Thomas Sowell Wrote:Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.
Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.
Most people living in officially defined poverty in the 21st century have things like cable television, microwave ovens and air-conditioning. Most Americans did not have such things, as late as the 1980s. People whom the intelligentsia continue to call the “have-nots” today have things that the “haves” did not have, just a generation ago.
In some other ways, however, there have been some serious retrogressions over the years. Politics, and especially citizens’ trust in their government, has gone way downhill.
Back in 1962, President John F. Kennedy, a man narrowly elected just two years earlier, came on television to tell the nation that he was taking us to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, because the Soviets had secretly built bases for nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from America.
Most of us did not question what he did. He was president of the United States, and he knew things the rest of us couldn’t know – and that was good enough for us. Fortunately, the Soviets backed down. But could any president today do anything like that and have the American people behind him?
Years of lying presidents – Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon, especially – destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility which the office itself once conferred. The loss of that credibility was a loss to the country, not just to the people holding that office in later years.
When I have mentioned sleeping out on a fire escape in Harlem during hot summer nights, before most people could afford air-conditioning, young people have looked at me like I was a man from Mars. But blacks and whites alike had been sleeping out on fire escapes in New York since the 19th century. They did not have to contend with gunshots flying around during the night.
Thomas Sowell is one of the most influential conservative thinkers in the United States. It was said that he was the face of the conservative movement. It is a real shame he won't continue on with his work.
I've got a limited knowledge of his work, but as far as the above text about the poor having it better today because they could have amenities like air conditioning, at least back then even poor people could afford rent in Harlem, and starving artists were still living in Manhattan or San Francisco. And of course most had more solid family structures.
It's too bad he wasn't able to break through the right-left divide and influence a larger segment of Black Americans, in the Obama era his take is a lot more relevant than that of mainstream Black leaders, I think guys like Jim Brown are starting to see that today.
Gay cakes and trans bathrooms: the most important human rights issues of our times, surely.
12-28-2016 02:44 PM
The following 1 user Likes 911's post:1 user Likes 911's post LeoneVolpe
I remember reading almost all of his books when I was in high school. Although I've since disagreed with him on a few issues, his books were what lead me down a "conservative rabbit hole," so to speak, and I thank him for that. It's a shame race hustlers like Al Sharpton are more renowned in the black community instead of guys like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. I try to do my best to get family members and friends to read his books but they simply dismiss him as a "coon" and "uncle tom." I wish him good luck and I hope he changes his mind about Trump, although I don't see it happening since old guys like him are stuck in their ways.
12-28-2016 06:03 PM
The following 2 users Like Huey's post:2 users Like Huey's post Samseau, Coastal
One of the most based black intellectuals in American history. Sorry he didn't support trump, but his other contributions have been unmatched. I hope he inspires a new generation of black men not to give into liberal plantation mentality.
Thomas Sowell is a great American and I've found every one of his books I've read to be thought-provoking, well-reasoned, and well researched. Whether you identify as alt-right or a more conventional conservative, his work is definitely worth reading.
12-28-2016 06:58 PM
The following 1 user Likes HermeticAlly's post:1 user Likes HermeticAlly's post MKE-Ed
Amazing thinker. I love that video where he dismantles and deconstructs the feminist towards and Mozart starts playing. I still don't understand why he went so hard against Donald Trump. Then again a lot of these old school conservatives don't seem to want to rock the boat too hard.
(12-28-2016 07:00 PM)Constitution45 Wrote: Amazing thinker. I love that video where he dismantles and deconstructs the feminist towards and Mozart starts playing. I still don't understand why he went so hard against Donald Trump. Then again a lot of these old school conservatives don't seem to want to rock the boat too hard.
I think it is because they see some of Trump's past positions on abortion, or having three wives as being disqualifying. The bottom line is, some old-school conservatives are so hellbent on insisting on purity that they fail to recognize the Christian virtues of repentance and forgiveness. T
rump is not a perfect man by any means, but he certainly has his strengths. Being a blowhard conservative doesn't win any friends. You have to have a sense of humor, which Pat Buchanan, Sowell, Trump and others have. Nobody likes a smarmy bastard like Bill Kristol.
Quote:“Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long,” Dr. Sowell wrote.
