Thomas Sowell from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:58:54 -0700 Thomas Sowell from Creators Syndicate 17cd7d710c15e504a7bc7c9d61331dc2 'Favors' to Blacks for 09/27/2016 Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Back in the 1960s, as large numbers of black students were entering a certain Ivy League university for the first time, someone asked a chemistry professor &#8212; off the record &#8212; what his response to them was. He said, "I give them all A's and B's. To hell with them."</p> <p>Since many of those students were admitted with lower academic qualifications than other students, he knew that honest grades in a tough subject like chemistry could lead to lots of failing grades, and that in turn would lead to lots of time-wasting hassles &#8212; not just from the students, but also from the administration.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 27, 2016</p> 48c70370bc94548574f1b90ce870c7fe Our Political Predicament for 09/20/2016 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There is no point denying or sugar-coating the plain fact that the voters this election year face a choice between two of the worst candidates in living memory. A professor at Morgan State University summarized the situation by saying that the upcoming debates may enable voters to decide which is the "less insufferable" candidate to be President of the United States.</p> <p>My own take on this election is that the voter is in a situation much like that of an American fighter pilot in World War II, whose plane has been hit by enemy fire out over the Pacific Ocean and is beginning to burst into flames.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 20, 2016</p> 1f6cafb496cf2168695c54801cb8dcdf Racial Issues for 09/13/2016 Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Ordinarily, it is not a good idea to base how you vote on just one issue. But if black lives really matter, as they should matter like all other lives, then it is hard to see any racial issue that matters as much as education.</p> <p>The government could double the amount of money it spends on food stamps or triple the amount it spends on housing subsidies, and it will mean very little if the next generation of young blacks goes out into the world as adults without a decent education.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 13, 2016</p> fd6497a52986bcef3248c52f812934a5 Election Year Books for 09/13/2016 Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Election year politics generates much rhetoric and confusion. And the media often adds its spin. But, fortunately, there are some books around that deal with reality and can cut through the nonsense. Most of these books were not written during this election year, but what they presented can be very eye-opening on the issues raised by politicians this year.</p> <p>If you are concerned about issues involved when some people want to expand the welfare state and others want to contract it, then one of the most relevant and insightful books is "Life at the Bottom" by Theodore Dalrymple. It was not written this year and is not even about the United States, much less our current presidential or other candidates.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 13, 2016</p> 41dd44accb96b4a9e04959945c270326 Misleading Statistics for 09/06/2016 Tue, 06 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Mark Twain famously said that there were three kinds of lies &#8212; "lies, damned lies, and statistics." Since this is an election year, we can expect to hear plenty of all three kinds.</p> <p>Even if the statistics themselves are absolutely accurate, the words that describe what they are measuring can be grossly misleading.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 06, 2016</p> aed557b371b083bef2592d67dcfe5bc1 Abstract Immigrants in an Abstract World for 08/30/2016 Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Why would a country with the world's largest Jewish population, outside of Israel, admit large numbers of immigrants from countries where hatred of Jews has been taught to their people from earliest childhood?</p> <p>This question is ultimately not about Muslims and Jews. It is about discussing immigrants in the abstract, rather than in terms of the specific concrete realities of particular immigrants in particular circumstances at a particular time and place &#8212; that time being now and that place being the United States of America.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 30, 2016</p> edd4154f1d59758c57bc52dd382cf904 A Gem in Chicago for 08/30/2016 Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We have gotten so used to seeing college presidents and other academic "leaders" caving in to so many outrageous demands from little gangs of bullying students that it is a long overdue surprise to see a sign that at least one major university has shown some backbone.</p> <p>Dr. Robert J. Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, has spoken out in the plainest language against the stifling of opinions that differ from political correctness, on campuses across the country.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 30, 2016</p> 1e0ec240c7dadeb3172b6143a45f3842 A Clash of Police Policies for 08/23/2016 Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Amid the rioting in Milwaukee, there is also a clash between two leading lawmen there &#8212; Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and the city of Milwaukee's Chief of Police Edward Flynn. They have very different opinions about how law enforcement should be carried out.</p> <p>Chief Edward Flynn expresses the view long prevalent among those who emphasize the social "root causes" of crime, such as income disparities and educational disparities, as well as the larger society's neglect of black communities.