Free of columny, as William Safire called it, Thomas Sowell is writing books — as he always has, to be sure. His latest is “Discrimination and Disparities.” It does what Sowell books, and columns, always do. It teaches you important things.

With Jay, Sowell talks about human diversity. He talks about equality of opportunity and equality of results. (Two very different things.) He talks about the manipulation of statistics, a sore point.

Also on the agenda are race, ethnicity, language, trade, conservatism — and old-fashioned virtues such as punctuality. It’s not a small thing.

At the end, Jay asks Sowell sort of a mushy, Oprah-esque question (as Jay himself says): Are you understanding yet more, as you get older? No substitute for experience, says Sowell.

A conversation with Thomas Sowell is always an education and a pleasure. The audio is imperfect on this one — not exactly studio-smooth — but Sowell gets his points across, no problem. 

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  1. Taras Coolidge

    A bit orkerd; I suspect Jay didn’t have a chance to read the book.

     Extending Sowell’s point about punctuality:  a small farmer from Latin America may be accustomed to working very, very hard, but it doesn’t especially matter exactly when he starts his day or when he finishes it.

    This is the kind of thing that he would have to learn for when he’s working with other people; e.g., if somebody else can’t go home until he arrives. 

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