Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, humanitarian and author. A National Humanities Medal winner, he advocates laissez-faire economics and writes from a libertarian perspective. He is currently a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
If you are driving and suddenly see a ball come bouncing out into the street, you might want to put your foot on the brake pedal, because a small child may come running out into the street.
While it is not possible to answer all the e-mails and letters from readers, many are thought-provoking, whether those thoughts are positive or negative.
Someone called politics "the art of the possible." But, in the era of the modern welfare state, politics is largely the art of the impossible.
Amid all the heated, emotional advocacy of gun control, have you ever heard even one person present convincing hard evidence that tighter gun control laws have in fact reduced murders? Think about all the states, communities within states, as well as foreign countries, that have either tight gun control laws or loose or non-existent gun control laws. With so many variations and so many sources of evidence available, surely there would be some compelling evidence somewhere if tighter gun control laws actually reduced the murder rate.
Since when has it been considered smart to tell your enemies what your plans are? Yet there on the front page of the New York Times on April 8 was a story about how unnamed "American officials" were planning a "proportional" response to any North Korean attack. This was spelled in an example: If the North Koreans "shell a South Korean island that had military installations," then the South Koreans would retaliate with "a barrage of artillery of similar intensity."
The Obama administration treated the creation of "democracy" in the Middle East as a Good Thing. Ironically, those who created the United States of America viewed democracy with fear -- and created a constitutional republic instead.
Many ideas presented as "new" are just rehashes of old ideas that have been tried before -- and have failed before. So it is no surprise that the recent "Growth and Opportunity Project" report to the Republican National Committee is a classic example of what previous generations called "Me Too" Republicanism. These are Republicans who think that the key to winning elections is to do more of what the Democrats are doing.
The decision of the government in Cyprus to simply take money out of people's bank accounts there sent shock waves around the world. People far removed from that small nation had to wonder: "Can this happen here?"
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.
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.