Thomas Sowel Quotes

There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.

Knowledge is one of the scarcest of all resources. -- P. 111

There is also what might be called negative human capital in the form of attitudes which prevent or impede the performance of economic tasks that people are otherwise quite capable of performing, both physically and intellectually... In modern Western welfare states, a whole range of low-level occupations may be left to foreigners, as the native citizens come to consider living off the state less demeaning than doing such work. In some countries, such negative human capital is increased by education, so that those who have been to schools or universities now regard a wider range of occupations as beneath them. -- P. 339

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

Contrary to theories of 'exploitation,' most multinational corporations focus the bulk of their operations in countries where pay scales are high rather than in countries where pay scales are low. -- P. 42

In short, the special role of the 'thinking people' or of 'the brightest and the best' has for centuries been a central theme of the unconstrained vision. -- P. 47

Could slavery have been ended by the Civil War if television cameras had shown daily scenes of the horrors of Sherman‘s march through Georgia or the appalling sufferings of civilians in besieged Vicksburg? -- P. 258

Many racial policies continually add to the pile of combustible material, which only needs the right political arsonist to set it off. -- P. 118

-evidence is too dangerous- politically, financially and psychologically- for some people to allow it to become a threat to their interests or to their sense of themselves. -- P. 2

Clinging to a counterproductive culture in the name of group pride and avoiding changes because they could be labeled 'self-hate' are patterns that have no track record that would justify optimism. -- P. 263

Cultural diffusion is an explanation of large disparities among peoples at a given time- and changing world leadership over time- that is more consistent with history than either genetic or exploitation theories. -- P. 374

If the temperature has risen by 10 degrees since dawn today, an extrapolation will show that we will all be burned to a crisp before the end of the month, if this trend continues. Extrapolations are the last refuge of a groundless argument. -- P. 568

The vision of the anointed is one in which 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

Back in the eighteenth century, Adam Smith, himself a professor, pointed out how the faculty of endowed academic institutions are enabled to indulge themselves in ways that they would not be able to in an enterprise dependent on its performance for its survival. -- P. 88

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

While slavery was referred to in antebellum America as a 'peculiar institution,' in an international perspective and in the long view of history it was not this institution that was peculiar but the principles of American freedom, with which slavery was in such obvious and irreconcilable conflict. -- P. 127

they have already earned-never to those wanting to take other people‘s money in taxes or to those wishing to live on the largess dispenses from such taxation. -- P. 186

For those with the vision of the anointed, it is not sufficient to discredit or denigrate proponents of the tragic vision. The general public must also be discredited, as well as the social processes through which the public‘s desires are expressed, individually or collectively, such as a market economy or social traditions. -- P. 119

What a student can judge is how well the professor conveyed the information in the course- how clearly the material was presented and how interesting it seemed- but what the student is not equipped to judge is what information and conflicting analysis was left out. -- P. 96

-in the vision of the anointed, the absence of precision becomes an authorization for substitution of the imagination. -- P. 94