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Quotations of Thomas Sowell

Shortages usually cause rising prices and rising profits. These rising profits then attract the investments which end the shortage. This has been happening for centuries. Prices are not arbitrary things. They convey a reality that is not going to be changed by price controls, whether state or federal. Prices are like readings on a thermometer. When someone is suffering from a fever, you can always lower the reading by putting the thermometer in ice water. But that does not change the reality of the fever.
Thomas Sowell

Improving education" is political Newspeak for producing more expensive incompetence.
Thomas Sowell

Long before there was any such thing as electric utility companies, governments used their power to confiscate the wealth of some and distribute it to others whose support was more important to them. The men who wrote the Constitution of the United States were well aware of that, which is why they included property rights in the Bill of Rights. For most of the history of this country, courts would not have allowed either state or federal governments to force someone to sell anything for less than it cost, because that amounts to confiscation of property without compensation.
In more recent times, unfortunately, clever people have gotten judges to evade the clear words of the Constitution by putting property rights on a lower plane than other concerns that are more politically fashionable. Law professors and others have managed to depict property rights as a special privilege of the affluent and the wealthy, something to be sacrificed on the altar of the greater good of others. Neither these law professors nor the courts regard freedom of the press as just a special privilege of journalists. They understand that freedom of the press is an essential part of the larger political process. But they have yet to see that property rights are an essential part of the larger economic process. Without property rights, politicians have control of the whole economy within their reach, to the economic detriment of all, quite aside from the injustices they can commit against individuals.
What has allowed California politicians to get away with thefts of billions of dollars' worth of other people's property has been their ability to demonize those they are robbing and depict themselves as rescuers of Californians who are victims of "price gouging." The public's and the media's utter ignorance of economics has made this possible.
The medieval notion of a "fair and just price" seems to underlie the current notion that prices which rise above levels that people are used to are unreasonable and unconscionable.
Thomas Sowell

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Paul Burns

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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