Thomas Sowel Quotes

History is the memory of the human race. For an individual to wake up some morning with no memory would be devastating. -- P. 276

Despite such favoritism and scandal , most top-level (division I-A) football and basketball players do not graduate...Then, when the student‘s eligibility eventually runs out, he finds himself out on the street with no skills, no degree, and perhaps no character. -- P. 243 - 244

-the cultural capital of a people is crucial to their economic and social advancement, whether that people is a racial minority, a nation-state, or a whole civilization. -- P. 368

Language is thus the epitome of an evolved complex order, with its own systemic characteristics, inner logic, and external social consequences-but without having been deliberately designed by any individual or council. Its rationality is systemic, not individual-an evolved pattern rather than an excogitated blueprint. -- P. 69

Studies from more recent times have shown that the education of black students has been negatively affected by the presence of large numbers of other black students. -- P. 223

If one goes through enough numbers, one will eventually come upon some statistics that seem to fit one‘s vision. These are what might be called 'Aha!' statistics. Other statistics which suggest opposite conclusions bring no 'Aha!' but are more likely to be glided over and forgotten. -- P. 34

Few things have saved as many lives as the simple growth of wealth. -- P. 307

In 2001, for example, cash and in-kind transfers together accounted for 77.8 percent of the economic resources of people in the bottom 20 percent. In other words, the alarming statistics on their incomes so often cited in the media and by politicians count only 22 percent of the actual economic resources at their disposal. -- P. 128

Nevertheless, most Americans earn their livings by renting their time and talents-and live much better than peoples in many other countries where most adults own their own land and work only for themselves. -- P. 127

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

The general decline in educational performance that began in the 1960s encompassed elementary and secondary education, as well as education at the college level...The most widely known decline was in the scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)...Significantly, this era of declining academic performance has also been a period of rising grades...These two trends- grade inflation and declining test scores- are by no means unconnected. Without the systematic deception of parents and the public by rising grades, it is highly unlikely that the decline in performance could have continued so long. - P. 1 - 2

Freedom, wherever it exists in the world today, owes much to developments in Britain. These include not only the historic evolution of a free society in the United Kingdom itself, providing political models and legal precedents for other free societies around the world, but also Britain‘s key role in destroying the international slave trade in the nineteenth century, and its crucial role when the survival of freedom in the world was threatened in the early and dark days of World War II. -- P. 87

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

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

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

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

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

Political movements and even whole nations have been seized by a vision of the idle rich exploiting the toiling masses, of people mired in grinding poverty from birth to death, and of labor unions or socialist or communist movements as the only forlorn hope for those otherwise economically doomed. -- P. 169

If something went wrong, someone was to blame, preferably someone with a 'deep Pocket' from which to pay damages. Often these deep pockets were nothing more than an aggregation of much shallower pockets, whether of taxpayers or of stockholders. -- P. 172

-money is not wealth. It is just a way to transfer wealth or to give people incentives to produce wealth. -- P. 224