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Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Townhall.com :: Columns :: Random thoughts by Thomas Sowell - Jun 13, 2006
The beauty of doing nothing is that you can do it perfectly. Only when you do something is it almost impossible to do it without mistakes. Therefore people who are contributing nothing to society except their constant criticisms can feel both intellectually and morally superior.

"We are a nation of immigrants," we are constantly reminded. We are also a nation of people with ten fingers and ten toes. Does that mean that anyone who has ten fingers and ten toes should be welcomed and given American citizenship?

Equal treatment of individuals does not mean equal treatment of behavior. That is why a polygamist is on the FBI's "most wanted" list. He is not allowed to redefine marriage to suit himself any more than the advocates of "gay marriage" are.

If politics were like baseball, the Republicans would be smart to trade Senator John McCain to the Democrats for Senator Joseph Lieberman, even if they had to throw in a future draft choice. [NOTE: In baseball, draft picks aren't tradeable.]

At least half of the popular fallacies about economics come from assuming that economic activity is a zero-sum game, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But transactions would not continue unless both sides gained, whether in international trade, employment, or renting an apartment.

A headline in the San Francisco Chronicle offered this prescription for California's problems: "The Golden State needs big, bold ideas to solve the puzzle its future presents." But big bold ideas have been behind many -- if not most -- of California's problems, as well as disasters in countries around the world.

The idea that other people don't have the same rights that you do was once the mark of the ignorant. But today it is the mark of too many of our elite universities, where those who disagree with the prevailing political correctness are either silenced by speech codes or shouted down if they are speakers invited on campus to present a different viewpoint.

More than half of all people filing income tax forms use someone else to prepare the forms for them. Then they have to sign under penalty of perjury that these forms are correct. But if they were competent to determine that, why would they have to pay someone else to do their taxes for them in the first place?
I always enjoy his "Random thoughts" columns.

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