Black American economist and academic Thomas Sowell, still going strong at 90, ran the standard gambit from being a marxist in his youth until reality struck, and like so many, he saw the light and became a market economy enthusiast.

Sowell is noted for some of his pithy observations. I mention this by way of preamble re a letter received today from a (part maori) university academic friend. She wrote regarding the disastrous maori wonderfulness division being promoted in recent years by ill-thought government initiatives and some of the media, and she quoted Sowell. Specifically, he once wrote, “When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination”.

Never a truer word and never more apt than in New Zealand today.


Gets’ my vote for quote of the decade – but probably written before the 21st century decades when greater human civility reigned

Thomas Sowell is brilliant.

I have Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics. It is a brilliant, easily read and understood book that should be standard reading for all senior secondary school children and teachers.

I have also seen some of his excellent quotes. Some of which I list below.

No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites who lived off those who produced.

What exactly is your “fair share” of what someone else has worked for?

Ours may become the first civilisation destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they teach our children.

The next time some academics tell you of the importance of diversity, ask them how many conservatives they have in their Sociology department.

The welfare state is the oldest con in the game. First you take away peoples money quietly and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

Much of the history of the Western world over the last tree decades has been replacing what worked with what sounded good.

I have never understood why it is greed to keep what you have earned but not greed to take somebody else’s money.

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

I have a few more but that will do for now.

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