Thomas Sowel Quotes

The political battles of the day are a potpourri of special interests, mass emotions, personality clashes, corruption, and numerous other factors. Yet the enduring historic trends have a certain consistency that reflects certain visions. -- P. 17

Much of the story of the human race has been a story of the massive cultural borrowings, which have created a modern world technology, as much at home in Japan as in Europe or the United States. -- P. 61

As many have warned in the past, freedom is unlikely to be lost all at once and openly. It is far more likely to be eroded away, bit by bit, amid glittering promises and expressions of noble ideas. -- P. 184

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

Those with the vision of the anointed often advocate the settlement of international differences through ‘diplomacy’ and ‘negotiation’ rather than by ‘force’–as if diplomacy and negotiation were not dependent on a surrounding set of incentives, of which the credible threat of military force is crucial.” — P. 130-131

Economic development has been one of the most successful anti-poverty programs. -- P. 47

Everyone is a 'progressive' by his own lights. That the anointed believe that this label differentiates themselves from other people is one of a number of symptoms of their naïve narcissism. -- P. 95

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

-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

-numerous empirical studies by economists over the past few decades have repeatedly concluded that minimum wage laws have their most devastating impact on black teenagers. -- P. 87

-hundreds of black chemists were employed in private industry before World War II, when not a single major university had a black professor of chemistry. -- P. 123

Despite the popularity of the phrase 'income distribution,' most income is earned- not distributed. -- P. 151

One of the most remarkable feats of those with the vision of the anointed has been the maintenance of their reputations in the face of repeated predictions that proved to be wrong by miles. -- P. 64

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

People sort themselves out residentially around the world, not only by race and ethnicity but also by income, education, lifestyle, and other characteristics. . . Observers who presuppose that a random distribution of people is desirable often see residential sorting as a 'problem' to be 'solved,' usually by governmental action. Often this view is accompanied by an assumption that housing segregation is irrational or can be an expression of prejudice or animosity toward another group. -- P. 104

If a footrace is conducted under fair conditions, then the result is just, whether that result is the same person winning again and again or a different winner each time. Results do not define justice in the constrained vision. -- P. 89

It is one thing to be bitter because one cannot feed one‘s children and something very different to be resentful because one cannot afford designer jeans or expensive watches that keep no better time than cheap watches. -- P. 27

The constrained vision of human intellectual and moral capabilities relies less on articulated rationality to convince and more on incentives to influence behavior. -- P. 169

In short, no matter what happens, the vision of the anointed always succeeds, if not by the original criteria, then by criteria extemporized later-and if not by empirical evidence, then by criteria sufficiently subjective to escape even the possibility of refutation. Evidence becomes Irrelevant. -- P. 15

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