Thomas Sowel Quotes

Freedom, wherever it exists in the world today, owes much to developments in Britain. These include not only the historic evolution of a free society in the United Kingdom itself, providing political models and legal precedents for other free societies around the world, but also Britain‘s key role in destroying the international slave trade in the nineteenth century, and its crucial role when the survival of freedom in the world was threatened in the early and dark days of World War II. -- P. 87

Another feature of middleman minorities cited by various scholars has been their tendency to invest in highly mobile capital- intellectual skills being the ultimate in portability- rather than fixtures that could not move. -- P. 107

The side effects of slavery were not negligible, especially in the United States, where the staggering economic and human costs of the Civil War seemed to fit Abraham Lincoln‘s premonition that all the treasure built up from unpaid labor might be sunk in the ensuing war and every drop of blood drawn by the lash might be paid in blood shed with the sword. -- P. 65

The military and political viability of the newly created states, and the dangers to the peace of Europe as a whole when the international balance of power was made fragile by the existence of so many small and vulnerable countries were considerations lost in the euphoria of victory and the heady process of 'nation building'- or more accurately, empire dismemberment. But the importance of these factors was painfully revealed by the subsequent breakdown of the balance of power in Europe, as Hitler was able to pick off- one by one- countries that would have been much more difficult to conquer when they were part of a consolidated empire, thus enabling Nazi Germany to begin shifting the military balance of power in its favor, even before the onset of the Second World War. -- P. 18

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area - crime, education, housing, race relations - the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.

In countries around the world, discrimination by government has been greater than discrimination by businesses operating in competitive markets. -- P. 143

It is easy to say 'crime does not pay,' but the real question is: Does it pay whom- and compared to what? -- P. 47

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

-three-quarters of those Americans whose incomes were in the bottom 20 percent in 1975 were also in the top 40% at some point during the next 16 years. -- P. 135

place. Moreover, the actual behavior of those described as exploiters often shows them shunning those that they are said to exploit, in favor of dealing with more prosperous people, from whom they expect to earn more money. -- P. 219

Green (v. County School Board of New Kent County) was in many ways as decisive a case as Brown...-it was a substitution of a very different process- one in which children were to be assigned to schools by race instead of without regard to race. -- P. 68

The powerful incentives created by a profit-and-loss economy depend on the profits being private property. -- P. 245

Contrary to the notion that deficits have resulted from tax receipts by the federal government, those receipts in fact reached new record highs during the Reagan administration...By the last year of the Reagan administration in1988, the federal government collected over $391 billion more than during any year of the Carter administration-in percentage terms, the government took in 76 percent more that year than it had ever collected in any year of any other administration. -- P. 83

In Britain, as elsewhere in medieval Europe, a 'market' meant a specifically authorized gathering place for selling on days specified by the authorities, in places specified by the authorities, and at prices specified by authorities...As large scheduled markets and fairs gave way to innumerable, smaller, scattered, and continuously-operating shops and stores, official control of prices and conditions became much more tenuous as a practical matter...It was in the wake of these erosions of economic controls that intellectual challenges were then made to the role of government in the economy, first by the Physiocrats in France, who coined the term 'laissez-faire,' and then by Adam Smith in Britain, who became its leading champion. By the mid-nineteenth century, widespread support of 'free trade' internationally, and of freeing the domestic economy from many political controls, were on the ascendancy in Britain. -- P. 33 - 34

Maturity is not a matter of age. You have matured when you are no longer concerned with showing how clever you are, and give your full attention to getting the job done right. Many never reach that stage, no matter how old they get.

correcting this injustice imposes another arbitrary cost on another innocent person, is that also an injustice? -- P. 28

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

As of 1989, for example, black, white, and Hispanic Americans of the same age (29) with the same I.Q. (100) all earned between $25,000 and $26,000. -- P. 371

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

The genuinely rich and genuinely poor, put together, do not add up to even 10 percent of the American population. Yet these two groups are the central characters in the moral melodramas which dominate American politics, journalism, and even academic and judicial discourse. -- P. 39