Thomas Sowell Quotes & Wallpapers

Thomas Sowell
Total Quotes: 640


There are 3 questions that would destroy most of the arguments of the Left. The first is - compared to what? The second is - at what cost? And the third is - what hard evidence do you have? Thomas Sowell
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The first rule of economics is that there is an infinite number of desires chasing a finite number of goods, services and resources. The first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics. Thomas Sowell
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Knowledge can be enormously costly, and is often scattered in widely uneven fragments, too small to be individually usable in decision making. The communication and coordination of these scattered fragments of knowledge is one of the basic problems- perhaps the basic problem- of any society. Thomas Sowell
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The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take people's money away quietly, and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly. Thomas Sowell
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The desire to order other people around and make them conform to one own's vision takes many forms. Thomas Sowell
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Neither your life nor my life, nor the future of this country, will be affected in the slightest by whether Linda Tripp is naughty or nice. But if any president is able to commit crimes with impunity by using the vast powers and perquisites of his office to cover up, then we will have a danger of corruption and abuse of power that can only grow with the passing years and generations. Thomas Sowell
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Tolerating imperfections is the price of freedom. Thomas Sowell
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Both free speech rights and property rights belong legally to individuals, but their real function is social, to benefit vast numbers of people who do not themselves exercise these rights. Thomas Sowell
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The more people who are dependent on government handouts, the more votes the left can depend on for an ever-expanding welfare state. Thomas Sowell
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Experience trumps brilliance. Thomas Sowell
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It may be expecting too much to expect most intellectuals to have common sense, when their whole life is based on their being uncommon - that is, saying things that are different from what everyone else is saying. There is only so much genuine originality in anyone. After that, being uncommon means indulging in pointless eccentricities or clever attempts to mock or shock. Thomas Sowell
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Before the Iraq war I was quite disturbed by some of the neoconservatives, who were saying things like, "What is the point of being a superpower if you can't do such-and-such, take on these responsibilities?" The point of being a superpower is that people will leave you alone. Thomas Sowell
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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. Thomas Sowell
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Credentialed ignorance is still ignorance. Thomas Sowell
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It doesn't matter how smart you are unless you stop and think. Thomas Sowell
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One of the most basic and pervasive social processes is the sorting and labeling of things, activities, and people... Sorting and labeling processes involve a trade-off of costs and benefits. In general, the more finely the sorting is done, the greater the benefits - and the costs... Sorting and labeling, whether of people or of things, is a sorting and labeling of probabilities rather than of certainties. Thomas Sowell
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To say that being non-judgmental is better than being judgmental is itself a judgment, and therefore a violation of principle. Thomas Sowell
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Subsidies are a shell game, not a net addition to national wealth. Thomas Sowell
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An independent judiciary does not mean judges independent of the Constitution from which they derive their power or independent of the laws that they are sworn to uphold. Thomas Sowell
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The sad and tragic fact is that the civil rights movement, despite its honorable and courageous past, has over the years degenerated into a demagogic hustle, promoting the mindless racism they once fought against. Thomas Sowell
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The Obama administration seems to be following what might be called 'the Detroit pattern increasing taxes, harassing businesses, and pandering to unions. In the short run, it got mayors re-elected. In the long-run, it reduced Detroit from a thriving city to an economic disaster area, whose population was cut in half, as its most productive citizens fled. Thomas Sowell
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The greatest danger to the liberal vision are facts about the consequences of liberalism itself and the laws, policies, and ways of life that the left has spawned. That the black family, which survived centuries of slavery and generations of discrimination, has disintegrated in the wake of the liberal welfare states is only one example. Thomas Sowell
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If you start from a belief that the most knowledgeable person on earth does not have even one percent of the total knowledge on earth, that shoots down social engineering, economic central planning, judicial activism and innumerable other ambitious notions favored by the political left. Thomas Sowell
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Apparently almost anyone can do a better job of educating children than our so-called 'educators' in the public schools. Children who are home-schooled by their parents also score higher on tests than children educated in the public schools. ... Successful education shows what is possible, whether in charter schools, private schools, military schools or home-schooling. The challenge is to provide more escape hatches from failing public schools, not only to help those students who escape, but also to force these institutions to get their act together before losing more students and jobs. Thomas Sowell
