Author, syndicated columnist, fellow at the Hoover Institution
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  • Thomas Sowell

    Thomas Sowell (born 30 June 1930) is an American economist and social theorist who is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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    Thomas Sowell


    Sowell, Thomas (1930-), by Jo Kwong, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Thomas Sowell is an economist, a social theorist, and a writer. In an age in which many black leaders argue that racial identity determines political ideology, Thomas Sowell has challenged us to reexamine many widely accepted assumptions about identity and ideology. ... In evaluating popular perceptions about the role of oppression and discrimination in limiting the success of certain groups, Sowell integrates history and economics to show how the best opportunities for all people—including blacks and women—come through hard work and applied effort in a free and open market."
    Related Topic: Economics


    Thomas Sowell - The Advocates
    214x300 JPEG, color


    30 Jun 1930, in North Carolina


    Hoover Institution, Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy

    Web Pages

    Thomas Sowell - The Advocates
    Biography, picture and quotes
    "Thomas Sowell is one of the most important and respected writers on politics and social policy in America. He is also a popular and widely-syndicated columnist."

    Archived Columns

    Jewish World Review
    since Feb 1998
    since March 2000


    Book Review: The Quest for Cosmic Justice, by Richard Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Dec 1999
    Review of The Quest for Cosmic Justice by Thomas Sowell, 1999
    "... as Sowell cogently explains, there are no 'objectively' correct answers as to what individuals within these collective groupings should receive as their just due. The types of knowledge that would be needed to do so and the interpretive capacity to evaluate the relative merits of the factors that should be weighed for making a 'just' determination are beyond human ability. Only a cosmic or godlike perspective could claim to know what each of us 'deserves.'"
    Sowell and Spying, by William L. Anderson, 9 Feb 2006
    "In my early libertarian days, Thomas Sowell was one of my heroes. ... However, I fear the Former Great Man has crossed his own Rubicon, with his recent column in support of the administration's post-9/11 domestic spying. ... Sowell defends the wiretapping ... his defense is pure utilitarianism ..."
    The life and times of F.A. Hayek, who explained why political liberty is impossible without economic liberty, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay, with extensive quotes both from Hayek and others (including Keynes)
    "Hoover Institution scholar, prolific author and popular columnist Thomas Sowell acknowledged that Hayek influenced his book Knowledge and Decisions (1980), citing Hayek's 'deeply penetrating insight into the way societies function and malfunction, and clues as to why they are so often and so profoundly misunderstood.'"


