Thomas Sowell's blog

Proven: Government intervention prolonged the Great Depression

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Sometimes you can read a book that will change your mind on some fundamental issue. Rarely, however, is there just one page that can undermine or destroy a widely-held belief. But there is such a page — page 77 of the book “Out of Work” by Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway. Read More»

Playing freedom cheap

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If eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, incessant distractions are the way that politicians take away our freedoms, in order to enhance their own power and longevity in office.

Dire alarms and heady crusades are among the many distractions of our attention from the ever increasing ways that government finds to take away more of our money and more of our freedom.

Magicians have long known that distracting an audience is the key to creating the illusion of magic. It is also the key to political magic. Read More»

The fallacy of “Fairness”

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Most of us want to be fair, in the sense of treating everyone equally. We want laws to be applied the same to everyone. We want educational, economic or other criteria for rewards to be the same as well.

But this concept of fairness is not only different from prevailing ideas of fairness among many of the intelligentsia, it contradicts their idea of fairness. Read More»

Politicians in Wonderland

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There was a recent flap because three different members of the Obama administration, on three different Sunday television talk shows, gave three widely differing estimates of how many jobs the president has created. Read More»

“Notional” Security

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The latest “screw-up” that let a man with explosives get on a plan on Christmas day is only part of a larger laxness and irresponsibility when it comes to national security. This administration pays lip service to national security and gives out with a lot of rhetorical notions that makes it notional security instead of national security. Read More»

Intellectuals and society

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There has probably never been an era in history when intellectuals have played a larger role in society. When intellectuals who generate ideas are surrounded by a wide range of others who disseminate those ideas — whether as journalists, teachers, staffers to legislators or clerks to judges — the influence of intellectuals on the way a society evolves can be huge. Read More»

The “science” mantra

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Science is one of the great achievements of the human mind and the biggest reason why we live not only longer but more vigorously in our old age, in addition to all the ways in which it provides us with things that make life easier and more enjoyable.

Like anything valuable, science has been seized upon by politicians and ideologues, and used to forward their own agendas. Read More»

Solving whose problem?

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No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.
Many of the things the government does that may seem stupid are not stupid at all, from the standpoint of the elected officials or bureaucrats who do these things. Read More»