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A recently reprinted memoir by Frederick Douglass has footnotes explaining what words like 'arraigned,' 'curried' and 'exculpate' meant, and explaining who Job was. In other words, this man who was born a slave and never went to school educated himself to the point where his words now have to be explained to today's expensively under-educated generation. Thomas Sowell
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People used to complain about 'the idle rich.' But the idle rich did not do the kind of harm being done by today's busybody rich, who feed their own egos by bankrolling political crusades on the left which hurt the very people that the left claims to care about - working people, minorities, and children. Thomas Sowell
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The government has brought on the housing problem, partly by these very low interest rates, which encouraged many people to go way out on a limb. They've brought it on by highly restrictive building policies, which have caused housing prices to skyrocket artificially. And they've brought it on by the Community Reinvestment Act, which presumes that politicians are better able to tell investors where to put their money than the investors themselves are. When you put all that together, you get something like what you have. Thomas Sowell
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It is amazing how many of the horrors of the 20th century were a result of charismatic quacks misleading millions of people to their own doom. What is even more amazing is that, after a century that saw the likes of Hitler, Lenin and Mao, we still see no need to distrust charisma as a basis for choosing leaders, either in politics or in numerous organizations and movements. Thomas Sowell
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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. Thomas Sowell
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I hate to think that someday Americans will be looking at the ruins of their cities and saying that this happened because their leaders were afraid of the word unilateral. Thomas Sowell
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Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back. Thomas Sowell
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A recent poll showed that nearly half the American public believes that the government should redistribute wealth. That so many people are so willing to blithely put such an enormous and dangerous arbitrary power in the hands of politicians- isking their own freedom, in hopes of getting what someone else has-is a painful sign of how far many citizens and voters fall short of what is needed to preserve a democratic republic Thomas Sowell
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If you truly believe in the brotherhood of man, then you must believe that blacks are just as capable of being racists as whites are. Thomas Sowell
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What exactly is your 'fair share' of what 'someone else' has worked for? Thomas Sowell
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Intellect is not wisdom. Thomas Sowell
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Economics is concerned with what emerges, not what anyone intended. Thomas Sowell
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The demands of unbounded individualism need to be weighed in the light of inherent social constraints which can only change their form but cannot be eliminated without eliminating civilization. Thomas Sowell
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If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else's expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves Thomas Sowell
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The biggest hypocrites on gun control are those who live in upscale developments with armed security guards - and who want to keep other people from having guns to defend themselves. But what about lower-income people living in high-crime, inner city neighborhoods? Should such people be kept unarmed and helpless, so that limousine liberals can 'make a statement' by adding to the thousands of gun laws already on the books? Thomas Sowell
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In this era of political correctness, some people seem unaware that being squeamish about words can mean being blind to realities. Thomas Sowell
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Too often the past has been twisted to fit the visions and agendas of the present. Thomas Sowell
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As long as human beings are imperfect, there will always be arguments for extending the power of government to deal with these imperfections. The only logical stopping place is totalitarianism - unless we realize that tolerating imperfections is the price of freedom. Thomas Sowell
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Clearly, only very unequal intellectual and moral standing could justify having equality imposed, whether the people want it or not, as Dworkin suggests, and only very unequal power would make it possible. Thomas Sowell
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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. Thomas Sowell
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Although the big word on the left is 'compassion,' the big agenda on the left is dependency. Thomas Sowell
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Facts do not speak for themselves. They speak for or against competing theories. Facts divorced from theories or visions are mere isolated curiosities. Thomas Sowell
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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology accepts blacks in the top ten percent of students, but at MIT this puts them in the bottom ten percent of the class. Thomas Sowell
