Thomas Sowell Quotes

Who is Thomas Sowell?

Thomas Sowell is an American economist, historian and social theorist.

Born June 30, 1930

Books by Thomas Sowell


Best 77 Quotes by Thomas Sowell | Page 1 of 3

“Age gives you an excuse for not being very good at things that you were not very good at when you were young.”

Thomas Sowell

“Bailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense that bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos.”

Thomas Sowell

“Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on "income distribution," the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”

Thomas Sowell

“I am so old that I can remember when other people’s achievements were considered to be an inspiration, rather than a grievance.”

Thomas Sowell

“I think we're raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional.
We have kids in elementary school who are being urged to take stands on political issues, to write letters to congressmen and presidents about nuclear energy.
They're not a decade old, and they're being thrown these kinds of questions that can absorb the lifetime of a very brilliant and learned man. And they're being taught that it's important to have views, and they're not being taught that it's important to know what you're talking about.
It's important to hear the opposite viewpoint, and more important to learn how to distinguish why viewpoint A and viewpoint B are different, and which one has the most evidence or logic behind it. They disregard that. They hear something, they hear some rhetoric, and they run with it.”

Thomas Sowell

“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

“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

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Under Desk Leg Trainer

“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 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago and a racist today.”

Thomas Sowell

“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

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

Thomas Sowell

“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

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

Thomas Sowell

“It was Thomas Edison who brought us electricity, not the Sierra Club. It was the Wright brothers who got us off the ground, not the Federal Aviation Administration. It was Henry Ford who ended the isolation of millions of Americans by making the automobile affordable, not Ralph Nader. Those who have helped the poor the most have not been those who have gone around loudly expressing 'compassion' for the poor, but those who found ways to make industry more productive and distribution more efficient, so that the poor of today can afford things that the affluent of yesterday could only dream about.”

Thomas Sowell

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

Thomas Sowell

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“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

“Life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options.”

Thomas Sowell

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“Challenge a person's beliefs, and you challenge his dignity, standing, and power. And when those beliefs are based on nothing but faith, they are chronically fragile. No one gets upset about the belief that rocks fall down as opposed to up, because all sane people can see it with their own eyes. Not so for the belief that babies are born with original sin or that God exists in three persons or that Ali is the second-most divinely inspired man after Muhammad. When people organize their lives around these beliefs, and then learn of other people who seem to be doing just fine without them–or worse, who credibly rebut them–they are in danger of looking like fools. Since one cannot defend a belief based on faith by persuading skeptics it is true, the faithful are apt to react to unbelief with rage, and may try to eliminate that affront to everything that makes their lives meaningful.”

The Better Angels of Our Nature


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“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

Thomas Sowell

“No matter how much people on the left talk about compassion, they have no compassion for the taxpayers.”

Thomas Sowell

“No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites living off those who produce.”

Thomas Sowell

“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

“People sometimes ask if I have tried to convince black ‘leaders’ to take a different view on racial issues. Of course not. I wouldn't spend my time trying to persuade the mafia to give up crime. Why should I spend time trying to convince race hustlers to give up victimhood?”

Thomas Sowell

“Racism does not have a good track record. It's been tried out for a long time and you'd think by now we'd want to put an end to it instead of putting it under new management.”

Thomas Sowell

“Rhetoric is no substitute for reality.”

Thomas Sowell

“Since this is an era when many people are concerned about 'fairness' and 'social justice,' what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?”

Thomas Sowell

“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

Thomas Sowell

“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. ”

Thomas Sowell

“Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.”

Thomas Sowell

“The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy.”

Thomas Sowell

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“The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better.”

Thomas Sowell

“The fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices - paid by others.”

Thomas Sowell

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“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand.”


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