Archive for the ‘Thomas Sowell’ Category

THOMAS SOWELL – LAME-DUCK DEMOCRACY

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

 

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

THOMAS SOWELL: Enduring a lame-duck democracy

Rights are only protected when the president respects the Constitution

By Thomas Sowell  Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University

 

Monday, June 23, 2014

  • Illustration on the lame-duck Republic by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times
  • Illustration on the lame-duck Republic by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Pundits are pointing to President Obama’s recent decline in public opinion polls, and they’re saying that he may now become another “lame duck” president, unable to accomplish much during his final term in office.

That has happened to other presidents, but it is extremely unlikely to happen to this president. There are reasons why other presidents have become impotent during their last years in office. Those reasons do not apply to Mr. Obama.

The Constitution of the United States does not give presidents the power to carry out major policy changes without the cooperation of other branches of government. Once the country becomes disenchanted with a president during his second term, Congress has little incentive to cooperate with him — and once Congress becomes uncooperative, there is little that a president can do on his own.

That is, if he respects the Constitution.

Mr. Obama has demonstrated, time and again, that he has no respect for the Constitution’s limitations on his power. Despite his oath of office, to see that the laws are faithfully executed, Mr. Obama has unilaterally changed welfare reform laws by eliminating the work requirement passed by Congress during the Clinton administration.

He has repeatedly and unilaterally changed or waived provisions of the Obamacare law passed by Congress during his own administration.

Mr. Obama has ordered Border Patrol agents not to carry out provisions of the immigration laws that he does not like. We see the results today in the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants entering the country unimpeded. (more…)

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THOMAS SOWELL – ARE WE SERIOUS ABOUT EDUCATION?

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

 

Are We Serious About Education?

Thomas Sowell

8/13/2013 12:01:00 AM – Thomas Sowell

Two recent events — one on the east coast and one on the west coast — raise painful questions about whether we are really serious when we say that we want better education for minority children.

One of these events was an announcement by Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., that it plans on August 19th to begin “an entire week of activities to celebrate the grand opening of our new $160 million state-of-the-art school building.”

The painful irony in all this is that the original Dunbar High School building, which opened in 1916, housed a school with a record of high academic achievements for generations of black students, despite the inadequacies of the building and the inadequacies of the financial support that the school received.

By contrast, today’s Dunbar High School is just another ghetto school with abysmal standards, despite Washington’s record of having some of the country’s highest levels of money spent per pupil — and some of the lowest test score results.

Housing an educational disaster in an expensive new building is all too typical of what political incentives produce.

We pay a lot of lip service to educational excellence. But too many institutions and individuals that have produced good educational results for minority students have not only failed to get support, but have even been undermined. (more…)

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THOMAS SOWELL – LET’S DISCRIMINATE AMONG IMMIGRANTS

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

 

 

INVASION USA

Let’s discriminate among immigrants

Thomas Sowell: We should consider differences to determine what’s best for America

One of the many sad signs of our times is the way current immigration issues are discussed. A hundred years ago, the immigration controversies of that era were discussed in the context of innumerable facts about particular immigrant groups. Many of those facts were published in a huge, multi-volume 1911 study by a commission headed by Sen. William P. Dillingham.

That and other studies of the time presented hard data on such things as which groups’ children were doing well in school and which were not, which groups had high crime rates or high rates of alcoholism, and which groups were over-represented among people living on the dole.

Such data and such differences still exist today. Immigrants from some countries are seldom on welfare, but immigrants from other countries often are. Immigrants from some countries are typically people with high levels of education and skills, while immigrants from other countries seldom have much schooling or skills.

Nevertheless, many of our current discussions of immigration issues talk about immigrants in general, as if they were abstract people in an abstract world. But the concrete differences between immigrants from different countries affect whether their coming here is good or bad for the American people. (more…)

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BOOKS TO UNDO THE BRAINWASHING – THOMAS SOWELL

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

 

Undoing the Brainwashing

5/22/2013 12:01:00 AM – Thomas Sowell

This time of year, as college students return home for the summer, many parents may notice how many politically correct ideas they have acquired on campus. Some of those parents may wonder how they can undo some of the brainwashing that has become so common in what are supposed to be institutions of higher learning.