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The real goal should be reduced government spending, rather than balanced budgets achieved by ever rising tax rates to cover ever rising spending. Thomas Sowell
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People who identify themselves as conservatives donate money to charity more often than people who identify themselves as liberals. They donate more money and a higher percentage of their incomes. Thomas Sowell
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Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life's savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. Thomas Sowell
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Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination. Thomas Sowell
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To the economically illiterate, if some company makes a million dollars in profit, this means that their products cost a million dollars more than they would have without profits. It never occurs to such people that these products might cost several million dollars more without the incentives to be efficient created by the prospect of profits. Thomas Sowell
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While rationalism at the individual level is a plea for more personal autonomy from cultural norms, at the social level it is often a claim- or arrogation- of power to stifle the autonomy of others. Thomas Sowell
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Global warming' is just the latest in a long line of hysterical crusades to which we seem to be increasingly susceptible. Thomas Sowell
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ANYONE who studies the history of ideas should notice how much more often people on the political left, more so than others, denigrate and demonize those who disagree with them - instead of answering their arguments. Thomas Sowell
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One of the consequences of such notions as 'entitlements' is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence. Thomas Sowell
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If politics were like sports, we could ask Israel to trade us Benjamin Netanyahu for Barack Obama. Of course, we would have to throw in trillions of dollars to get Israel to agree to the deal, but it would be money well spent. Thomas Sowell
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Trade-offs have been with us ever since the late unpleasantness in the Garden of Eden. Thomas Sowell
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Barack Obama has not only said that he is out to 'change the United States of America,' the people he has been associated with for years have expressed in words and deeds their hostility to the values, the principles and the people of this country. Thomas Sowell
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One of the problems with trying to help underdogs, especially with government programs, is that they and everyone else start to think of them as underdogs, focusing on their problems rather than their opportunities. Thinking of themselves as underdogs can also dissipate their energies in resentments of others, rather than spending that energy making the most of their own possibilities. Thomas Sowell
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Even if her children or grandchildren are willing to spend their own money to keep grandma alive, when bureaucrats control the necessary technology or medication they may decide that it is not for sale. Thomas Sowell
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The welfare state shields people from the consequences of their own mistakes, allowing irresponsibility to continue and to flourish among ever wider circles of people. Thomas Sowell
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High tax rates that people don't actually pay do not bring the government as much revenue as lower tax rates that they do pay. Thomas Sowell
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In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees. Thomas Sowell
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Women can say anything they want to men, or blacks to whites, with impunity. But strong words in the other direction can bring down on students the wrath of the campus thought police - as well as punishments that can extend to suspension or expulsion. Thomas Sowell
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Contrary to the vision of the left, it was the free market which produced affordable housing - before government intervention made housing unaffordable. Thomas Sowell
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So long as public schools are treated as places that exist to provide guaranteed jobs to members of the teachers' unions, do not be surprised to see American students continuing to score lower on international tests than students in countries that spend a lot less per pupil than we do. Thomas Sowell
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Those who automatically say that the social pathology of the ghetto is due to poverty discrimination and the like cannot explain why such pathology was far less prevalent in the 1950s, when poverty and discrimination were worse. But there were not nearly as many grievance mongers and race hustlers then. Thomas Sowell
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People who have never run even a modest little business assert with great certainty and indignation that heads of multinational corporations are paid much more than they are worth. People who know nothing about medicine and nothing about economics unhesi. Thomas Sowell
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The poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits ever since 1994. You would never learn that from most of the media. Similarly you look at those blacks that have gone on to college or finished college, the incarceration rate is some tiny fraction of what it is among those blacks who have dropped out of high school. So it's not being black; it's a way of life. Unfortunately, the way of life is being celebrated not only in rap music, but among the intelligentsia, is a way of life that leads to a lot of very big problems for most people. Thomas Sowell
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