Thomas Sowel Quotes

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

Social rules are as central to the constrained vision as unfettered individual judgment and individual conscience are at the heart of the unconstrained vision. -- P. 81

People who talk incessantly about "change" are often dogmatically set in their ways. They want to change other people.

-while man may discriminate against various minorities, nature discriminates against whole nations and continents. -- P. 348

An airport, a hospital, or a sports arena is considered desegregated when everyone has the opportunity to use it. Regardless of what proportions of people from what groups actually use it. But a school with exactly the same racial proportions as an audience attending an opera or passengers using Dulles Airport could easily be served with a federal court order to desegregate, while other institutions would not be. -- P. 64

The military and political viability of the newly created states, and the dangers to the peace of Europe as a whole when the international balance of power was made fragile by the existence of so many small and vulnerable countries were considerations lost in the euphoria of victory and the heady process of 'nation building'- or more accurately, empire dismemberment. But the importance of these factors was painfully revealed by the subsequent breakdown of the balance of power in Europe, as Hitler was able to pick off- one by one- countries that would have been much more difficult to conquer when they were part of a consolidated empire, thus enabling Nazi Germany to begin shifting the military balance of power in its favor, even before the onset of the Second World War. -- P. 18

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

Failure to use tax money to finance things not liked by the taxpaying public is routinely called 'censorship.' -- P. 123

Despite the depiction of property rights as mere protections those who own substantial property, it has often been the affluent and the wealthy who have abridged property rights through the political process, in order to keep working class and other less affluent people from coming into their communities and changing its character via the developers and the financial institutions which supply developers the capital to bid away land from existing owners. -- P. 106

The more highly competitive the market for labor and for the employer‘s products, the higher the cost paid for discrimination and consequently the less leeway the employer has for indulging his prejudices without risking his own profits and ultimately the financial survival of the business. On the other hand, enterprises not subject to the full stress of a competitive market- monopolies, non-profit enterprises, government agencies- have greater leeway. -- P. 74

Among Yale alumni in their forties, 'only 56 percent of the women still worked, compared with 90% of the men,' according to the New York Times. -- P. 70

Despite the impression created by Roots, during the era of the massive slave trade from West Africa, a white man was more likely to catch malaria in Africa than to catch slaves himself. -- P. 121

Race is used as a sorting device for decision-makers, even by people who are not racists. -- P. 172

Most of the white population of the American South as a whole came from not only what has been loosely called the 'Celtic fringe,' but also from that fringe at a particular time and a particular time and a particular stage of its cultural evolution...The fringe of British civilization from which they came was notable not only for its poverty and backwardness, but also for its lawlessness and violence...In short, the pattern of ruthless violence directed by Southern whites against blacks originated long before there were any racial differences involved and in fact before the people of the Southern backcountry had boarded the ships in Britain which took them to their new homes in the American South. -- P. 76 - 77

-what is called 'sensitivity' often involves being less sensitive, in order to be more ideologically in fashion. -- P. 83

Maturity is not a matter of age. You have matured when you are no longer concerned with showing how clever you are, and give your full attention to getting the job done right. Many never reach that stage, no matter how old they get.

Self-exaltation introduces a bias into consideration of many issues. For example, it creates a vested interest in the incapacity of other people. That is, there is not only a tendency to see people as helpless and not responsible for their actions, there is a tendency toward policies and programs which in fact reduce them to that condition and induce them to accept that image of themselves, while the anointed visionaries play the role of rescuer. -- P. 139

In traditional terms, what preferential policies create is a playing field tilting in favor of those whose performance on a level playing field would be inadequate. -- P. 163

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

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