After spending a quarter of a century writing for Creators Syndicate, Dr. Thomas Sowell is retiring from the world of politics. If you are unaware, Dr. Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, as well as an author and an economist from the Chicago school of thought, which like the Austrian school, advocates for free markets. He wrote a layman’s masterpiece entitled Basic Economics, and if you have yet to read it, I highly encourage you to do so.
Dr. Sowell has been critical of the government help to blacks, helping point out how things that are supposed to help blacks backfire and end up making things worse. From welfare, to minimum wage laws, to affirmative action and everything in between. Dr. Sowell has been a fighter for liberty for nearly his whole life.
One of the points that Dr. Sowell really nailed home for me in my own liberty education is how welfare aids in the destruction of the black family.
In the video above, towards the end, Dr. Sowell emphasizes that discrimination was higher in his childhood, generally speaking it was a much rougher time for blacks then, yet most families had both parents. Dr. Sowell even extends as far back as to the times of slavery, and yet, most families had both parents. This just isn’t the case today, and it’s heartbreaking.
Dr. Sowell makes the case that welfare is at least part of the problem by subsidizing individuals to have more kids, and to be a single parent because it allows them to receive more money from the welfare program. Whether the intentions were good or ill-mannered is irrelevant, the outcome has been devastating.
While it is unclear what Helen Bohen O’Bannion meant when she said only 12% of families aren’t intact, as of 2014, according to Kids Count, 66% of black children grew up in a single-parent home. Compare that to only 25% of white children, which is significantly less than black children, which is still significantly less than O’Bannion’s 12%.
Similarly, education has had a pretty awful track record too. Terrance Jeffrey writes,
Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. This is despite the fact that in the 2011-2012 school year—the latest for which the Department of Education has reported the financial data—the Detroit public schools had “total expenditures” of $18,361 per student and “current expenditures” of $13,330 per student.
Dr. Sowell has gone into great detail about this subject over his years, and the only disappointing part is either nobody was listening, or worse, nobody cared. He provided keen insights on a variety of delicate issues his entire career and I cannot be grateful enough for that.
He is one of my favorite economists and I have learned so much from his books, his videos, and his articles that I could never do it all justice. Instead, show Dr. Sowell your appreciation for him by purchasing his books (located in my Liberty Bookshelf), watching his videos, learning from him, and lastly, by enjoying his photography.
2016 has been a bad year for celebrity deaths, and while Dr. Sowell is no celebrity by normal standards, he certainly is in the field of politics and economics. But he is still with us, and after fighting long and hard for liberty he now gets to relax and create art. There’s little that deserves your respect as much as an economist with an artful side.
Thank you Dr. Thomas Sowell.