Thomas Sowel Quotes

Europeans became mass traders of African slaves largely by purchase from Africa‘s more powerful tribes and empires. -- P. 195

Economics is not about the financial fate of individuals. It is about the material well- being of society as a whole. -- P. 3

For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not the distilled experiences of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before. -- P. 118

Although Hispanics have overtaken blacks numerically as part of the population, blacks still receive more doctorates than Hispanics. While the Asian American population is only a fraction of the size of either the black or Hispanic population, Asian Americans receive more doctorates than Hispanics and nearly as many as blacks. -- P. 155

Despite the name, capitalism is not an 'ism.' It is not a philosophy but an economy. -- P. 207

Striking changes in productivity among peoples can be traced to transfers of cultural capital from others- -- P. 333

World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, between them, gave the Ivory Coast 26 'structural adjustment loans' during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s, while per capita income declined and the country collapsed into civil war. -- P. 212

Self-exaltation introduces a bias into consideration of many issues. For example, it creates a vested interest in the incapacity of other people. That is, there is not only a tendency to see people as helpless and not responsible for their actions, there is a tendency toward policies and programs which in fact reduce them to that condition and induce them to accept that image of themselves, while the anointed visionaries play the role of rescuer. -- P. 139

With all of its intellectual and material accomplishments, Mayan civilization could hardly be considered humanitarian. One of its central priorities was war and one of its chief priorities in war was the capture, torture, and slaughter of enemy soldiers and leaders...While atrocities have occurred around the world, this was a society in which such behavior was not simply accepted, but systematized and celebrated. -- P. 267

-moral equivalence- whatever form it takes- is moral self-exaltation. -- P. 137

In reality, the proportion of women in the professions and other higher level positions was greater during the first decades of the twentieth century than in the middle of the twentieth century- and all of this was before either anti-discrimination laws or the rise of the feminist movement. -- P. 58

Everything fails by irrelevant standards. -- P. 207

In the first half of the century, the great unions were in mining, automobiles, steel, and trucking. But as the twentieth century drew to a close, the large and growing unions were those of government employees. -- P. 164

Again, it is necessary to note how price is a factor even in racial discrimination. That is, surplus labor resulting from minimum wage laws makes it cheaper to discriminate against minority workers than it would be in a free market, where there is no chronic excess supply of labor. -- P. 158

Among Yale alumni in their forties, 'only 56 percent of the women still worked, compared with 90% of the men,' according to the New York Times. -- P. 70

In traditional terms, what preferential policies create is a playing field tilting in favor of those whose performance on a level playing field would be inadequate. -- P. 163

morality, or courage...This there are no 'solutions' in the tragic vision, but only trade- offs that still leave many desires unfulfilled and much unhappiness in the world. -- P. 113

It is not visions that are dangerous. What is dangerous are insulated visions. -- P. 141

If everything were made affordable, there would still not be any more to go around then when things were prohibitively expensive. -- P. 46

The anointed do not simply happen to have a distain for the public. Such distain is an integral part of their vision, for the central feature of that vision is preemption of the decisions of others. -- P. 124