    Bad Teachers, 19 Apr 1998
    Review of Bad Teachers: The Essential Guide for Concerned Parents by Guy Strickland
    "... good teachers are those whose students learn, not those with worthless certificates and diplomas ... -- 'pieces of paper that signify nothing,' as the author aptly puts it. ... The most brutal reality of all is this: 'No one really cares whether your child learns anything at school.' All sorts of people have all sorts of other agendas ..."
    Related Topic: Learning
    Barry and the Babe, 16 Oct 2001
    "Barry Bonds is the first batter in the entire history of the National League -- going back into the 19th century -- to have a slugging average over .800. ... Just as batting averages count hits in proportion to your times at bat, slugging averages count your total bases in proportion to your times at bat."
    Related Topic: Baseball
    Bundling and unbundling, 13 Apr 1998
    "Microsoft is not the first company to have the government try to second-guess the bundle it is offering for sale. Back in 1956, the government forced Eastman Kodak to stop selling Kodachrome film with the developing included. ... Kodak sold it ... so that they could see that it got done right. But antitrust lawyers forced them to sell the film and processing separately. "
    Related Topic: Technology
    Clinton in Africa, 15 Apr 1998
    "We should never forget that, even today, the rule of law is the exception -- not the rule -- among the nations of the world. Our great blessings as Americans come not from our personal merits but from our having the good fortune to live under a rare form of government, with a constitution dedicated to preventing concentrations and abuses of power."
    Related Topic: Rule of Law
    Joe DiMaggio -- icon of an era, 10 Mar 1999
    "... Ted Williams had a higher batting average and Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg hit more homers. But no one put it all together ... like the man they called Joltin' Joe and the Yankee Clipper. From his first season in baseball ... people marvelled at his combination of great hitting, brilliant fielding, powerful throwing arm and swift, heady base-running."
    Related Topic: Baseball
    Julian Simon, combatant in a 200-year war, 12 Feb 1998
    "Julian Simon set out to explain what happened to real population in the real world, not what happens in abstract models or popular hysteria. In the real world, as he demonstrated with masses of facts and in-depth analysis, we are nowhere near to running low on food or natural resources."
    Related Topic: Julian Simon
    "Living wage" kills jobs, 5 Nov 2003
    "The latest verbal coup of the left is the phrase 'a living wage.' Who is so hard-hearted or mean-spirited that they do not want people to be able to make enough money to live on? Unfortunately, the effort and talent that the left puts into coining great phrases is seldom put into facts or analysis."
    Related Topic: Minimum Wage Laws
    McGwire, Maris and the Babe, 21 Oct 1998
    "Ruth is the only man to have led the league in all four major categories ... -- highest winning percentage and lowest earned run average as a pitcher and highest batting average and most home runs as a hitter. ... The Babe was the only man to have slugged over .800 -- and he did two seasons in a row. He is still the greatest."
    Related Topic: Baseball
    Milton Friedman at 90, 29 Jul 2002
    Recounts some of Sowell's experiences as Friedman's student and later as friend and admirer
    "To those of us who were privileged to be his students, he also stands out as a great teacher. ... Yet no one did more to dismantle both Keynesian economics and liberal welfare-state thinking. ... Milton Friedman not only excelled in the scholarly journals but also on the television screen, presenting the basics of economics in a way that the general public could understand."
    Pete vs. Joe, 17 Mar 2003
    "Shoeless Joe had a lifetime batting average more than 50 points higher than that of Pete Rose -- and 12 points higher than that of Ted Williams. Where Williams' highest batting average was .406, Shoeless Joe Jackson hit .408. ... Jackson himself could not be accused of throwing the games. He batted .375 in the Series ..."
    Related Topic: Baseball
    Religion and the Constitution, 28 Jun 2002
    Related Topic: Freedom of Religion
    Roasting Walter Williams, 19 Sep 2003
    "Walter Williams is the only debater to leave Jesse Jackson speechless. On another occasion, he flabbergasted Ted Koppel when a woman on welfare said that she didn't have enough money to take care of all her children and Walter replied: 'Did you ever consider that you might have had too many children for the money?'"
    Related Topic: Walter E. Williams
    Senator Feinstein and property rights, 10 Nov 2003
    "One of the main reasons for the outrageous housing prices in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay area is precisely the over-riding of property rights. Endless restrictions, obstructions, and bureaucratic delays facing anyone who is building anything on their own property in this area have forced housing costs to astronomical levels."
    Related Topic: Property Rights
    Talkers versus doers, 9 Jun 2004
    "Why can't the talkers leave the doers alone? Perhaps it is because that would leave the talkers on the sidelines, with their uselessness being painfully obvious to all, instead of being in the limelight and 'making a difference' — even if that difference is usually negative."
    Related Topic: Entrepreneurs
    Talkers versus doers, Part II, 10 Jun 2004
    "The fact that benefits have costs means that those who create these benefits are tempting targets for accusations from those who know how to dramatize the costs. ... most people have not been taught to weigh costs against benefits or to subject hot rhetoric to cold logic."
    Related Topic: Entrepreneurs
    The lessons of Indonesia, 22 May 1998
    "The economic crisis in Indonesia was created by the government's austerity program, which was imposed by the International Monetary Fund as a condition for giving a multibillion-dollar bailout. These IMF officials are thousands of miles away from the riots, in Washington, D.C."
    Related Topic: Indonesia
    The Wrong Filter, 26 Feb 1998
    "American 12th graders fell below the international average in general mathematics and general science. ... American students led the world in one department: 'self-esteem.' ... students had the highest perception of how well they had done. Seventy percent said that they thought they had done well. This would be comic if it were not so tragic."
    Related Topic: Self-Esteem
    Vindication, 6 Mar 1998
    "Larry Elder is currently being vilified and threatened, and his sponsors are being boycotted, because he is one of a growing number of 'black conservatives' who do not march in step with the racial party line ... it is only a matter of time before Elder, Clarence Thomas and others are vindicated."

    Books Authored

    Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study, 2004
    A Personal Odyssey, 2000
    Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, 2003
    Contents: Politics versus Economics - Free and Unfree Labor - The Economics of Medical Care - The Economics of Housing - Risky Business - The Economics of Discrimination - The Economic Development of Nations
    Related Topic: Economics
    Barbarians Inside the Gates: And Other Controversial Essays, 1999
    Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, 2000
    Partial contents: What Is Economics? - The Role of Prices - Price Controls - The Rise and Fall of Businesses - Productivity and Pay - Investment and Speculation - National Output - Money and the Banking System - International Trade - "Non-Economic" Values
    Related Topic: Economics
    Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality, 1984
    Related Topic: Rights
    Conquests and Cultures: An International History, 1998
    Controversial Essays, 2002
    Knowledge and Decisions, 1980
    Race and Culture: A World View, 1992
    The Economics and Politics of Race, 1983
    The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late, 2001
    Related Topic: Children
    The Quest for Cosmic Justice, 1999
    The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, 1995

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thomas Sowell" as of 09 Aug 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.