Book Review- Controversial Essays By Thomas Sowell

This book by Thomas Sowell has short essays on topics of all sorts. Some are common debates, but others are niche problems that are often not addressed in common dialogue. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Progressive Or Regressive? These Ideas Are Nothing New

Progressivism, a deceptive name for the ideology, is a destructive, regressive ideology that repackages old ideas to be sold to the public in order to empower an elite class.

This will be a look at a few of the popular progressive movements and how their implemented in a regressive manner. It will show what they claim to stand for, how their ideology plays out in reality, and how it is a regressive movement designed to consolidate power for an elite class.

There are three progressive movements that are the most destructive:

  • Welfare
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Global Warming


The idea of the state having to care for its subjects is as old as the state itself. As soon as people organized government, government began taking resources and rationing.

Grain was often taken and stored to be redistributed during famines, even as far back as Egypt. Feudal kings provided protection and rations to serfs in return for their high taxes. Confucius noted how easily an emperor could gain favor among the people through welfare in his Analects.

What welfare is supposed to do is create equality, but it only breeds dependency. The government pulls people down into the welfare system in order to expand it, thus expanding their reach and power.

Welfare creates more need for welfare. The goal of this is to create a substantial number of people who rely on the state for support. This allows the state to leverage this dependency into taking away liberty from its people, turning citizens into subjects.

Reproductive Rights

Reproductive rights are a staple of today’s debate, and the progressives seem to fight for the rights of individuals to control their own bodies. While family planning and birth control can be effective ways to ensure that parents are able to care for the number of children they have, what the progressives have sold is a bill of lies.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, has an award named after her that Hillary Clinton accepted with pride. Here is her stated goal in implementing the progressive birth control ideology:

Knowledge of birth control is essentially moral. Its general, though prudent, practice must lead to a higher individuality and ultimately to a cleaner race.

Birth control is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defective.

The goal is not to make birth control a tool for families to not take on too much responsibility in the eyes of progressives. It is a means to their goal of weeding out the undesirable people, the “deplorables,” in order to create their elitist utopia. They have put 79% of Planned Parenthoods in predominately black and Hispanic neighborhoods. In New York City in 2012, there were 6570 more abortions than births of black babies.

That is not the only goal of Planned Parenthood and the birth control movement. Welfare and reproductive rights wreak havoc on citizens in America by attacking the institutions that made America successful. It incentivizes the dissolution of the familial institution, which has helped mankind survive and thrive. Increasing the number of illegitimate children and single parents is moving people backwards closer to the days of cavemen, before we learned the value of the family.

Global Warming

The narrative here is that without government intervention, the world has no chance of lasting another however many years it is this time. In the 70’s, there was global cooling, then in the 90’s global warming, now it’s climate change. However it is packaged its the same thing: “We the government, who can’t figure out how to educate 1st graders well, can save the planet from the weather.”

So, this is not going to be a discussion on whether or not the planet is warming or cooling or hellbent on disaster. That’s not the issue here, and it’s not really relevant to the argument. If you want to learn about this look at Patrick Moore an atmospheric scientist’s twitter for more resources @EcoSenseNow. If you’d like to indulge in the hysteria, you could check out An Inconvenient Truth, which turned out to be false. (Not to mention, Al Gore still used his private jet to get around before returning to his California home.)

This is a lever the government can use to push globalization and international governing bodies like the UN and EU. These entities subject other nations to the will of their different councils, and impose regulations that hinder actual economic progress. Cutting back fossil fuels in Africa is actually lethal to people on that continent because they don’t have the luxuries Americans have to fall back on. The goal is for things like the Paris Climate Accords to restrict growth of wealthy nations while poor nations are allowed to pollute so they can “catch up.”

What progressives fail to see is that the free market created the solutions that allow people to live better in the poorest countries today than the poor did in the richest countries 100 years ago. The sources of energy people use today are not infinite, but if the market is strangled, as it has been for decades, viable renewable energy is impossible. It requires letting businesses research and develop things, and maybe fail, but their incentive to add value is the ultimate motivation.

What can be done?

Stop believing the hysteria. When people are worried about a topic, they do not think rationally, rather they are guided by emotion. In order to combat the moves by progressives, the people must stand for liberty and personal responsibility. People must take control of their own lives, then encourage others to do so. The government should be reigned in because it is their lever of power.

