tant information about the determinantsnof success or it may have more than itsnshare of nonsense. What Jencks and hisnfellow authors have omitted almostncompletely is any theoretical underpinningnfor all of their laborious statisticalnwork. Without adequate theoreticalnunderpinning, we are simply at anloss to say whether the statistics meannanything. For example, among thosenwho teach statistics, a story has circulatednof an erudite statistician who oncenbecame fed up with the large volume ofncorrelations which people were using tonjustify all sorts of ideas and programs.nHe used the most sophisticated testsnand procedures and, with tongue inncheek, demonstrated how the amount ofnrainfall in Chicago influenced the juvenilendelinquency rate in New York. Ofncourse, there is no causal link betweennthose two factors, but that point appearsnto be overlooked in a fair amount of thenresearch done in the social sciences.nCorrelation among variables, without anreasonable and logical explanation ofnhow one factor influences the other, isnmeaningless. The statistical work atnbest can lend support to or raise questionsnabout theories of human behavior.nIt can never by itself establish causenand effect.nThe second matter of fundamentalnimportance is a policy issue. Who GetsnAhead? is, in final analysis, a treatisenon how to bring greater equality to thendistribution of income. If it could bendetermined what factors bring economicnsuccess, the implication is that governmentnpolicy should either attempt tonalter those determinants so as to reducenthe “edge” of those with large incomenpotential or at least should try tonstrengthen that set of factors amongnthe poor. For those who follow suchndiscussions, it is worth noting thatnJencks’s work leaves him with an unhappyn(for him) conclusion. Becausentheir statistical work seems to indicaten(spuriously, in this reviewer’s opinion)nthat family background is a primaryndeterminant of economic success, andnbecause there is little that policy can donabout family background (Orwell, wherenare you.’), Jencks closes his book withnthis statement: “Thus, if we want tonredistribute income, the most effectivenstrategy is probably still to redistributenincome.” That lament betrays an acceptancenof the redistributionist ethic, andnI suspect Jencks would not hesitate tonadmit to such a belief. But suppose hisnwork had revealed—with all the necessaryntheoretical foundation—that therenwere three or four factors which unquestionablyndetermine a person’s economicnsuccess. Further, suppose thatngovernment then goes to work on thosenfactors so as to equalize everyone’snchance of success. What then becomesnof the human race? With the causativenfactors equalized, success then becomesna game of chance, a throw of the dice.nIt is a short step from facing life withnsuch a total randomness imposed byn”society” to concluding that any effortnis simply not worthwhile. When menngive up struggling and striving, theynlose their humanness.nThat is to say, the debate over incomeninequality misses the basic point ofnhuman existence. We are here to utilizenMusing on CapitalismnCapitalism: Sources of Hostility;nEdited by Ernest van den Haag;nEpoch Books; New Rochelle, NewnYork.nby William F. CampbellnIn March 1975, the Liberty Fundnheld a conference to explore the variousnsources of hostility to the market system.nThe result is this book, edited bynProfessor van den Haag, and publishednfor the Heritage Foundation. Besidesnan introduction by van den Haag andna summarizing chapter by Stanley Roth-nDr. Campbell is Professor of Economicsnat Louisiana State University.nnnour talents and capabilities to the utmost.nThere is no guarantee that lifenwill be easy. In fact, those who presumablyn”have it easy” very often face thengreatest challenge of all: to get off theirnduffs and make something of whatevernyears they have left. Inequality is notnjust an incentive to the poor to worknharder—it is equally a challenge tonthose who do not have to work. Thenredistributionists, with all their goodnintentions, fail to understand that angood life is not measured by your finalnstatus (economic or otherwise) butnrather by how well you have used whatnyou have had. It is undeniable thatneconomic poverty is an unpleasant situation,nbut it in no way is a barrier tonhappiness and satisfaction. Spiritualnpoverty, the kind that stands in the waynof a person doing his best and strivingnhis hardest, is an absolutely impenetrablenbarrier to that same happinessnand satisfaction. For that reason. WhonGets Ahead? is—or should be— a purelynacademic exercise. This reviewer shuddersnto think of policy implicationsnbeing drawn from it, as they surely will.nSuch is the dismal state of the socialnsciences today. •nman, the bulk of the book is three majornpapers delivered by van den Haag, PeternBauer and Lewis S. Feuer, followed byncomments from Roger Starr, NathannGlazer and Dale Vree respectively.nWhether the sources are envy, lustnfor power, Oedipal problems or evennnarrow self-interest, the prospects forncapitalism seem bleak. In fact, thisnseems to be the only unifying threadnamong the participants. The majornsource of disagreement lies in the definitionsnof rationality and irrationalitynand their conformity to economic patternsnof reasoning. Let us explore thesenthemes in the individual contributions.nVan den Haag sets the stage in hisnintroduction by criticizing economistsnMarch April 1980n