Thomas Sowel Quotes

reach the top ten percent in individual income required an income of $87,300 in 2004. -- P. 138

In economics, as elsewhere in life, while we are free to do whatever we wish, we are not free to have the consequences be whatever we want them to be. We can leap off a skyscraper, if we wish, but the law of gravity will determine what the consequences will be. -- P. 45

Centuries before the first African was carried in bondage to the Western Hemisphere, Slavs were being enslaved on a massive scale-...Slaves were so widely sold into bondage that the very word for slave was derived from the word for Slave in a number of Western European languages, as well as in Arabic. -- P. 190 - 191

Often the character of a community includes a bucolic setting or expansive views of the surrounding area which those who live there cherish. But they did not buy those settings or those views or pay to have them guaranteed to remain the same in perpetuity. Other people with other preferences have had the same rights under the Constitution, at least until courts began to erode both property rights and the 'equal protection of the laws' prescribed by the Fourteenth Amendment. -- P. 35

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

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

While, in the late twentieth century, an absolute majority of those black families with no husband present lived in poverty, more than four-fifths of black husband-wife families did not. -- P. 164

The factors operating against performance equality are far too numerous, beginning with the physical settings in which different peoples have evolved culturally and economically. Geography is not egalitarian. -- P. 63

The central assumption behind busing was perhaps no where better expressed than by Los Angeles Judge Paul V. Egly, when he declared that minority students would be 'irreparably damaged' if busing were even delayed, and that his task was to 'make the most efficient use of increasingly scarce white students as possible' by spreading them around for the benefit of the many minority youngsters who constituted a majority of the city‘s school children. 'Kipling‘s doctrine of 'the white man‘s burden' was now transformed into a judicial doctrine of the white child‘s burden- a doctrine that came very close to fighting racism with racism. -- P. 69

Even though educators consider themselves to be thinking people,' there is a remarkable absence of substantive arguments in their response to critics. These responses include evading the specifics of the criticisms and arbitrarily attributing Utopian beliefs to critics. -- P. 249

The language of politics, and especially of ideological politics, is often categorical language about 'rights,' about eliminating certain evils, guaranteeing certain benefits, or protecting certain habitats and species...Indirectly but inexorably, this language says that the preferences of the anointed are to supersede the preferences of everyone else. -- P. 142

If food were categorically more important than music, then we would never reach a point where we were prepared to sacrifice resources that could be used to produce food in order to produce music...A world where food had categorical priority over music would be a world of 300-pound people, whose brief lives would never be brightened by a song or a melody. -- P. 138

For economic activities that take time, property rights are a prerequisite, so that those who farm or invest in business can feel assured that the fruits of their activities will be theirs. Even people who own no property have a large stake in property rights, if they are to be employed in an economy made prosperous by the presence of property rights. -- P. 200

The family is inherently an obstacle to schemes for central control of social processes. Therefore the anointed necessarily find themselves repeatedly on a collision course with the family. It is not a matter of any subjective animus on their part against families. The anointed may in fact be willing to shower government largess upon families, as they do other social entities. But the preservation of the family as an autonomous decision- making unit is incompatible with the third-party decision making that is at the heart of the vision of the anointed. -- P. 62

The constrained vision of human intellectual and moral capabilities relies less on articulated rationality to convince and more on incentives to influence behavior. -- P. 169

The most dangerous kind of ignorance is the ignorance of the educated. -- P. 102

Both journalistic anecdotes and scholarly studies often show vast amounts of money being transferred to Third World governments without producing any significant economic growth and, in some cases, there are actual declines in real incomes in the wake of grandiose projects financed by foreign aid. -- P. 211

-clearly neither racial discrimination nor racial inferiority can explain similar differences between whites in the North and the South in earlier centuries. This should at least raise questions about such explanations when applied to blacks of a later era who inherited the culture of white Southerners. -- P. 25

In reality, the entire population of the world today could be housed in the state of Texas, in a single-story, single-family houses-four to a house-and with a typical yard around each home. -- P. 67

To say that women are paid 60 percent of what men receive for doing the same work is to say that employers can afford to pay two male workers more than they pay three female workers- the women producing 50 percent more output- and still survive economically in a system so competitive that most businesses go under inside of a decade. -- P. 187