For more than fifty years, Dr. Sowell has published books and journals on race, economics, cultures around the world, and government policy. He has inspired generations of conservative activists with his humor and ability to condense complex matters into relatable lessons learns.
A self-proclaimed Marxist in his twenties, Sowell served in the United States Marine Corps. (during the Korean War). He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, his masters from Columbia University, and his Ph.D from the University of Chicago. It was at the University of Chicago, under the tutelage of Milton Friedman, and after his short stint as an economic analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor, where Dr. Sowell lost faith in government institutions’ ability to effectuate positive outcomes in society.
Dr. Sowell has taught economics at Cornell University and UCLA and has been a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University since 1980.
Dr. Sowell’s books, columns, and photography can be found at his website tsowell.com. Below are a handful of the most influential quotes from America’s great living philosopher.
1. The Welfare State:
The blacks in the West Indies had al sorts of experiences growing their own food, selling the surplus in the market, and, in fact, being responsible for budgeting what they had. Black [slaves] in the United States were deliberately kept from having that. Dependence was seen as the key to holding the slaves down. It’s ironic that that same principle comes up in the welfare state 100 years later.
The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.
2. A Legacy of Liberalism:
Nearly a hundred years of the supposed “legacy of slavery” found most black children being raised in two-parent families in 1960. But thirty years after the liberal welfare state found the great majority of black children being raised by a single parent.
The murder rate among blacks in 1960 was one-half of what it became 20 years later, after a legacy of liberals’ law enforcement policies. Public housing projects in the first half of the 20th century were clean, safe places, where people slept outside on hot summer nights, when they were too poor to afford air conditioning. That was before admissions standards for public housing projects were lowered or abandoned, in the euphoria of liberal non-judgmental notions. And it was before the toxic message of victimhood was spread by liberals.
If we are to go by evidence of social retrogression, liberals have wreaked more havoc on blacks than the supposed “legacy of slavery” they talk about.
3. The Failure of Government Bureaucracy: A Personal Odyssey:
In the summer of 1959, as in the summer of 1957, I worked as a clerk-typist in the headquarters of the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington. The people I worked for were very nice and I grew to like them.
One day, a man had a heart attack at around 5 PM, on the sidewalk outside the Public Health Service. He was taken inside to the nurse’s room, where he was asked if he was a government employee. If he were, he would have been eligible to be taken to a medical facility there. Unfortunately, he was not, so a phone call was made to a local hospital to send an ambulance. By the time this ambulance made its way through miles of Washington rush-hour traffic, the man was dead.
He died waiting for a doctor, in a building full of doctors.
Nothing so dramatized for me the nature of a bureaucracy and its emphasis on procedures, rather than results.
4. The Conservative Vision Versus the Liberal Vision:
Liberal believe that the real problem with the world is that the institutions are wrong. If the institutions were right; there’s nothing in human nature that would cause us to be unhappy, it’s the fact that we have the wrong institutions.”
Conservatives believe man is flawed from day one. There are no solutions; there are only tradeoffs. Whatever you do to deal with one of man’s flaws, it creates another problem. But that you try to get the best tradeoff you can get. And that’s all you can hope for.
5. Three Questions to Destroy Liberal Arguments:
There a three questions that I think would destroy most of the arguments on the left. The first is, “Compared to what?” The second is, “At what cost?” And the third is, “What hard evidence do you have?”
6. The Age of Complaining Classes: The Thomas Sowell Reader:
This is the age of the complaining classes, whether they are lawyers, community activists, radical feminists, race hustlers or other squeaking wheels looking for oil. … No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites living off those who produce.
The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.
Our tax system penalizes those who are producing wealth in order to subsidize those who are only consuming it.
9. Fake News:
The current hysteria over “fake news” — including hysteria by people who have done more than their own fair share of faking news — shows the continuing efforts of the political left to stifle free speech in the country at large, as they already have on academic campuses.
10. Immigration Reform:
Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them. One of the big problems that those who are pushing “comprehensive immigration reform” want solved is how to help people who came here illegally and are now “living in the shadows” as a result.
What about embezzlers or burglars who are “living in the shadows” in fear that someone will discover their crimes? Why not “reform” the laws against embezzlement or burglary so that such people can also come out of the shadows?
