Joe Biden says he’ll “advance racial equity” by making “bold investments” in “Affordable Housing,” aiding “businesses owned by Black and Brown people,” establishing an “Equity Commission,” etc.
Gosh, that’ll do it.
Others demand reparations for slavery, more social programs and defunding the police.
Yet, economist Thomas Sowell says, “I haven’t been able to find a single country in the world where policies advocated for Blacks in the United States lifted any people out of poverty.”
Sowell’s a Black man who grew up in poverty. His father died before he was born, and his mother died soon after.
“We were much poorer than the people in Harlem and most anywhere else today,” he reflects. “But in the sense of things you need to get ahead, I was enormously more fortunate than most Black kids today.”
That’s because he discovered the public library. “When you start getting in the habit of reading when you’re 8 years old, it’s a different ballgame!”
Exploring Manhattan, he saw disparities in wealth. “Nothing in the schools or most of the books seemed to deal with that. Marx dealt with that,” says Sowell. He then became a Marxist.
What began to change his beliefs was his first job at the U.S. Department of Labor. He was told to focus on the minimum wage.
At first, he thought the minimum wage was good: “All these people are poor, and they’ll get a little higher income. That’ll be helpful,” he reasoned.
But then he realized: “There’s a downside. They may lose their jobs.”
His colleagues at the Labor Department didn’t want to think about that. “I came up with how we might test this. I was waiting to hear ‘congratulations!’ (but) I could see these people were stunned. They’d say, ‘oh, this idiot has stumbled on something that would ruin us all.'”
Once he saw how government workers often cared more about preserving their turf than actually solving problems, Sowell rethought his assumptions.
He turned away from Marxism and became a free market economist, writing great books like “Basic Economics,” “Race and Culture” and my favorite title, “The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy.”
Today’s self-anointed leaders talk constantly about how America’s “systemic racism” holds Black people back.
“Propaganda,” Sowell calls it. “If you go back into the ’20s, you find that married-couple families were much more prevalent among Blacks. As late as 1930, Blacks have lower unemployment rates than whites.”
But if systemic racism was the cause of inequality, he says, “All these things that we complain about, and attribute to the era of slavery, should’ve been worse in the past than in the present!”
Sowell says the bigger cause of Black Americans’ problems today is government welfare initiated in the 1960s. The programs encouraged people to become dependent on handouts.
“You began to have the mindset that goes with the welfare state,” Sowell says. “No stigma any longer attached to being on relief.”
Sowell concludes that government programs that are supposed to help minorities do more harm than good. Affirmative Action, for example.
In 1965, he took a teaching position at Cornell. The college, he said, had lowered admission standards to diversify the student body, and most students admitted under affirmative action did not do well.
“Half of the Black students were on academic probation,” he wrote, later adding, “Something like 1/4th of all the Black students going to MIT do not graduate. (There is) a pool of people whom you are artificially turning into failures by mismatching them with the school.”
Saying such things makes Sowell an outcast in academia, and now most everywhere.
Sowell writes, “If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules… that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today.”
Starting next week, you can watch a new documentary on Sowell’s life, “Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World,” online at FreeToChooseNetwork.org.
Photo credit: SowellFilm.com
22 thoughts on “Standing Up to the Mob”
A brilliant man that built a career by not staying with government handouts. A shining example of what can be achieved no matter what stands in your way!
I hang on his words
Thanks for the videos Mr. Stossel. Always enlightening!
Mr. Sowell’s writings and commentaries have given an entirely different perspective on where we are today in politics and society in general. His research analysis and common sense approach to the history and present day circumstances to social reforms is honest and very telling. I hope he keeps writing and speaking out on the issues and politics of how government and self responsibility are very separate issues.
I can’t wait to see this documentary.
His books ,,” Wealth , Poverty & Politics ” also ” Discrimination and Disparities ” should be mandatory reading for any public servant at any level of Governmant ,,,, we wuld all be better off for having done so …
We already lost a great person that always told the truth in the way of Walter Williams R.I.P., I hope Thomas Sowel lives for another 50 years he’s the only sane person right now that’s able to voice the truth!!!!
What a thinking man’s man!! I am eager to see his films.
I completely agree . A thoughtful man in a thoughtless time.
I have followed Thomas Sowell and love his books. I hate to say this but our politicians are not smart enough or brave enough to push his agenda.
Why is it that common sense is so out of fashion and considered racist. Anyone who agrees is labeled a white supremacist. We need to stop relying on labels and start relying positive humanity.
Thank you, EVERY time I read or listen to your commentaries I always learn something! Now with this piece on Mr Sowell, I have some reading to do!
Mr Sowell is one of a handful of original thinkers and speakers of our times, I believe.
Thank you for putting this information out to the public, John Stossel!
Truly a breath of fresh air. So logical…so practical. Thank you!
Exactly! The same holds true for white appilachian people. You can’t pay people not to work. They have to be prepared for the jobs that are available in the jpb market!
A good example of a person that has a growth mindset, which our students badly needed to have nowadays.
Mr. Sowell’s works should be required in all public schools. It is so hard to find truth today and untangle the rhetoric of “white privilege/guilt/supremacy.” He does it with ease and eloquence.
It amazes me how Democrates have no use for people like Mr. Sowell, Dr. Carson, Tim Scott, Candace Owens and many others. If the Dems can’t use their blackness for their own gain then they are of no use to them. I say shame on them.
I’d love to see his documentary. Thomas Sowell is, by far, one of the greatest minds of our times. It is a pity that our elected officials, with their own personal agendas, can’t see that this man has most of the answers our Nation, and the world, is looking for. Let’s pray for Mr. Sowell to be long lived, with clarity of thought so he might continue to grace us with his insightful books, commentaries, and opinions until his common sense ideas sink in.
“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules… that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today.” My new favorite quote!
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