Left and Right

In Honor of Thomas Sowell’s 91st Birthday, Here Are His 25 Best Quotes

One debate I always wanted to see was Sowell vs. Chomsky, arguably the right’s leading intellectual vs. the left’s leading intellectual. But they are both in their 90s now and way past their primes, so it is very unlikely it will happen.

By John Hawkins

Thomas Sowell is a genius who is phenomenal at explaining economics in a way the average person can understand and has brilliant insights into our culture and into the way liberals think. If you enjoy the timeless wisdom in these quotes, you may enjoy reading his books as well. Although you probably will never run across a bad one, Basic Economics and The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy are particularly insightful. Since Thomas Sowell is officially retired, we don’t hear from him as often as we have in past years. So, with that in mind, it seems appropriate to trot out some of his greatest hits in honor of his 91st birthday.

25) “There are three questions that would destroy most of the arguments on the left: 1. Compared to what? 2. At what cost? 3. What hard evidence do you have? There are very few ideas on the left that can pass all three of those kinds of things.”

24) “There are few modest talents so richly rewarded — especially in politics and the media — as the ability to portray parasites as victims, and portray demands for preferential treatment as struggles for equal rights.”

23) “The feeling that the government should ‘do something’ has seldom been based on a comparison of what actually happens when government does and when it does not ‘do something.’”


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