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Quotations by Thomas Sowell
Thomas SowellSocial justice and envy - Envy was once considered to be one of the seven deadly sins before it became one of the most admired virtues under its new name, 'social justice.'

Sign of dumbed-down education - One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people's motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans -- anything except reason.

Arguing without an argument - One of the most remarkable -- and popular -- ways of seeming to argue without actually producing any arguments is to say that some individual or group has a 'right' to something that you want them to have.

Equity of performance - If you cannot achieve equality of performance among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, how realistic is it to expect to achieve it across broader and deeper social divisions?

Erosion of freedom - As many have warned in the past, freedom is unlikely to be lost all at once and openly. It is far more likely to be eroded away, bit by bit, amid glittering promises and expressions of noble ideas.

Educating for self-centered entitlement - The idea that taxpayers owe it to you to pay for what you want suggests that much of today's education fails to instill reality, and instead panders to a self-centered sense of entitlement to what other people have earned.

American society's ethnic mosaic - The massive ethnic communities that make up the mosaic of American society cannot be adequately described as "minorities." There is no "majority." The largest single identifiable ethnic strain are people of British ancestry -- who make up just 15 percent of the American population. They barely outnumber German Americans (13 percent) or blacks (11 percent). Millions of Americans cannot identify themselves at all ethnically, due to intermixtures over the generations.

The zero-sum fallacy - Many individual fallacies in economics are founded on the larger, and usually implicit, fallacious assumption that economic transactions are a zero-sum process, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But voluntary economic transactions -- whether between employer and employee, tenant and landlord, or international trade -- would not continue to take place unless both parties were better off making these transactions than not making them.

What history is and what it isn't - History is what happened, not what we wish had happened or what a theory says should have happened. One of the reasons for the great value of history is that it allows us to check our current beliefs against hard facts from around the world and across the centuries. But history cannot be a reality check for today's fashionable visions when history is itself shaped by those visions. When that happens, we are sealing ourselves up in a closed world of assumptions.

Sad signs in our times - 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

Thanksgving and gratitude - Thanksgiving may be our most old-fashioned holiday. Gratitude itself seems out of date at a time when so many people feel "entitled" to whatever they get -- and indignant that they didn't get more.

Anger, envy, and surrendering freedom - Those who want to take our money and gain power over us have discovered the magic formula: Get us envious or angry at others and we will surrender, in installments, not only our money but our freedom. The most successful dictators of the 20th century -- Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao -- all used this formula and now class warfare politicians here are doing the same.

The expense of healthcare - It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medications somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medications and a government bureaucracy to administer "universal health care."

Solving our ancestor's problems - It is self-destructive for any society to create a situation where a baby who is born into the world today automatically has pre-existing grievances against another baby born at the same time, because of what their ancestors did centuries ago. It is hard enough to solve our own problems, without trying to solve our ancestors' problems.