Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The most persecuted minority 

One of my favorite Ayn Rand quotes -- yes, I have more than one -- noted here:
If a small group of men were always regarded as guilty, in any clash with any other group, regardless of the issues or circumstances involved, would you call it persecution? If this group were always made to pay for the sins, errors, or failures of any other group, would you call that persecution? If this group had to live under a silent reign of terror, under special laws, from which all other people were immune, laws which the accused could not grasp or define in advance and which the accuser could interpret in any way he pleased � would you call that persecution? If this group were penalized, not for its faults, but for its virtues, not for its incompetence, but for its ability, not for its failures, but for its achievements, and the greater the achievement, the greater the penalty � would you call that persecution?

If your answer is "yes" � then ask yourself what sort of monstrous injustice you are condoning, supporting, or perpetuating. That group is the American businessman�

HedgeFundGuy notes that the persecution continues at the New York Times by comparing three different ledes from the Sunday paper. He concludes:
I was a teaching assistant for college freshman in Introductory Economics courses. Their view of economic development was highly colored by these journalistic prejudices, believing the rich parasites and cheats. If such businessmen were historically disadvantaged minorities we would be warned about generalizing, about dehumanizing them, about neglecting their many positive attributes, or putting their vices into perspective through comparisons. In fact, even though the black homicide rate is 7 times that of whites, or that little old ladies are less likely to hijack an airplane than young middle eastern men, those same journalists argue that it is imperative that all people are treated the same. For most people, generalizing is over or under used, on a selective basis, for the "greater good".

Here's a more detailed analysis of the disease.