Thomas Sowell from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:23:38 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Thomas Sowell from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/thomas-sowell-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell 1e0ec240c7dadeb3172b6143a45f3842 A Clash of Police Policies for 08/23/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/08/16/a-clash-of-police-policies 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/08/16/trump-and-blacks 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/08/16/does-black-success-matter 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/08/16/old-lies 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/08/16/new-critics-of-trump 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/08/16/the-political-picture 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/07/16/black-votes-matter 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/07/16/the-dumbest-idea 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/07/16/the-war-on-cops 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/07/16/the-war-on-cops-part-ii 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/07/16/what-are-we-celebrating 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/06/16/the-fraud-goes-on 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 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/06/16/the-gun-control-farce-3638b 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> e9262119a05c3ab390c53563af0ede16 Will Orlando Change Anything? for 06/14/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/06/16/will-orlando-change-anything Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>However great the shock of the massacre in Orlando, it is only a matter of time before we start hearing again the fact-free dogma that "diversity is our strength."</p> <p>If there is any place in the Guinness Book of World Records for words repeated the most often, over the most years, without one speck of evidence, "diversity" should be a prime candidate.</p> <p>Is diversity our strength? Or anybody's strength, anywhere in the world? Does Japan's homogeneous population cause the Japanese to suffer? Have the Balkans been blessed by their heterogeneity &#8212; or does the very word "Balkanization" remind us of centuries of strife, bloodshed and unspeakable atrocities, extending into our own times?<p>Updated: Tue Jun 14, 2016</p> 9c77d3c2e3c3efdaaaea041ebc295ba2 Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete? for 06/07/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/06/16/is-personal-responsibility-obsolete Tue, 07 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Among the many disturbing signs of our times are conservatives and libertarians of high intelligence and high principles who are advocating government programs that relieve people of the necessity of working to provide their own livelihoods.</p> <p>Generations ago, both religious people and socialists were agreed on the proposition that "he who does not work, neither shall he eat." Both would come to the aid of those unable to work. But the idea that people who simply choose not to work should be supported by money taken from those who are working was rejected across the ideological spectrum.</p> <p>How we got to the present situation is a long story, but the painful fact is that we are here now. Among the leading minds of our times, including Charles Murray today and the late and great Milton Friedman earlier, there have been proposals for ways of subsidizing the poor without the suffocating distortions of the government's welfare state bureaucracy.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 07, 2016</p> 65cd744ec35e33c1d9dbbe0127800243 Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?: Part II for 06/07/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/06/16/is-personal-responsibility-obsolete-part-ii Tue, 07 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Too many social problems are conceived of in terms of what "we" can do for "them." After decades of massive expansions of the welfare state, the answer seems to range from "not very much" to "making matters worse."</p> <p>Undaunted, people in a number of countries are coming up with new proposals that are variations on the theme of government-provided income &#8212; which amounts to relieving people from personal responsibility.</p> <p>Yet even some conservatives and libertarians are coming up with proposals for more "efficient" versions of the welfare state &#8212; namely direct cash grants for life to virtually all adults, instead of the current hodgepodge of overlapping bureaucratic programs.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 07, 2016</p> 1bd2fae5a45a335ae16caf5f445cdcb0 Socialism for the Uninformed for 05/31/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/05/16/socialism-for-the-uninformed Tue, 31 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.</p> <p>While throngs of young people are cheering loudly for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, socialism has turned oil-rich Venezuela into a place where there are shortages of everything from toilet paper to beer, where electricity keeps shutting down, and where there are long lines of people hoping to get food, people complaining that they cannot feed their families.</p> <p>With national income going down, and prices going up under triple-digit inflation in Venezuela, these complaints are by no means frivolous. But it is doubtful if the young people cheering for Bernie Sanders have even heard of such things, whether in Venezuela or in other countries around the world that have turned their economies over to politicians and bureaucrats to run.<p>Updated: Tue May 31, 2016</p> cbeca20d33040123d898b310a13a0818 Commencement Season for 05/24/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/05/16/commencement-season Tue, 24 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This is the season of college Commencement speeches &#8212; an art form that has seldom been memorable, but has increasingly become toxic in recent times.</p> <p>Two themes seem to dominate Commencement speeches. One is shameless self-advertising by people in government, or in related organizations supported by the taxpayers or donors, saying how nobler it is to be in "public service" than working in business or other "selfish" activities.</p> <p>In other words, the message is that it is morally superior to be in organizations consuming output produced by others than to be in organizations which produce that output. Moreover, being morally one-up is where it's at.<p>Updated: Tue May 24, 2016</p> f780952bc869f8ee1fad7495adb26fee Grim Choices for 05/17/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/05/16/grim-choices Tue, 17 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We must frankly face the fact that the front runners in both political parties represent a new low, at a time of domestic polarization and unprecedented nuclear dangers internationally. This year's general election will offer a choice between a thoroughly corrupt liar and an utterly irresponsible egomaniac.</p> <p>The Republican establishment, whose serial betrayals of their supporters created the setting for a Donald Trump to arise, must now decide how best to deal with the apparent inevitability of his candidacy.</p> <p>Choosing among various unpalatable options may require some tricky maneuvering on their part, but they have been used to tricky maneuvering before, which is how they find themselves in this predicament in the first place.<p>Updated: Tue May 17, 2016</p> 5b555679f3d246c37745ae7b7652c74d Dry Rot in Academia for 05/10/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/05/16/dry-rot-in-academia Tue, 10 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Jason Riley has now joined the long and distinguished list of people invited &#8212; and then disinvited &#8212; to give a talk on a college campus, in this case Virginia Tech. </p> <p>Mr. Riley is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and, perhaps most relevantly, author of a very insightful book titled "Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed."</p> <p>In short, Jason Riley's views on race are different from the views that prevail on most college campuses. At one time, 50 years ago or earlier, exposing students to a different viewpoint was considered to be a valuable part of their education. But that was before academia &#8212; and the education system in general &#8212; became virtually a monopoly of the political left. <p>Updated: Tue May 10, 2016</p>