Thomas Sowel Quotes

In 1899, there were four academic public high schools in Washington, D.C.- one black and three white. In standardized tests given that year, students in the black high school averaged higher test scores than students in two of three white schools. -- P. 204

Distinguishing discrimination from differences in qualifications and performance is not easy in practice, though the distinction is fundamental in principle. -- P. 140

What an increasingly common world culture offers is an opportunity for better mutual understanding. But opportunities alone are not the whole story. It is what people do with their opportunities that determines the course of history. -- P. 379

On issue after issue, the morally self anointed visionaries have for centuries argued as if no honest disagreement were possible, as if those who opposed them were not merely in error but in sin. -- P. 103

-if everybody is greedy, then the word is virtually meaningless. -- P. 322

-evidence is too dangerous- politically, financially and psychologically- for some people to allow it to become a threat to their interests or to their sense of themselves. -- P. 2

-the simple formula of hysteria-by-quotient has been creating false alarms-and best selling books-for more than a century. -- P. 70

they have already earned-never to those wanting to take other people‘s money in taxes or to those wishing to live on the largess dispenses from such taxation. -- P. 186

Black-owned banks in the United States have tended to have high rates of failure and the surviving black banks have tended to invest outside their community even more than white banks. . .Here too, often 'the poor pay more' because they live in neighborhoods with higher costs of providing those goods and services. -- P. 111 - 112

That outside interests should see 40 million school children as a captive audience to be exploited is not so difficult to comprehend as the fact that educators themselves are not merely acquiescent, but are often enthusiastic apostles of these innumerable non- academic courses and programs. -- P. 32

Even in the absence of differences in toil or reward, the seeming conjuring of wealth out of thin air, apparently by 'overcharging' others or making them pay back more money than was lent, has been seen as parasitic activity, rather than as a contribution to the well- being of the community. -- P. 70

Edward, for example, was a popular name in Virginia and in Wessex, from which many Virginians emigrated, but the first forty classes of undergraduates at Harvard College included only one student named Edward. It would be nearly two centuries before Harvard admitted anyone named Patrick, though this was a common name in western Pennsylvania, where the Scotch-Irish were settled. -- P. 82

The instrumental nature of justice and its consequent subordination at times to other social imperatives, is a recurring theme in the constrained vision. Implicit in this subordination of justice to order in the constrained vision is the conclusion that man will suffer more by the breakdown of order-even an unjust order-than by some injustices. -- P. 174

There may be a curriculum listed in the college catalogue but it can mean little if there are many disparate options for meeting a particular curriculum requirement- if, for example, a course on the history of motion pictures can be used to satisfy a social science requirement instead of a course on leading nations or empires of the world. Thus a student may graduate from some of the most prestigious colleges in the country fundamentally ignorant of history and all the insights and implications of history. -- P. 93

Yet nothing has been more common in history than for victims to become oppressors when they gain power. -- P. 250

Those who believe that "basic necessities" should belong to people as a matter of right ignore the implication -- that people are to work only for amenities, frivolities, and ego. Will that mean more work or less work? And if less, where are all those "basic necessities" coming from that the government is supposed to hand out?

In effect, the college athlete in big-time sports is buying a lottery ticket and paying for it with his body and with four years of his life. He may also pay for it through the corrosive cynicism generated by participating in the various shabby tricks designed to maintain his eligibility to play, pretending to be a student while avoiding the demands of real education. -- P. 241

Although slavery in the United States was referred to as a 'peculiar institution, slavery was in fact one of the oldest and most widespread institutions on Earth. -- P. 186

-visions can acquire a tyrannical sway over people‘s minds by offering them an exalted sense of themselves in exchange for their loyalty to the vision through all the vicissitudes of facts to the contrary. -- P. 136

Efficiency is the difference between having the necessities, comforts and amenities of high income countries and suffering the hunger and deprivations too often found in poor countries. -- P. 117