Thomas Sowel Quotes

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

Blacks may 'all look alike' to racists, but there are profound internal cultural differences among blacks...-West Indian family incomes are 94 percent of the U.S. national average, while the family incomes of blacks as a group are only 62 percent of the national average. West Indian 'representation' in professional occupations is double that of blacks, and slightly higher than that of the U.S. population as a whole. -- P. 77

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

Among Western Hemisphere nations, racial oppression was at its worst in the United States, especially in the former slave states of the South. Lynchings of Negroes peaked at 161 per year in 1892 in the United States. While this phenomenon remained unknown in Latin America and the Caribbean...Haitian blacks, having been the most independent of whites for more than two centuries, should be the most prosperous in the hemisphere and American blacks the poorest, if racial oppression accounts for poverty, but in fact their respective economic positions are directly the reverse- again suggesting that human capital has a greater effect than racial oppression. -- P. 168 - 169

Differing incidences of malnutrition, alcohol and drug usage, cigarette smoking, and other behavioral of mothers during pregnancy can lead to babies with the same genetic potential at the moment of conception entering the world at birth already differing biologically in their mental capacities. -- P. 369

Sometimes a variety of favorable geographical features exist in combination within a given region, as in northwestern Europe, and sometimes virtually all are lacking, as in much of tropical Africa, while still other parts of the world have some of these favorable features but not others. The consequences include not only large variations in economic well being, but more fundamentally, large variations in the skills and experiences- the human capital- of the people themselves. -- P. 209

To say that prices are due to greed is to imply that sellers can set prices by an act of will. If so, no company would go bankrupt, since it could simply raise its prices to cover whatever costs happened to be. -- P. 40

Central to the concept of social justice is the notion that individuals are entitled to some share of the wealth produced by a society, simply by virtue of being members of that society, and irrespective of any individual contribution made or not made to the production of that wealth. -- P. 192

Civilization has been aptly called a ‘thin crust over a volcano’. The anointed are constantly picking at that crust. — P. 250

Competition does a much more effective job than government at protecting consumers.-- Chapter: "Bogeyman Economics"

In traditional terms, what preferential policies create is a playing field tilting in favor of those whose performance on a level playing field would be inadequate. -- P. 163

American universities are usually ranked among the best in the world, based primarily on having some of the best scholars in the world on their faculties- even if many of these top scholars are from other countries. -- P. 87

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

Initially, the Ottoman Empire was one of the more tolerant states towards those with different religions- certainly more tolerant than contemporary medieval Europe was toward Jews or toward Christians with heterodox views...Only after the later conquests of the sixteenth century did the Ottoman Empire have a Moslem majority and it was then that intolerance toward non-Moslems developed...In this earlier, expanding, and all- conquering era, the Ottoman Empire was confident in its mission to spread Islam, its superiority as a culture, and its military invincibility...Long disdainful of European civilization, whose more backward regions it encountered in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, The Ottoman Empire made no real effort to stay abreast of developments in Western Europe and was consequently surprised and shocked when the Western Europeans eventually overtook them in both cultural and military terms...It was in this atmosphere of defeat, danger, and disillusionment that the Ottomans turned against their own subjects, whom they now resented as political traitors. -- P. 193 - 194

The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from ‘society,’ rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by ‘society’. — P. 203

Black-owned banks in the United States have tended to have high rates of failure and the surviving black banks have tended to invest outside their community even more than white banks. . .Here too, often 'the poor pay more' because they live in neighborhoods with higher costs of providing those goods and services. -- P. 111 - 112

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

In policy terms, making it easier for people born in less fortunate circumstances to acquire the knowledge and skills to become brain surgeons is very different from simply decreeing that pay differentials between brain surgeons and carpenters be reduced or eliminated. -- P. 171

If one goes through enough numbers, one will eventually come upon some statistics that seem to fit one‘s vision. These are what might be called 'Aha!' statistics. Other statistics which suggest opposite conclusions bring no 'Aha!' but are more likely to be glided over and forgotten. -- P. 34

The charge is often made against the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed that their theories and the policies based on them lack common sense. But the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else? — P. 248