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Thomas Sowell Quotes (Author of Basic Economics) Best Quotes By Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell Quotes Collection

“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.”

“Social Engineering – The art of replacing what works with what sounds good.”

“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

“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.”

“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.”

“If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.”

“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.”

“Ideas are everywhere, but knowledge is rare.”

“There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.”

“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.”

“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

“Nobody is equal to anybody. Even the same man is not equal to himself on different days.”

“When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.”

“It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites.”

“Of all ignorance, the ignorance of the educated is the most dangerous. Not only are educated people likely to have more influence, they are the last people to suspect that they don’t know what they are talking about when they go outside their narrow fields.”

“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.”

“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.”

“People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.”

“Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.”

“The same set of statistics can produce opposite conclusions at different levels of aggregation.”

Famous Thomas Sowell Quotes

“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.”

“The word ‘racism’ is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything – and demanding evidence makes you a ‘racist.’”

“The welfare state is not really about the welfare of the masses. It is about the egos of the elites.”

“Racism is not dead, but it is on life support – kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as ‘racists’”

“Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty.”

“People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do.”

“Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.”

“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.”

“Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today’s problems are a result of yesterday’s solutions.”

“In the long run, the greatest weapon of mass destruction is stupidity.”

“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.”

“Liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face.”

“What is history but the story of how politicians have squandered the blood and treasure of the human race?”

“The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.”

“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.”

“It is so easy to be wrong-and to persist in being wrong-when the costs of being wrong are paid by others.”

“Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back.”

“People who talk incessantly about “change” are often dogmatically set in their ways. They want to change other people.”

Best Thomas Sowell Quotes

“Intellect is not wisdom.”

“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.”

“Too much of what is called ‘education’ is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.”

“The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn’t work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.”

“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.”

“Some of the most vocal critics of the way things are being done are people who have done nothing themselves, and whose only contributions to society are their complaints and moral exhibitionism.”

“The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.”

“The freedom of America is the freedom to live your own life and take your own chances.”

“Eternal vigilance is only part of the price of freedom. The maturity to live with imperfections is another crucial part of the price of freedom.”

“Doing the right thing is fun. If nothing else, it surprises people.”

“What the political left, even in democratic countries, share is the notion that knowledgeable and virtuous people like themselves have both a right and a duty to use the power of government to impose their superior knowledge and virtue on others.”

“Brainy folks were also present in Lyndon Johnson’s administration, especially in the Pentagon, where Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s brilliant ‘whiz kids’ tried to micro-manage the Vietnam war, with disastrous results.”

“What exactly is your ‘fair share’ of what ‘someone else’ has worked for?”

“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.”

“If we spend our time with regrets over yesterday, and worries over what might happen tomorrow, we have no today in which to live.”

“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.”

“It doesn’t matter how smart you are unless you stop and think.”

“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.”

“Although the big word on the left is ‘compassion,’ the big agenda on the left is dependency.”

“The law of diminishing returns means that even the most beneficial prinicple will become harmful if carried far enough.”

“A friend from India told me that a countryman of his said: “I want to go to America. I want to see a country where poor people are fat.””

“The idealism of the left is a very selfish idealism. In their war against ‘the rich’ and big business, they don’t care how much collateral damage there is to workers who end up end up unemployed.”

“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.”

“A moral monopoly is the antithesis of a marketplace of ideas.”

“In this era of political correctness, some people seem unaware that being squeamish about words can mean being blind to realities.”

“If a word means everything, then in means nothing.”

“Too many people – some of them judges – seem to think that freedom of speech means freedom from consequences for what you have said. If you believe that, try insulting your boss when you go to work tomorrow. Better yet, try insulting your spouse before going to bed tonight.”

“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.”

“If sanity ever returns to our society and we stop taking pretentious elites seriously, one of the signs will be that the public will force the removal of those ugly pieces of twisted metal that are called ‘art’ in front of government buildings.”

“It is hard to read a newspaper or watch a television newscast without encountering someone who has come up with a new ‘solution’ to society’s ‘problems.’”

“Sometimes it seems as if I have spent the first half of my life refusing to let white people define me and the second half refusing to let black people define me.”

“The difference between a policy and a crusade is that a policy is judged by its results, while a crusade is judged by how good it makes its crusaders feel.”

“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.”

“One of the many disservices done to young people by our schools and colleges is giving them the puffed up notion that they are in a position to pass sweeping judgments on a world that they have barely begun to experience.”

“Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.”

“Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village genius.”

“People who think that they are being exploited should ask themselves whether they would be missed if they left, or whether people would say: Good riddance?”

“It is amazing how many of the intelligentsia call it “greed” to want to keep what you have earned, but not greed to want to take away what somebody else has earned, and let politicians use it to buy votes.”

“Think about it: What the busybodies are saying is that third parties like themselves – who are paying nothing to anybody – should be determining how much somebody else should be paying those who work for them.”

“Even if the government spends itself into bankruptcy and the economy still does not recover, Keynesians can always say that it would have worked if only the government had spent more.”

“Someone once said that many bad policies are just good policies that have been carried too far. For example, we have taken tolerance to such an extreme that we tolerate the immigration into our country of millions of intolerant people who hate millions of Americans who are already here.”

List Of Thomas Sowell Quotes

“The desire of businessmen for profits is what drives prices down unless forcibly prevented from engaging in price competition, usually by governmental activity.”

“The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for the workers. Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.”

“Competition does a much more effective job than government at protecting consumers.”

“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.”

“People who refuse to accept unpleasant truths have no right to complain about politicians who lie to them. What other kind of candidates would such people elect?”

“In politics, the truth is strictly optional and that also seems to be true in parts of the media.”

“There is no bigger waste of time than doing 90% of what is necessary.”

“When a highly successful leader retires after a long career, it is very unlikely that his successor will be of comparable caliber. Anyone of similar ability and drive would have gone somewhere else, instead of waiting in the wings for years for a chance to show his own leadership.”

“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.”

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

“The grand delusion of contemporary liberals is that they have both the right and the ability to move their fellow creatures around like blocks of wood – and that the end results will be no different than if people had voluntarily chosen the same action.”

“Rhetoric is no substitute for reality.”

“Life has many good things. The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things. We all recognize this in our daily lives. It is only in politics that this simple, common sense fact is routinely ignored.”

“Tariffs that save jobs in the steel industry mean higher steel prices, which in turn means fewer sales of American steel products around the world and losses of far more jobs than are saved.”

“Relevance is not something you can predict. It is something you discover after the fact.”

“Lunches don’t get free just because you don’t see the prices on the menu. And economists don’t get popular by reminding people of that.”

“The reason so many problems do not get solved in Washington is that solving those problems is not the No. 1 priority: Re-election is.”

“There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?”

“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.”

“Neither the depth of despondency nor the height of euphoria tells you how long either will last.”

Best Quotes Of  Thomas Sowell

“Asking liberals where wages and prices come from is like asking six-year-olds where babies come from.”


Thomas Sowell Quotes Collection

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