Thomas Sowel Quotes

The powerful incentives created by a profit-and-loss economy depend on the profits being private property. -- P. 245

To help some hard pressed individual or group whose case is before them, judges may bend the law to arrive at a more benign verdict in that particular case-but at the cost of damaging the whole consistency and predictability of the law, on which millions of other people depend, an on which ultimately the freedom and safety of a whole society depend. -- P. 130

Some of the worst poverty in the world today can be found in thinly-populated regions like sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, population density is several times higher in much more prosperous Japan. There are also densely populated poor countries, such as Bangladesh, but there are even more densely populated places like Switzerland and Singapore, with far higher standards. -- P. 215

-hundreds of black chemists were employed in private industry before World War II, when not a single major university had a black professor of chemistry. -- P. 123

Although slavery in the United States was referred to as a 'peculiar institution, slavery was in fact one of the oldest and most widespread institutions on Earth. -- P. 186

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

morality, or courage...This there are no 'solutions' in the tragic vision, but only trade- offs that still leave many desires unfulfilled and much unhappiness in the world. -- P. 113

programs, is met by further claims that this shows the signs of racism of the larger society overflowing into the schools. -- P. 84 - 85

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

Teaching is both one of the hardest and one of the easiest jobs in the world, depending on how conscientiously it is done. It is also one of the noblest and one of the most corrupt occupations- again, depending on how it is done... Cheap popularity, ego trips, and ideological indoctrination are just some of the pitfalls of teaching. -- P. 202 - 203

Someone once said that an idea that fails repeatedly may possibly be wrong... Sincerity of purpose is not the same as honesty of procedure. -- P. 111 / 120

end in divorce, based on such statistics, would be like saying that half of the population died last year id deaths were half as large as births. -- P. 59

It is one thing to be bitter because one cannot feed one‘s children and something very different to be resentful because one cannot afford designer jeans or expensive watches that keep no better time than cheap watches. -- P. 27

All the while, people in such places speak of a need for 'diversity' and 'affordable housing'- neither of which that have or are likely to get, as their populations become whiter and older with rising prices. -- P. 109

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

Sellers in general maintain the quality of their products and services for fear of losing customers otherwise. But, when price controls create a situation where the amount demanded is greater than the amount supplied — a shortage — fear of losing customers is no longer as strong an incentive. For example, landlords typically reduce painting and repairs when there is rent control, because there is no need to fear vacancies when there are more tenants looking for apartments than there are apartments available. — P.70-71

In Chicago, as late as 1910, more than two-thirds of the black population liven in neighborhoods where most residents were white but, after the mass migrations of blacks from the South, attempts by blacks to move into white neighborhoods in Chicago were met with violence, including bombings. -- P. 48

A child raised in a home where physical prowess is valued more than intellectual prowess is unlikely to have the same goals and priorities as a child raised in a home where the reverse is true. -- P. 146

Some seem to argue as if any historical or contemporary source of unhappiness which a government could have prevented is something for which it should be held morally accountable-regardless of whether the government or the society created the source of unhappiness. -- P. 249

The covert methods by which affirmative action has been foisted on a society that rejects it, the vengeful manner in which busing has been imposed without regard for the welfare of children, and the lofty contempt of a remote and insulated elite for the mass of citizens whose feelings and interests are treated as expendable, or dismissed as mere 'racism,' provide the classic ingredients of blindness and hubris that have produced so many human tragedies. However much history may be invoked in support of these policies, no policy can apply to history but can only apply to the present or the future. The past may be many things, but it is clearly irrevocable. Its sins can no more be purged than its achievements can be expunged. Those who suffered in centuries past are as much beyond our help as those who sinned are beyond our retribution. To dress up present-day people in the costumes and labels of history and symbolically try to undo the past is to surpass Don Quixote and jeopardize reality in the name of visions. To do so in ways that harm the already disadvantaged is to skirt the boundaries of sanity and violate the very claims of compassion used to justify it. -- P. 119