Thomas Sowell Quotes About Politics and Government

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

Famous Thomas Sowell Quotes

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

2. “Intellect is not wisdom.”

3. “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.”

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

5. “Balanced budget requirements seem more likely to produce accounting ingenuity than genuinely balanced budgets.”

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

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

8. “All of us should be on guard against beliefs that flatter ourselves. At the very least, we should check such beliefs against facts.”

9. “The purpose of education is to give the student the intellectual tools to analyze, whether verbally or numerically, and to reach conclusions based on logic and evidence.”

10. “Reality does not go away when it is ignored.”

Inspirational Thomas Sowell Quotes

11. “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.” 

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

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

14. “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.”

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

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

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

18. “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.”

19. “Freedom must be distinguished from democracy, with which it is often confused.”

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

Thomas Sowell Quotes On Politics and government

21. “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.”

22. “Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.”

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

24. “What is called an educated person is often someone who has had a dangerously superficial exposure to a wide spectrum of subjects.”

25. “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.”

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

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

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

29. “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.”

30. “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

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

32. “It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance.”

33. “There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously.”

34. “A society in which such decisions can only be made by males has thrown away half of its knowledge, talents, and insights.”

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

36. “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.”

37. A shortage is a sign that somebody is keeping the price artificially lower than it would be if supply and demand were allowed to operate freely.”

38. “It is bad enough that so many people believe things without any evidence. What is worse is that some people have no conception of evidence and regard facts as just someone else’s opinion.”

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

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

41. “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.”

42. “No one chooses which culture to be born into or can be blamed for how that culture evolved in past centuries.”

43. “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.”

44. “Facts do not speak for themselves. They speak for or against competing theories. Facts divorced from theories or visions are mere isolated curiosities.” 

45. “One of the first things taught in introductory statistics textbooks is that correlation is not causation. It is also one of the first things forgotten.”

46. “The only people I truly envy are those who can play a musical instrument and those who can eat anything they want without gaining weight.”

47. “Many on the political left are so entranced by the beauty of their vision that they cannot see the ugly reality they are creating in the real world.”

48. “In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.”

49. “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.”

50. “Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination.” 

Thomas Sowell was born on June 30, 1930, and is an American economist, author, and social commentator. He established himself as a well-known voice in the American conservative movement as a prominent black conservative through widely read books and commentary as well as appearances on TV and radio.

President George W. Bush awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2002.

Sowell has written over 45 books, including new and revised editions, on a range of topics, including politics, economics, education, and race.

He has also written syndicated columns for more than 150 newspapers. His opinions are deemed conservative, particularly with regard to social issues. libertarian, particularly with regard to economics; or libertarian-conservative.

Although he disagrees with libertarians on some issues, such as national defense, he has claimed that it would be most accurate to categorize him as a libertarian.

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