Anomaly or Pattern?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

The Fort Hood shooting is an example of how an event can be considered an anomaly or a broad pattern, depending on preconceptions:

The major media and the White House have a strong belief that Muslim extremism is idiosyncratic and mainly irrelevant. As Chris Matthews stated, ‘we may never know if religion was a factor at Fort Hood’ (who’s this ‘we’ kemosabe?). Obama cautioned against ‘jumping to conclusions. The New York Times has the headline articles “Army Chief Concerned for Muslim Troops, and also Little Evidence of Terror Plot in Base Killings, and finally, Painful Stories Take a Toll on Military Therapists. The narrative they want to tell is that a poor psychologist was overwhelmed by the stress of listening to troops discuss their stress by going over to Iraq, and that the biggest problem created by this event is anti-Muslim bigotry.

Consider that when 4 college kids were killed at Kent State in 1970 it was quickly decided this was the signature event of how the government war machine was killing unarmed American kids, as opposed to an unintended accident caused by students bent on increasing anarchy until something happened. James Byrd was a black man murdered by some white supremacists in 1998. There are prime time documentaries, foundations, and major references by politicians and pundits on this event, as if it signified a broad issue. Actually it was highly unusual, most interracial violence involves black perpetrators and white victims, the disparity in crime propensity is on the order of the male/female difference.

Events are either anomalies or examples of a pattern based on a simple politically correct view of how the world works, still based on Marx’s class lens: the dominant class is responsible for everything bad done by everyone, either directly or indirectly. The Statistical Abstract of the United States has lots of tables on crime victimization by race, but not the perpetrator by race, because we don’t want to blame the victim.

How does this relate to Falkenstein’s area of expertise, finance?

The Fed keeps easy to read data on mortgage rejection rates by race, but hides default rates by race, which has led to innumerable simplistic newspaper stories that have ‘proved’ rampant discrimination by banks.
If the statistical disparity was simply due to bigoted discrimination, closing the gap would be costless. As they say, things always end badly, otherwise, they wouldn’t end. Once subprime blew up, sticking with the Marxist narrative right-thinking people were quick to blame banks for forcing ill-advised mortgages on minorities.

The same principle is involved in education, crime, and borrowing, that of seeing any behavior by socially disadvantaged groups as more evidence of their victimization by the dominant majority. Policies predicated on mistaken assumptions make things worse. By promoting the belief that bigotry accounts for most of every disadvantaged group disparity, the PC elites are doing more harm than good to everyone. Their bad solutions are then applied to everyone, creating a race to the bottom based on great intentions.

Leave a Reply