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 23, 2016</p> fc1dc11ab820bed19f76be4fb1275e93 Trump and Blacks for 08/18/2016 Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Who would have thought that Donald Trump, of all people, would be addressing the fact that the black community suffers the most from a breakdown of law and order? But sanity on racial issues is sufficiently rare that it must be welcomed, from whatever source it comes.</p> <p>When establishment Republicans have addressed the problems of blacks at all, it has too often been in terms of what earmarked benefits can be offered in exchange for their votes. And there was very little that Republicans could offer to compete with the Democrats' whole universe of welfare state earmarks.</p> <p>Law and order, however, is not an earmarked benefit for any special group. It is a policy for all that is especially needed by law-abiding blacks, who are the principal victims of those who are not law-abiding.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 18, 2016</p> b274469bff186aa66eb578184d08bd11 Does Black Success Matter? for 08/16/2016 Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We keep hearing that "black lives matter," but they seem to matter only when that helps politicians to get votes, or when that slogan helps demagogues demonize the police. The other 99 percent of black lives destroyed by people who are not police do not seem to attract nearly as much attention in the media.</p> <p>What about black success? Does that matter? Apparently not so much.</p> <p>We have heard a lot about black students failing to meet academic standards. So you might think that it would be front-page news when some whole ghetto schools not only meet, but exceed, the academic standards of schools in more upscale communities.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 16, 2016</p> dbf4dc02c5188e1f5e8afde63e6657ac Old Lies for 08/09/2016 Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We expect to hear a lot of lies during an election year, and this year is certainly no exception. What is surprising is how old some of these lies are, and how often they have been shown to be lies, years ago or even decades ago.</p> <p>One of the oldest of these lies is that women are paid less than men for doing the same work. Like many other politically successful lies, it contains just enough of the truth to fool the gullible.</p> <p>Women as a group do get paid less than men as a group. But not for doing the same work. Women average fewer annual hours of work than men. They work continuously for fewer years than men, since only women get pregnant, and most women are not prepared to instantly dump the baby on somebody else to raise.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 09, 2016</p> a9df3820d18d6a7c47f5969576dc297e New Critics of Trump for 08/09/2016 Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A year ago, in August 2015, this column called "The Donald" the Democrats' Trump card. It is hard to imagine any other Republican candidate who could rescue a thoroughly discredited Hillary Clinton from a devastating defeat in this year's election.</p> <p>Now 50 prominent Republicans with foreign policy and national security experience have taken the unprecedented step of publicly and collectively announcing that they cannot vote for Donald Trump because they believe that he would be "the most reckless president in American history."</p> <p>Why? Not only because he has "demonstrated repeatedly that "he has little understanding" of the nation's "vital national interests" but because "Mr. Trump has shown no interest in educating himself."<p>Updated: Tue Aug 09, 2016</p> 2c2e56f9997a5a3f7868c6c179abdfba The Political Picture for 08/02/2016 Tue, 02 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The good news is that both political conventions are now behind us. The bad news is that the election is ahead of us.</p> <p>No one knows how this election will turn out but &#8212; given the awful presidential candidates in both parties &#8212; the worst case scenario may be only marginally worse than the best case scenario. National polls may suggest a close election ahead but presidential elections are not decided by who has a majority of the popular vote. In a country already divided, if not polarized, one candidate could win the popular vote and the other candidate win the Electoral College vote, which is what decides who goes to the White House. That could polarize us more than ever.</p> <p>Everything may depend on what happens in the battleground states where neither party has a decisive advantage. Until recently, Hillary Clinton seemed to have a clear lead in those states. But that difference has narrowed to within the margin of error in some state polls.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 02, 2016</p> 8767cd4d886eed0954c8ed31d160f6bc Black Votes Matter for 07/26/2016 Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Black votes matter. If Republicans could get 20 percent of black votes, the Democrats would be ruined. This is highly unlikely, given the approach used by Republicans. However, the point is that Democrats must not only continue to get nine-tenths of black votes, they also need to get a high turnout of black voters on election day.</p> <p>People who expected the election of President Barack Obama to lead to racial healing and a post-racial society failed to take account of the political reality that racial healing and a post-racial society would, at a minimum, reduce black voter turnout.</p> <p>Black votes matter to many politicians &#8212; more so than black lives. That is why such politicians must try to keep black voters fearful, angry and resentful. Racial harmony would be a political disaster for such politicians.