Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Racial profiling controversy is nothing new. For a number of years, black Americans have made charges of racial profiling by police and store personnel who might give them extra scrutiny. Clever phrases have emerged, such as "driving while black" and now "flying while Muslim," but they don't help much in terms of understanding. Let's apply some economic analysis to the issue.

God, or some other omniscient being, would never racially profile. Why? Since He is all-knowing, He'd know who is and is not a terrorist or a criminal. We humans are not all-knowing. While a god would have perfect and complete information about everything, we humans have less than perfect and incomplete information. That means we must use substitutes such as guesses and hunches for certain kinds of information. It turns out that some physical attributes are highly correlated with other attributes that are less easily, or more costly, observed.

Let's look at a few, and the associated "profiling," that cause little or no controversy. Mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases were approximately 30 percent higher among black adults than among white adults. The Pima Indians of Arizona have the world's highest known diabetes rates. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as white men. Would anyone bring racial profiling charges against a doctor who routinely ordered more frequent blood tests and prostate screening among his black patients and more glucose tolerance tests for his Pima Indian patients? Of course, God wouldn't have to do that because He'd know for sure which patient was more prone to cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer and diabetes.

It is clear, whether we like it or not, or want to say it or not, that there is a strong correlation between terrorist acts and being a Muslim, and being black and high rates of crime. That means if one is trying to deter terrorism and in some cases capture a criminal, he would expend greater investigatory resources on Muslims and blacks. A law-abiding Muslim who's given extra airport screening or a black who's stopped by the police is perfectly justified in being angry, but with whom should he be angry? I think a Muslim should be angry with those who've made terrorism and Muslim synonymous and blacks angry with those who've made blacks and crime synonymous. The latter is my response to the insulting sounds of car doors locking sometimes when I'm crossing a street in downtown Washington, D.C., or when taxi drivers pass me by.

It would be a serious misallocation of resources if airport security intensively screened everyone. After all, intensively screening someone who had a near zero probability of being a terrorist, such as an 80-year-old woman using a walker, would not only be a waste but it would take resources away from screening a person with a much higher probability of being a terrorist.

More here:



Global cooling! Midsummer snow in Australia: "Victorians dreaming of a white Christmas had their wish come true this morning, with snow falling in parts of the state. Early morning snow is reported to have fallen in the south-east suburbs at Keysborough, Dandenong North, Rowville and Kalorama in the Dandenongs. Snow also capped Victoria's Mt Buller, Lake Mountain and possibly Mt Baw Baw, where the temperature plunged to minus two degrees this morning. Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Ward Rooney said snow had or would fall to higher than about 900 metres above sea level today. [It proves nothing of course but Greenies claim that any unusual hot weather shows global warming so I am following suit]

Zimbabwe Food Crisis Worsens : "Ever since Zimbabwe's black racist dictator Robert Mugabe drove away productive white farmers, stole their land and gave it to his incompentent cronies and the equally incompentent land-invading thugs that called themselves "war veterans", Zimbabwe's economy has been collapsing... Now, the food crisis and therefore the general economic crisis has worsened further. At least one third of the population in this once food exporting country will require food aid from abroad to survive, while unemployment have reached 80% and inflation 600%. The latter number is rising rapidly as food prices rose 30% just during the latest week."

Toyota to trump GM: "Toyota is soon expected to overtake General Motors as the world's No. 1 car maker. The company said it expected to produce 9.42 million vehicles worldwide next year. That figure would give the Japanese car maker a clear lead over its US rival, which produced about 9.2 million vehicles this year but was struggling to deal with competition from Japanese and Korean vehicle manufacturers. GM has not released a production target for next year, but falling sales mean it is unlikely to build on this year's total. Toyota has dented GM's market share in North America with its range of fuel-efficient cars which appeal to drivers concerned about mileage and pollution. Interest in its hybrid cars, notably the Prius, has increased as a result of rising oil prices. Growing demand in North America has prompted Toyota to consider opening another plant there. [Congratulations to the UAW!]

More union stupidity: "Labor union problems in Denver are part of what forced the Democrats to delay their decision on which city will host their 2008 convention. The leader of Denver's Theatrical Stage Employees Union is refusing to sign a no-strike pledge. The head of the city's host committee says a lack of full union support is "probably a deal-breaker." Denver's City Council president says - "the irony is we are wanting to pay hundreds of union people and pay them union salaries, and we would think that's what they want."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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