Thomas Sowell quotes

  • Any politician who can be elected only by turning Americans against other Americans is too dangerous to be elected.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Politician #Dangerous

  • If you don't control the borders, it doesn't matter what immigration laws you have.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Law #Matter #Immigration

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Business #Stupid #Hands

  • You need to be empathetic in your own personal life and we help our neighbors and our friends out who are struggling in our neighborhoods. But we don't make bad decisions based on empathy.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Struggle #Empathy #Decision

  • No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems - of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Two #Numbers #Trying

  • Many people believe in eliminating gaps and eliminating poverty. They don't realize that in some sense those two things are antithetical. If you were to double everyone's income, or if everyone's income were doubled naturally over the course of time, then you would reduce poverty significantly but you would have also increased the gap.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Believe #Two #People

  • 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

    #Might #Pay #Income

  • Child poverty in the United States declined after the work requirement was put in there. People realized that they had to work and people went out and worked and they got off welfare.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Children #People #United States

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Thinking #Doctors #Government

  • One of many problems with survey research in general is that you can only survey the survivors. In other words, if you were to do a survey of people who were known to have played Russian Roulette and you sent out the questions before the time they were going to play and then you come back six months after they played Russian Roulette, you would probably discover that among the people who did come back there was no harm done.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Play #People #Survivor

  • What exactly is your 'fair share' of what 'someone else' has worked for?
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Share

  • People have a vested interest in promoting one set of polices rather than finding out what the truth is.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #People #Truth Is #Interest

  • The key fallacy of so called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Gun #Keys #Law

  • People in the political world have every incentive to say things that lead voters away from a clear economic understanding of issues. What has happened more and more is that organized groups have more and more reasons to say things that don't make any economic sense.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Issues #People #Political

  • Compassion is the use of public funds to buy votes
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Compassion #Liberty #Use

  • What makes it possible for politicians to do so many things that are economically counterproductive is that neither the public nor the media know enough of the basics to understand what's wrong with what they're saying.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Media #Politician #Enough

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #People #Voting #Want

  • The whole idea of equal justice under law is completely incompatible with the idea of judges deciding cases according to "empathy".
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Law #Ideas #Justice

  • Love is a four-letter word, but you don't hear in nearly as often as you hear some other four-letter words. It may be a sign of our times that everyone talks openly about sex, but we seem to be embarrassed to talk about love.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Love #Sex #Four

  • I hate to make predictions, but I think the economy is going to be permanently changed for the worse. I think our foreign policy is going to lead to changes that will be definitely for the worse, particularly if we drift into a nuclear Iran, which I gather that's what the administration is doing.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Hate #Thinking #Iran

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Liberty #Complaining #Economic

  • We're not a socialist country, because the socialists believe in government ownership in the means of production, but the fascists believe that the government should have private ownership and the politicians should tell people how to run the businesses. So that's the route we seem to be going.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Running #Country #Believe

  • If you don't believe in the innate unreasonableness of human beings, just try raising children.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Children #Believe #Trying

  • People who talk incessantly about "change" are often dogmatically set in their ways. They want to change other people.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #People #Incessantly

  • If we become a people who are willing to give up our money and our freedom in exchange for rhetoric and promises, then nothing can save us.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Giving Up #People #Promise

  • Asking liberals where wages and prices come from is like asking six-year-olds where babies come from.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Baby #Years #Liberty

  • There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Stupid #Creating #People

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Money #Greed #Want

  • Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Intellectual #Liberty #Records

  • There is nothing so bad that politics cannot make it worse.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Liberty

  • In this era of political correctness, some people seem unaware that being squeamish about words can mean being blind to realities.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Mean #Reality #People

  • Ronald Reagan had a vision of America...Barac k Obama has a vision of Barack Obama.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #America #Vision #Barack

  • 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

    #Giving #Voting #Promise

  • As for gun control advocates, I have no hope whatever that any facts whatever will make the slightest dent in their thinking - or lack of thinking.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Hope #Thinking #Gun

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Believe #People #Political

  • If you believe in equal rights, then what do “women’s rights,” “gay rights,” etc., mean? Either they are redundant or they are violations of the principle of equal rights for all.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Believe #Mean #Gay

  • 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

    #Nice #People #Grace

  • Economic policies need to be analyzed in terms of the incentives they create, rather than the hopes that inspired them.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Needs #Incentives #Inspired

  • The question is not what anybody deserves. The question is who is to take on the God-like role of deciding what everybody else deserves. You can talk about 'social justice' all you want. But what death taxes boil down to is letting politicians take money from widows and orphans to pay for goodies that they will hand out to others, in order to buy votes to get re-elected. That is not social justice or any other kind of justice.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Hands #Order #Justice

  • When all is said and done, the Constitution of the United States is a set of words on a piece of paper. The only way that the Constitution can protect us is if we protect the Constitution.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #United States #Done #Pieces

  • There is no talent so ardently supported, nor generously rewarded, as the ability to convince parasites they are victims.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Liberty #Talent #Victim

  • Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions - and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Government #People #Decision

  • 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

    #Government #People #Vote

  • There are only two ways of telling the complete truth - anonymously and posthumously.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Sarcastic #Truth #Honesty

