Happy 92nd Birthday (June 30) to Thomas Sowell, One of the Greatest Living Economists

From American Enterprise Institute:

“One of my two all-time most favorite economists—Dr. Thomas Sowell— turns 92 tomorrow, he was born on June 30, 1930. Here is Thomas Sowell’s webpage and here is his Wikipedia entry. Milton Friedman (my other all-time favorite economist) once said, “The word ‘genius’ is thrown around so much that it’s becoming meaningless, but nevertheless I think Tom Sowell is close to being one.”

In my opinion, there is no economist alive today who has done more to eloquently, articulately, and persuasively advance the principles of economic freedom, limited government, individual liberty, and a free society than Thomas Sowell. In terms of both his quantity of work (49 books and several thousand newspaper columns) and the consistently excellent and crystal-clear quality of his writing, I don’t think any living free-market economist even comes close to matching Sowell’s prolific record of writing about economics. And as I’ve mentioned previously on CD, as a writer Thomas Sowell is truly the “Master of Idea Density”—he has the amazing talent of being able to consistently pack more ideas, insight, and wisdom into a single sentence or paragraph than what typically takes an entire essay or book for even the best writer!

Even in his 80s, Thomas Sowell remained active and was writing two syndicated newspaper columns almost every week for the last 25 years until he “retired” from those weekly deadlines at the end of 2016 (see CD post here). On his birthday last year at the age of 90, Thomas Sowell released his 49th book “Charter Schools and Their Enemies” which amazingly was his 11th book since 2010 and his 24th book since the turn of the century! To honor Thomas Sowell’s 92nd birthday tomorrow, I present below 15 of my favorite quotations from Dr. Thomas Sowell and three bonus videos of the great economist:

 1. Knowledge. “The cavemen had the same natural resources at their disposal as we have today, and the difference between their standard of living and ours is a difference between the knowledge they could bring to bear on those resources and the knowledge used today.”

2. Obamacare. “If we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical drugs now, how can we afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical drugs, in addition to a new federal bureaucracy to administer a government-run medical system?”

3. Economics vs. Politics I. “Economics and politics confront the same fundamental problem: What everyone wants adds up to more than there is. Market economies deal with this problem by confronting individuals with the costs of producing what they want and letting those individuals make their own trade-offs when presented with prices that convey those costs. That leads to self-rationing, in the light of each individual’s own circumstances and preferences. Politics deals with the same problem by making promises that cannot be kept, or which can be kept only by creating other problems that cannot be acknowledged when the promises are made.””

Continue reading here.

Posted by at 11:49 AM

Labels: Profiles of Economists


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