20 Superb Thomas Sowell Quotes

Thomas Sowell is a widely known American economist and philosopher from North Carolina. He served in the Korean War with the Marine Corp and then went on to graduate from Harvard University, as well as Columbia University in the late 1950’s. He is currently a widely outspoken republican that focuses on gun control issues. This is a collection of some of the best quotes he has ever said.

“Competition does a much more effective job than government at protecting consumers.”

“Facts do not “speak for themselves.” They speak for or against competing theories. Facts divorced from theory or visions are mere isolated curiosities.”

“Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.”

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a
government bureaucracy to administer it.”

“It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites.”


“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

“One of the grand fallacies of our time is that something beneficial should be subsidized.”

“People who pride themselves on their “complexity” and deride others for being “simplistic” should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading
the truth.”

“People who think that they are being “exploited” should ask themselves whether they would be missed if they left, or whether people would say: “Good riddance”?”

“Right after liberal Democrats, the most dangerous politicians are country club Republicans.”

“Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.”

“Some of the people on death row today might not be there if the courts had not been so lenient on them when they were first offenders.”

“The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better.”

“The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where
ideas do not have to work in order to survive.”

“Time was when people used to brag about how old they were — and I am old enough to remember it.”

“Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism.”

“What the welfare system and other kinds of governmental programs are doing is paying people to fail. In so far as they fail, they receive the money; in so far as they succeed, even to a moderate extent, the money is taken away.”

“When we hear about rent control or gun control, we may think about rent or guns but the word that really matters is ‘control.’ That is what the political left is all about, as you can see by the incessant creation of new restrictions in places where they are strongly entrenched in power, such as San Francisco or New York.”

“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”


In this retro interview, Thomas Sowell talks about some of his most interesting ideas of philosophy.

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