Thomas Sowel Quotes

-the rate of violence among lesbians living together-about the same as in heterosexual relationships- is of no interest to those seeking to depict male-female relationships as violence prone. -- P. 173

Anyone can be wrong about the future...Being wrong about the past is something else. -- P. 79

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

-visions can acquire a tyrannical sway over people‘s minds by offering them an exalted sense of themselves in exchange for their loyalty to the vision through all the vicissitudes of facts to the contrary. -- P. 136

History is the memory of the human race. For an individual to wake up some morning with no memory would be devastating. -- P. 276

To the anointed, their vision and reality are one and the same. Yet the world inside their minds has few of the harsh constraints of the world inhabited by millions of other human beings... The world of the anointed is a very tidy place- or, put differently, every deviation of the real world from the tidiness of their vision is considered to be someone‘s fault. -- P. 24

If everything were made affordable, there would still not be any more to go around then when things were prohibitively expensive. -- P. 46

While, in the late twentieth century, an absolute majority of those black families with no husband present lived in poverty, more than four-fifths of black husband-wife families did not. -- P. 164

-specialists are not solipsists. They are simply aware of the limitations of the human mind, and of the implications of those limitations, as the anointed so often are not. -- P. 205

Freedom began to emerge where governments were too fragmented, too poorly organized, or too much in need of voluntary cooperation to prevent its emergence. -- P. 353

Sellers in general maintain the quality of their products and services for fear of losing customers otherwise. But, when price controls create a situation where the amount demanded is greater than the amount supplied — a shortage — fear of losing customers is no longer as strong an incentive. For example, landlords typically reduce painting and repairs when there is rent control, because there is no need to fear vacancies when there are more tenants looking for apartments than there are apartments available. — P.70-71

In countries around the world, discrimination by government has been greater than discrimination by businesses operating in competitive markets. -- P. 143

Research findings have consistently shown black females to have higher IQ test scores, and most other test scores, than black males in the United States. The same was true among Jews when they scored low on mental tests in the past. However, among white- raised black orphans with an average IQ of 106, there was no female advantage, suggesting that the striking predominance of females among high-IQ blacks is an environmental rather than a racial phenomenon. -- P. 171

The average American‘s annual income could buy everything the average Japanese annual income buys and still have thousands of dollars left over. Therefore the average American has a higher standard of living than the average Japanese. Yet statistics based on official exchange rates show the average Japanese earning thousands of dollars more than the average American, leaving the false impression that the Japanese are more prosperous than Americans. -- P. 221

-unlike God at the dawn of Creation, we cannot simply say, 'let there be equality!' or 'let there be justice!' We must begin with the universe that we were born into and weigh the costs of making any specific change in it to achieve a specific end. We cannot simply 'do something' whenever we are morally indignant while disdaining to consider the costs entailed.' -- P. 8

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

As a young man, John Stuart Mill brooded over the fact that there was an ultimate limit to the amount of music that could be produced by using the eight notes of the music scale. But, at that time, Brahms and Tchaikovsky had not yet been born nor jazz yet conceived, and rock music was more than a century away. Ultimate limits alone tell us virtually nothing useful about whether there is or is not a practical problem. -- P. 216

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

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

-many of the problems of very poor countries are internal, however politically unpalatable that may be to the inhabitants of those countries or to those on the Western world who prefer other explanations. This conclusion is reinforced by the history of very poor countries that rose rapidly to higher economic levels, such as Scotland in the eighteenth century, Japan in the nineteenth century and China in the twentieth century. In all cases, they raised themselves economically through internal changes, brought on by recognition that such internal changes were necessary. -- P. 215