Freakonomics on the KKK

… with more on real-estate agents. I read “How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents?” So after posting last night and finishing a couple of sections of the NYTimes and a weeks-old New Yorker, I went back to Freakonomics. And read the truly depressing chapter on the similarities between the two groups. At this point I’m getting the impression that the Freakonomists (?) hate real-estate agents, a lot. The beginning of the chapter is a truly enlightening description of how one man almost single handedly exposed the Klan and blunted its impact, apparently forever. He revealed passwords, sent information to the lead media guy of the day, and generally laid bare the dirty underbelly of ties to business people, law enforcement and so forth.

The similarity to real estate agents has nothing to do with terror or with territory, for that matter. It has to do with the power of words, which they had fully developed in the KKK section. People  have questioned the Freakonomists’ assertions.  If I call them assumptions, then I have to loop back to yesterday’s post.

Speaking of the power of words, did anyone ask Levitt and Dubner why in all their references to the people who sell property, they never used the word Realtor? There’s a history there – and it has to do with that capital R, which you better use if you don’t want a nasty letter from the r.e. association.


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