Thomas Sowell was born in North Carolina, on June 30, 1930. Sowell is an American economist, historian, social theorist, and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient for the innovative scholarship which incorporated history, economics, and political science. Thomas Sowell grew up in Harlem, New York. Due to financial issues and deteriorated home conditions, he dropped out of Stuyvesant High School and served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. Upon returning to the United States, Sowell enrolled at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in 1958. He earned a master’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1959 and earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968.
Sowell has served on the faculties of Cornell University, Amherst College, University of California, Los Angeles, and, currently, Stanford University. His libertarian-leaning philosophy made him particularly influential to the new conservative movement during the Reagan Era. Sowell is the author of more than 45 books.
”Many of the great disasters of our time have been committed by experts”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”
“Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.”
“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”
“Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on “income distribution,” the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”
“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?”
“Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.”
“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.”
“Rhetoric is no substitute for reality.”