The strategy used by General Douglas MacArthur so successfully in the Pacific during World War II can be useful in this very different kind of battle. General MacArthur won his victories while minimizing his casualties — something that is also desirable in clashes of ideas within the family.

Instead of fighting the Japanese for every island stronghold as the Americans advanced toward Japan, MacArthur sent his troops into battle for only those islands that were strategically crucial. In the same spirit, parents who want to bring their brainwashed offspring back to reality need not try to combat every crazy idea they picked up from their politically correct professors. Just demolishing a few crucial beliefs, and exposing what nonsense they are, can deal a blow to the general credibility of the professorial pied pipers.

For example, if the student has been led to join the crusade for more gun control, and thinks that the reason the British have lower murder rates than Americans have is because the Brits have tighter gun control laws, just give him or her a copy of the book “Guns and Violence” by Joyce Lee Malcolm.

As the facts in that book demolish the gun control propaganda fed to students by their professors, that can create a healthy skepticism about other professorial propaganda.

There are other books that can likewise demolish other politically correct beliefs that prevail on campuses. My own recent book, “Intellectuals and Race,” has innumerable documented facts that expose the fallacies in most of what is said about racial issues in most college classrooms. (more…)

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THOMAS SOWELL – MULTICULTURALISM

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

 

THOMAS SOWELL: Multiculturalism only

holds people back

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. His website is www.tsowell.com.

Originally published 10:28 p.m., March 17, 2013
Updated 10:28 p.m., March 17, 2013

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Among the many irrational ideas about racial and ethnic groups that have polarized societies over the centuries and around the world, few have been more irrational and counterproductive than the current dogmas of multiculturalism.

Intellectuals who imagine that they are helping racial or ethnic groups that lag behind by redefining their lags out of existence with multicultural rhetoric are in fact leading them into a blind alley.

Multiculturalism is a tempting quick fix for groups that lag by simply pronouncing their cultures to be equal, or “equally valid,” in some vague and lofty sense. Cultural features are just different, not better or worse, according to this dogma.

Yet the borrowing of particular features from other cultures — such as Arabic numerals that replaced Roman numerals, even in Western cultures that derived from Rome — implies that some features are not simply different but better, including numbers.

Some of the most advanced cultures in history have borrowed from other cultures, because no given collection of human beings has created the best answers to all the questions of life.

Nevertheless, since multiculturalists see all cultures as equal or “equally valid,” they see no justification for schools to insist that black children learn standard English, for example. Instead, each group is encouraged to cling to its own culture and to take pride in its own past glories, real or imaginary. (more…)

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THOMAS SOWELL – GUNS AND PENSIONS

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

 

Guns and Pensions

By Thomas Sowell – February 19, 2013

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:American warplanes were not updated to match the latest warplanes of Nazi Germany or imperial Japan. After World War II broke out, American soldiers stationed in the Philippines were fighting for their lives using rifles left over from the Spanish-American war, decades earlier. The hand grenades they threw at the Japanese invaders were so old that they often failed to explode. At the battle of Midway, of 82 Americans who flew into combat in obsolete torpedo planes, only 12 returned alive. In Europe, our best tanks were never as good as the Germans’ best tanks, which destroyed several times as many American tanks as the Germans lost in tank battles.

A nation’s choice between spending on military defense and spending on civilian goods has often been posed as “guns versus butter.” But understanding the choices of many nations’ political leaders might be helped by examining the contrast between their runaway spending on pensions while skimping on military defense.

Huge pensions for retired government workers can be found from small municipalities to national governments on both sides of the Atlantic. There is a reason. For elected officials, pensions are virtually the ideal thing to spend money on, politically speaking. Many kinds of spending of the taxpayers’ money win votes from the recipients. But raising taxes to pay for this spending loses votes from the taxpayers. Pensions offer a way out of this dilemma for politicians.

Creating pensions that offer generous retirement benefits wins votes in the present by promising spending in the future. Promises cost nothing in the short run — and elections are held in the short run, long before the pensions are due. (more…)

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THOMAS SOWELL – NICE LOSERS

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

 

 

Nice Losers

By Thomas Sowell – November 13, 2012

Mitt Romney now joins the long list of the kinds of presidential candidates favored by the Republican establishment– nice, moderate losers, people with no coherently articulated vision, despite how many ad hoc talking points they may have.

