Thomas Sowel Quotes

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

The particular culture or 'human Capital' available to a people has often had more influence on their economic level than their existing material wealth, natural resources, or individual geniuses. -- P. 335

As far back as 1969, black males who came from homes where there were newspapers, magazines, and library cards had the same incomes as whites from similar homes and with the same number of years of schooling. In the 1970‘s black husband-and-wife families outside the South earned as much as white husband-and-wife families outside the South. By 1981, for the country as a whole, black husband-and-wife families where both were college educated and both working earned slightly more than white families of the same description. -- P. 57

Competition does a much more effective job than government at protecting consumers.-- Chapter: "Bogeyman Economics"

Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric. Chapter: Political Trade-Offs

That outside interests should see 40 million school children as a captive audience to be exploited is not so difficult to comprehend as the fact that educators themselves are not merely acquiescent, but are often enthusiastic apostles of these innumerable non- academic courses and programs. -- P. 32

Both internally and internationally, Western intellectuals have for centuries romanticized 'noble savages' in various parts of the world, peoples who supposedly lived in some sort of Eden before evil was introduced from outside by modern Western society. Facts about the carnage, oppression, or brutality in such societies have been gilded over, totally ignored, or brazenly denied by those pursuing a vision- and disseminating that vision through their writings, teachings, motion pictures and other channels. -- P. 351

The moral justification of the market process rests on the general prosperity and freedom it produces. -- P. 130

In the case of immigrants from Ireland, the massive efforts of the Catholic Church in the nineteenth century to Americanize Irish immigrants are seldom mentioned among the reasons why the 'No Irish Need Apply' signs faded away during the twentieth century. The picture too often presented might lead one to believe that it was all just a matter of prejudice and bigotry in American society that lead to such signs in the first place, leaving their disappearance in later times unexplained, except by some generality as 'progress' or by the efforts of the enlightened to dispel such prejudices and bigotry. -- P. 252

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

Freedom must be distinguished from democracy, with which it is often confused. -- P. 91

Where weak, corrupt and capricious indigenous governments have been supplanted by stronger and more dependable colonial governments, immigration has often increased, even when those who immigrated were never accorded the same rights as the imperial race or even the conquered native population. -- P. 17

By ingredients they mean physical ingredients, which are usually inexpensive, rather than the knowledge ingredient which is usually astronomically expensive because of years of research, including much trial and error. -- P. 82

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

The era in which trends in crime, drunkenness, and other social degeneracy were turned around was of course the era of 'Victorian morality,' so much distained by the anointed of later times. -- P. 86

The general orientation of white liberals has been one of 'what can we do for them?' What blacks can do for themselves has not only been of lesser interest, much of what blacks have in fact already done for themselves has been overshadowed by liberal attempts to get them special dispensations- whether affirmative action, reparations for slavery, or other race-based benefits- even when the net effect of these dispensations has been much less than the effects of black‘s own self-advancement. -- P. 55

A California farmer can always show the television audience the abundant crop he has been able to grow because of federal water projects. But no one can videotape the crops that would have been grown elsewhere, at less cost to the economy, if there were no federal subsidies to encourage the use of water delivered at great cost into the California desert instead of water delivered free from the clouds elsewhere. — P. 257

Perhaps the purest example of an argument without an argument is to say that something is 'inevitable'. This is an inherently irrefutable argument, so long as any time remains in the future. -- P. 101

It is difficult to survey the history of racial or ethnic relations without being appalled by the inhumanity, brutality, and viciousness of it all. But there are no more futile or dangerous efforts than attempts to redress the wrongs of history. . . This may be frustrating and galling, but that is no justification for taking out those frustrations on living human beings-or for generating new strife by creating privileges for those who are contemporary reminders of historical guilt. -- P. 251

Mortality rates were even higher among those who were walked across the burning sands of the Sahara than among those subjected to the horrors and dangers of the Atlantic crossing. -- P. 188