This one is for real: Thomas Sowell, one of the most brilliant men ever to embrace the study of economics or sociopolitical organization, has announced his retirement from commentary at the age of 86.
Sowell’s innumerable penetrating observations on economics, politics, and the social order could fill dozens of books...and they have. I own most of them. I can’t remember ever being bored by a Sowell opus. I can’t remember ever saying to myself (as I’ve said in the throes of many other men’s tomes) “Why won’t he get to the point?” One of Sowell’s books, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, has been on my what-to-give list for more than twenty years. It’s never failed to elicit praise from its recipients.
Sowell was especially valuable for his skill at demonstrating that much that we think we know is wrong. His commentary pieces often centered on a “but of course” notion and tore it to bleeding shreds. It’s not easy to do that in a few hundred words – take it from someone who attempts it rather frequently – but Sowell made it look effortless.
It’s said of many who retire or die that “he will be missed.” Sometimes it’s even true. But of Thomas Sowell, there is no doubt whatsoever. Enjoy your retirement, Dr. Sowell.