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Archive of posts published in the tag: Thomas Sowell

Government Roads and Government Roadblocks

From the Wall Street Journal, ‘You Didn’t Build That’, 7/17/12: Speaking in Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. Obama delivered another paean to the virtues of higher taxes on the people he believes deserve to pay even more to the government. “There are

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The Price of Clarity

“The Risk of Insult is the Price of Clarity”- Roy Williams Politicians love to use words without meaning, or words they refuse to define.  Business people often fall for this trap as well. Such vague usage may seem to make

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The First Lesson of Politics

John Hawkins lists The 25 Best Quotes from Thomas Sowell in Townhall.com, 4/20/12 Here are my favorites within his list: “There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.” “Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions — and

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Of Wheat and Health Care

Investor’s Business Daily Thomas Sowell writes Obscure Court Decision Gives Government Sweeping Power, 3/26/12. Excerpt: Roscoe Filburn was an Ohio farmer who grew some wheat to feed his family and some farm animals. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture fined him

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Million Dollar Congressmen

In Thomas Sowell’s collection, The Thomas Sowell Reader he offers an interesting idea in the chapter , ‘Reflections on Term Limits’. Pay Congressmen $1,000,000 a year.  No benefits, no retirement pension. The biggest problems with the current system,  in Sowell’s

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Sowell Gems

A few gems from Thomas Sowell from the last chapter of the Thomas Sowell Reader. “There is no greater indictment of judges than the fact that honest people are afraid to go into court, while criminals swagger out its revolving

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Smart Dropouts

While our students perform poorly on standardized tests relative to other countries, we have the most desirable institutions of higher education in the world and have a disproportionate share of Nobel Prize winners.  How is this so and do we

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Two Wolves and a Sheep

I am guilty of associating freedom with democracy.  Thomas Sowell writes in his book The Thomas Sowell Reader that there is a distinct difference in the chapter ‘Freedom Versus Democracy.’ Democracy and Freedom are too often confounded.  Britain itself did

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In Praise of Nothing

Thomas Sowell writes Best Way to Aid Economy? Just Do Nothing in the Investors Business Daily, 9/14/11. Excerpts: The grand myth that’s been taught to whole generations is that the government is “forced” to intervene when there is a downturn

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Categories vs. Flesh and Blood People

“Perhaps the most fertile source of misunderstandings about incomes has been the widespread practice of confusing statistical categories with flesh-and-blood human beings. Many statements have been made in the media and in academia, claiming that the rich are gaining not

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Rational Delusion

We mortals pride ourselves as rational beings, but we act emotionally. We get attached to previous positions, and will discount or filter evidence rather than change our minds. We read the news for confirmation rather than information.  We are so

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A Tale of Two Market Crashes

From Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society “In short, many things that the Federal Reserve, Congress and the two Presidents did (during the market crash of 1929) were counterproductive.  Given these multiple failures of government policy, it is by no means

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People vs Categories

From Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society “Although such discussions have been phrased in terms of people, the actual empirical evidence cited has been about what has been happening over time to statistical categories – and that turns out to be

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The Other 99 Percent

From Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society “Central planning is just one of a more general class of social decision-making processes dependent on the underlying assumption that people with more per capita knowledge (in the special sense) should be guiding their

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Understanding the Meltdown

(this was published previously in the Macon Telegraph) Being in the middle of a record economic crisis presents a rare learning opportunity.  Several books are worthwhile for those seeking to understand what just happened. Too Big to Fail by Andrew

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Controlling the Access to Data

Thomas Sowell writes in the National Review The ‘Science’ Mantra Excerpt: Today, politicized “science” has too big a stake in the global warming hysteria to let the facts speak for themselves and let the chips fall where they may. Too

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What Did Not Cause the Financial Collapse

With the clarity of time we can look back at the brink of the collapse that hit us just prior to the last national election.  In the midst of the collapse we were stunned and angry, and tended to blame

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Experts on Tap

“In other words, experts are often called in, not to provide factual information or dispassionate analysis for the purpose of decision-making by responsible officials, but to give political cover for decisions already made and based on other consideration entirely. The

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Power vs. Knowledge

“People on both sides of the ideological fault line may believe that those with the most knowledge should have the most weight in making decisions that impact society, but they have radically different conceptions of just where in society  there

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Intellect, Intelligence and Wisdom

“The capacity to grasp and manipulate complex ideas is enough to define intellect but not enough to encompass intelligence, which involves combining with judgment and care in selecting relevant explanatory factors and in establishing empirical tests of any theory that

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