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Thomas Sowell Brings the World into Focus through an Economics Lens


Thomas Sowell Brings the World into Focus through an Economics Lens

In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter Robinson interviews Hoover fellow and author Thomas Sowell, on his 5th edition of Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy. In this interview, Sowell brings the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Sowell draws on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history.

Thomas Sowell - Brilliant Economic Insights

Sparkling insights from Professor Sowell captured from various episodes of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson.

Thomas Sowell -- Basic Economics

Recorded on December 14, 2010

Thomas Sowell has studied and taught economics, intellectual history, and social policy at institutions that include Cornell University, UCLA, and Amherst College. Now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Sowell has published more than a dozen books, the latest of which is a revised and updated edition of his classic volume, Basic Economics.

Through its various editions, Sowell writes, the fundamental idea behind Basic Economics remains the same: Learning economics should be as uncomplicated as it is informative. Here, Sowell seeks to uncomplicate some of the economic issues confronting the country today, from the financial crisis and the role of the Fed to the economics of health care and trade imbalances.

Q&A: Thomas Sowell Complete

2005 C-SPAN Q&A with Thomas Sowell w/ Interviewer Brian Lamb

Thomas Sowell was interviewed at Stanford University about politics, his books and columns, and his views as a conservative African-American. He talked about the role of government and public institutions, the state of American intellectualism, and public discourse in the digital age.

For full transcript and video see the talk page at C-SPAN:

Basic Economics - Thomas Sowell Audible Audio Edition

Basic Economics is a citizen’s guide to economics-for those who want to understand how the economy works but have no interest in jargon or equations. Sowell reveals the general principles behind any kind of economy-capitalist, socialist, feudal, and so on. In readable language, he shows how to critique economic policies in terms of the incentives they create, rather than the goals they proclaim. With clear explanations of the entire field, from rent control and the rise and fall of businesses to the international balance of payments, this is the first book for anyone who wishes to understand how the economy functions.

Thomas Sowell on Economic Facts and Fallacies 02/25/2008

Thomas Sowell of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his new book, Economic Facts and Fallacies. He discusses the misleading nature of measured income inequality, CEO pay, why nations grow or stay poor, the role of intellectuals and experts in designing public policy, and immigration.

Thomas Sowell - A Conflict of Visions - Animated Book Review

Dr. Thomas Sowells book, A Conflict of Visions, discusses the ideological roots of modern day political battles. He argues that many of modern day political battles are merely a distant reflections on what we believe human nature is capable of.

The Constrained Vision believes that human nature is unchanging, that we can try all we want to make humans inherently smarter or better, more moral people, but that is doomed.

The Unconstrained Vision believes human nature is capable of continuous improvement. That if we simply put enough effort into ourselves, we’d be ables to make a perfect world.

Its important to note that Constrained & Unconstrained are not the same as Conservative & Liberal.


Buy A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell -

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Book Summaries & Commentary:
I read a lot of only summaries and commentary of A Conflict of Visions books to make this video, here are some of the more useful ones I found.

Conflict of Visions Wiki -

American Enterprise Institute - Charles Murphy -

Summary of the book -

From eNotes -

This one looks like it was written during the beginnings of the internet -

From Cato -

Uncommon Knowledge: Thomas Sowell on the Vulgar Pride of Intellectuals

Peter Robinson talks to economist Thomas Sowell about his book Intellectuals and Society. Robinson and Sowell discuss the fact that intellectuals play a disproportionate role in society, as evidenced by linguist Noam Chomsky's influence on liberal politics. Is a fancy education a high speed rail ticket to fallacy? Find out as Professor Sowell discusses the pride and fallacies of the intellectuals, in addition to the unused brilliance of the masses.

See more at

Thomas Sowell - The Third World Buys What They Want and Begs For What They Need

Excerpt from Thomas Sowell Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays:

Audible Free Trial:




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The vision of the anointed — with Thomas Sowell (1995) | THINK TANK

Original air date: October 12, 1995

Think Tank converses one-on-one with author Thomas Sowell about his new book, The Vision of the Anointed, which argues that the assumptions and beliefs of America’s liberal elite have created thirty years of disaster.

