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Posts By Author » Walter Williams

Please Stop Helping Us
  30 Jul 2014     12:09 am

While reading the first chapter of Jason Riley’s new book, “Please Stop Helping Us,” I thought about Will Rogers’ Prohibition-era observation that “Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls.” Demonstrative of similar dedication, one member of Congress told Vanderbilt University political scientist Carol Swain that “one of the advantages and disadvantages of representing blacks is their shameless loyalty. … You can almost get away with raping babies and be forgiven. You don’t have any vigilance about your performance.” In my opinion, there appear to be …

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Do Blacks Need Favors?
  23 Jul 2014     12:09 am

Earlier this month, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act was celebrated. During the act’s legislative debate, then-Sen. Hubert Humphrey, responding to predictions, promised, “I’ll eat my hat if this leads to racial quotas.” I don’t know whether Humphrey got around to keeping his promise, but here’s my question: Is it within the capacity of black Americans to make it in this society without the special favors variously called racial preferences, quotas, affirmative action and race-sensitive policies? What might a “yes” answer to that question assume and imply about …

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Our Unwillingness to Defend Ourselves
  16 Jul 2014     12:09 am

The U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 2012 losses because of personal identity theft totaled $24.7 billion (http://tinyurl.com/mdncmmw). The money losses from identity theft pale in comparison with the costs of paperwork, time and inconvenience imposed on the larger society in an effort to protect ourselves. According to LifeLock, while the laws against identity theft have gotten tougher, identity theft criminal prosecution is relatively rare. Unless we develop a low tolerance and a willingness to impose harsh sentences, identity thieves will continue to impose billions of dollars …

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Spending And Morality
  9 Jul 2014     12:09 am

During last year’s budget negotiation meetings, President Barack Obama told House Speaker John Boehner, “We don’t have a spending problem.” When Boehner responded with “But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem,” Obama replied, “I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.” In one sense, the president is right. What’s being called a spending problem is really a symptom of an unappreciated deep-seated national moral rot. Let’s examine it with a few questions.

Is it moral for Congress to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another? …

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Economic Freedom
  2 Jul 2014     12:09 am

A couple of years ago, President Barack Obama, speaking on the economy, told an audience in Osawatomie, Kansas: “‘The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. … But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. … I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.” To believe what the president and many others say about the market’s not working requires that one be grossly uninformed or dishonest.

The key features of a free market system are private property rights and private ownership of …

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The Education Establishment’s Success
  25 Jun 2014     12:09 am

Many view America’s education as a failure, but in at least one important way, it’s been a success — a success in dumbing down the nation so that we fall easy prey to charlatans, hustlers and quacks. You say, “Williams, that’s insulting! Explain yourself.” OK, let’s start with a question or two.

Are you for or against global warming, later renamed climate change and more recently renamed climate disruption? Environmentalists have renamed it because they don’t want to look silly in the face of cooling temperatures. About 650 million years ago, …

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Slavery Reparations
  18 Jun 2014     12:09 am

Calls for slavery reparations have returned with the publication of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations” in The Atlantic magazine (May 21, 2014). In making his argument, Coates goes through the horrors of slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination.

First off, let me say that I agree with reparations advocates that slavery was a horrible, despicable violation of basic human rights. The gross discrimination that followed emancipation made a mockery of the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. I also agree that slave owners and slave traders should make reparations …

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Who Owns You?
  11 Jun 2014     12:09 am

Darcy Olsen, president of the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, and Richard Garr, president of Neuralstem, a biotech company, wrote “Right to Try experimental drugs” in USA Today (5/28/2014). They pointed out that “this year, more than 5,000 Americans will lose their battle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.” Up until recently, there was no medicine on the market that significantly improved the lives of ALS patients. But now there is one in clinical trials that holds considerable promise, but it has not been granted Food and Drug Administration approval. …

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Petty Annoyances
  4 Jun 2014     12:09 am

Most who read my columns think that I’m only annoyed by politicians, growing government and Americans who have little respect or love for liberty and our Constitution. There are other things that annoy me.

One annoyance is people’s seeming inability or unwillingness to differentiate between the number zero and the letter “o.” I’ve had conversations with telephone operators who have told me that I can reach my party by dialing, for example, 31o-3o55. Sometimes I’ve asked, “If I follow your instructions, by dialing the letter ‘o’ instead of the number zero, …

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White Privilege
  28 May 2014     12:09 am

What would you think if your 8-year-old came home and told you that “white privilege is something that white people have, meaning they have an advantage in a lot of things and they can get a job more easily”? You would have heard that at the recent 15th annual White Privilege Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, attended by 2,500 public-school teachers, administrators and students from across the nation (http://tinyurl.com/lkoqj9b).

