Thomas Sowel Quotes

As is common with accrediting organizations, all the things cited as factors in the American Bar Association‘s accreditation decisions are inputs into the educational process, rather than the outputs of qualified graduates. -- P. 99

That outside interests should see 40 million school children as a captive audience to be exploited is not so difficult to comprehend as the fact that educators themselves are not merely acquiescent, but are often enthusiastic apostles of these innumerable non- academic courses and programs. -- P. 32

Despite the power of the prevailing vision, some have escaped its gravitational pull. -- P. 6

If everything were made affordable, there would still not be any more to go around then when things were prohibitively expensive. -- P. 46

-criminal activity in general has tended to vary inversely with the risk of imprisonment. -- P. 48

White liberals in many roles- as intellectuals, politicians, celebrities, judges, teachers- have aided and abetted the perpetuation of a counterproductive and self-destructive lifestyle among black rednecks. The welfare state has made it economically possible to avoid many of the painful consequences of this lifestyle that forced previous generations of blacks and whites to move away from the redneck culture and its values. -- P. 51

Only a few years after seizing power- years marked by numerous economic setbacks and catastrophes- the Communists too turned to the West for management, engineering, and technical personnel, as well as for equipment and capital... Much of Stalin‘s 'building of socialism' in the early Five Year Plans was in fact done by capitalists from Europe and America. -- P. 214

In the summer of 1959, I worked as a clerk-typist in the headquarters of the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington. The people I worked for were very nice and I grew to like them. One day, a man had a heart attack at around 5 PM, on the sidewalk outside the Public Health Service. He was taken inside to the nurse's room, where he was asked if he was a government employee. If he were, he would have been eligible to be taken to a medical facility there. Unfortunately, he was not, so a phone call was made to a local hospital to send an ambulance. By the time this ambulance made its way through miles of Washington rush-hour traffic, the man was dead. He died waiting for a doctor, in a building full of doctors. Nothing so dramatized for me the nature of a bureaucracy and its emphasis on procedures, rather than results.

-many of the problems of very poor countries are internal, however politically unpalatable that may be to the inhabitants of those countries or to those on the Western world who prefer other explanations. This conclusion is reinforced by the history of very poor countries that rose rapidly to higher economic levels, such as Scotland in the eighteenth century, Japan in the nineteenth century and China in the twentieth century. In all cases, they raised themselves economically through internal changes, brought on by recognition that such internal changes were necessary. -- P. 215

Centuries before the first African was carried in bondage to the Western Hemisphere, Slavs were being enslaved on a massive scale-...Slaves were so widely sold into bondage that the very word for slave was derived from the word for Slave in a number of Western European languages, as well as in Arabic. -- P. 190 - 191

An estimated 1 to 2 percent of the babies born to plantation slave women were fathered by white men, compared to nearly half in the cities. Southern cities had a chronic surplus of white men over white women and a chronic surplus of black women over black men. Similar sexual imbalances have led to mixed offspring in many other times and societies, so the antebellum South was not exceptional in this. If most of the slave women who gave birth to racially mixed babies were simply raped by their owners, then such babies would be undoubtedly have been more common on the plantations, where white control was greatest, rather than in the cities, where it was more lax. -- P. 207

The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from ‘society,’ rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by ‘society’. — P. 203

To help some hard pressed individual or group whose case is before them, judges may bend the law to arrive at a more benign verdict in that particular case-but at the cost of damaging the whole consistency and predictability of the law, on which millions of other people depend, an on which ultimately the freedom and safety of a whole society depend. -- P. 130

If one goes through enough numbers, one will eventually come upon some statistics that seem to fit one‘s vision. These are what might be called 'Aha!' statistics. Other statistics which suggest opposite conclusions bring no 'Aha!' but are more likely to be glided over and forgotten. -- P. 34

In short, while capitalism has a visible cost-profit-that does not exist under socialism, socialism has an invisible cost-inefficiency-that gets weeded out by losses and bankruptcy in capitalism. The fact that more goods are available more cheaply in a capitalist economy implies that profit is less costly than inefficiency. Put differently, profit is a price paid for efficiency. -- P. 75

As a young man, John Stuart Mill brooded over the fact that there was an ultimate limit to the amount of music that could be produced by using the eight notes of the music scale. But, at that time, Brahms and Tchaikovsky had not yet been born nor jazz yet conceived, and rock music was more than a century away. Ultimate limits alone tell us virtually nothing useful about whether there is or is not a practical problem. -- P. 216

by the anointed have been vagrants, criminals and carriers of contagious diseases. -- P. 150

Wishing to see a poor but meritorious man win a lottery is radically different from insisting government redistributive policies...we reward productivity rather than merit, for the perfectly valid reason that we know how to do it. -- P. 23

Sellers in general maintain the quality of their products and services for fear of losing customers otherwise. But, when price controls create a situation where the amount demanded is greater than the amount supplied — a shortage — fear of losing customers is no longer as strong an incentive. For example, landlords typically reduce painting and repairs when there is rent control, because there is no need to fear vacancies when there are more tenants looking for apartments than there are apartments available. — P.70-71

-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