Thomas Sowel Quotes

-unlike God at the dawn of Creation, we cannot simply say, 'let there be equality!' or 'let there be justice!' We must begin with the universe that we were born into and weigh the costs of making any specific change in it to achieve a specific end. We cannot simply 'do something' whenever we are morally indignant while disdaining to consider the costs entailed.' -- P. 8

Back in 1973, the equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Sears, based solely on statistical disparities, rather than on any women who claimed that a man of lower qualifications than her own was hired or promoted when she was not...The court pointed out that the EEOC 'did not present in evidence even one specific instance of discrimination' in a company with hundreds of stores from coast to coast. -- P. 81

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

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

This (liberal) vision so permeates the media and academia, and has made such major inroads into the religious community, that many grow into adulthood unaware that there is any other way of looking at things, or that evidence might be relevant to checking out the sweeping assumptions of so-called “thinking people”. Many of these “thinking people” could more accurately be characterized as articulate people, as people whose verbal nimbleness can elude both evidence and logic. This can be a fatal talent, when it supplies the crucial insulation from reality behind may historic catastrophes.” — P. 6

To say that someone has a 'right' to any kind of housing is to say others have an obligation to expend all these efforts on his behalf, without his being reciprocally obligated to compensate them for it. -- P. 100

The vision of the anointed is one in which such ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from 'society,' rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by 'society.' -- P. 203

American universities are usually ranked among the best in the world, based primarily on having some of the best scholars in the world on their faculties- even if many of these top scholars are from other countries. -- P. 87

Comparing never-married women and men who are past the child-bearing years and who both work full-time in the twenty-first century shows women of this description earning more than men of the same description. ..For women in general- that is, not just academic women- those single women who had worked continuously since high school were in 1971 earning slightly more than men of the same description. All this before affirmative action was defined as 'under-representation' in a 1971 Executive Order which went into effect in 1972, and so represents what was happening under competitive labor market pressures before any major government intervention to advance women. -- P. 77

Processes designed to create greater equality cannot be judged by that goal but must be examined in terms of the processes created in pursuit of that goal. -- P. 51

In short, loose use of the word 'monopoly,' in a political sense quite different from its economic meaning, often leads to policies reducing competition and thus producing the very monopolistic results so loudly denounced. -- P. 109

People do not change their vision of the world the way they change cloths or replace light bulbs. But change they must if they mean to survive. No individual (or group) is going to capture all of reality in his vision. If the only reaction to other visions- or uncomfortable evidence- is blind mudslinging, then the limitations that are common to all human beings become, for them, ideological prisons. -- P. 140

With blacks as with whites, the redneck culture has been a less achieving culture. Moreover, that culture has affected a higher proportion of the black population than of the white population, since only one-third of all whites lived in the antebellum South, while nine-tenths of all blacks did. -- P. 33

-those who deliver tons of life-sustaining food to supermarkets are not engaged in 'public service,' as the anointed use the term. -- P. 184

Central to the concept of social justice is the notion that individuals are entitled to some share of the wealth produced by a society, simply by virtue of being members of that society, and irrespective of any individual contribution made or not made to the production of that wealth. -- P. 192

When people are presented with the alternatives of hating themselves for their failures or hating others for their success, they seldom choose to hate themselves. -- P. 77

In countries around the world, discrimination by government has been greater than discrimination by businesses operating in competitive markets. -- P. 143

Only God could have a free choice- and only on the first day of creation, since He would be confronted on the second day by what He had already done on the first. -- P. 223

For businesses in general, whether large or small, the availability of other people‘s money is often crucial. Without property rights, lenders are reluctant to lend to people who do not have the cash to pay then back- and whose homes or other assets are not recognized as theirs by the legal system, and therefore cannot be used as collateral that can be foreclosed and transferred to the lender in case of default. -- P. 202

Far more important than particular reckless policies, even those with such deadly consequences as weakening the criminal law, is a whole mindset in which omnicompetence is implicitly assumed and unhappy social phenomena are presumed to be unjustified morally and remediable intellectually and politically. Inherent constraints of circumstances or people are brushed aside, as are alternative policy approaches which offer no special role for the anointed. The burden of proof is not put on their vision, but on existing institutions. -- P. 110