 
The average parent has no idea of the devious indoctrination going on in classrooms in many public schools. What follows are some of …

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America’s Budding Tyrants
  21 May 2014     12:09 am

From the Nazis to the Stalinists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, and why is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control and confiscation. Basic to their agenda are the tools of indoctrination, propagandizing, proselytization. Once they gain power, as leftists have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses.

Back in 1964, it was Mario Savio, a campus leftist, who led the free speech movement at the Berkeley …

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A Lesson on Racial Discrimination
  14 May 2014     12:09 am

Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers owner, was recorded by his mistress making some crude racist remarks. Since then, Sterling’s racist comments have dominated the news, from talk radio to late-night shows. A few politicians have weighed in, with President Barack Obama congratulating the NBA for its sanctions against Sterling. There’s little defense for Sterling, save his constitutional right to make racist remarks. But in a sea of self-righteous indignation, I think we’re missing the most valuable lesson that we can learn from this affair — a lesson that’s particularly important …

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Coming End to Racial Preferences
  7 May 2014     12:09 am

Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court 6-2 ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action et al. upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment that bans racial preferences in admission to its public universities. Justice Sonia Sotomayor lashed out at her colleagues in a bitter dissent, calling them “out of touch with reality.” She went on to make the incredible argument that the amendment, which explicitly forbids racial discrimination, itself amounts to racial discrimination. Her argument was that permissible “race-sensitive admissions policies,” the new name for racial preferences, both serve the compelling interest …

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The Constitution or Good Ideas?
  30 Apr 2014     12:09 am

Let me run through a few good ideas. I think it’s a good idea for children to eat healthful, wholesome foods. In the raising of our daughter, before-dinner treats were fresh vegetables, and after-dinner treats were mostly fruits.

I arrive at my gym sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., at least four times a week, to lift weights and use the treadmill. During the warmer months, the treadmill is substituted by a weekly total of 40 to 60 miles on my bike. My exercise regimen is a good idea. Another …

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Wage Discrimination
  23 Apr 2014     12:09 am

President Obama Vows Zero Tolerance on Gender Wage Gap,” read one headline. Another read, “Women Still Earned 77 Cents On Men’s Dollar In 2012.” It’s presumed that big, greedy corporations are responsible for what is seen as wage injustice. Before discussing the “unjust” wage differences between men and women, let’s acknowledge an even greater injustice — which no one seems to care about — age injustice.

 
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers ages 16 to 24 earn only 54 cents on every dollar earned by workers 25 or older …

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Equality in Discipline
  16 Apr 2014     12:09 am

George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled “Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths.” The subtitle is “School Discipline Rates Must Be ‘Proportionate.’” (http://tinyurl.com/mxnlg9h). Let’s examine some of the absurdity of the Obama administration’s take on student discipline.

 
Last January, the departments of Justice and Education published a “guidance” letter describing how schools can meet their obligations under federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin. Its …

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How to Assist Evil
  9 Apr 2014     12:09 am

“Engineering Evil” is a documentary recently shown on the Military History channel. It’s a story of Nazi Germany’s murder campaign before and during World War II. According to some estimates, 16 million Jews and other people died at the hands of Nazis (http://tinyurl.com/6duny9).

Though the Holocaust ranks high among the great human tragedies, most people never consider the most important question: How did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis gain the power that they needed to commit such horror? Focusing solely on the evil of the Holocaust won’t get us very far …

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Sex and Race Equality
  2 Apr 2014     12:09 am

There are several race and sex issues that need addressing. Let’s look at a few of them with an ear to these questions: Should we insist upon equal treatment of people by race and sex or tolerate differences in treatment? And just how equal are people by race and sex in the first place?

According to the National Institutes of Health, male infants 1 to 3 months old should be fed 472 to 572 calories per day, whereas their female counterparts should receive 438 to 521 calories per day (http://tinyurl.com/nj35qvh). That’s an …

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Bizarre Arguments And Behavior
  26 Mar 2014     12:09 am

Some statements and arguments are so asinine that you’d have to be an academic or a leftist to take them seriously. Take the accusation that Republicans and conservatives are conducting a war on women. Does that mean they’re waging war on their daughters, wives, mothers and other female members of their families? If so, do they abide by the Geneva Conventions’ bans on torture, or do they engage in enhanced interrogation and intimidation methods, such as waterboarding, with female family members? You might say that leftists don’t mean actual war. …

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Is There Wage Stagnation?
  19 Mar 2014     12:09 am

Many economists, politicians and pundits assert that median wages have stagnated since the 1970s. That’s a call for government to do something about it. But before we look at the error in their assertion, let’s work through an example that might shed a bit of light on the issue.

Suppose that you paid me a straight $20 an hour in 2004. Ten years later, I’m still earning $20 an hour, but in addition, now I’m receiving job perks such as health insurance, an employer-matched 401(k) plan, paid holidays and vacation, etc. …

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