Thomas Sowel Quotes

-moral equivalence- whatever form it takes- is moral self-exaltation. -- P. 137

An airport, a hospital, or a sports arena is considered desegregated when everyone has the opportunity to use it. Regardless of what proportions of people from what groups actually use it. But a school with exactly the same racial proportions as an audience attending an opera or passengers using Dulles Airport could easily be served with a federal court order to desegregate, while other institutions would not be. -- P. 64

Letters from teachers continue to confirm the incompetence which they deny. A teacher in Montana says that my criticisms of teachers are "nieve." No, that wasn't a typographical error. He spelled it that way twice.

Few things have saved as many lives as the simple growth of wealth. -- P. 307

Distinguishing discrimination from differences in qualifications and performance is not easy in practice, though the distinction is fundamental in principle. -- P. 140

It is not visions that are dangerous. What is dangerous are insulated visions. -- P. 141

Where a group is less in demand (whether because of lower skill levels, less energetic or less conscientious work, or because of others‘ aversion to associating with them), an artificially imposed wage-rate increase tends to increase their unemployment rate more than the unemployment rate of the general population, or of other workers in the same population.-- P. 95

By projecting a vision of a world in which the problems of blacks are consequences of the actions of whites, either immediately or in times past, white liberals have provided a blanket excuse for shortcomings and even crimes by blacks. -- P. 52

A slave in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century cost thirty times what he cost on the coast of Africa. American slave-owners were very reluctant to lose this kind of investment- so much so that they often hired Irish immigrants to do work considered too dangerous for slaves. -- P. 160

Self-exaltation introduces a bias into consideration of many issues. For example, it creates a vested interest in the incapacity of other people. That is, there is not only a tendency to see people as helpless and not responsible for their actions, there is a tendency toward policies and programs which in fact reduce them to that condition and induce them to accept that image of themselves, while the anointed visionaries play the role of rescuer. -- P. 139

The big problem with money created by the government is that those who run the government always face the temptation to create more and spend it. -- P. 225

Back in the eighteenth century, Adam Smith, himself a professor, pointed out how the faculty of endowed academic institutions are enabled to indulge themselves in ways that they would not be able to in an enterprise dependent on its performance for its survival. -- P. 88

Despite the depiction of property rights as mere protections those who own substantial property, it has often been the affluent and the wealthy who have abridged property rights through the political process, in order to keep working class and other less affluent people from coming into their communities and changing its character via the developers and the financial institutions which supply developers the capital to bid away land from existing owners. -- P. 106

In the 1820‘s, 6000 Greeks were sent to Egypt as slaves and, half a century later, a report to the British Parliament noted that both white and black slaves were still being traded in Egypt and Turkey, years after blacks had been emancipated in the United States. -- P. 187

The source of moral outrage over corporate compensation is by no means obvious. If it is based on a belief that individuals are overpaid for their contribution to the corporation, then there would be even more outrage toward people who receive hundreds of millions of dollars for doing nothing at all, since they simply inherited money.-- P. 143

As early as 1950, black female college graduates earned 91 percent of the income of white female college graduates, and by 1960 were earning 2 percent more. Even when black and white women in general hold the same job currently, black women average more continuous experience on a given job- 38 percent more...In short, here again the ordinary labor market considerations seem to explain pay differences better than the civil rights vision. Indeed, the ability of black women to overtake white women in the marketplace is a very serious embarrassment to the civil rights vision. -- P. 102

Comparing never-married women and men who are past the child-bearing years and who both work full-time in the twenty-first century shows women of this description earning more than men of the same description. ..For women in general- that is, not just academic women- those single women who had worked continuously since high school were in 1971 earning slightly more than men of the same description. All this before affirmative action was defined as 'under-representation' in a 1971 Executive Order which went into effect in 1972, and so represents what was happening under competitive labor market pressures before any major government intervention to advance women. -- P. 77

When facts about racial or ethnic groups that are both known and relevant are deliberately suppressed because they would undermine a particular vision, or agenda, then history is prostituted and cannot serve as a check against visions, because facts have been subordinated to visions. -- P. 277

The term 'affirmative action' was first used in a racial discrimination context in President John F. Kennedy‘s Executive Order No. 10,925 in 1961...'take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.' -- P. 39

People who talk incessantly about "change" are often dogmatically set in their ways. They want to change other people.