Sowell: Housing example illustrates high cost of liberalism

By Thomas Sowell April 22, 2014 6 a.m.

Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives. Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals.

Sowell: Gap in pay between genders is a statistical falsehood

By Thomas Sowell April 15, 2014 6 a.m.

The “war on women” political slogan is in fact a war against common sense. It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn — and that this is because of discrimination.

Sowell: Campaign finance reform protects those in power

By Thomas Sowell April 8, 2014 6 a.m.

The recent Supreme Court decision overruling some Federal Election Commission restrictions on political campaign contributions has provoked angry reactions on the left. That is what often happens whenever the High Court rules that the First Amendment means what it says — free speech for everybody.

Sowell: With right message, GOP could resonate with blacks

By Thomas Sowell April 1, 2014 6 a.m.

Recently, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice added her voice to those who have long been urging the Republican Party to reach out to black voters. Not only is that long overdue, what is also long overdue is putting some time — and, above all, some serious thought — into how to go about doing it.

Sowell: Book shows how welfare state hurts American Dream

By Thomas Sowell March 25, 2014 6 a.m.

Professor Amy Chua of the Yale law school is better known as a "Tiger Mom" because of her take-no-prisoners, tough love approach to raising children. She and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld (a fellow Yale law professor), have written what may turn out to be the best book of this year.

Sowell: Republicans should heed danger of self-righteousness

By Thomas Sowell March 18, 2014 6 a.m.

At a time when polls show public opinion turning against the Democrats, some Republicans seem to be turning against each other. Even with the prospect of being able to win control of the Senate in this fall's elections, some Republicans are busy manufacturing ammunition for their own circular firing squad.

Sowell: Left's lack of concern for minorities shows in education

By Thomas Sowell March 11, 2014 6 a.m.

If anyone wanted to pick a time and place where the political left's avowed concern for minorities was definitively exposed as a fraud, it would be now -- and the place would be New York City, where far left Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an attack on charter schools, cutting their funding, among other things.

Sowell: Freedom fighters are needed to protect Constitution

By Thomas Sowell March 4, 2014 6 a.m.

There may be something to the claim that all people want to be free. But it is a demonstrable fact that freedom has been under attack, usually successfully, for thousands of years.

Sowell: The 'Fairness' Fraud: Differing aspirations play a role

By Thomas Sowell February 25, 2014 6 a.m.

It seems as if, everywhere you turn these days, there are studies claiming to show that America has lost its upward mobility for people born in the lower socioeconomic levels. But there is a sharp difference between upward "mobility," defined as an opportunity to rise, and mobility defined as actually having risen.

Sowell: Random thoughts and observations about our world

By Thomas Sowell February 11, 2014 6 a.m.

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Sowell: GOP immigration reform plan may benefit Democrats

By Thomas Sowell February 4, 2014 6 a.m.

Some supporters of President Obama may be worried about how he and the Democrats are going to fare politically, as the problems of Obamacare continue to escalate and it looks like the Republicans have a chance to win a majority in the Senate.

Sowell: Talk of income inequality ignores an important point

By Thomas Sowell January 28, 2014 6 a.m.

During a recent lunch in a restaurant, someone complimented my wife on the perfume she was wearing. But I was wholly unaware that she was wearing perfume, even though we had been in a car together for about half an hour, driving to the restaurant.

Sowell: Fact-free liberals reduced to character assassination

By Thomas Sowell January 21, 2014 6 a.m.

One of the things that attracted me to the political left, as a young man, was a belief that leftists were for "the people."

Sowell: Christie's straight talk could be beneficial for GOP

By Thomas Sowell January 14, 2014 6 a.m.

The first time I saw New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on television, a few years ago, my first reaction was astonishment: "A talking Republican!"

Sowell: Left uses 'trickle-down' bogeyman as a scare tactic

By Thomas Sowell January 7, 2014 6 a.m.

New York's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, in his inaugural speech, denounced people "on the far right" who "continue to preach the virtue of trickle-down economics." According to Mayor de Blasio, "They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else."

Sowell: Big question for 2014: Will we be citizens or subjects?

By Thomas Sowell December 31, 2013 6 a.m.

Whenever we stand on the threshold of a new year, we are tempted to forget the hazards of prophecy, and try to see what may lie on the other side of this arbitrary division of time.

Sowell: Thought-provoking reading for Christmastime, beyond

By Thomas Sowell December 10, 2013 6 a.m.

As Christmas approaches, the shopping mall can become a shopping maul. One of the ways of buying gifts for family and friends, without becoming part of a mob scene in the stores, is to shop on the Internet. However, for many kinds of gifts, you want to be able to see it directly, and perhaps handle it, before you part with your hard-earned cash.

Sowell: Ideology of victimhood hampers those at the bottom

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.

Sowell: Musings on barbarism, Romney, Syria, and Obamacare

By Thomas Sowell November 26, 2013 6 a.m.

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Sowell: Political left continues to fight war against achievement

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.

Sowell: Obamacare fight brings Tea Party to the crossroads

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.

Sowell: Government’s ultimate goal is health care monopoly

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

Sowell: Term limits are first step to limiting federal government

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.

Sowell: Race-hustling conspires to keep black Americans down

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.

Sowell: Nominee to lead Federal Reserve deserves scrutiny

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."

Sowell: Inarticulate Republicans must clarify their message

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.

Sowell: New minimum wage plan would attack household jobs

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.

Sowell: Republicans wage futile battle against Obamacare

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.

Sowell: Minimum wage madness leads to rising unemployment

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.

Sowell: Administration's track record on foreign policy: Failure

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?

Sowell: Unintended consequences of housing, education crusades

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.

Sowell: Poignant anniversary points out a lack of progress

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.

Sowell: Egypt presents choice between reality and a mirage

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.

Sowell: Education system opposes challenges to status quo

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.

Sowell: Meddling from busybodies generates more problems

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.

Sowell: Isolationist nations afflict handicap upon own people

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.

Sowell: Words of wise thinkers of the past have bearing today

By Thomas Sowell July 23, 2013 6:01 a.m.

Random thoughts from wise thinkers:

Sowell: Zimmerman jury shows this is still America, for now

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.

Sowell: Left ignores the evil in this world at the peril of us all

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.

Sowell: The world is full of oddities worth a thought or two

By Thomas Sowell July 2, 2013 6:01 a.m.

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Sowell: Military asks for trouble by putting women in combat

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.

Sowell: Obama's contempt for truth wounds country as a whole

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?

Sowell: 'Need' for immigrant farmworkers an exaggeration

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.

Sowell: Colleges all too often cave in to tactics of barbarians

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.

Sowell: It crosses line to push for more tax than law requires

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.

Sowell: Undo 'brainwashing' by making students hit the books

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.

Sowell: Politicians follow the bouncing ball into calamity

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.

Sowell: Dumbed-down education renders thinking obsolete

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.

Sowell: Today's politicians specialize in art of the impossible

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.

Sowell: Gun control crusaders rely on rhetoric instead of facts

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.