By Thomas Sowell December 3, 2013 6 a.m.
Depressing news about black students scoring far below white students on various mental tests has become so familiar that people at different parts of the ideological spectrum have long ago developed their different explanations for why this is so. But both may have to do some rethinking, in light of radically different news from England.
By Thomas Sowell November 26, 2013 6 a.m.
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
By Thomas Sowell November 19, 2013 6 a.m.
A friend recently sent me a link to an inspiring video about an upbeat young black man who was born without arms. It showed him going to work — unlike the record number of people living on government payments for "disabilities" that are far less serious, if not fictitious.
By Thomas Sowell November 12, 2013 6 a.m.
Third parties have had an unbroken record of failure in American presidential politics. So it was refreshing to see in the Tea Party an insurgent movement, mainly of people who were not professional politicians, but who nevertheless had the good sense to see that their only chance of getting their ideals enacted into public policies was within one of the two major parties.
By Thomas Sowell November 5, 2013 6 a.m.
Like so many things that seem new, Obamacare is in many ways old wine in new bottles. For example, when confronted with the fact that millions of Americans stand to lose their existing medical insurance as a result of Obamacare, defenders of Obamacare say that this is true only when those people have “substandard” insurance. Who decides what is “substandard”? What is older than the idea that some exalted elite know what is good for us better than we know ourselves? Obama uses the rhetoric of going “forward,” but he is in fact goi
By Thomas Sowell October 29, 2013 6 a.m.
Polls indicate that the public is so disgusted with Washington politicians of both parties that a surprisingly large proportion of the people would like to get rid of the whole lot of them.
By Thomas Sowell October 22, 2013 6 a.m.
Years ago, someone said that, according to the laws of aerodynamics, bumblebees cannot fly. But the bumblebees, not knowing the laws of aerodynamics, go ahead and fly anyway.
By Thomas Sowell October 15, 2013 6 a.m.
The nomination of Janet Yellen to become head of the Federal Reserve System has set off a flurry of media stories. Since she will be the first woman to occupy that position, we can only hope that this will not mean that any criticism of what she does will be attributed to sex bias or to a "war on women."
By Thomas Sowell October 8, 2013 6 a.m.
If the continued existence of mathematics depended on the ability of the Republicans to defend the proposition that two plus two equals four, that would probably mean the end of mathematics and of all the things that require mathematics.
By Thomas Sowell October 1, 2013 6 a.m.
Despite evidence from around the world that minimum wage laws can price low-skilled workers out of jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor is planning to extend minimum wage coverage to domestic workers, such as maids or those who drop in from time to time to do a few household chores for the sick and the elderly.
By Thomas Sowell September 24, 2013 6 a.m.
This has been the worst time, politically, for President Barack Obama since he took office. Recent polls reveal that public confidence in both his domestic and foreign policies has been falling, amid revelations about their defects and dangers. Even people who once supported and defended him have now turned against him.
By Thomas Sowell September 17, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Political crusades for raising the minimum wage are back again. Advocates of minimum wage laws often give themselves credit for being more "compassionate" toward "the poor." But they seldom bother to check the actual consequences of such laws.
By Thomas Sowell September 10, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Why are we even talking about taking military action in Syria? What is that military action supposed to accomplish? And what is the probability that it will in fact accomplish whatever that unknown goal might be?
By Thomas Sowell September 3, 2013 6:01 a.m.
One of the many unintended consequences of the political crusade for increased homeownership among minorities, and low-income people in general, has been a housing boom and bust that left many foreclosed homes that had to be rented, because there were no longer enough qualified buyers. The repercussions did not stop there.
By Thomas Sowell August 27, 2013 6:01 a.m.
The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and of the Reverend Martin Luther King's memorable "I have a dream" speech, is a time for reflections -- some inspiring, and some painful and ominous.
By Thomas Sowell August 20, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Nothing symbolizes the Utopianism of our times like both liberals and some conservatives calling for us to cut off aid to the Egyptian military because of the widespread killings in what is becoming a civil war in Egypt. Such utter lack of realism from the left is not new, but hearing some conservatives saying the same things takes some getting used to.
By Thomas Sowell August 13, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Two recent events -- one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast -- raise painful questions about whether we are really serious when we say that we want better education for minority children.
By Thomas Sowell August 6, 2013 6:01 a.m.
It is hard to read a newspaper, or watch a television newscast, without encountering someone who has come up with a new "solution" to society's "problems." Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than there are problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today's problems are a result of yesterday's solutions.
By Thomas Sowell July 30, 2013 6:01 a.m.
In the 20th century, Western intellectuals' two most dominant explanations of disparities in economic, educational and other achievements were innate racial differences in ability (in the early decades) and racial discrimination (in the later decades). In neither era were the intelligentsia receptive to other explanations. In each era, they were convinced that they had the answer — and dismissed and disparaged those who offered other answers.
By Thomas Sowell July 23, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Random thoughts from wise thinkers:
By Thomas Sowell July 16, 2013 6:01 a.m.
There are no winners in the trial of George Zimmerman. The only question is whether the damage that has been done has been transient or irreparable. Legally speaking, Zimmerman has won his freedom. But he can still be sued in a civil case, and he will probably never be safe to live his life in peace, as he could have before this case made him the focus of national attention and orchestrated hate.
