Thomas Sowell is an American economist and syndicated columnist. Earning his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1969, he is considered a leading academic in and spokesman for the free market doctrines associated with that school. Asides from economics, he regularly writes about politics, history, education, child development, race relations and sociological and cultural issues.
Many of Sowell’s positions, including criticism of minimum wage laws, affirmative action, the Federal Reserve and general government bureaucracy, are informed by his own experiences of working for the Federal Government. In recent years he has become known for his particularly strong criticisms of Barack Obama’s presidency. He considers himself more libertarian than conservative, illustrated by his support of legalising all drugs and opposition to militancy in US foreign policy.
1) “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” - Knowledge and Decisions (1980)
2) “The key feature of Communist propaganda has been the depiction of people who are more productive as mere exploiters of others.” - Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays (1987)
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.” - Barbarians Inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays (1999)
4) “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.” - Barbarians Inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays (1999)
5) “People who talk incessantly about “change” are often dogmatically set in their ways. They want to change other people.” - Barbarians Inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays (1999)
6) “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.” - Random Thoughts (2004-02-25)
7) “‘Global warming’ is just the latest in a long line of hysterical crusades to which we seem to be increasingly susceptible.” - National Review (March 15, 2007)
8) “Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise — whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team — is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.” - Real Clear Politics (November 2008)
9) “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.” - The Thomas Sowell Reader (2011)
10) ”Both history and contemporary data show that countries prosper more when there are stable and dependable rules, under which people can make investments without having to fear unpredictable new government interventions before these investments can pay off.” - An Economic ‘Plan’? (September 11, 2012)