Thomas Sowel Quotes

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

-the choice as to which outsiders to enslave was not a matter of racial ideology, but was based on pragmatic considerations as to availability, including both the military and legal obstacles to their enslavement. -- P. 193

Unionization drove out blacks in two ways: (1) directly through discriminatory rules and policies, and (2) indirectly, by artificially raising the wage rates and making them uniform. -- P. 89

The thuggish gutter words and brutal hoodlum lifestyle of 'gangsta rap' musicians are not merely condoned but glorified by many white intellectuals- and 'understood' by others lacking the courage to take responsibility for siding with savagery....Even such a modern ghetto creation as gangsta rap echoes the violence, arrogance, loose sexuality, and self dramatization common for centuries in white redneck culture and speaks in exaggerated cadences common in the oratory of rednecks in both the antebellum South and those parts of Britain from which their ancestors came. -- P. 55 / 59

Where property rights prevail in a free market, housing circulates regularly among different classes of people. -- P. 33

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

A California farmer can always show the television audience the abundant crop he has been able to grow because of federal water projects. But no one can videotape the crops that would have been grown elsewhere, at less cost to the economy, if there were no federal subsidies to encourage the use of water delivered at great cost into the California desert instead of water delivered free from the clouds elsewhere. — P. 257

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

The presumed irrationality of the public is a pattern running through many, if not most or all, of the great crusades of the anointed in the twentieth century–regardless of the subject matter of the crusade or the field in which it arises. Whether the issue has been ‘overpopulation,’ Keynesian economics, criminal justice, or natural resource exhaustion, a key assumption has been that the public is so irrational that the superior wisdom of the anointed must be imposed, in order to avert disaster. The anointed do not simply happen to have a disdain for the public. Such disdain is an integral part of their vision, for the central feature of that vision is preemption of the decisions of others. — P. 123-124

Innumerable subsequent studies of the self-esteem of black youngsters in integrated school settings have shown no general pattern of higher self-esteem. Some studies show less self-esteem, some show more, and other studies show mixed results. -- P. 64

-what successively removed various peoples of the world from the ranks of those vulnerable to being enslaved was the long process of consolidation of state power, whether their own or that of European imperialist nations. -- P. 13

Clinging to a counterproductive culture in the name of group pride and avoiding changes because they could be labeled 'self-hate' are patterns that have no track record that would justify optimism. -- P. 263

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

History has also dealt unkindly with the notion that 'racial purity' produces people capable of higher achievements than those of mixed ancestry...While there may not be any absolutely pure races in the world today, some are less mixed than others. The purest of all are likely to be found in geographically isolated places, which are typically places poorer and less technologically or educationally advanced than others. -- P. 372

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area - crime, education, housing, race relations - the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.

Among Americans in 1980, 31 percent of all black first-born children were born to teenage mothers, compared to only 12 percent among whites. In both races, children born to teenage mothers tended to have lower I.Q.‘s. -- P. 370

Another major difference between private and governmental institutions is that, no matter how big and successful a private business is, it can always be forced out of business when it is no longer satisfying its customers — whether because of its own inadequacies or because competing firms or alternative technologies can satisfy the customers better. Government agencies, however, can continue on despite demonstrable failures, and the power of government can prevent rivals from arising. — P.13

Perhaps the purest example of an argument without an argument is to say that something is 'inevitable'. This is an inherently irrefutable argument, so long as any time remains in the future. -- P. 101

The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive. — Chapter: "The Survival of the Left"

-the crucial factors in the cost of discrimination have been the presence or absence of competition and whether those making the decisions have been spending their own money or someone else‘s money. -- P. 178