Monday, February 11, 2008

Facts and Fallacies

Mindful of the sage advice, "It isn't what you don't know that hurts you. It's what you know for sure that just isn't so," Thomas Sowell has published a new book, Economics Facts and Fallacies.

Among the fallacies he discusses are:

1. Government programs are needed to create “affordable housing.” (Actually, government intervention is what has made housing so unaffordable in places where even hovels are expensive.)

2. Employer discrimination is the main reason for differences in income between women and men. (Tons of evidence point in other directions.)

3. College tuition is going up so fast because of rising costs. (Only if you call voluntary increases in spending “rising costs.”)

4. Foreign aid helps poor countries become more prosperous. (Only if you don’t look at the evidence.)

5. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. (It all depends on whether you are talking about flesh and blood human beings or statistical brackets.)

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