Thomas Sowel Quotes

There may be a curriculum listed in the college catalogue but it can mean little if there are many disparate options for meeting a particular curriculum requirement- if, for example, a course on the history of motion pictures can be used to satisfy a social science requirement instead of a course on leading nations or empires of the world. Thus a student may graduate from some of the most prestigious colleges in the country fundamentally ignorant of history and all the insights and implications of history. -- P. 93

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

One of the ways to promote the ideology of equality is by defining various inequalities of performance out of existence. This cultural relativism refuses to classify some societies as civilized and others as backward or primitive. Whether comparing nations or subgroups within nations, cultural relativists proclaim all cultures and subcultures to be 'equally valid' and entitled to 'equal respect' as we 'celebrate diversity'... The bitter irony is that all this philosophical self-indulgence widens the empirical gap in the name of narrowing it. -- P. 74 - 75

-killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy, so long as the goose does not die before the next election and no one traces the politician‘s fingerprints on the murder weapon. -- P. 8

Economic development has been one of the most successful anti-poverty programs. -- P. 47

One of the hallmarks of many Third World countries, especially those with otherwise favorable economic prospects in terms of natural resources or other favorable geographic factors, has been ineffective, capricious, or corrupt law enforcement. -- P. 200

“Another way of verbally masking elite preemption of other people’s decisions is to use the word ‘ask’–as in ‘We are just asking everyone to pay their fair share.’ But of course governments do not ask, they tell. The Internal Revenue Service does not ‘ask’ for contributions. It takes.” — P. 197

China in centuries past has been described as 'one of the largest and most comprehensive markets for the exchange of human beings in the world.' Slavery was also common in India, where it has been estimated that there were more slaves than in the entire Western Hemisphere- and the original Thugs kidnapped children for the purpose of enslavement. -- P. 112

Although slavery in the United States was referred to as a 'peculiar institution, slavery was in fact one of the oldest and most widespread institutions on Earth. -- P. 186

As for the top 20 percent, so often referred to as 'the rich,'...In income, a little over $58,000 a year was enough to put a household in the top 20 percent in 1992 and a little under $100,000 was enough to put it in the top 5 percent. -- P. 51

In effect, the college athlete in big-time sports is buying a lottery ticket and paying for it with his body and with four years of his life. He may also pay for it through the corrosive cynicism generated by participating in the various shabby tricks designed to maintain his eligibility to play, pretending to be a student while avoiding the demands of real education. -- P. 241

What the rednecks or crackers brought with them across the ocean was a whole constellation of attitudes, values, and behavior patterns that might have made sense in the world which they had lived for centuries, but which would prove to be counterproductive in the world to which they were going- and counterproductive to the blacks who would live in their midst for centuries before emerging into freedom and migrating to the urban centers of the United States, taking with them similar values. -- P. 6

Centuries before the first African was carried in bondage to the Western Hemisphere, Slavs were being enslaved on a massive scale-...Slaves were so widely sold into bondage that the very word for slave was derived from the word for Slave in a number of Western European languages, as well as in Arabic. -- P. 190 - 191

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

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

Since no group of human beings has been without sin, anecdotal evidence for various accusations will never be lacking, even when these sins are less of an explanatory factor than a fatal distraction from the hard work needed to acquire the human capital needed to turn poverty to prosperity. -- P. 338

Patriotism and treason thus become a meaningless distinction at the extremes of the unconstrained vision, while this distinction is one of the most central and most powerful distinctions in the constrained vision. -- P. 81

I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.

Teenage pregnancy was declining, over a period of more than a dozen years, before so- called 'sex education' programs spread rapidly through American schools in the 1970s. Teenage pregnancies then rose sharply, along with federal expenditures on 'sex education' programs and 'family-planning' clinics, many located in schools. -- P. 63

-criminal activity in general has tended to vary inversely with the risk of imprisonment. -- P. 48