Thomas Sowel Quotes

Many Americans who supported the initial thrust of civil rights, as represented by the Brown v. Board of Education decision and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, later felt betrayed as the original concept of equal opportunity evolved toward the concept of equal group results. -- P. 37

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

When the anointed say that there is a crisis this means that something must be done–and it must be done simply because the anointed want it done. This word becomes one of many substitutes for evidence or logic. — P. 182

Ideals are weighed against the cost of achieving them in the constrained vision. But in the unconstrained vision, every closer approximation to the ideal should be preferred. Costs are regrettable, but by no means decisive. -- P. 34

As is common with accrediting organizations, all the things cited as factors in the American Bar Association‘s accreditation decisions are inputs into the educational process, rather than the outputs of qualified graduates. -- P. 99

The most important reason why women earn less than men is not that they are paid less for doing the very same work but that they are distributed differently among jobs and have fewer hours and less continuity in the labor force. Among college-educated, never married individuals with no children who worked full time and were from 40 to 64 years old- that is, beyond the child bearing years- men averaged $40,000 a year in income, while women averaged $47,000. -- P. 70

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

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

sharp contrast to the French Revolution, which gave sweeping powers, including the power of life and death, to those who spoke in the name of 'the people' -- P. 32

Those blacks with less education and less job experience- the truly disadvantaged- have been falling farther and farther behind their white counterparts under affirmative action, during the same years when blacks with more education and job experience have been advancing economically, both absolutely and relative to their white counterparts. -- P. 52

Calls for 'forgiveness' of loans to Third World governments are frequently heard and heeded, as if rewarding financial irresponsibility by officials doing the borrowing is going to lift poor countries out of poverty. -- P. 212

The charge is often made against the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed that their theories and the policies based on them lack common sense. But the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else? — P. 248

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

reward or by producing equal performances. Since the latter is all but impossible, if only because everyone is not equally interested in the same kinds of performances, the passion for equality leads toward a divorce of performance and reward- which is to say a divorce of incentive and behavior, and even a divorce of cause and effect in out minds. -- P. 94

Frederick Law Olmsted‘s response to the claim that blacks were no more capable of being educated than animals were was to ask why there were no laws forbidding animals from being educated. The very need for such a law undermined the belief that was used to justify the law. -- P. 168

and to impose them on others is not education but intimidation, violating the very 'mutual respect' that is supposedly being promoted. -- P. 253

As for the racism of whites as an explanation of black educational deficiencies, there are enough black-run schools, colleges, and universities where there would be dramatically better results than white-run institutions, if racism were the explanation. But no such dramatic differences are visible. -- P. 227

Alternatives to a market economy may express nobler sentiments but the bottom line is whether this in fact leads to better behavior in terms of serving their fellow human being. -- P. 25

Although slavery has come to be identified with the enslavement of Africans, that too ignores the long history and vast scope of the institution. The very word 'slave' is derived from the Slaves, who were enslaved on a massive scale and were often sold into bondage all across the continent of Europe an in the Ottoman Empire. -- P. 186

-many of the problems of very poor countries are internal, however politically unpalatable that may be to the inhabitants of those countries or to those on the Western world who prefer other explanations. This conclusion is reinforced by the history of very poor countries that rose rapidly to higher economic levels, such as Scotland in the eighteenth century, Japan in the nineteenth century and China in the twentieth century. In all cases, they raised themselves economically through internal changes, brought on by recognition that such internal changes were necessary. -- P. 215