Thomas Sowel Quotes

If I could offer one piece of advice to young people thinking about their future, it would be this: Don't preconceive. Find out what the opportunities are.

It is not only theoretically possible to have more discrimination where there is less bias or prejudice, and less discrimination where there more bias and prejudice, this has in fact happened in more than one country. The degree to which subjective attitudes are translated into overt acts of discrimination depends on the costs of doing so. Where those costs are very high, even very prejudiced or biased people may engage in little or no discrimination...Personal costs can lead to actions either more adverse or less adverse than the individual‘s own beliefs or feelings. -- P. 168 - 169

A slave in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century cost thirty times what he cost on the coast of Africa. American slave-owners were very reluctant to lose this kind of investment- so much so that they often hired Irish immigrants to do work considered too dangerous for slaves. -- P. 160

-a polemical tactic has developed which enables virtually any general statement, however true, to be flatly denied, simply because it is not 100 percent true in all circumstances. -- P. 91

One third of free colored families in New Orleans owned slaves and 3,000 'free persons of color' joined the Confederate army during the Civil War. Charleston, another exception, had many slave-owning 'free persons of color' from the British West Indies and Santo Domingo. -- P. 161

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

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

Having it all- a career and a family and an upscale lifestyle- is fine but doing it all is often harder for a woman, given the usual division of domestic responsibilities between the sexes and the inevitable differences in childbearing. -- P. 68

Advocates of diversity in a race or gender sense are often quite hostile to ideological diversity, when it includes traditional or 'conservative' values and beliefs. -- P. 95

“Four things have almost invariably followed the imposition of controls to keep prices below the level they would reach under supply and demand in a free market: (1) increased use of the product or service whose price is controlled, (2) Reduced supply of the same product or service, (3) quality deterioration, (4) black markets.” — P.93

As far back as 1969, black males who came from homes where there were newspapers, magazines, and library cards had the same incomes as whites from similar homes and with the same number of years of schooling. In the 1970‘s black husband-and-wife families outside the South earned as much as white husband-and-wife families outside the South. By 1981, for the country as a whole, black husband-and-wife families where both were college educated and both working earned slightly more than white families of the same description. -- P. 57

-criminal activity in general has tended to vary inversely with the risk of imprisonment. -- P. 48

What can any society hope to gain by having some babies in that society born into the world with a priori grievances against other babies born into that same society on the same day? -- P. 251

-power is the ability to restrict people‘s options and freedom is an exemption from having one‘s options restricted in such matters as religion or the expression of ideas. -- P. 176

When facts about racial or ethnic groups that are both known and relevant are deliberately suppressed because they would undermine a particular vision, or agenda, then history is prostituted and cannot serve as a check against visions, because facts have been subordinated to visions. -- P. 277

-what successively removed various peoples of the world from the ranks of those vulnerable to being enslaved was the long process of consolidation of state power, whether their own or that of European imperialist nations. -- P. 13

The percentage of employed blacks who were professional and technical workers rose less in the five years following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than in the five years preceding it. -- P. 49

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

-while man may discriminate against various minorities, nature discriminates against whole nations and continents. -- P. 348

Of the chief executive officers of the 50 largest American corporations surveyed in 2006, only four had Ivy League degrees and just over half graduated from state colleges, or a community college. -- P. 105