created by people of German ancestry. Anyone who follows professional basketball knows that most of the leading stars are black.

Some years ago, a study of National Merit Scholarship finalists found that more than half were first-born children, even in five-child families. Jews are less than one percent of the world's population but they won 14 percent of the Nobel Prizes in literature and the sciences during the first half of the 20th century, and 29 percent during the second half.

It would be no problem at all to fill this whole column — or this entire page — with examples from around the world of gross statistical disparities in outcomes, in situations where discrimination was not involved. But those who take the opposite view — that numbers show discrimination — do not have to produce one speck of evidence to back up that sweeping conclusion.

Human beings are not random events. Individuals and groups have different histories, cultures, skills and attitudes. Why would anyone expect them to be distributed anywhere in a pattern based on statistical theories of random events? Much less make the absence of such a pattern become a basis for multimillion dollar lawsuits?

However little evidence or logic there may be behind the belief that an absence of random distribution shows discrimination, there are nevertheless strong incentives for some people to cling to that belief anyway. Those who lag behind — whether educationally, economically or otherwise — have every incentive to think of themselves as victims of those who are more successful.

Those who want their votes have every incentive to go along, or even to actively promote that idea. So do those who want to see issues as moral melodramas, starring themselves on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. The net result is an invincible dogma — and a polarized country.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: discrimination; lawsuits; sowell; thomassowell

1 posted on 04/02/2012 10:17:07 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: abigail2; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; Battle Axe; ...
*PING*
Thomas Sowell

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Recent columns
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Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to or removed from the Thomas Sowell ping list…

2 posted on 04/02/2012 10:20:42 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

And from the “conservative” House we hear...nothing. Again.


3 posted on 04/02/2012 10:22:46 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for the ping to another great article by Dr. Sowell jaz.


4 posted on 04/02/2012 10:23:04 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: rockinqsranch

Dr. Sowell bump.
It’s always a pleasure to read his clear and
concise thoughts.


5 posted on 04/02/2012 10:26:56 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

6 posted on 04/02/2012 10:29:12 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

I usually give Tom an A......once in a while an A+

(A+)


7 posted on 04/02/2012 10:31:40 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Amen...Everyone is aware of this fiasco, some changes have to be made.


8 posted on 04/02/2012 10:34:59 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo; All
"Those who want their votes . . . ."

Dr. Sowell's clarity cuts right through all the "stuff," doesn't it?

9 posted on 04/02/2012 10:38:32 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

Absolutely. I don’t know the number of lawyers on The Hill but between elected people and their staffs it’s a bunch.


10 posted on 04/02/2012 10:44:58 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
What we really need is a law to limit the proportion of lawyers elected to congress to reflect their actual numbers in the general population. < / sarcasm >
11 posted on 04/02/2012 10:49:12 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman

Bump! :-)


12 posted on 04/02/2012 10:55:31 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

And anyone who thinks that the government does not do EXACTLY the same thing is delusional!

Get out there and make some REAL political noise and see how long it is before the IRS comes down on you! Witness current events and the TEA party!


13 posted on 04/02/2012 11:00:44 AM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: jazusamo

loser pays will help. Of course there are too many politicians that are lawyers to get it instituted


14 posted on 04/02/2012 11:05:10 AM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: Vigilanteman
"All the extravagance and incompetence of our present Government is due, in the main, to lawyers, and, in part at least, to good ones. They are responsible for nine-tenths of the useless and vicious laws that now clutter the statute-books, and for all the evils that go with the vain attempt to enforce them. Every Federal judge is a lawyer. So are most Congressmen. Every invasion of the plain rights of the citizens has a lawyer behind it. If all lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mahjong factory, we'd be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by almost a half."

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), "Breathing Space", The Baltimore Evening Sun, 1924

Mr. Mencken was EXACTLY right and nothing has changed!

