Thomas Sowell Quotes
Quotes by Thomas Sowell
Words of Wisdom
"The real minimum wage is zero."
"Envy plus rhetoric equals “social justice.”
“Liberalism is totalitarianism
with a human face”
“There are few things more dishonorable than misleading the young.”
“Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty.”
"Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest."
“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings”
“Too much of what is called "education" is little more than an expensive isolation from reality”
“The welfare state is not really about the welfare of the masses. It is about the egos of the elites.”
“If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism”
“People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do”
"Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric."
“The big divide in this country is not between Democrats and Republicans, or women and men, but between talkers and doers.”
"Some of the people on death row today might not be there if the courts had not been so lenient on them when they were first offenders."
"I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money."
"When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear."
"The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department."
“Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on "income distribution," the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”
“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.”
“One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain”
"American prosperity and American free enterprise are both highly unusual in the world, and we should not overlook the possibility that the two are connected."
"Intellectuals may like to think of themselves as people who "speak
truth to power" but too often they are people who speak lies to gain power."
"The real goal should be reduced government spending, rather than balanced budgets achieved by ever rising tax rates to cover ever rising spending."
“Capitalism knows only one color: that color is green; all else is necessarily subservient to it, hence, race, gender and ethnicity cannot be considered within it”
“Liberals seem to assume that, if you don't believe in their particular political solutions, then you don't really care about the people that they claim to want to help”
"Would you bet your paycheck on a weather forecast for tomorrow? If not, then why should this country bet billions on global warming predictions that have even less foundation?"
"Many of the dangerous things that drivers do are not likely to save them even 10 seconds. When you bet your life against 10 seconds, that is giving bigger odds than you are ever likely to get in Las Vegas."
"To say that 'wealth in America is so unfairly distributed in America,' as Ronald Dworkin does, is grossly misleading when most wealth in the United States is not distributed at all. People create it, earn it, save it, and spend it."
"The essence of bigotry is denying other people the same free choices you have. Many of those who call themselves environmentalists could more accurately be called green bigots."
"If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today."
“Elections should be held on April 16th- the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.”
“What "multiculturalism" boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture - and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture”
"The anti-slavery movement was spearheaded by people who would today be called "the religious right" and its organization was created by conservative businessmen."
“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”
“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
"The problem isn't that Johnny can't read. The problem isn't even that Johnny can't think. The problem is that Johnny doesn't know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling."
"The people made worse off by slavery were those who were enslaved. Their descendants would have been worse off today if born in Africa instead of America. Put differently, the terrible fate of their ancestors benefitted them."
"The old adage about giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish has been updated by a reader: Give a man a fish and he will ask for tartar sauce and French fries! Moreover, some politician who wants his vote will declare all these things to be among his "basic rights."
"The words games of the left — from the mantra of "diversity" to the pieties of "compassion" — are not just games. They are ways of imposing power by evading issues of substance through the use of seductive rhetoric."
“Most people who read "The Communist Manifesto" probably have no idea that it was written by a couple of young men who had never worked a day in their lives, and who nevertheless spoke boldly in the name of "the workers".”
"Nothing could be more jolting and discordant with the vision of today's intellectuals than the fact that it was businessmen, devout religious leaders and Western imperialists who together destroyed slavery around the world. And if it doesn't fit their vision, it is the same to them as if it never happened."
"The rhetoric of "equal rights" has become the road to special privilege for all sorts of groups, so perhaps it was inevitable that gay activists would take that road as well. It has worked. They have already succeeded in getting far more government money for AIDS than for other diseases that kill far more people."
"Judicial activism is a mechanism though which the (liberal vision) can be imposed on a public which does not support it, without having to go through elected officials who would not dare to vote for many of the features of that vision."
"Crimes committed by bums are covered up by the media, by verbally transforming "the homeless" into "transients" or "drifters" whenever they commit crimes. Thus "the homeless" are the only group you never hear of committing any crimes."
"The left has a whole vocabulary devoted to depicting people who do not meet standards as people who have been denied "access." Whether it is academic standards, job qualifications or credit requirements, those who do not measure up are said to have been deprived of "opportunity," "rights" or "social justice."
"Every special interest group has an incentive to take something away from society as a whole. Some will be content just to siphon off a share of the taxpayers' money for themselves. Others, however, want to dismantle a part of the structure of values that make a society viable."
“People who claim that sentencing a murderer to "life without the possibility of parole" protects society just as well as the death penalty ignore three things: (1) life without the possibility of parole does not mean life without the possibility of escape or (2) life without the possibility of killing while in prison or (3) life without the possibility of a liberal governor being elected and issuing a pardon.”
"Those who rail against profits and "greed" seldom stop to think through what they are saying, much less go check the facts. Most of the great American fortunes-- Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, etc. -- came from finding more efficient ways to produce a product or service at a lower cost, so that it could be sold at a lower price and attract more customers. If making a fortune represents greed, then greed is what drives prices down."
“The assumption that spending more of the taxpayer's money will make
things better has survived all kinds of evidence that it has made things
worse. The black family- which survived slavery, discrimination, poverty,
wars and depressions- began to come apart as the federal government moved
in with its well-financed programs to "help."”
Compiled by Thomas George
Compiled by Thomas George