Amy Chua coined the term “market dominant minority” in her book “World On Fire” to describe an ethnic minority which becomes disproportionately wealthy compared to the ethnic majority of a region. Think the Chinese in many parts of Southeast Asia. Too often this can lead inter-ethnic strife, as majority population resentment builds against the more successful minority group.
In his latest column, Thomas Sowell describes the recent outcry against oil industry profits and corporate executive pay in similar terms:
Nothing is easier, or more emotionally satisfying, than blaming high prices on those who charge them, rather than on those who cause them. The same thing happens when stores in high-crime neighborhoods charge higher prices than stores in safer neighborhoods.
Both crime and precautions against crime add to the cost of doing business and this adds to the prices. But seldom, if ever, do those who decry the high prices blame those prices on the crime, vandalism, and violence committed by local inhabitants.
Where the stores are owned by a different ethnic group, such as Asians in black ghettoes, it is virtually guaranteed that the store owners will be denounced for "gouging," "discrimination" and whatever other political rhetoric will rouse the emotions.
People with no experience in business, no knowledge of history, and utterly ignorant of economics do not hesitate to leap from high prices to greedy profit-makers. Many of these ignorant people are on nationwide television and some are in Congress.
To make things perfectly clear, then, according to Sowell oil execs are like Asians and America is like a black ghetto. Good to know.
Is Thinking Obsolete? [RealClearPolitics]