15 posted on 04/02/2012 11:07:36 AM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: Bigun

Sadly, you’re right on. This IRS/Tea Party thing is criminal but the IRS will not be held accountable with the Obama/Holder conspiracy running things.


16 posted on 04/02/2012 11:16:46 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: paul51

Yep, loser pays would put a screeching halt to most of the abuse but like you say, it won’t happen.


17 posted on 04/02/2012 11:18:58 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: onedoug

The House is controled by the pubbies. That doesn’t mean by conservatives. Sorry to break that to you ...


18 posted on 04/02/2012 11:30:41 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: jazusamo

” loser pays would put a screeching halt “

You are aware, aren’t you, that “loser” in this context will be you and me and every other taxpayer??

Bureaucrats who do the deeds have no skin in the game...


19 posted on 04/02/2012 11:31:22 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: Bigun; jazusamo

“” “All the extravagance and incompetence of our present Government is due, in the main, to lawyers, and, in part at least, to good ones. They are responsible for nine-tenths of the useless and vicious laws that now clutter the statute-books, and for all the evils that go with the vain attempt to enforce them. Every Federal judge is a lawyer. So are most Congressmen. Every invasion of the plain rights of the citizens has a lawyer behind it. If all lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mah jong factory, we’d be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by almost a half.”
—H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), “Breathing Space”, The Baltimore Evening Sun, 1924-08-04. Reprinted in A Carnival of Buncombe. -—————————————————————

If H.L. were to come back alive today, he would die of a heart attack very quickly.

144 posted on Monday, April 02, 2012 11:01:44 AM by stephenjohnbanker

On a different thread at almost the same time.....amazing : )


20 posted on 04/02/2012 11:33:02 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: Uncle Ike

I guess I’m missing something. In the two cases cited in the article where is the government or bureaucrats involved?

I doubt either suit would have been filed if loser was required to pay court and attorney fees.


21 posted on 04/02/2012 11:39:48 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: onedoug
And......?

Tell us what we do while the Abomination of Desolation is in the White House and his running dog lackeys run the Senate.

Here's a thought for you ~ the Nixon, Ford and Carter regimes spent many millions of dollars fighting just me over three veterans preference issues that affected pretty much just me.

Now they didn't spend it all at once, and in fact there were no more than 3 or 4 lawyers on their side for most of the time, but then one day Marvin Runyon was talked into running an enormous RIF at USPS Headquarters and the Regional offices.

Thousands of people were displaced, and Veterans' Preference wasn't recognized.

Surprise, surprise ~ got together with the ringleaders of the resistance, got their lawyers' names, and sent them copies of my THREE CIVIL SERVICE WINS ~ and bingo, it cost you, the postage payer, and you other guys the taxpayers, well over a hundred million dollars to reinstate those folks properly and do it right.

You wouldn't have had to pay the costs if ONE GUY had given me an honest answer in 1972 ~ but, he didn't. I was just one guy, one veteran, and he thought I shouldn't have any special rights to be reinstated in my job after military service.

Well, just darn, ................

The government bureaucrats may be smart but the lawyers at Sears are clever ~ they snaked their way right out of the conflict, and that is always the cheapest way. Grease those squeaky wheels first.

22 posted on 04/02/2012 11:40:53 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Quite ironic that we have a republican form of government composed of (supposedly) three separate and independent branches which, as of this date, is run, almost entirely, by officers of the court i.e. lawyers!


23 posted on 04/02/2012 11:43:02 AM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: jazusamo

” I guess I’m missing something. In the two cases cited in the article where is the government or bureaucrats involved? “

[from the original article at the top of this thread]

“Federal Express paid $3 million to settle an employment discrimination case brought by the U.S. Department of Labor. “


24 posted on 04/02/2012 11:43:23 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: Uncle Ike

You’re correct, I missed it. I still believe it would curtail abusive suits though. Bureaucrats in the Labor and other Depts would be reined in if not from higher ups then by fed judges. It would be worth a try but it won’t happen.


