Thomas Sowel Quotes

In the west, racism was promoted by slavery, rather than vice versa. -- P. 195

Social reformers, seeking to unsort people who have sorted themselves, often assume that housing segregation patterns will endure indefinitely, through inertia, without outside intervention. History and logic undermine that belief. -- P. 106

Calls for 'forgiveness' of loans to Third World governments are frequently heard and heeded, as if rewarding financial irresponsibility by officials doing the borrowing is going to lift poor countries out of poverty. -- P. 212

Political movements and even whole nations have been seized by a vision of the idle rich exploiting the toiling masses, of people mired in grinding poverty from birth to death, and of labor unions or socialist or communist movements as the only forlorn hope for those otherwise economically doomed. -- P. 169

The rule of law- 'a government of laws and not of men'- implies rules known in advance, applied generally, and constraining the rulers as well as the ruled. Freedom implies exemptions from the power of the rulers and a corresponding limitation on the scope of all laws, even those of democratically elected governments. -- P. 151

The more highly competitive the market for labor and for the employer‘s products, the higher the cost paid for discrimination and consequently the less leeway the employer has for indulging his prejudices without risking his own profits and ultimately the financial survival of the business. On the other hand, enterprises not subject to the full stress of a competitive market- monopolies, non-profit enterprises, government agencies- have greater leeway. -- P. 74

A succinct summary of the tragic vision was given by historians Will and Ariel Durant: Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace. No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history. — P. 112

wake of such liberation has seldom provoked serious reconsideration of the whole set of assumptions- the vision- which led to such disasters. -- P. 247

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 more tendentious definition of racism has emerged in the late twentieth century to exempt racial minorities themselves from the charge. Racism was now said to require power, which minorities themselves do not have, so that even the most anti-white, anti- Jewish, or anti-Asian statements (including those asserting a genetic basis for depravity) were automatically exempt from the charge of racism. -- P. 368

-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

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

-for each particular piece of legislation or any given legal case, the incremental damage done to the Constitution may seem slight. It is only in the aggregate that this pursuit of cosmic justice 'at all costs' becomes a dangerous destruction of the rights that define and defend a free society. -- P. 173

(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

What is called 'capitalism' might more accurately be called consumerism. It is the consumers who call the tune, and those capitalists who want to remain capitalists have to learn to dance to it. -- P. 122

Some seem to argue as if any historical or contemporary source of unhappiness which a government could have prevented is something for which it should be held morally accountable-regardless of whether the government or the society created the source of unhappiness. -- P. 249

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

Property rights create self-monitoring, which tend to be both more effective and less costly than third party monitoring. . . It is things not owned by anybody (air and water for example) which are polluted. -- P. 243

Many assume that racism is a prerequisite for discrimination, or is virtually synonymous with it. However, a generalized hostility or specific discrimination may be directed against a particular racial or ethnic group, without any belief that they are innately inferior. -- P. 154

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