Thomas Sowell

People on the far left like to flatter themselves that they are for the poor and the downtrodden. But what is most likely to lift people out of poverty-- telling them that the world has done them wrong or promoting the work ethic of the Korean girls, the dogged determination of my Harvard classmate with the newspaper in his shoe, or the self-reliance of my fellow junior high school student in Harlem who had too much pride to take charity?

When young people go out into the world, what will they have to offer that can gain them the rewards they seek from others and the achievements they need for themselves?

Will they have the skills of science, technology or medicine? Or will they have only the resentments that have been whipped up by the likes of Jeremiah Wright or the sense of entitlement from the government that has been Barack Obama's stock in trade?

In the real world, a sense of grievance or entitlement, as a result of the mistreatment of your ancestors, is not likely to get you very far with people who are too busy dealing with current economic realities to spend much time thinking about their own ancestors, much less other people's ancestors.

Another seemingly unrelated experience was being in a crowd at a graveside in a Jewish cemetery last week. That crowd included people who were black, white, Asian, Catholic, Jewish and no doubt others. This country has come a long way, just in my lifetime.

We don't need people like either Jeremiah Wright or Barack Obama to take us backward.

The time is long overdue to stop gullibly accepting the left's vision of itself as idealistic, rather than self-aggrandizing.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate

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