Ben Wattenberg — senior fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Thomas Sowell — The Hoover Institution

Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg was a discussion program that aired on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from 1994 to 2009, hosted by AEI Senior Fellow Ben Wattenberg. AEI offers uncut episodes of Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg as an academic resource that shows how American political thought has evolved on some issues and stayed the same on others.

Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg is licensed to AEI by Grace Creek Media, the successor of New River Media and BJW, Inc. Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg © Grace Creek Media

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Thomas Sowell on the Myths of Economic Inequality

Recorded on November 15, 2018

Thomas Sowell discusses economic inequality, racial inequality, and the myths that have continued to falsely describe the system of poverty among different racial and economic classes. He explains the economic theories behind these pervasive myths and proposes fact-based solutions for seemingly intractable situations.

Sowell discusses his early life as a high school dropout and his first full-time job as a Western Union messenger delivering telegrams. He admits to flirting with Marxism in his early twenties as he first tried to grapple with the housing inequality he saw across the neighborhoods of New York City. Marxism, he says, was the only explanation he could find at the time. He went on to serve in the Marine Corps before continuing his education in economics at Harvard and earning a master’s at Columbia and a PhD at the University of Chicago.

Sowell’s first job after his receiving his PhD in economics was working for the Department of Labor, and he says it was there that he realized Marxism was not the answer. He argues that the government has its own institutional interests in inequality that cannot be explained through Marxism. He began to be discouraged by Marxism and the government in general and began searching for better economic ideas and solutions (the free market).

Robinson and Sowell discuss Sowell’s written works, his ideas of racial and economic inequality, the state of the United States today, and much more.

Interested in exclusive Uncommon Knowledge content? Check out Uncommon Knowledge on social media!


Thomas Sowell - The Rise and Fall of Businesses

Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy Revised and Expanded Edition (p.63-77).

Thomas Sowell: Intellectuals and Race (Book TV, 24/4/13)

Thomas Sowell talked about his book, Intellectuals and Race, in which he looks at the ways intellectuals have influenced our thinking on race over the past .

Thomas Sowell - Disparities in Income

Thomas Sowell destroys common misconceptions about income inequality.

Formal education isn't for everyone--Thomas Sowell

Excerpted from the Diane Rehm Radio Talk Show, Jan 13, 1993
Dr. Sowell discussed his new book about the failures of the U.S. education system, Inside American Education. He stated that many education systems in the U.S. do not allow for different views and new ways of educating. Full interview available at the c-span video library.

A person can no more be trained into a thinker by lecturing to him than he can into a gymnast. - Simon Newcomb

Thomas Sowell Destroys Feminism and Racialism in under 5 minutes

World-renowned free market thinker Thomas Sowell is an economist, social theorist, philosopher and author. In 1981, Sowell appeared in a televised debate on a show called Firing Line, featuring William Buckley. This epic debate puts Sowell's free market philosophy to the test.
Dr. Sowell is questioned by Harriet Pilpel, a lawyer and feminist activist who asks him how he would bring about more equality in society for women and minorities. Citing the gender wage gap, Pilpel asks Sowell how he can explain these discrepancies, and what the underlying causes might be.

In just under five minutes Professor Sowell totally deconstructs the equality myths that are still perpetuated in the media, academia and the halls of government to this day.

Thomas Sowell - Economic Decision Making

An explanation of why political decision making rarely reflects the wisdom of economic decision making.

Thomas Sowell on Wealth Creation, Human Capital & Colonialism

Thomas Sowell on American Interests (1983) discussing how to create wealth, the importance of human capital (skills) in groups, and colonial effects on wealth throughout the world.

Credit to American Interests & Lost Chromosome

Thomas Sowell's 3-Questions

You have left the Left when you start asking these: 1) compared to what? 2) at what cost? 3) what hard-evidence do you have? WESTERN JOURNAL has an excellent post detailing the above:

Likewise, I note these common sense economic questions as well on my site:

Knowledge And Decisions by Thomas Sowell - Part1



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