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 26, 2016</p> f7bab0bf9005d1272ddeb15b21f36b24 The Dumbest Idea for 07/19/2016 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If there were a contest for the most stupid idea in politics, my choice would be the assumption that people would be evenly or randomly distributed in incomes, institutions, occupations or awards, in the absence of somebody doing somebody wrong.</p> <p>Political crusades, bureaucratic empires and lucrative personal careers as grievance mongers have been built on the foundation of that assumption, which is almost never tested against any facts.</p> <p>A recent article in the New York Times saw as a problem the fact that females are greatly under-represented among the highest rated chess players. Innumerable articles, TV stories and political outcries have been based on an "under-representation" of women in Silicon Valley, seen as a problem that needs to be solved.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 19, 2016</p> 17e4890acad8150d1c38cd4d681ab168 The War on Cops for 07/12/2016 Tue, 12 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>There was never a more appropriately named book than "The War on Cops" by Heather Mac Donald, published a few weeks ago, on the eve of the greatest escalation of that war by the ambush murders of five policemen in Dallas.</p> <p>Nor is this war against the police confined to Dallas. It is occurring across the country. Who is to blame?</p> <p>There is a ton of blame, more than enough to go around to the wide range of people and institutions that have contributed to these disasters. In addition to the murderers who have killed people they don't even know, there are those who created the atmosphere of blind hatred in which such killers flourish.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 12, 2016</p> 5070d30c9cc267c6bb9537cc6318143f The War on Cops: Part II for 07/12/2016 Tue, 12 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Even in this age of runaway emotions, there are still some people who want to know the facts. Nowhere are facts more important, or more lacking, than in what has been aptly called "The War on Cops," the title of a devastating new book by Heather Mac Donald.</p> <p>Few, if any, of the most fashionable notions about the police, minorities and the criminal justice system can withstand an examination of hard facts. Yet those fashionable notions continue to dominate discussions in the media, in politics and in academia. But Ms. Mac Donald's book of documented facts demolishes many fashionable notions.</p> <p>Consider one of the big talking points of politicians and others who claim that the harsher penalties for people selling crack cocaine than for people selling powder cocaine show racism, since crack cocaine is more likely to be used by blacks.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 12, 2016</p> 5269fbc0fdf6e731bc8cc074dc4481f2 What Are We Celebrating? for 07/05/2016 Tue, 05 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>There was a time when the Fourth of July meant something more than a three-day weekend. Speeches, writings and commemorative ceremonies reminded us of the origins and greatness of America. No matter where in the world our ancestors came from, we today are almost invariably better off because they came to America.</p> <p>Independence Day signified much more than one country announcing its independence from another on July 4, 1776. It represented a new form of government &#8212; freer and more accountable to its own people than the monarchies common around the world for centuries.</p> <p>What happened in America did not stay in America. The example of freedom inspired other peoples in other lands. As a famous poem put it, it was America's "embattled farmers," fighting for their own freedom and independence, who "fired the shot heard round the world."<p>Updated: Tue Jul 05, 2016</p> ebcfe455f2b46baa32eaefb5a1dc1507 The Fraud Goes On for 06/28/2016 Tue, 28 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last week the Supreme Court of the United States voted that President Obama exceeded his authority when he granted exemptions from the immigration laws passed by Congress.</p> <p>But the Supreme Court also exceeded its own authority by granting the University of Texas an exemption from the Constitution's requirement of "equal protection of the laws," by voting that racial preferences for student admissions were legal.</p> <p>Supreme Court decisions in affirmative action cases are the longest running fraud since the 1896 decision upholding racial segregation laws in the Jim Crow South, on grounds that "separate but equal" facilities were consistent with the Constitution. Everybody knew that those facilities were separate but by no means equal. Nevertheless, this charade lasted until 1954.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 28, 2016</p> 88e6c6f581e12cad46f6028fcc6b2d05 The Gun Control Farce for 06/21/2016 Tue, 21 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Surely murder is a serious subject, which ought to be examined seriously. Instead, it is almost always examined politically in the context of gun control controversies, with stock arguments on both sides that have remained the same for decades. And most of those arguments are irrelevant to the central question: Do tighter gun control laws reduce the murder rate?</p> <p>That is not an esoteric question, nor one for which no empirical evidence is available. Think about it. We have 50 states, each with its own gun control laws, and many of those laws have gotten either tighter or looser over the years. There must be tons of data that could indicate whether murder rates went up or down when either of these things happened.</p> <p>But have you ever heard any gun control advocate cite any such data? Tragically, gun control has become one of those fact-free issues that spawn outbursts of emotional rhetoric and mutual recriminations about the National Rifle Association or the Second Amendment.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 21, 2016</p>