Wednesday, June 02, 2004

  Racism and Individual Opportunity

Since the end of the civil war America has been the land of opportunity. Meaning that with luck, hard work and clever decisions you could improve your life. Your parents could have been sharecroppers and you could be a doctor. This basic fact seem obvious because this is how life works.

Well this is NOT how life works. In most of the world there is NO social mobility. Americans are the hardest working people in the world, why ? Because if you work hard/smart you can benefit from your labor. In the rest of the world people don't work hard since they can't benefit from their labor.

The #1 reason why people come to America is to improve their lot in life.

Racism is a problem for two reasons. First it is an extra obstacle to improving one's lot in life. There is a reason why we were told you have to be twice as good to accomplish the same results (though it would be better expressed as you have to work twice as hard). The second and bigger reason in my opinion why racism is a problem is that it makes those afflicted by racism believe that there is NO opportunity. If you believe there is no opportunity then there is no reason to work hard/smart because you can not benefit from your labors. And in America if you don't work hard/smart most opportunities will pass you by.

Update to this Post: Apparently Thomas Sowell has some things to say on this issue today also. "An absolute majority of the people who were in the bottom 20 percent in income in 1975 have since then also been in the top 20 percent. "
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