What “multiculturalism” boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture – and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.
He is a very prolific writer--many books and many columns. He may retire from getting paid for his work. But he'll never retire from being a student of life. We will miss him. I hope later generations of African Americans will discover his brilliance.
No other thinker has influenced me more than Thomas Sowell.
He changed me from being a leftist radical to being part of the right.
I've read about 17 or 18 of his books. My two favorites are A Conflict of Visions and The Vision of the Annointed. I still have a lot more of his books to read but all the books I have read from him thus far have been excellent.
Aside from his work being astoundingly logical, factual, insightful, and clearly written, I have a special respect for those who are willing to stand apart from their "tribe" and form their own opinions. Given his background, the only way he could believe what he believes is to have thought for himself. This is rarer than I think people give it credit for. The vast majority of people, including so-called "intellectuals," just ride along with whatever beliefs are acceptable among their peers. Here's to a happy retirement.
Even though he was an academic, his writing could easily be understood by those outside of academia. I read Inside American Education back in the early 1990's. It was an excellent read and cited many sources. He definitely showed that he does a lot of work in research in his books.
Here is a list--cut and paste--from Wikipedia:
1972. Say's Law: A Historical Analysis. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-04166-0
1975. Race and Economics. David McKay Company Inc, ISBN 0-679-30262-X
1980. Knowledge and Decisions. Basic Books.
1981. Markets and Minorities. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-04399-2
1981. Ethnic America: A History. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-02074-7
1983. The Economics and Politics of Race. William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-01891-2
1984. Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-03113-7
1985. Marxism: Philosophy and Economics. Quill, ISBN 0-688-06426-4
1986. Education: Assumptions Versus History. Hoover Press, ISBN 0-8179-8112-8
1987. Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays. William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-07114-7
1987. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-06912-6
1990. Preferential Policies: An International Perspective, ISBN 0-688-08599-7
1993. Inside American Education, ISBN 0-7432-5408-2
1993. Is Reality Optional? ISBN 978-0817992620
1995. Race and Culture: A World View. Description & chapter previews. ISBN 0-465-06796-4
1995. The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-08995-X
1996. Migrations and Cultures: A World View, ISBN 0-465-04589-8 OCLC 41748039
1998. Conquests and Cultures: An International History, ISBN 0-465-01400-3
2002. The Quest For Cosmic Justice, ISBN 0-684-86463-0
2002. A Personal Odyssey, ISBN 0-684-86465-7
2002. Controversial Essays, ISBN 0-8179-2992-4
2002. The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late, ISBN 0-465-08141-X
2003. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, ISBN 0-465-08143-6
2004. Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, revised and expanded ed. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-08145-2 (1st ed. 2000)
2004. Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10775-3.
2005. Black Rednecks and White Liberals: And Other Cultural And Ethnic Issues. San Francisco: Encounter Books. ISBN 978-1-59403-086-4.
2006. On Classical Economics. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. 2006. ISBN 978-0-300-12606-8.
2006. Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8179-4752-1.
2007. A Man of Letters. San Francisco: Encounter Books. ISBN 978-1-59403-196-0.
2007. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (3rd ed.). Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Books Group. ISBN 978-0-465-00260-3. OCLC 76897806.
2007. Economic Facts and Fallacies. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00349-5.
2008. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (2nd ed.). Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00345-7. OCLC 260206351.
2009. The Housing Boom and Bust. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-01880-2.
2010. Intellectuals and Society. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-01948-9.
2010. Dismantling America. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02251-9.
2010. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (4th ed.). Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Books Group. ISBN 978-0-465-02252-6.
2011. The Thomas Sowell Reader. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02250-2.
2013. Intellectuals and Race. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-05872-3.
2014. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (5th ed.). New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-06073-3.
2015. Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective.
12-29-2016 11:49 PM
The following 2 users Like puckerman's post:2 users Like puckerman's post vinman, Atlanta Man
Unfortunately I don't think anyone outside the manosphere knows who he is/was. He had zero exposure.
He has a huge conservative/libertarian following. His book Basic Economics has literally sold hundreds of thousands of copies - in terms of sheer popularity alone it's probably second to Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson. His columns might not have had mainstream exposure, but his books sure have.