Barbarians <I>inside</I> the Gates and Other Controversial Essays

Barbarians inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays

Author: Thomas Sowell
ISBN: 978-0-8179-9582-9
Publication Date: 1/15/1999
Pages: 267

In this latest collection of his highly provocative essays, Thomas Sowell once again demonstrates why he is one of the most thoughtful, readable, and controversial thinkers of our time. With his usual unrelenting candor, he cuts through the stereotypes, popular mythology, and what he calls the "mush" surrounding the critical issues facing the American social, economic, political, legal, racial, and education scenes. Sowell's hard-hitting, and ruthlessly honest, views include his commentary on

  • Affirmative Action "No dogma has taken a deeper hold with less evidence—or in the face of more massive evidence to the contrary."
  • Cultural Bias "Life is culturally biased. . . . As limited human beings, we must make our choices among the alternatives actually available. A culture-free society has never been one of those alternatives."
  • The Media "The public apparently has no 'right to know' that the politically correct conclusions they keep hearing may not be factually correct."
  • Immigration "The fact that immigrants were once valuable additions to the country does not mean that the same thing may be arbitrarily assumed today, any more than the fact that horses and buggies were once the best way to get around means that we should rely on them today."
  • The Minimum Wage "What is the minimum wage law but an unfunded mandate imposed on private organizations? It is like impulse buying and charging it to somebody else's credit card."
  • Multiculturalism "Are we to indulge in absolute fantasy and say that statistical 'diversity' promotes better intergroup relations, against blatant evidence that it is poisoning people against one another?"
  • Social Security "Nothing is more grossly a transfer of wealth from those with less to those with more. . . . Once we face up to the fact that Social Security is welfare for the elderly, we need to ask ourselves why affluent people of any age should be a burden on others."
  • The Litigation Explosion "The very idea that the burden of proof is on the party who makes a legal charge has gone out the window as far as whole categories of charges are concerned. This is true in . . . so-called women's issues, racial issues, environmental issues, and other crusades pushed by strident activists."
Sowell combines applied reason and common sense with actual historical and statistical evidence to demolish widely held views on these and other controversial subjects, including racial quotas, prayer in schools, the health care system, cultural "identity," Wade versus Roe, gays in the military, the death penalty, Louis Farrakhan, and more.

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.

He writes on economics, history, social policy, ethnicity, and the history of ideas.

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