Thomas Sowel Quotes

Whether moving people into government housing projects, giving them vouchers to subsidize their living in middle –class neighborhoods, or moving large numbers of them from one city to another, the evidence is clear that changing peoples location does not change their behavior. -- P. 45

Many racial policies continually add to the pile of combustible material, which only needs the right political arsonist to set it off. -- P. 118

Time by itself accomplishes nothing. In particular, it is a serious mistake, with dangerous consequences, to imagine that time itself improves relations among racial ethnic groups. -- P. xi

To apply the same rules to everyone requires no prior knowledge of anyone‘s childhood, cultural heritage, philosophical (or sexual) orientation, or the innumerable historical influences to which he or his forebears may have subjected. -- P. 16

If food were categorically more important than music, then we would never reach a point where we were prepared to sacrifice resources that could be used to produce food in order to produce music...A world where food had categorical priority over music would be a world of 300-pound people, whose brief lives would never be brightened by a song or a melody. -- P. 138

History is the memory of a nation- and that memory is being erased by historians enthralled by the vision of the anointed...This erasing of the national memory, and the recording of a preferred vision over it, is yet another expression of the notion that reality is optional. -- P. 252

It is bitter medicine to the fully qualified individual to be denied employment because of the racial, ethnic, or other group to which he belongs. It is economically fallacious, however, to say that the below average earnings of the group as a whole are due to such discrimination. -- P. 89

In 2001, for example, there were more than 16,000 Asian American students who scored above 700 on the mathematics SAT, while fewer than 700 black students scored that high- even though blacks outnumbered Asian Americans several times over. This cannot be explained away by poverty, racism, or innate inferiority. -- P. 226

-the cultural capital of a people is crucial to their economic and social advancement, whether that people is a racial minority, a nation-state, or a whole civilization. -- P. 368

Nationwide, a majority–54 percent-of all black children were living only with their mothers in 1992. However, this was not a legacy of slavery as sometimes claimed. As recently as 1970, a majority of black children were still living with both parents. -- P. 61

The central assumption behind busing was perhaps no where better expressed than by Los Angeles Judge Paul V. Egly, when he declared that minority students would be 'irreparably damaged' if busing were even delayed, and that his task was to 'make the most efficient use of increasingly scarce white students as possible' by spreading them around for the benefit of the many minority youngsters who constituted a majority of the city‘s school children. 'Kipling‘s doctrine of 'the white man‘s burden' was now transformed into a judicial doctrine of the white child‘s burden- a doctrine that came very close to fighting racism with racism. -- P. 69

-female academics have been common far longer than black academics, reaching a peak proportion of all academics back in 1879 that was not equaled again in the next ninety years...Women with doctorates have for years received those degrees from prestigious institutions about as often as men have, so that they have long been in the so-called 'old boy network' of academic recruitment just like male Ph.D.s. -- P. 82 - 83

Central to the concept of social justice is the notion that individuals are entitled to some share of the wealth produced by a society, simply by virtue of being members of that society, and irrespective of any individual contribution made or not made to the production of that wealth. -- P. 192

Given the unique- and uniquely oppressive- history of blacks, it would follow almost inevitably from the civil rights vision that blacks would today suffer far more than other groups from low income, broken homes, and the whole litany of social pathologies. But like so many things that follow from the civil rights vision, it happens not to be true in fact...Both the domestic and the international examples suggest that what is most dramatic, most historic, or most morally revolting need not coincide with what is most economically determining. In short, the historical uniqueness of blacks has not translated into a contemporary uniqueness in incomes, occupations, I.Q., unemployment, female headed households, alcoholism, or welfare dependency, however much blacks may differ from the mythical national average in these respects. All of these represent serious difficulties (sometimes larger calamities) for blacks, and indirectly for the larger society, but the question here is the cause. If that cause is either a unique history or a unique genetics, blacks would differ not only from the national average but also from other groups that share neither that history nor the same genetic background. -- P. 74 - 75

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

It was common for Sothern slaveholders to hire white workers, often Irish immigrants, to do work considered too dangerous for slaves. -- P. 200

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

People were enslaved because they were vulnerable, not because of how they looked. -- P. 113

As far back as 1969, black males who came from homes where there were newspapers, magazines, and library cards had the same incomes as whites from similar homes and with the same number of years of schooling. In the 1970‘s black husband-and-wife families outside the South earned as much as white husband-and-wife families outside the South. By 1981, for the country as a whole, black husband-and-wife families where both were college educated and both working earned slightly more than white families of the same description. -- P. 57

-sweeping Jim Crow laws were used in the South to keep blacks 'in their place' precisely because of the futility of trying to do so in a competitive market. -- P. 112