Thomas Sowel Quotes

Orwellian use of the word 'harassment' to cover situations in which no one approached, addressed, or even notices the supposed target of this 'harassment: has enabled colleges and universities to punish behavior to which the only real objection is ideological. -- P. 189

The tendency to dismiss all unfavorable conclusions about any group as racism or as prejudice, stereotypes, or other manifestations of ignorance overlooks the fact that often those with the most unfavorable opinion of a group are in closest contact with them, while those with a more favorable view know them lass well and often from a greater distance. -- P. 365

Those with the vision of the anointed are seldom deterred by any question as to whether anyone has the knowledge required to do what they are attempting...the question for the anointed is not knowledge but compassion, commitment, and other such subjective factors which supposedly differentiate themselves from other people. The refrain from the anointed is we already know the answers, there‘s no need for more studies, and the kinds of questions raised by those with other views are just stalling and obstructing progress. 'Solutions' are out there waiting to be found, like eggs at an Easter egg hunt. -- P. 110

The genuinely rich and genuinely poor, put together, do not add up to even 10 percent of the American population. Yet these two groups are the central characters in the moral melodramas which dominate American politics, journalism, and even academic and judicial discourse. -- P. 39

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

The factors operating against performance equality are far too numerous, beginning with the physical settings in which different peoples have evolved culturally and economically. Geography is not egalitarian. -- P. 63

In the summer of 1959, I worked as a clerk-typist in the headquarters of the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington. The people I worked for were very nice and I grew to like them. One day, a man had a heart attack at around 5 PM, on the sidewalk outside the Public Health Service. He was taken inside to the nurse's room, where he was asked if he was a government employee. If he were, he would have been eligible to be taken to a medical facility there. Unfortunately, he was not, so a phone call was made to a local hospital to send an ambulance. By the time this ambulance made its way through miles of Washington rush-hour traffic, the man was dead. He died waiting for a doctor, in a building full of doctors. Nothing so dramatized for me the nature of a bureaucracy and its emphasis on procedures, rather than results.

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

Consistently, for decades, those college students who have majored in education have been among the least qualified of all college students, and the professors who taught them have been among the least respected by their colleagues elsewhere in the college or university. -- P. 23

What an increasingly common world culture offers is an opportunity for better mutual understanding. But opportunities alone are not the whole story. It is what people do with their opportunities that determines the course of history. -- P. 379

Phrases like 'the peace movement,' used to describe disarmament advocates, preempt the whole momentous question as to whether peace is more likely to be achieved through disarmament or through military deterrence. With untold millions of lives depending on the answer to that question, something more substantive than a presumption that some people like peace more than others might be expected. -- P. 184

Freedom did not begin as an idea bur as a reality that was then treasured and analyzed by those who possessed it. Only after centuries of habituation to freedom did it become regarded as a norm, and violation of that norm seen as intolerable- among those peoples with this historical experience. -- P. 356

Nevertheless, most Americans earn their livings by renting their time and talents-and live much better than peoples in many other countries where most adults own their own land and work only for themselves. -- P. 127

Property rights create self-monitoring, which tend to be both more effective and less costly than third party monitoring. . . It is things not owned by anybody (air and water for example) which are polluted. -- P. 243

Another major difference between private and governmental institutions is that, no matter how big and successful a private business is, it can always be forced out of business when it is no longer satisfying its customers — whether because of its own inadequacies or because competing firms or alternative technologies can satisfy the customers better. Government agencies, however, can continue on despite demonstrable failures, and the power of government can prevent rivals from arising. — P.13

For a particular minority group to become dominant in retailing or money-lending, whether at a high or a low economic level, means that their behavior pattern must be fundamentally different from that of the surrounding population. -- P. 72

-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

Another and very different kind of bias is based on favoritism for one‘s own group, which may exist independently of any belief, presumption, or bias about inferior abilities in other groups. -- P. 166

If crime is a product of poverty and discrimination as they say endlessly, why was there so much less of it when poverty and discrimination were much worse than today? -- P. 85

Where discrimination is distinguished from differences in life chances, the empirical question is whether individuals of similar qualifications have similar prospects of employment, college admission, and other benefits when they come from different groups. Where there are substantial differences in qualifying characteristics among groups, as there often are, the question then becomes: What of those particular individuals who have the same qualifying characteristics as members of other groups? Do they have the same prospects or results? -- P. 180