Thomas Sowel Quotes

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

Doctors and the producers of modern pharmaceutical drugs have been rhetorically transformed into villains by those who would present themselves as our rescuers in politics or in the courtrooms. -- P. 94

Law evolved as an expression of the natural feelings and experiences of human beings in general, not the articulated rationality of intellectual or moral leaders. -- P. 180

The language of politics, and especially of ideological politics, is often categorical language about 'rights,' about eliminating certain evils, guaranteeing certain benefits, or protecting certain habitats and species...Indirectly but inexorably, this language says that the preferences of the anointed are to supersede the preferences of everyone else. -- P. 142

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

Government is neither a monolith nor simply the public interest personified. -- P. 238

One of the ironic consequences of regarding property rights as simple benefits enjoyed by more fortunate people- rather than as fundamental checks on government power- was that affluent and wealthy communities could now restrict the ability of moderate-income and low-income people to move into their communities. -- P. 32

Neither individuals nor companies are successful forever. -- P. 110

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

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

The general orientation of white liberals has been one of 'what can we do for them?' What blacks can do for themselves has not only been of lesser interest, much of what blacks have in fact already done for themselves has been overshadowed by liberal attempts to get them special dispensations- whether affirmative action, reparations for slavery, or other race-based benefits- even when the net effect of these dispensations has been much less than the effects of black‘s own self-advancement. -- P. 55

Affective education is not to be confused with effective education. Indeed, it is one of the many agendas which distract schools from effective education. The emotionalizing of education not only takes time away from intellectual development; it also cast teachers in the role of amateur psychologists. -- P. 17

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

Being 'politically correct' means deciding issues not on the basis of the evidence or the merits, but on the basis of what group those involved belong to or what ideology they profess. -- P. 183

In the United States, for example, many of the social problems of the contemporary black underclass are almost automatically attributed to 'a legacy of slavery.' The prevalence of fatherless families in the black ghettos, for example, has been widely explained to the lack of legally constituted families under slavery. But if one proceeds beyond plausibility and guilt to actually seek out the facts, an entirely different picture emerges. -- P. 16

-whether judgments or actions toward particular groups are favorable or unfavorable, these actions cannot be automatically equated with prejudgments. Indeed, it is a sweeping prejudgment to do so, especially when those who attribute prejudice to others often have less direct knowledge of the groups in question at the times in question, than those who made the favorable or unfavorable judgments. -- P. 164

reach the top ten percent in individual income required an income of $87,300 in 2004. -- P. 138

It is not only theoretically possible to have more discrimination where there is less bias or prejudice, and less discrimination where there more bias and prejudice, this has in fact happened in more than one country. The degree to which subjective attitudes are translated into overt acts of discrimination depends on the costs of doing so. Where those costs are very high, even very prejudiced or biased people may engage in little or no discrimination...Personal costs can lead to actions either more adverse or less adverse than the individual‘s own beliefs or feelings. -- P. 168 - 169

In any given country, a particular minority may be hated for any of a number of reasons peculiar to that country or that group. However, in a worldwide perspective, the most hated kinds of minorities are often not defined by race, color, religion, or national origin. Often they are generically 'middleman minorities,' who can be of any racial or ethnic background, and in fact are of many. -- P. 65

(in 1969) Harvard economist Richard Freeman compared blacks and whites whose homes included newspapers, magazines, and library cards, and who had also gone on to obtain the same number of years of schooling. There was no difference in the average income of these whites compared to these blacks. -- P. 80