Thomas Sowel Quotes

The 'futility of war' is an exhilarating set of sounds rather than a serious statement to be tested seriously against facts. -- P. 112

Nevertheless, most Americans earn their livings by renting their time and talents-and live much better than peoples in many other countries where most adults own their own land and work only for themselves. -- P. 127

In general, warfare between whites and Indians was less common during the colonial era than warfare among the Indians, fighting with one another for access to European settlements. -- P. 296

Knowledge is one of the scarcest of all resources. -- P. 111

After the soaring rhetoric and optimistic expectations at the beginning of independence were followed by bitter disappointments and painful retrogressions that reached into virtually every aspect of African life, the immediate political response was not so much a re-evaluation of the assumptions and policies which lead to such disastrous results, but instead a widespread blaming of the departed imperialists, or racial minorities such as the Indians, or even the United States, which has had relatively little role in African history, for good or ill. -- P. 120

Implicit in much discussion of a need to rectify social inequities is the notion that some segments of society, through no fault of their own, lack things which others receive as windfalls gains, through no virtue of their own. True as this may be, the knowledge required to sort this out intellectually, much less rectify it politically, is staggering and superhuman. -- P. 13

Europeans became mass traders of African slaves largely by purchase from Africa‘s more powerful tribes and empires. -- P. 195

Media and even academic preoccupation with instant snapshot statistics create major distortions of economic reality. 'The rich' and 'the poor' have become staples of income discussions, even though most of the people in the top and bottom income categories are the same people at different stages of their lives, rather than fixed classes of people who remain at the top and bottom throughout their lives. -- P. 168

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

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

-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

-the very need to pass laws to keep slavery from self-destructing piecemeal was further evidence of it economic deficiencies, quite aside from its violations of moral and humanitarian principles. -- P. 67

on making a profit, and the implicit costs of their decisions were paid out of the endowments and donations supplied by others. -- P. 171

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

The official ideology that race did not matter under Communism, that all were one 'Soviet people,' was ultimately exposed as a bitter mockery when the easing of central government control in the late 1980s released lethal inter-ethnic violence in Soviet Georgia, in Azerbaijan, and in Central Asia...The final irony was that racial, ethnic, and nationality clashes- all regarded as passing anachronisms by Marxist theory, and as having been abolished by Soviet practice- not only persisted, but themselves played a major role in abolishing the Soviet Union. -- P. 246

China in centuries past has been described as 'one of the largest and most comprehensive markets for the exchange of human beings in the world.' Slavery was also common in India, where it has been estimated that there were more slaves than in the entire Western Hemisphere- and the original Thugs kidnapped children for the purpose of enslavement. -- P. 112

Differing incidences of malnutrition, alcohol and drug usage, cigarette smoking, and other behavioral of mothers during pregnancy can lead to babies with the same genetic potential at the moment of conception entering the world at birth already differing biologically in their mental capacities. -- P. 369

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

end in divorce, based on such statistics, would be like saying that half of the population died last year id deaths were half as large as births. -- P. 59

-the cold fact is that income is not distributed: it is earned. -- P. 211