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13 Thomas Sowell Quotes Guaranteed to Make You Think and Change the Way You See the World Forever
You're gonna love these freaking quotes!
Thomas Sowell is a 92 year old badass.
He’s probably the most controversial person I will ever write about. I agree with much of what he says. But he has some terrible ideas too. Most of his career was teaching economics as a professor at universities such as Stanford and writing books.
Here are his best quotes to warp your mind.
“Intellect is not wisdom”
I love that as a professor Thomas says this.
I’ve met far too many university types who think they’re gods gift to humanity. Yuck. Makes me throw up in my mouth a little.
Most modern intellect is just the ability to memorize information. These intellects worship access to information rather than the application of the lessons.
They forget that the google overlords made any piece of information available to billions of people for free.
Without execution, information is useless. Execution turns random information into wisdom that others can learn from.
Everything else is mental masturbation.
“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”
How often do we get pandered with truths we want to hear?
People love to hear they’re oppressed or taken advantage of. The victim mindset is so prevalent because it outsources all problems to a third party that can’t do anything about it. Modern-day politics is full of people repeating what we want to hear while zero effort is made to resolve the issues.
That’s why I ignore most politics and news channels that cover this clown show.
The truth is we need action, not nice words.
Stop letting people parrot back half-truths to you on social media that make you feel good because they agree with your ideals.
“People who pride themselves on their "complexity" and deride others for being "simplistic" should realize that the truth is often not very complicated.
What gets complex is evading the truth.”
Steve Jobs was a borderline psychopath.
Just read the personal accounts of him on websites like Medium dot com. I love Steve Jobs because he taught me to worship simplicity.
In the corporate world, I saw the Big 4 consulting firms charge millions of dollars to take a simple idea and make it complex. They could literally make the creation of a bank account sound like it was as important as starting a world war.
People threw mud at me.
“Tim is way too simplistic.”
What I figured out is these corporations made things complex so they could profit from them. The complexity helped them evade the truth of how simple the work was that they were doing.
I refused to comply. I told the simplistic truth.
And my colleagues and customers loved it. For example, today I tried to register a new business. The Australian government delayed my application for 28 days.
I rang up and ripped their face off. I demanded answers. I threw everything I had at them. They bucked under the pressure and removed the hold on my new business within minutes.
They had no justification for why they delayed the creation of my business. It was just good old fashion bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy.
Don’t let people lie to you with made-up complexity.
Life is simple. We’re born, pay taxes, and then we die.
What feels like a lifetime dies in a moment if you compare it with any of the events captured by the new James Webb telescope. This rare look at the universe captures things that happened millions of years ago.
So your lifespan is a speck of dust on that scale. Live like it.
“Bailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense than bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos.”
Let me ask you a hard question.
Who paid for the 2020 health crisis that shut down the world?
Answer: you did.
When the world nearly went bankrupt in 2008, who bailed out the big banks?
Answer: you did.
Thomas Sowell explains…
Inflation is in effect a hidden tax. The money that people have saved is robbed of part of its purchasing power, which is quietly transferred to the government that issues new money.
It is a way to take people's wealth from them without having to openly raise taxes. Inflation is the most universal tax of all.
So when you see 9.1% inflation in places like the US, remember that it’s how you’re paying for the bat virus. What really gets people angry is when humans like me show the math which proves inflation is at least 18% right now in most countries.
Once you see the true value of your money, you’ll never look at tax the same way again.
The fact you’re not told inflation is a tax is the real problem. Yes, businesses raise prices. But they only raise prices when too much free money is handed out to businesses and people. The money has to go somewhere.
All the inflation may seem innocent.
The problem is it distorts true price discovery. People think their homes went up in price since 2008 when most of it can be explained by the devaluing of major currencies.
So when people think they got richer they act that way. When if they knew they got poorer they’d probably spend less and live more within their means.
Knowing the true supply and demand in an economy is crucial. It’s what allows free markets to operate. If every time a crisis hits, the central banks simply create more money out of thin air, then that’s not a free market.
It’s a lie.
It’s what makes the rich get richer and the poor who have no assets get poorer.
Save yourself from the hidden tax of inflation. Buy a diversified portfolio of real assets that absorb the costs.
“The problem isn't that Johnny can't read. The problem isn't even that Johnny can't think.
