Thomas Sowel Quotes

Starting with a certain presupposition, one may say 'aha!' when encountering statistics consonant with that presupposition. Often, however, one could just as easily have started with the opposite presupposition and found occasion to say 'aha!' from the same set of data. -- P. 257

Everyone is for a beneficial outcome; they simply define it in radically different terms. Everyone is a “progressive” by his own lights. That the anointed believe that this label differentiates themselves from other people is one of a number of symptoms of their naive narcissism. — P. 95

National and group pride and identity have often been assumed to be positive, if not essential, factors in advancement. Yet some of the most remarkable examples of rapid advancement have come from peoples painfully aware of their own backwardness and ashamed of it. -- P. 341

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

Too often, those opposed to discrimination are also opposed to free competitive markets that make discrimination more costly. They do not think beyond stage one. -- P. 177

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

Where separate group identities are government-subsidized-often under the general label of 'multiculturalism' in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States-an artificial Balkanization is fostered, in utter disregard of the tragic historic consequences of Balkanization in many parts of Asia and Africa, as well as in the Balkans themselves. -- P. 31

In short, however politically useful public concern about teenage pregnancy and access to a captive audience in the public schools, the real goal was to change students‘ attitudes- put bluntly, to brainwash them with the vision of the anointed, in order to supplant the values they had been taught at home. -- P. 19

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

The intrinsic difficulties which dominate the constrained vision are not the real obstacles in the unconstrained vision, in which deliberate obstruction and obfuscation account for many evils, and in which what is crucially needed on the part of the public-spirited reformers is commitment. -- P. 73

-clearly neither racial discrimination nor racial inferiority can explain similar differences between whites in the North and the South in earlier centuries. This should at least raise questions about such explanations when applied to blacks of a later era who inherited the culture of white Southerners. -- P. 25

(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

Yet nothing has been more common in history than for victims to become oppressors when they gain power. -- P. 250

-motor vehicle death rates per million passenger miles fell over the years from 17.9 in 1925 to 5.5 in 1965, the year Unsafe at Any Speed was published, and this trend continued at a rate of 4.9 five years later...In short, the era of corporate greed and the presumably ignorant and helpless consumer saw dramatic improvements in safety, before the anointed came to the rescue. -- P. 73

The ideas that government intervention improves the situation is a notion which has been repeated innumerable times in many ways, but endless repetition is not a coherent argument, much less proof...It is precisely government intervention in housing markets which has made previously affordable housing unaffordable. -- P. 23

The family is inherently an obstacle to schemes for central control of social processes. Therefore the anointed necessarily find themselves repeatedly on a collision course with the family. It is not a matter of any subjective animus on their part against families. The anointed may in fact be willing to shower government largess upon families, as they do other social entities. But the preservation of the family as an autonomous decision- making unit is incompatible with the third-party decision making that is at the heart of the vision of the anointed. -- P. 62

The responses of the educational establishment to the academic deficiencies of their students today include: (1) secrecy, (2) camouflage, (3) denial, (4) shifting the blame elsewhere, and (5) demanding more money. -- P. 8

If something went wrong, someone was to blame, preferably someone with a 'deep Pocket' from which to pay damages. Often these deep pockets were nothing more than an aggregation of much shallower pockets, whether of taxpayers or of stockholders. -- P. 172

-a polemical tactic has developed which enables virtually any general statement, however true, to be flatly denied, simply because it is not 100 percent true in all circumstances. -- P. 91

One factor in the loss of British economic pre-eminence in the world was Britain‘s earlier development of strong and widespread labor unions, which were able to restrict the application of new technology, both directly and by appropriating a sufficient share of technology‘s economic benefits to reduce the incentives for further technological investment. -- P. 44