Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The wisdom of Thomas Sowell

Mark Perry today posts a great collection of quotes from Thomas Sowell that demonstrate how the force of logic can pierce the veil of politicians' rhetoric, especially when it comes to Obamacare.

Here's just one of the 10 quotes. Read the whole thing.

Even those who can believe that Obama can conjure up the money [to insure millions more people] through eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse” should ask themselves where he is going to conjure up the additional doctors, nurses, and hospitals needed to take care of millions more patients. 
If he can’t pull off that miracle, then government-run medical care in the United States can be expected to produce what government-run medical care in Canada, Britain, and other countries has produced– delays of weeks or months to get many treatments, not to mention arbitrary rationing decisions by bureaucrats.
Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe. No message has been more welcomed by the gullible, in countries around the world, than the promise of something for nothing. That is the core of Barack Obama’s medical care plan.


Benjamin Cole said...

Seems to me single-payer universal coverage roughly works in the developed world, providing care for a much smaller fraction of GDP. Life expectancies and other metrics about the same.
I think purely private care would work too, but the American public would have to accept euthanasia as a common result for the elderly who have serious medical complications.

The worst system would be to marry private care and public finance, as we have done in the in the United States, resulting in huge bills and mediocre care.

Benjamin Cole said...

And what do we do about the VA, which is pure communism?

Thinking Hard said...

The Affordable Care Act benefits a subset of the population. Stockholders of these companies:


Pretty obvious looking at the 5 year returns that the Affordable Care Act has directly benefited the large health insurers. This was apparent in the drafting and passing of the legislation upfront. Now the large insurers are looking at merger opportunities. Please see

There is another subset of the population the Affordable Care Act has benefited, specifically early retirees. The Affordable Care Act essentially subsidizes the 55-65 year olds looking for personal health insurance. Older people can only be charged up to 3 times more in premiums than younger people. This contributes to what I deem the “squeeze” on the labor force participation rate. On the younger side, easily financed education loans have assisted more young people to attend higher education institutions. On the older side, the Affordable Care Act, is allowing more people to retire early because of the subsidized health insurance through price premium restrictions and guaranteed coverage. Hence, the “squeeze” on the labor force participation rate, which has now fallen to 62.6%.

Anonymous said...

Every time a liberal says in the media health care should not be a profit making business the medical monopoly laughs all the way to the bank.

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this, Scott. I've enjoyed several of Dr. Sowell's books over the years. Nice to be reminded of his wisdom.

Unknown said...

Also, hard to believe he is 85. He is now the latest addition to my first level hero file. I keep three files in my office, for individuals who choose to work past age 80, 90 and 100. To may the cut I need to know, or be reasonably certain, that they could quit any time they want. Dr. Sowell certainly makes that cut!

Thinking Hard said...

A quote stuck with me when reading Einstein a few years ago.

"That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don't notice that the time passes. I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal." - Albert Einstein

When you love something it shows and does not feel like work. Economics is definitely a love of Dr. Sowell's and it shows in his "work".

Also feel the same when reading and discussing Scott's work. The passion is present and it shows.

Tom Nugent said...

Tom also spent a few rounds in the economic ring with Milton Friedman many years ago when Friedman was at the top of his game and Sowell was an up and coming economist. If the tapes of that show still exist, it would be worth the effort to see them again.