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December 28, 2016

Thomas Sowell Retires at 86 to Focus on Photography

He's certainly earned it, though we'll struggle a bit more without him.

Then again, who knows. Maybe he'll be really good at photography, too.

Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.

It was very fulfilling to be able to share my thoughts on the events unfolding around us, and to receive feedback from readers across the country -- even if it was impossible to answer them all.

Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.

During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program -- and it felt wonderful. With the political news being so awful this year, it felt especially wonderful.

This made me decide to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding more pictures to my website (www.tsowell.com).

Riccochet rounds up some of their favorite Sowell quotes, and they're all damn good.

"Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good."

"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."


"The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty."


"I have never understood why it is 'greed' to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money."

This is my favorite, I think:

"People who pride themselves on their 'complexity" and deride others for being 'simplistic' should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth."

I follow that rule, sort of, though I never had an expression of it in my mind. When I've found myself attempting to defend this or that Republican screw-up or dirty dealing, and I found my attempted justification becoming too convoluted and too stuffed full of weird assumptions and unevidenced assertions, I've generally decided that "This crap is too convoluted and dubious to possibly be true" and I've stopped there.

I wish the #NeverTrumpers would have realized that rather than continue down the rathole path of insisting that it's "binary thinking" to say that opposing Trump is somehow different than supporting his only rival, Hillary.

Was Obama's abstention on the anti-Israel UN different in principle (or outcome) than simply voting in favor of it? Of course not, but the #NeverTrumpers can't even say that, for fear of blowing their whole cover, fig-leaf though it might be.

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posted by Ace at 01:03 PM

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