I have to admit that I have been crushing on Thomas Sowell for a long time. He is a erudite economist, a pithy political pundit, and a phenomenally talented writer. His is widely published as a columnist and is a prolific nonfiction author, all while continuing his day job as a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Instition of Stanford University. To say he is highly accomplished is probably a bit of an understatement. He’s one of my favorite people ever to advance the causes of economic solvency and political conservatism. Plus, he has a wicked sense of humor.
With that confession now off my chest, let me share with you some of my favorite “Sowellisms.”
Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.
Socialism is a wonderful idea. It is only as a reality that it has been disastrous. Among people of every race, color, and creed, all around the world, socialism has led to hunger in countries that used to have surplus food to export…. Nevertheless, for many of those who deal primarily in ideas, socialism remains an attractive idea — in fact, seductive. Its every failure is explained away as due to the inadequacies of particular leaders.
Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.
Whenever someone refers to me as someone “who happens to be black,” I wonder if they realize that both my parents are black. If I had turned out to be Scandinavian or Chinese, people would have wondered what was going on.
It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.
Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.
Both free speech 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.
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.
It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites.
One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.
People who pride themselves on their “complexity” and deride others for being “simplistic” should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.
Intellect is not wisdom.
Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty.
Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on “income distribution,” the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.
There are only two ways of telling the complete truth–anonymously and posthumously.
Extrapolations are the last refuge of a groundless argument.
Whatever we wish to achieve in the future, it must begin by knowing where we are in the present- not where we wish we were, or whee we wish others to think we are, but where we are in fact.
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.
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.
Sources: Goodreads.com, ThinkExist.com, BrainyQuote.com
This is a very small sampling of the wit and wisdom of Thomas Sowell…a dip of the toe. I urge you to check out his columns at Townhall (one of several publication websites), his books (they’re available at your local library), and those columnists and authors whom he recommends. He is worth it.
Yep, totally crushing…