Thomas Sowell
Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Will the Veterans Administration scandal wake up those people who have been blithely saying that what we need is a "single payer" system for medical care? Delays in getting to see a doctor have been a common denominator in government-run medical systems in England, Canada and Australia, among other places.

Class warfare rhetoric would have us resenting "the top ten percent" in income. But that would be a farce, because most of us would be resenting ourselves, since more than half of all Americans -- 54 percent -- are in the top ten percent at some stage of their lives.

Some people act as if the answer to every problem is to put more money and power in the hands of politicians.

Freedom means nothing if it does not mean the freedom to do what other people don't like. Everyone was free to be a Communist under the Stalin dictatorship, and everyone is free to be a Muslim in Saudi Arabia. Yet whole generations are coming out of our colleges where only those who are politically correct are free to speak their minds. What kind of America will they create?

In Thomas Piketty's highly-praised new book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" he asserts that the top tax rate under President Herbert Hoover was 25 percent. But Internal Revenue Service records show that it was 63 percent in 1932. If Piketty can't even get his facts straight, why should his grandiose plans for confiscatory global taxation be taken seriously?

Sometimes I think that this is an era when sanity has become controversial.

Republicans in Congress seem to be drawn toward the immigration issue like a moth toward a flame. How turning illegal immigrants into Democratic voters, while demoralizing the Republican base, will help either the country or the Republicans is a mystery. If ever there was a high-risk, low-yield investment, this is it.

President Theodore Roosevelt said that his foreign policy was to "speak softly and carry a big stick." President Barack Obama's foreign policy is to speak loudly and carry a little stick. They say talk is cheap, but loose talk by a President of the United States can be very expensive in both blood and treasure.

One of the scariest aspects of our times is how seldom either people or policies are judged by their track record.

Why in the world are the Baltic states in NATO? The Russian army could overrun them before NATO could get a meeting together to decide what to do.


Thomas Sowell

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

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