The list of Republican presidential candidates like this goes back at least as far as 1948, when Thomas E. Dewey ran against President Harry Truman. Dewey spoke in lofty generalities while Truman spoke in hard-hitting specifics. Since then, there have been many re-runs of this same scenario, featuring losing Republican presidential candidates John McCain, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford and, when he ran for reelection, George H.W. Bush.

Bush 41 first succeeded when he ran for election as if he were another Ronald Reagan (“Read my lips, no new taxes”), but then lost when he ran for reelection as himself– “kinder and gentler,” disdainful of “the vision thing” and looking at his watch during a debate, when he should have been counter-attacking against the foolish things being said.

This year, Barack Obama had the hard-hitting specifics– such as ending “tax cuts for the rich” who should pay “their fair share,” government “investing” in “the industries of the future” and the like. He had a coherent vision, however warped.

Most of Obama’s arguments were rotten, if you bothered to put them under scrutiny. But someone once said that it is amazing how long the rotten can hold together, if you don’t handle it roughly.

Any number of conservative commentators, both in the print media and on talk radio, examined and exposed the fraudulence of Obama’s “tax cuts for the rich” argument. But did you ever hear Mitt Romney bother to explain the specifics which exposed the flaws in Obama’s argument?

On election night, the rotten held together because Mitt Romney had not handled it roughly with specifics. Romney was too nice to handle Obama’s absurdities roughly. He definitely out-niced Obama– as John McCain had out-niced Obama in 2008, and as Dewey out-niced Truman back in 1948. And these Republicans all lost. (more…)

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THOMAS SOWELL – ‘ISSUES’ OR AMERICA

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

 

Thomas Sowell: ‘Issues’ or America?

2012-08-20

room-briefing-speaks-housThere are some very serious issues at stake in this year’s election — so many that some people may not be able to see the forest for the trees. Individual issues are the trees, but the forest is the future of America as we have known it.

The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration, during the process of dealing with particular issues.

For example, the merits or demerits of President Obama’s recent executive order, suspending legal liability for young people who are here illegally, presumably as a result of being brought here as children by their parents, can be debated pro and con. But such a debate overlooks the much more fundamental undermining of the whole American system of constitutional government.

The separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches of government is at the heart of the Constitution of the United States — and the Constitution is at the heart of freedom for Americans.

No president of the United States is authorized to repeal parts of legislation passed by Congress. He may veto the whole legislation, but then Congress can override his veto if they have enough votes. Nevertheless, every president takes an oath to faithfully execute the laws that have been passed and sustained — not just the ones he happens to agree with.

If laws passed by the elected representatives of the people can be simply over-ruled unilaterally by whoever is in the White House, then we are no longer a free people, choosing what laws we want to live under. (more…)

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THOMAS SOWELL – THE ‘FAIRNESS’ FRAUD

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

February 22, 2012

The ‘Fairness’ Fraud

By Thomas Sowell

During a recent Fox News Channel debate about the Obama administration’s tax policies, Democrat Bob Beckel raised the issue of “fairness.”

He pointed out that a child born to a poor woman in the Bronx enters the world with far worse prospects than a child born to an affluent couple in Connecticut.

No one can deny that. The relevant question, however, is: How does allowing politicians to take more money in taxes from successful people, to squander in ways that will improve their own reelection prospects, make anything more “fair” for others?

Even if additional tax revenue all went to poor single mothers — which it will not — the multiple problems of children raised by poor single mothers would not be cured by throwing money at them. Indeed, the skyrocketing of unwed motherhood began when government welfare programs began throwing money at teenage girls who got pregnant.

Children born and raised without fathers are a major problem to society and to themselves. There is nothing “fair” about increasing the number of such children.

A more fundamental problem with the “fairness” issue raised by Beckel and many others is the slippery vagueness of the word “fair.” (more…)

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THOMAS SOWELL DEFINES ‘SOCIAL JUSTICE’

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

  • FEBRUARY 15, 2012

Notable & Quotable

Thomas Sowell defines ‘social justice.’

Economist Thomas Sowell writing in his syndicated column, Dec. 27:

What do you call it when someone steals someone else’s money secretly? Theft. What do you call it when someone takes someone else’s money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else’s money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.

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