Is Reality Optional? — And Other Essays
by Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell is an economist, a syndicated columnist, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. In this book of his essays you will find his satirical version of the fable, “The Grasshopper and the Ant.” Other topics include education, our legal system, economics, race, and politics. Here is one of my favorite parts:
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it.
The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics. When politicians discover some group that is being vocal about not having as much as they want, the “solution” is to give them more. Where do politicians get this “more”? They rob Peter to pay Paul.
After a while, of course, they discover that Peter doesn’t have enough. Bursting with compassion, politicians rush to the rescue. Needless to say, they do not admit that robbing Peter to pay Paul was a dumb idea in the first place. On the contrary, they now rob Tom, Dick, and Harry to help Peter.
At the back of the book, he has several pages of what he calls “random thoughts.” Some are poignant, others are humorous. Here are some examples of each:
Envy plus rhetoric equals “social justice.”
There are only two kinds of food — Southern fried chicken and everything else.
The curse of intelligentsia is their ability to rationalize and re-define. Ordinary people, lacking this gift, are forced to face reality.
All human beings are so fallible and flawed that to exempt any category of people from criticism is not a blessing but a curse. The intelligentsia have inflicted that curse on blacks.
© Copyright 1994, 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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