  • There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Trade #Solutions

  • If the battle for civilization comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are going to win.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Winning #Civilization #Battle

  • Groups that rose from poverty to prosperity seldom did so by having their own racial or ethnic leaders to follow.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Rose #Leader #Poverty

  • In short, killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy, so long as the goose does not die before the next election and no one traces the politicians’ fingerprints on the murder weapon.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Eggs #Long #Political

  • You have to have a sense of humor if you follow politics. Otherwise, the sheer fraudulence of it all will get you down.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Political #Sense Of Humor

  • 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

    #Sports #Israel #Dollars

  • We don‘t have faith that #freedom works. We have evidence.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Have Faith #Evidence

  • Implicit in the activist conception of government is the assumption that you can take the good things in a complex system for granted, and just improve the things that are not so good. What is lacking in this conception is any sense that a society, an institution, or even a single human being, is an intricate system of fragile inter-relationships, whose complexities are little understood and easily destabilized.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Government #Littles #Assumption

  • You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth - and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #People #Wealth #Moments

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Past #Race #Three

  • 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

    #Numbers #Desire #Firsts

  • No matter how disastrously some policy has turned out, anyone who criticizes it can expect to hear: 'But what would you replace it with?' When you put out a fire, what do you replace it with?
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Fire #Liberty #Matter

  • 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.”
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #War #Government #Black

  • Helping those who have been struck by unforeseeable misfortunes is fundamentally different from making dependency a way of life.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Way #Different #Helping

  • It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Funny #Laughter #Ignorance

  • 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

    #Games #Giving #People

  • The big divide in this country is not between Democrats and Republicans, or women and men, but between talkers and doers.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Country #Men #Doers

  • The word 'racism' is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything - and demanding evidence makes you a 'racist.'
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Racism #Racist #Conservative

  • Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Doers #Talkers #Specialty

  • Life in general has never been even close to fair, so the pretense that the government can make it fair is a valuable and inexhaustible asset to politicians who want to expand government.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Government #Want #Politician

  • You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Outcomes #Libertarian #Procedures

  • In liberal logic, if life is unfair then the answer is to turn more tax money over to politicians, to spend in ways that will increase their chances of getting reelected.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Money #Answers #Way

  • The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Procrastination #People #Favors

  • The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Order #Ideas #Political

  • 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

    #Real #Government #Goal

  • If politicians were serious about day care for children, instead of just sloganizing about it, nothing they could do would improve the quality of child care more than by lifting the heavy burden of taxation that forces so many families to have both parents working.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Children #Parent #Liberty

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Years #Play #Political

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Trust #Failure #Appreciate

  • The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Diversity #Important #Liberty

  • Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Past #Gdp #Liberty

  • What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Government #Long #People

  • People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Leadership #Teamwork #Live Life

  • If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Media #Differences #People

  • Do countries with strong gun control laws have lower murder rates? Only if you cherry-pick the data.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Country #Strong #Gun

  • People who are very aware that they have more knowledge than the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one-tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intelligentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Ignorance #Average #People

  • If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Gun #Civilization #Use

  • There are few things more dishonorable than misleading the young.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Young #Mislead

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Ethnicity #Color #Race

  • Capitalism is not an 'ism.' It is closer to being the opposite of an 'ism,' because it is simply the freedom of ordinary people to make whatever economic transactions they can mutually agree to.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Opposites #People #Liberty

  • 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?
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Country #Weather #Foundation

  • Too much of what is called 'education' is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Reality #Liberty #Littles

  • The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Inspirational #Liberty #Libertarian

  • The real minimum wage is zero.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Zero #Real #Minimum Wage

  • The welfare state is not really about the welfare of the masses. It is about the egos of the elites.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Ego #Politics #Welfare

  • Stopping illegal immigration would mean that wages would have to rise to a level where Americans would want the jobs currently taken by illegal aliens.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Jobs #Taken #Mean

  • You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization - including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility, and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain - without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Clever #Responsibility #Color

  • 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.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Culture #World #Blame

  • The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Mean #Technology #Opposites

  • Balanced budget requirements seem more likely to produce accounting ingenuity than genuinely balanced budgets.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Business #Requirements #Produce

  • Blacks were not enslaved because they were black but because they were available. Slavery has existed in the world for thousands of years. Whites enslaved other whites in Europe for centuries before the first black was brought to the Western hemisphere. Asians enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved other Asians. Africans enslaved other Africans, and indeed even today in North Africa, blacks continue to enslave blacks.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Years #Europe #Black

  • Why the transfer of decisions from those with personal experience and a stake in the outcome to those with neither can be expected to lead to better decisions is a question seldom asked, much less answered.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Decision #Liberty #Outcomes

  • Intellect is not wisdom.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Intellect

  • What is history but the story of how politicians have squandered the blood and treasure of the human race?
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Blood #Race #Political

  • 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

    #Mean #People #Dollars

  • The government is indeed an institution, but "the market" is nothing more than an option for each individual to chose among numerous existing institutions, or to fashion new arrangements suited to his own situation and taste.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Fashion #Government #Taste

  • If politicians stopped meddling with things they don't understand, there would be a more drastic reduction in the size of government than anyone in either party advocates.
    -- Thomas Sowell

    #Party #Government #Would Be