Tag: Jason Riley

“Who Decides What Is Best?”


Thomas Sowell’s ideas have taken root in the soil of the next generation. Sowell has written over thirty books over forty years of weekly writings. Hundreds of Sowell’s interviews can be found everywhere on YouTube. Jason Riley, himself a prolific writer, has done the world a service by reviewing the lifetime impact of Thomas Sowell in Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell.

Maverick should be read by everyone everywhere. Everyone in the sciences or the humanities needs exposure to the intellectual history and ideas that Maverick provides. Not only does Riley give an exceptional review of Sowell’s life and thought, but he also shows how the Hoover Institution fellow establishes the basis for how to think. Every person on the planet asks enduring questions about philosophy, knowledge, interpretation, and justice. Sowell always approaches his subjects with our views of human nature in mind. Summarizing Sowell, you either believe in the tension between human depravity and human dignity or you believe that you can make humans perfectible by human rules.

As a matter of full disclosure, I have been reading Thomas Sowell’s books and columns and watching his videos for decades. Sowell’s thinking has been influential to my own intellectual processing for most of my teaching life. As Hebraic-Christian thinkers know, it is important to weave biblical, doctrinal thinking through an explanation of Sowell’s visions. Essential to biblical understanding is the origin of ideas, acknowledging that The Personal Eternal Triune Creator of all things has set the stage for human understanding of everything.

The Life and Work of Thomas Sowell


Thomas Sowell is one of the greatest living economists. His scholarship over the past half-century has clarified our understanding of economic and social disparities between racial and ethnic groups in the United States and around the world. He is also a major social theorist and intellectual historian. It was, therefore, a great privilege to sit down with Sowell biographer Jason Riley for a discussion of the great man’s life and work. I was joined in this discussion by my frequent conversation partner at The Glenn Show, John McWhorter of Columbia University.

Jason Riley talks with Brian Anderson about his new book, Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell. They discuss Sowell’s upbringing, his work as an academic economist and a public intellectual, his research on disparities between groups, and more.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Jason Riley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Jason shares insights on the 2020 election, its implications for the next two years, and assuming Vice President Biden becomes president, how he may govern on K-12 education. They discuss the likely direction of policymaking with regard to charter public schools and school choice, and the influence of the teachers’ unions. Jason offers thoughts about the George Floyd tragedy and protests, the state of race relations across America, and how political, media, civic, and religious leaders could address the country’s deep divisions. Lastly, Jason shares lessons on race, economics, and education from Dr. Thomas Sowell, the subject of his forthcoming biography.

Story of the Week: Dr. Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow, describes the legal and regulatory barriers, promoted by the powerful and self-interested teachers’ unions, that prevent more students from attending the charter public schools that are successfully educating low-income minority children across America.

Jason Riley joined host Ben Domenech to discuss the recent changes in the Black Lives Matter movement and its demand to defund the police. Riley, a columnist at the Wall Street Journal, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a contributor at Fox News, delves into how the media has influenced such ideas.

Riley argued the recent protests as well as events prior were in part caused by the media for failing to provide realistic data on police force, particularly regarding race. The media, he said, has scared people into believing a false narrative about police brutality by giving special attention to isolated incidents.

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704881304576094221050061598 The State Against Blacks ‘The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do. . . . And that is to destroy the black family.’ Sometimes I sarcastically, perhaps cynically, say that I’m glad that I received virtually all of my education before it became fashionable for white people to like black […]

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Jason Riley’s Brilliant Take on Daniel Patrick Moynihan


Riley-JasonI’m late in coming to it, but in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month Jason Riley published an enormously powerful article marking the fiftieth anniversary of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report, “The Negro Family.”

“The fundamental problem is that of family structure,” wrote Moynihan, who had a doctorate in sociology. “The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling….”

He goes on:

Ferguson in Perspective: Jason Riley Tells Hard Truths


I am not in a position to judge whether Darren Wilson handled himself properly in his confrontation with Michael Brown. It is clear enough that Brown was a punk — the sort of dope-head thug who would forcibly rob a convenience store. And the story told by Wilson is plausible enough: that Brown was walking in the middle of the street and interfering with traffic; that, when told to move to the sidewalk, he balked; that, when Wilson began to get out of his car, Brown shoved the door back against the policeman, grappled for his gun, and ran; and that he later turned around and charged Wilson. But, of course, this story may not be entirely true, and Wilson may have overreacted.

But even if Wilson is at fault — and I am well aware that policemen can be trigger-happy and that, in a crunch, they can easily get rattled, misjudge, and overreact — what happened in Ferguson that night (as opposed to succeeding nights) was, from a political perspective, inconsequential. As Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal courageously points out in the video posted below, African-Americans make up 13% of the American population and 50% of the homicide victims, but very, very few of the African-Americans who are killed in this country die at the hands of white policemen. In fact, 90% of the African-Americans who are murdered in the United States are murdered by their fellow African-Americans. What happened in Ferguson was a relatively rare event that may or may not tell us something about Darren Wilson and the police force of St. Louis County. But it tells us nothing about white racism in the nation as a whole and next to nothing about discrimination against American blacks.