The problem is that Johnny doesn't know what thinking is. He confuses it with feeling.”
The reason we have trigger warnings is because humans are controlled by their emotions.
They go on social media and overreact to every little thing. It makes them feel good.
Getting emotional about every tiny thing says more about you than the issue at hand. I call these emotional-driven beings adult babies. You don’t need to have an emotional reaction to every issue.
You can simply see an idea or issue and practice non-reactivity.
“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”
I have a lot to learn.
There’s plenty I don’t know. In fact there’s so much information on the internet that I’ll probably never even learn 1% of what exists. That’s why a long time ago I stopped trying to get people to agree or disagree with my ideas.
The best you can hope for in life is to make people think.
Realize you don’t actually know that much and your humility levels will explode. And life has taught me one thing: people get glued to humility like bees to honey.
“There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.”
The reason human progress slows is we get fixated on finding perfect solutions.
There are none.
The perfect solution is the one that helps solve the problem and is put into action. Because action will tell you more than a perfect solution that goes nowhere.
When I make a decision I write the pros and cons in a simplistic two-column google doc. Then I choose the possibility that has the most pros. I always have to give up something. But what I get in return is always worth it.
Fall in love with trade-offs. Lower your expectations to increase your happiness.
“Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on "income distribution," the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”
As a personal finance writer I get plenty of readers quietly tell me behind the scenes that they think money should be evenly spread.
This is quiet socialism in action.
When everyone is supposed to be equal no one is. Wealth equality is problematic because it encourages laziness. Money is there to motivate people to build a life for themselves and not expect handouts.
I find no better feeling in life than using my hard labor, blood, sweat, and tears to feed my wife and unborn daughter. It’s a feeling of accomplishment that makes me emotional when I think too deeply about it.
History has shown us socialism as an idea is a disaster. Money is earned, not evenly distributed.
“The great escape of our times is escape from personal responsibility for the consequences of one’s own behavior.”
The blame game is too easy to play.
It’s the common choice of everyday people. They go to work, come home, then stare at their phone and argue with strangers about their problems. Nobody, especially the government, is responsible for your circumstances.
You control your life with the thoughts you place into your mind. If you find yourself blaming and complaining, stop yourself.
Own your thoughts, own your life. Own your life, get 10x further ahead.
“When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.”
Many people feel like that.
Since minorities have become weaponized, suddenly the word discrimination has become our new favorite word.
I had a friend in high school who was technically ( by the new definition) a member of a minority.
Every time he got in trouble for breaking the school rules, he accused the teacher of discriminating against him and his people.
“It’s because of my skin color isn’t it,” he’d shout.
The running joke was he was taking the piss. He didn’t think that at all. But he learned that the word “discrimination” was so powerful it could get him everything he wanted in school.
Even good grades, thanks to scared teachers!
“Too much of what is called 'education' is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.”
Think about that. Is traditional education helping people learn or distracting them from thinking about what truly matters? I’ll let you decide.
“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.”
Don’t get sucked into so many meetings.
Meetings are what cause you to finish work late, not have time for your side hustles, and spend an unnecessary amount of time away from your gorgeous family.
Endless days spent in back-to-back meetings isn’t a badge of honor.
It’s a sign of failure.
Meetings often happen for one main reason…
People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do – Thomas Sowell
“There are few talents more richly rewarded with both wealth and power, in countries around the world, than the ability to convince backward people that their problems are caused by other people who are more advanced.”
In recent years you may have noticed on platforms like Medium dot com that more and more dumb-dumbs have begun to attack successful people.
They write these stupid articles about how Tim Ferriss, Oprah, or Tony Robbins is a terrible human and their success is bad.
Thankfully, author Ryan Holiday interjected and pointed out that the world is worse when we disregard success and celebrate mediocrity. Success is what advances humanity and makes us strive to improve.
Thomas Sowell explains beautifully what’s really going on…
There has now been created a world in which the success of others is a grievance, rather than an example.
That’s right – all the success shaming is nothing more than a result of jealousy combined with the human desire to seek attention.
Don’t fall for the scam.
Most successful people are decent humans doing their best. You can learn a lot from them.
Don’t worry whether you like Thomas Sowell. Be grateful he made you think. Thinking is what leads to the revelations that can change your life.
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