Thomas Sowell's blog

Intellectuals and race: Part II

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Once we recognize that large differences in achievement among races, nations and civilizations have been the rule, not the exception, throughout recorded history, there is at least some hope of rational thought — and perhaps even some constructive efforts to help everyone advance.

Even such a British patriot as Winston Churchill said, “We owe London to Rome” — an acknowledgement that Roman conquerors created Britain’s most famous city, at a time when the ancient Britons were incapable of doing so themselves. Read More»

Intellectuals and race, Part 1

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There are so many fallacies about race that it would be hard to say which is the most ridiculous. However, one fallacy behind many other fallacies is the notion that there is something unusual about different races being unequally represented in various institutions, careers or at different income or achievement levels.

A hundred years ago, the fact that people from different racial backgrounds had very different rates of success in education, in the economy and in other endeavors, was taken as proof that some races were genetically superior to others. Read More»

Prophets and losses

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Now that the federal government is playing an ever larger role in the economy, a look at Washington’s track record seems to be long overdue.

The recent release of the Federal Reserve Board’s transcripts of its deliberations back in 2007 shows that their economic prophecies were way off. How much faith should we put in their prophecies today — or the policies based on those prophecies? Read More»

Do gun control laws control guns?

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The gun control controversy is only the latest of many issues to be debated almost solely in terms of fixed preconceptions, with little or no examination of hard facts.

Media discussions of gun control are dominated by two factors: the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment. But the over-riding factual question is whether gun control laws actually reduce gun crimes in general or murder rates in particular. Read More»

Intelligence, scholarship and scientific censors

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Anyone who has followed the decades-long controversies over the role of genes in IQ scores will recognize the names of the two leading advocates of opposite conclusions on that subject — Professor Arthur R. Jensen of the University of California at Berkeley and Professor James R. Flynn, an American expatriate at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Read More»

Gun control and invincible ignorance

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Must every tragic mass shooting bring out the shrill ignorance of “gun control” advocates?

The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available.

If gun control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago, because there have been too many factual studies over the years to leave any serious doubt about gun control laws being not merely futile but counterproductive. Read More»

How President Obama raises taxes on the poor

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With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.

While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word “tax” has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle. Read More»

Fiscal Cliff Notes

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Amid all the political and media hoopla about the “fiscal cliff” crisis, there are a few facts that are worth noting.

First of all, despite all the melodrama about raising taxes on “the rich,” even if that is done, it will scarcely make a dent in the government’s financial problems.

Raising the tax rates on everybody in the top 2 percent will not get enough additional tax revenue to run the government for 10 days.

And what will the government do to pay for the other 355 days in the year? Read More»

Read this book and consider how you voted

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If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?”, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide.

The point here is not to say, “Where was Stephen Moore when we needed him?”A more apt question might be, “Where was the whole economics profession when we needed them?” Where were the media? For that matter, where were the Republicans? Read More»

The Republicans have done it again: Produced a nice loser

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Mitt Romney now joins the long list of the kinds of presidential candidates favored by the Republican establishment — nice, moderate losers, people with no coherently articulated vision, despite how many ad hoc talking points they may have. Read More»