Most analyses of social and economic intergroup differences focus on the immediate surroundings in which people live. Sowell’s writings exposed the limitations of that approach. He concluded that it isn’t the immediate environment per se, but cultural values and human capital – skills, work habits, saving propensities, attitudes toward education and entrepreneurship, developed sometimes over long period of time – that are the more dominant factors in explaining disparities.
-Jason Riley (Maverick)
Culture is that bogeyman that neither the Left wants to admit to nor the Right bringing up as one of the roots of why things either go right – or down the toilet. Like with Biden’s reincarnation of Obama’s AFFH housing policy that will use our tax monies to get local entities to change their zoning laws such that “workforce” housing could be built in a McMansion subdivision. Part of it is to stick a pointy stick in the eyes of “The Rich”. Meanwhile, the “marketing words” is that if those that are oppressed and disadvantaged are in the same neighborhoods, the outcomes of the children will be better.
But the proponents miss the point – it is CULTURE that makes a difference in outlook, educational emphasis, work ethics, motivation, and the like. You know, the same attributes that Critical Race Theory condemns as “White Privilege”. So which is to hold – even when Blacks may be in those McMansions as well having inculcated with those attributes.
But those moving into that workforce housing? Good intentions are only that – good intentions (if not the sharp end of that stick) as Democrats really don’t care about real results and adjusting for deleterious outcomes. Will they assimilate to what has made that neighborhood “successful” – absorb its culture? Or will it turn out to be yet another failure of the Democrat philosophy of multiculturalism?
And if you don’t like that one, what about the Culture of Gun Crime in the major Democrat controlled Cities like Chicago? Why do they tolerate that Culture that diminishes the value of Life and the value of Due Process over vigilantism by gangbangers? If you remove the top five worst counties, we almost flatline it. But seldom will the Left consider
“Why is it that Rural Areas DON’T have the same proportionate percentages as we do? What is it about THEIR Culture in that they have more guns but less crime?
Naw, that would be too easy, too inciteful, and too revealing that the problem isn’t about guns, it’s about the Culture.
Sowell is right – economists and pundits too often have disregarded the important and force of Culture in fashioning behavior.
(H/T: Cafe Hayek)