One hardly concerns oneself with Thomas Sowell, because who gives a shit. "I have made it out of the ghetto and now I work for the Hoover Institute." That is a hot one.
But there exist such things as laffs, and so, here is Thomas Sowell.
This may be the golden age of presumptuous ignorance.
This may be my balls. Or it may not be my balls. Let us explore this Intriguing Question.
The most recent demonstrations of that are the Occupy Wall Street mobs. It is doubtful how many of these semi-literate sloganizers could tell the difference between a stock and a bond.
No it isn't! Fuck you!
Yet there they are, mouthing off about Wall Street on television, cheered on by politicians and the media.
"Mouthing off about Wall Street on television" is very wonderful. The peasants are revolting! (You know the punchline.)
When Barack Obama speaks loftily about "investing in the industries of the future," does anyone ask: What in the world would qualify him to know what are the industries of the future?
How many shady derivatives schemes did HE run!
Why would people who have spent their careers in politics know more about investing than people who have spent their careers as investors?
Why aren't "people who have spent their careers as investors" in jail?
Presumptuous ignorance is not confined to politicians or rowdy political activists, by any means. From time to time, I get a huffy letter or e-mail from a reader who begins, "You obviously don't know what you are talking about..."
Listen to your mother.
The particular subject may be one on which my research assistants and I have amassed piles of research material and official statistics. It may even be a subject on which I have written a few books, but somehow the presumptuously ignorant just know that I didn't really study that issue, because my conclusions don't agree with theirs or with what they have heard.
At one time I was foolish enough to try to reason with such people. But one of the best New Year's resolutions I ever made, some years ago, was to stop trying to reason with unreasonable people. It has been good for my blood pressure and probably for my health in general.
Becoming a "fellow" at the Hoover Institute means never having to admit you're a hack. (People who aren't frauds don't write paragraphs like these.)
As just one example, the Postal Service has a multi-billion dollar line of credit at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Hey, we could all use a few billions, every now and then, to get us over the rough spots. But we are not the Postal Service.
No, we are Goldman Sachs. Burn!
Also the US Postal Service, a federal government institution, doesn't have to pay federal taxes to the federal government, which proves that the the Founders were communists. (Honestly....)
One of the reasons for so much presumptuous ignorance flourishing in our time may be the emphasis on "self-esteem" in our schools and colleges.
The problem may be more severe in our Hoover Institutes.