Thomas Sowell Quote

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.

Thomas Sowell

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.

Related Quotes

About Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell (; born June 30, 1930) is an American author, economist, political commentator, social theorist, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.Sowell was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, to a poor family. After his family migrated to the North, he grew up in Harlem, New York. Beleaguered by financial difficulties and deteriorated home conditions, he dropped out of Stuyvesant High School and served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. Upon returning to the United States, Sowell took night classes at Howard University before attending Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in 1958. He earned his master's degree in economics from Columbia University the next year and received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968. During his academic career, he served on the faculties of several universities including Cornell University, Amherst College, the University of California, Los Angeles, and, currently, Stanford University. He has also worked at think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1977, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy.
Sowell is generally described as a conservative, especially on social issues; a libertarian, especially on economics; or libertarian-conservative. He has said he may be best labeled as a libertarian, though he disagrees with libertarians on some issues including national defense. Sowell was an important figure to the new conservative movement during the Reagan Era, influencing fellow economist Walter E. Williams and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Sowell was offered a presidential position in the Nixon Administration and as Federal Trade Commissioner by the Ford Administration in 1976, but declined both offers. Similarly, he was offered to head the U.S. Department of Education as Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan, but refused to take the position. He was a recipient of the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush in 2002.Sowell is the author of more than 45 books and has been a syndicated columnist in more than 150 newspapers.