Thomas Sowel Quotes

-the inherent conflict between equal rules and equal results has been recognized in theory for at least two centuries, even though many of our contemporaries proclaim, as if it were some new discovery or deeper insight of theirs, that laws that are 'formally' equal may affect different groups differently. From this they conclude that 'real' equality must supersede merely formal equality- which is to say that cosmic justice must trump traditional justice. -- P. 153

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

Edward, for example, was a popular name in Virginia and in Wessex, from which many Virginians emigrated, but the first forty classes of undergraduates at Harvard College included only one student named Edward. It would be nearly two centuries before Harvard admitted anyone named Patrick, though this was a common name in western Pennsylvania, where the Scotch-Irish were settled. -- P. 82

In every aspect of our lives, we all stand on the shoulders of giants, and all those giants were not in the past. The principles of aerodynamics were not discovered by the Wright brothers. They were simply the first to get a plane off the ground. -- P. 84

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

The case for upholding legal principles, known and relied upon by others, is precisely that it can be done, and done while preserving a free society, whereas playing cases by ear requires far more knowledge than anyone possesses and is incompatible with the rule of law and the freedom which depends on that rule. -- P. 169

Over the past two decades, in every field surveyed by the Council of Graduate Schools, the proportion of graduate degrees in the United States going to Americans has declined. -- P. 269

Facts do not "speak for themselves." They speak for or against competing theories. Facts divorced from theory or visions are mere isolated curiosities.

Whatever moral principle each of us believes in, we call justice, so we are only talking in a circle when we say that we advocate justice, unless we specify just what conception of justice we have in mind. -- P. 3

The only clear-cut winners in the quest for cosmic justice are those who believe in the vision it projects- a vision in which believers are so morally and/or intellectually superior to others that their own relentless pursuit of this vision is seen as all that offers some modicum of hope to those who would otherwise be victims of the lesser people who make up the rest of society. It is a very flattering vision- and hence one not easily given up. -- P. 43

Groups with a demonstrable history of being discriminated against have, in many countries and in many periods of history, had higher incomes, better educational performance, and more 'representation' in high-level positions than those doing the discriminating. -- P. 20

Since the United States contains several times as many billionaires as any other country, ordinary Americans would be among the most poverty-stricken people in the world if the wealth of the wealthy derives from the poverty of the poor. -- P. 134

From 1930 to 1934, 31 percent of first births to black women were premarital, while from 1990 to 1994, 77 percent were. -- P. 163

Everything fails by irrelevant standards. -- P. 207

Calls for 'forgiveness' of loans to Third World governments are frequently heard and heeded, as if rewarding financial irresponsibility by officials doing the borrowing is going to lift poor countries out of poverty. -- P. 212

Studies from more recent times have shown that the education of black students has been negatively affected by the presence of large numbers of other black students. -- P. 223

Where separate group identities are government-subsidized-often under the general label of 'multiculturalism' in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States-an artificial Balkanization is fostered, in utter disregard of the tragic historic consequences of Balkanization in many parts of Asia and Africa, as well as in the Balkans themselves. -- P. 31

Too often, those opposed to discrimination are also opposed to free competitive markets that make discrimination more costly. They do not think beyond stage one. -- P. 177

As for the racism of whites as an explanation of black educational deficiencies, there are enough black-run schools, colleges, and universities where there would be dramatically better results than white-run institutions, if racism were the explanation. But no such dramatic differences are visible. -- P. 227

Anyone who saw East Berlin and West Berlin during the years when communism prevailed in the eastern part of the city and a market economy in the rest of it could not help noticing the sharp contrast between the prosperity of West Berlin and the poverty in East Berlin. -- P. 118