Thomas Sowel Quotes

Many of the words and phrases used in the media and among academics suggest that things simply happen to people, rather than be being caused by their own choices and behavior. Thus there is said to be an ‘epidemic’ of teenage pregnancy, or of drug usage, as if these things were like the flu that people catch just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. — P. 198

-as in other expressions of cosmic visions, results are not the test. Taking a moral stand is the test. -- P. 104

Since slaves had no voice whatever in the selection of Southern Congressman, counting the slave population at full strength would have given white Southerners a stronger pro- slavery contingent in Congress...It should also be noted that in the Constitution‘s distinction in counting people for representation in Congress was between slave and free, not black and white. Free blacks were counted the same as whites- and free blacks existed before the Constitution existed. -- P. 155

Another feature of middleman minorities cited by various scholars has been their tendency to invest in highly mobile capital- intellectual skills being the ultimate in portability- rather than fixtures that could not move. -- P. 107

Contrary to the notion that deficits have resulted from tax receipts by the federal government, those receipts in fact reached new record highs during the Reagan administration...By the last year of the Reagan administration in1988, the federal government collected over $391 billion more than during any year of the Carter administration-in percentage terms, the government took in 76 percent more that year than it had ever collected in any year of any other administration. -- P. 83

A slave in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century cost thirty times what he cost on the coast of Africa. American slave-owners were very reluctant to lose this kind of investment- so much so that they often hired Irish immigrants to do work considered too dangerous for slaves. -- P. 160

sharp contrast to the French Revolution, which gave sweeping powers, including the power of life and death, to those who spoke in the name of 'the people' -- P. 32

-what successively removed various peoples of the world from the ranks of those vulnerable to being enslaved was the long process of consolidation of state power, whether their own or that of European imperialist nations. -- P. 13

Complex phenomena may, of course, also have complex causes. But the a priori dogma that they cannot have simple causes is part of the 'complex' complex. It is one more way of seeming to argue, without actually making any argument. It is also one more example of the presumption of superior wisdom and/or virtue that is at the heart of the vision of the anointed. As a tactical matter, this dogma enables them to deny, on purely a priori grounds, that the various 'compassionate' interventions in legal, economic, or social systems could have been responsible for the many counterproductive consequences which have so often followed. -- P. 88

-trees that newspapers are made from automatically recycled themselves for thousands of years before human being figured out how to plant seeds. -- P. 312

Note that merely killing middleman minorities was not considered sufficient. Gratuitous infliction of both physical and psychic pain has marked violence against the Chinese in Southeast Asia, as well as against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, and the Jews in Europe. This suggests that what their enemies feel is not simply a need to be rid of them but also a need to rid themselves of feelings of inferiority by subjecting middleman minorities to humiliation and dehumanization. -- P. 103

-both poverty and dependency were declining for years prior to the Johnson administration‘s 'war on poverty.' Black income was rising, not only absolutely but relative to rising white income. In the five years prior to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, blacks were rising into professional and other high-level positions at a rate greater than the five years following passage of the Act. Nationwide, Scholastic Aptitude Test scores were rising, venereal diseases were declining sharply, and the murder rate was at an all-time low. This was the 'hopelessness' from which the anointed came to rescue us. -- P. 218

The Aztecs, like such other conquers as the Mongols, used terror as a weapon to demoralize their enemies and keep the subjugated peoples in line. -- P. 277

end in divorce, based on such statistics, would be like saying that half of the population died last year id deaths were half as large as births. -- P. 59

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

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.

On issue after issue, the morally self anointed visionaries have for centuries argued as if no honest disagreement were possible, as if those who opposed them were not merely in error but in sin. -- P. 103

Having it all- a career and a family and an upscale lifestyle- is fine but doing it all is often harder for a woman, given the usual division of domestic responsibilities between the sexes and the inevitable differences in childbearing. -- P. 68

In 2001, for example, there were more than 16,000 Asian American students who scored above 700 on the mathematics SAT, while fewer than 700 black students scored that high- even though blacks outnumbered Asian Americans several times over. This cannot be explained away by poverty, racism, or innate inferiority. -- P. 226

Most of the common white people of the South came from the northern borderlands of England- as well as from the Scottish highlands and from Ulster County, Ireland. All these fringe areas were turbulent, if not lawless, regions, where none of the contending forces was able to establish full control and create a stable order...The highlanders lagged far behind the lowlanders in education and economic progress, as well as in the speaking of the English language, -- P. 2 - 8