By Thomas Sowell
A suite of essays that discusses such concerns because the media, immigration, the minimal salary and multiculturalism.
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Extra resources for Barbarians inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays
Hospitals and doctors, for example, are sometimes judged by the mortality rates of their patients. Commonsensical as this may sound, it violates one of the most elementary requirements for valid statistics: There is no comparable group of patients with whom these mortality rates can be compared. Some of the best hospitals and some of the best doctors get the toughest cases. If they can save three-quarters of the cases on which others have given up, that is a major achievement, even if it leaves them with a 25 percent mortality rate.
But if the Environmental Protection Agency goes off the deep end, there is no alternative agency doing the same thing that you can turn to instead. Even when a particular corporation seems to have a monopoly of its product, as the Aluminum Company of American once did, it must compete with substitute products. If Alcoa had jacked up the price of aluminum to exploit its monopoly position, many things that were made of aluminum would have begun to be made of steel, plastic, and numerous other materials.
Government-funded efforts to get more government funding is the political equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. A steady drumbeat of alarms about "overpopulation," punctuated from time to time by headline-producing conferences, is one result. How real is the danger that we are being constantly warned about? The short answer is that the Malthusians have had nearly two centuries since Malthus first wrote about this supposed danger in 1798, and they have yet to show any correlation between population and poverty.