25 posted on 04/02/2012 11:54:27 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Sometime in the seventies, I believe, the notion of “de facto discrimination” was given life in the Federal Court. I believe it was Judge Jack B. Weinstein that gave birth to this succubus. In essence it says that, if there is a statistical disparity in the races in things like housing or employment then it will be assumed that discrimination is afoot and damages will flow. This has reprehensibly crept into present day life as accepted wisdom. Of course this does not hold true for the NBA, the NFL or The Nation of Islam.


26 posted on 04/02/2012 12:01:49 PM PDT by Inwoodian
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To: Tubac414
Ping for Thomas Sowell.
27 posted on 04/02/2012 12:11:32 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: stephenjohnbanker
No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Were the federal Constitution, therefore, really chargeable with the accumulation of power, or with a mixture of powers, having a dangerous tendency to such an accumulation, no further arguments would be necessary to inspire a universal reprobation of the system. I persuade myself, however, that it will be made apparent to every one, that the charge cannot be supported, and that the maxim on which it relies has been totally misconceived and misapplied. In order to form correct ideas on this important subject, it will be proper to investigate the sense in which the preservation of liberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct.

Excerpted from:

The Federalist No. 47 The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts, New York Packet, Wednesday, January 30, 1788,[James Madison]

28 posted on 04/02/2012 12:33:02 PM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: MHGinTN

It was in quotes.


29 posted on 04/02/2012 12:34:56 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Great post. When I went with the family to my S-I-L’s law school graduation, I believe I was the only who felt nervous around over 200 attorney’s and shook my head at the waste of brainpower.


30 posted on 04/02/2012 12:36:46 PM PDT by wordsofearnest (Proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs it. C.S. Lewis)
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To: Bigun

” Quite ironic that we have a republican form of government composed of (supposedly) three separate and independent branches which, as of this date, is run, almost entirely, by officers of the court i.e. lawyers!”

Ironic and disgusting. Notice how they always exempt themselves from laws, and rules that we must abide by : )


31 posted on 04/02/2012 12:48:39 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: Bigun

Perfect! Thanks for posting!


32 posted on 04/02/2012 12:51:27 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: wordsofearnest

” (Proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs it. C.S. Lewis) “

NOT a waste of brain power : )


33 posted on 04/02/2012 12:54:17 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: jazusamo

Wow. Sowell 2012!


34 posted on 04/02/2012 1:13:59 PM PDT by 4Liberty (88% of Americans are NON-UNION. We value honest, peaceful Free trade-NOT protectionist CARTELS)
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To: jazusamo
See now, if we elected a black POtUS that would establish the precedent that discrimination is a thing of the past, and we could get away from all this skin-color malarky.
Well, it sounded like a good theory . . .

35 posted on 04/02/2012 1:15:02 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: Inwoodian
>"Of course this does not hold true for the NBA, the NFL or The Nation of Islam."

You left out the CBC NAACP, and LaRaza.

36 posted on 04/02/2012 2:05:50 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (3 little children murdered by islam, Toulouse March 2012 . Time for the Final Crusade!!!!!)
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To: jazusamo

Many liberals cling to the idea of the thoroughly disproved tabula rasa or blank slate theory where people are simply products of the environmnent where they grew up. Therefore, nobody really earned anything by themselves. Society (and big government) allowed these people to gain whatever they’ve gained, so if big government takes it away from them, it’s more than justified.


37 posted on 04/02/2012 3:45:52 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: jazusamo

Bless Dr. Sowell. A modern day Prophet. BTTT.


38 posted on 04/02/2012 8:18:31 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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To: Vigilanteman
What we really need is a law to limit the proportion of lawyers elected to congress to reflect their actual numbers in the general population. < / sarcasm >

You may have been kidding here, but I'd seriously love to see someone bring up a lawsuit like that on the basis that congress doesn't represent the diversity of occupations in the country.

39 posted on 04/03/2012 3:57:40 AM PDT by YankeeReb
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