The Victim Trap That Keeps People Down

The Victim Trap That Keeps People Down

Walter E. Williams

Society, Americas

Success in this world depends on what you do.

During my student days at a UCLA economics department faculty/graduate student coffee hour in the 1960s, I was chatting with professor Armen Alchian, probably the greatest microeconomic theory economist of the 20th century.

I was trying to impress Alchian with my knowledge of statistical type I and type II errors. I explained that unlike my wife, who assumed that everyone was her friend until they proved differently, my assumption was everyone was an enemy until they proved otherwise.

The result: My wife’s vision maximized the number of her friends but maximized her chances of betrayal. My vision minimized my chances of betrayal at a cost of minimizing the number of my friends.

Alchian, donning a mischievous smile, asked, “Williams, have you considered a third alternative, namely, that people don’t give a damn about you one way or another?”

Initially, I felt a bit insulted, and our conversation didn’t go much further, but that was typical of Alchian—saying something profound, perhaps controversial, without much comment and letting you think it out.

Years later, I gave Alchian’s third alternative considerable thought and concluded that he was right. The most reliable assumption, in terms of the conduct of one’s life, is to assume that people don’t care about you one way or another.

It’s an error to generalize that people are friends or enemies, or that people are out to either help you or hurt you. To put it more crudely, as Alchian did, people don’t give a damn about you one way or another.

Let’s apply this argument to issues of race.

Listening to some people, one might think that white people are engaged in an ongoing secret conspiracy to undermine the achievement and well-being of black people. Their evidence is low black academic achievement and high rates of black poverty, unemployment, and incarceration.

For some, racism is the root cause of most black problems, including the unprecedentedly high black illegitimacy rate and family breakdown.

Are white people obsessed with and engaged in a conspiracy against black people? Here’s an experiment.

Walk up to the average white person and ask, “How many minutes today have you been thinking about black people?” If the person isn’t a Klansman or a gushing do-gooder liberal, his answer would probably be zero minutes.

Read full article


Source : Link to Author

Follow 3-www.NET
Follow
e-News.US
  
Share
e-News.Us



Category Latest Posts