Thomas Sowel Quotes

The normal weighing of costs against benefits, which causes more urgent things to be done ahead of less important things when prices ration scarce resources, is less effective when costs are paid by someone other than the actual decision-makers. -- P. 74

What is called 'planning' in political rhetoric is the government‘s suppression of other people‘s plans by superimposing on them a collective plan, created by third parties, armed with the power of government and exempted from paying the costs that these collective plans impose on others. -- P. 32

Although advocates of the 'overpopulation' theory argue that rising population threatens to create more poverty, virtually no one can provide examples of countries that had a higher standard of living when their population was half of what it is today. -- P. 204

Women who remain single earn 91 percent of the income of men who remain single, in the age bracket from 25 to 64 years old...women are typically not educated as often in such highly paid fields as mathematics, science, and engineering, nor attracted to physically taxing and well paid fields as construction work, lumberjacking, coal mining and the like. -- P. 92

-those who deliver tons of life-sustaining food to supermarkets are not engaged in 'public service,' as the anointed use the term. -- P. 184

Going back a hundred years, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery, we find that the census data of that era showed that slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than had white adults...As late as 1950, 72 percent of all black men and 81 percent of black women had been married. But the 1960 census showed the first signs of a decline that accelerated in later years-as so many other social declines began in the 1960‘s This new trend, beginning a century after emancipation, can hardly be explained as 'a legacy of slavery' and might more reasonably be explained as a legacy of the social policies promoted by the anointed,.. -- P. 81

Language is thus the epitome of an evolved complex order, with its own systemic characteristics, inner logic, and external social consequences-but without having been deliberately designed by any individual or council. Its rationality is systemic, not individual-an evolved pattern rather than an excogitated blueprint. -- P. 69

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

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

For history to contribute to human understanding, its own integrity as history must be respected...A search of the past for group image-enhancement cannot be called history either, nor can a record of the past purged of whatever may be currently embarrassing or whatever is vetoed by contemporary group spokesmen, for whatever reason. -- P. 251

Since no group of human beings has been without sin, anecdotal evidence for various accusations will never be lacking, even when these sins are less of an explanatory factor than a fatal distraction from the hard work needed to acquire the human capital needed to turn poverty to prosperity. -- P. 338

-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

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

In the unconstrained vision, where much of the malaise of the world is due to existing institutions and existing beliefs, those least habituated to those institutions and beliefs are readily seen as especially valuable for making needed social changes. -- P. 63

To say that a shoe shine boy earns 'too little' or a surgeon 'too much' is to say that third parties should have the right to preempt the decisions of those who elected to spend their money on shoes or surgery. -- P. 212

It was the Africans who enslaved their fellow Africans, selling some of these slaves to Europeans or to Arabs and keeping others for themselves. Even at the peak of the Atlantic slave trade, Africans retained more slaves for themselves than they sent to the Western Hemisphere. -- P. 120

One of the grand fallacies of our time is that something beneficial should be subsidized. -- Chapter: "Cutting the Budget"

Everything fails by irrelevant standards. -- P. 207

-moral equivalence- whatever form it takes- is moral self-exaltation. -- P. 137

The percentage of employed blacks who were professional and technical workers rose less in the five years following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than in the five years preceding it. -- P. 49