Most importantly, the flaws in these ideas must be exposed. Talk about these things with people and find holes in their argument. It is not acceptable to stand by while people lie and take advantage of others. Progressives have an evil ideology, and if you don’t believe that, look at the Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, and now Venezuela. These countries have bought into these ideas and implemented them, and look where they are now.

For more thoughts on Progressivism and their recycled ideas, check out my YouTube Videos about them:

Episode 8- The Communist Manifesto And The Modern Bourgeoisie

Episode 14 -Natural Law And Progressivism

Join the Conversation of Our Generation!!!

Subscribe to our email list for our Recommended Reading, reviews on books and other content that can grow your store of knowledge. New products will be coming soon, exclusively for subscribers.

If would like to join me in the Conversation of Our Generation, follow me on Twitter @ConOfOurGen, Facebook Conversation of Our Generation Facebook Page and SteemIt @jamell

Also, you can find me on YouTube Conversation of Our Generation YouTube Channel.

I am just trying to join the Conversation of Our Generation. Let’s get the dialogue going with comments, shares, questions, just say something!



A Nuanced Argument on Social Services

As a kid growing up in a Catholic home, I always felt a push to help those who are in need. I went to Catholic schools and was always required to do service hours, but every time I would go above and beyond (this isn’t to brag, rather I just wasn’t the best at sports as a little guy). However, I was still taught by my dad the principles of economics and business. I found it very hard to reconcile pure economic freedom with my hope to curb the plight of the poor. This was a struggle that I carried through high school and college as I learned more about economics, the governmental social programs, our tax system and the way these work together. I knew that economic efficiency would be maximized through lower taxes and regulations. This would even create a better quality of life for the poor as productivity gains would make more goods better and more affordable. Despite this, I still felt that there should be a safety net, and couldn’t think of another entity to handle this besides government, at any level, to fill in where charity fails.

Recently, I’ve studied more and have decided that there are ways to accommodate for the poor better in a truly free market and that often it is government getting in the way of us helping people. I have had trouble arguing on principle in a manner that doesn’t sound cold. But, for those who disagree with that and cite religious arguments of greed against the free market while allowing government to handle this, I say, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” I argue that it is not the government’s job to take care of people. God tasked us with that personally. The government is an institution we implemented to help us regulate ourselves, but when it does not allow us to be free to help our fellow man, rather it steals that ability from us, we offer to Caesar the work which we should offer to God. There are places in America where it is illegal to just buy food from the store to give to the homeless. This only is a rule so some government-funded organization can justify its existence because after all “these people need help (since we won’t let you help them that is).” So to those who argue in favor of government programs through Christianity I ask, “why do you let Caesar offered it gone what you should be offering to God?” Tasking the government to care for the poor is to pass the responsibility which we have been charged by God. We wash our hands of this responsibility as Pilate did, but water doesn’t wash away culpability.

Despite this, I do have thoughts on solutions. My first is that we should seek to take care of ourselves. How can we take care of others if we cannot do so for ourselves? How can we remove the splinter from our neighbor’s eye if we do not remove the beam from our own first? I do not find it selfish to ensure our own livelihood so that others do not have to do it for us. The rich have the ability to create charities, give directly to the poor, and, most importantly, create opportunities for others to help themselves. Next, we should turn to family and community to help us if needed. This means also that families and communities must be prepared and able to help their neighbors as well. We should look to support charities rather than government organizations because they are much better at helping people. Less than half of the money funneled into the welfare system reaches the people it’s meant to help. Even the most inefficient charities would have to strive for that sort of poor performance. Lastly, we should give people the freedom to find new ways to help people. By allowing people to innovate in the charity sector, as we do for technology, we might actually see it become better and more affordable the same way technology has done.

I do not claim to have the answers, but I can look at the government social programs and their effects and honestly say that they have harmed our poor. We have created a system that’s only outcome is reliance on it, snaring our poor and accusing any who offer alternatives of heartlessness. Instead, I want us to search for a solution that teaches to fish rather than giving them fish. I want us to stand beside our poor and journey with them out of poverty. We should stop placing the responsibility on others and assume responsibility for the outcomes of those in our community. We should allow for more freedom so that people can pursue their interests and use their talents in innovative ways. I can’t solve every problem, no one person can, but we can each solve what we can. Let’s take back responsibility for the least of those among us, hold fast to the family and community institutions that provide a safety net, and provide for ourselves first to prepare ourselves to help others.

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