By Thomas Sowell July 9, 2013 6:01 a.m.
When teenage thugs are called "troubled youth" by people on the political left, that tells us more about the mind-set of the left than about these young hoodlums. Seldom is there a speck of evidence that the thugs are troubled, and often there is ample evidence that they are in fact enjoying themselves as they create trouble and dangers for others.
By Thomas Sowell July 2, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
By Thomas Sowell June 25, 2013 6:01 a.m.
The headline on the front page of the New York Times said it all: "Women in the Senate Confront the Military on Sex Assaults." In a triumphalist article showcasing the growing numbers of women on the Senate Armed Services Committee, "one of the Senate's most testosterone-driven panels," the storyline presents female Senators attacking male military officials over charges of sexual assaults against women in the armed forces.
By Thomas Sowell June 18, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Amid all the heated crosscurrents of debate about the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program, there is a growing distrust of the Obama administration that makes weighing the costs and benefits of the NSA program itself hard to assess. The belated recognition of this administration's contempt for the truth, for the American people and for the Constitution of the United States has been long overdue. But what if the NSA program has in fact thwarted terrorists and saved many American lives in ways that cannot be revealed publicly?
By Thomas Sowell June 11, 2013 6:01 a.m.
One of the most common arguments for allowing more immigration is that there is a "need" for foreign workers to do "jobs that Americans won't do," especially in agriculture.
By Thomas Sowell June 4, 2013 6:01 a.m.
An all-too-familiar scene was enacted on the campus of Swarthmore College during a meeting on May 4 to discuss demands by student activists for the college to divest itself of its investments in companies that deal in fossil fuels.
By Thomas Sowell May 28, 2013 6:02 a.m.
We have truly entered the world of "Alice in Wonderland" when the CEO of a company that pays $16 million a day in taxes is hauled up before a Congressional subcommittee to be denounced on nationwide television for not paying more. Apple CEO Tim Cook was denounced for contributing to "a worrisome federal deficit," according to Senator Carl Levin -- one of the big-spending liberals in Congress who has had a lot more to do with creating that deficit than any private citizen has.
By Thomas Sowell May 21, 2013 6:01 a.m.
This time of year, as college students return home for the summer, many parents may notice how many politically correct ideas they have acquired on campus. Some of those parents may wonder how they can undo some of the brainwashing that has become so common in what are supposed to be institutions of higher learning.
By Thomas Sowell May 14, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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.
By Thomas Sowell May 7, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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.
By Thomas Sowell April 30, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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.
By Thomas Sowell April 23, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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.
By Thomas Sowell April 16, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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."
By Thomas Sowell April 9, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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.
By Thomas Sowell April 2, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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.
By Thomas Sowell March 26, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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?"
By Thomas Sowell March 19, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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.
By Thomas Sowell March 12, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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.
By Thomas Sowell March 5, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing lifesaving medications to children. If this agency's budget were cut, what would it do?
By Thomas Sowell February 26, 2013 6:01 a.m.
People on both sides of tax issues often speak of such things as a "$300 billion tax increase" or a "$500 billion tax decrease." That is fine if they are looking back at something that has already happened. But it can be sheer nonsense if they are talking about a proposed increase or decrease in the tax rate.
By Thomas Sowell February 19, 2013 6:01 a.m.
A nation's choice between spending on military defense and spending on civilian goods has often been posed as "guns versus butter." But understanding the choices of many nations' political leaders might be helped by examining the contrast between their runaway spending on pensions while skimping on military defense.
By Thomas Sowell February 12, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Now that the federal government is playing an ever larger role in the economy, a look at the track record seems to be long overdue.
By Thomas Sowell February 5, 2013 6:01 a.m.
An old-time trial lawyer once said, "When your case is weak, shout louder!"
By Thomas Sowell January 29, 2013 6:01 a.m.
There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?
By Thomas Sowell January 22, 2013 6:01 a.m.
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 overriding factual question is whether gun control laws actually reduce gun crimes in general or murder rates in particular.
By Thomas Sowell January 15, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Many years ago, as a young man, I read a very interesting book about the rise of the Communists to power in China. In the last chapter, the author tried to explain why and how this had happened. Among the factors he cited were the country's educators. That struck me as odd, and not very plausible, at the time. But the passing years have made that seem more plausible. Today, I see our own educators playing a similar role in creating a mindset that undermines American society.
By Thomas Sowell January 8, 2013 6:01 a.m.
The political slogan "Forward" served Barack Obama well during last year's election campaign. It said that he was for going forward, while Republicans were for "going back to the failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place." It was great political rhetoric and great political theater. Moreover, the Republicans did virtually nothing to challenge its shaky assumptions with a few hard facts that could have made those assumptions collapse like a house of cards.
By Thomas Sowell January 1, 2013 6:01 a.m.
The beginning of a new year is often a time to look forward and look back. If there are any awards to be given to anyone for what they did in 2012, one of those rewards should be for prophecy, if only because prophecies that turn out to be right are so rare.
By Thomas Sowell December 25, 2012 6:01 a.m.
Must every tragic mass shooting bring out the shrill ignorance of "gun control" advocates?