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Posts By Author » Walter Williams

Honesty and Trust
  25 Sep 2013     12:04 am

Dishonesty, lying and cheating are not treated with the right amount of opprobrium in today’s society. To gain an appreciation for the significance of honesty and trust, consider what our day-to-day lives would be like if we couldn’t trust anyone. When we purchase a bottle of 100 pills from our pharmacist, how many of us bother to count the pills? We pull in to a gasoline station and pay $35 for 10 gallons of gasoline. How do we know for sure whether we in fact received 10 gallons instead of …

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Student Indoctrination
  18 Sep 2013     12:04 am

The new college academic year has begun, and unfortunately, so has student indoctrination. Let’s look at some of it.

William Penn, Michigan State University professor of creative writing, greeted his first day of class with an anti-Republican rant. Campus Reform, a project of the Arlington, Va.-based Leadership Institute, has a video featuring the professor telling his students that Republicans want to prevent “black people” from voting. He added that “this country still is full of closet racists” and described Republicans as “a bunch of dead white people — or dying white …

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You Don’t Have to Stay Poor
  11 Sep 2013     12:04 am

No one can blame you if you start out in life poor, because how you start is not your fault. If you stay poor, you’re to blame because it is your fault. Nowhere has this been made clearer than in Dennis Kimbro’s new book, “The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires.”

Kimbro, a business professor at Clark Atlanta University, conducted extensive face-to-face interviews, took surveys and had other interactions with nearly 1,000 of America’s black financial elite, many of whom are multimillionaires, to discover the secret of their success. Kimbro’s …

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Touchy Topics
  4 Sep 2013     12:04 am

Here’s a question: What is the true test of one’s commitment to freedom of expression? Is it when one permits others to express ideas with which he agrees? Or is it when he permits others to express ideas he finds deeply offensive? I’m betting that most people would wisely answer that it’s the latter, and I’d agree. How about this question: What is the true test of one’s commitment to freedom of association? Is it when people permit others to freely associate in ways of which they approve? Or is …

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Re-education at George Mason
  28 Aug 2013     12:04 am

This week begins my 34th year serving on George Mason University’s distinguished economics faculty. You might imagine my surprise when I received a letter from its Office of Equity and Diversity Services notifying me that I was required to “complete the in-person Equal Opportunity and Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures training.” This is a leftist agenda for indoctrination, thought control and free speech suppression to which I shall refuse to submit. Let’s look at it.
Ideas such as equity and equal opportunity, while having high emotional value, are vacuous …

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Progressives and Blacks
  21 Aug 2013     12:04 am

Sometimes I wonder when black people will reject the patronizing insults of white progressives and their black handmaidens. After CNN’s Piers Morgan’s interview with the key witness in the George Zimmerman trial, he said: “Rachel Jeantel is not uneducated. She’s a smart cookie.” That’s a remarkable conclusion. Here’s a 19-year-old young lady, still in high school, who cannot read cursive and appears to be barely literate. Morgan may have meant Jeantel is smart — for a black person.

Progressives treat blacks as victims in need of kid glove treatment and special …

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Energy Manipulation
  14 Aug 2013     12:04 am

Why is it that natural gas sells in the U.S. for $3.94 per 1,000 cubic feet and in Europe and Japan for $11.60 and $17, respectively? Part of the answer is our huge supply. With high-tech methods of extraction and with discovery of vast gas-rich shale deposits, estimated reserves are about 2.4 quadrillion cubic feet. That translates into more than a 100-year supply of natural gas at current usage rates. What partially explains the high European and Japanese prices is the fact that global natural gas markets are not integrated. …

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Would They Be Proud?
  7 Aug 2013     12:04 am

One can’t imagine the fear in the hearts of the parents of those nine black students who walked past shouting placard-carrying mobs as they entered Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Each day, they were greeted with angry shouts of “Two, four, six, eight, we don’t want to integrate.” In some rural and urban areas, during the school desegregation era, parents escorted their 5- and 6-year-old children past crowds shouting threats and screaming racial epithets. Often there were Ku Klux Klan marches and cross burnings. Much of this protest …

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Black Self-Sabotage
  31 Jul 2013     12:04 am

If we put ourselves into the shoes of racists who seek to sabotage black upward mobility, we couldn’t develop a more effective agenda than that followed by civil rights organizations, black politicians, academics, liberals and the news media. Let’s look at it.

First, weaken the black family, but don’t blame it on individual choices. You have to preach that today’s weak black family is a legacy of slavery, Jim Crow and racism. The truth is that black female-headed households were just 18 percent of households in 1950, as opposed to about …

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Profiling
  24 Jul 2013     12:04 am

Police Capt. Louis Renault, played by Claude Rains in the 1942 movie “Casablanca,” in the wake of the shooting of a Nazi officer, ordered his men to “round up the usual suspects.” Was Renault engaging in some sort of profiling? He may have been, but what is profiling? Let’s look at it.

We can think of profiling as a method to economize on information costs by using easily observed physical characteristics as a proxy or a guess for some other characteristic more difficult or costlier to observe. For example, say you …

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What Egyptians Need
  17 Jul 2013     12:04 am

What Egyptian citizens must recognize is that political liberty thrives best where there’s a large measure of economic liberty. The Egyptian people are not the problem; it’s the environment they’re forced to live in. Why is it that Egyptians do well in the U.S. but not Egypt? We could make the same observation about Nigerians, Cambodians, Jamaicans and many other people who leave their homeland and immigrate to the U.S. For example, Indians in India suffer great poverty. But that’s not true of Indians who immigrate to the U.S. They …

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Black Education Tragedy
  10 Jul 2013     12:04 am

As if more evidence were needed about the tragedy of black education, Rachel Jeantel, a witness for the prosecution in the George Zimmerman murder trial, put a face on it for the nation to see. Some of that evidence unfolded when Zimmerman’s defense attorney asked 19-year-old Jeantel to read a letter that she allegedly had written to Trayvon Martin’s mother. She responded that she doesn’t read cursive, and that’s in addition to her poor grammar, syntax and communication skills.

Jeantel is a senior at Miami Norland Senior High School. How in …

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Distrusting Government
  3 Jul 2013     12:04 am

Recent opinion polls demonstrate a deepening distrust of the federal government. That’s not an altogether bad thing. Our nation’s founders recognized that most human abuses are the result of government. As Thomas Paine said, “government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” Because of their fear of abuse, the Constitution’s framers sought to keep the federal government limited in its power. Their distrust of Congress is seen in the governing rules and language used throughout our Constitution. The Bill of Rights is explicit in that distrust, using …

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Bit by Bit Strategy
  26 Jun 2013     12:04 am

There’s a move on to prohibit Washington’s football team from calling itself “Redskins,” even though a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision said that it has that right. Now the name change advocates are turning to the political arena and intimidation. The NCAA has already banned the University of North Dakota from calling its football team the “Fighting Sioux.”

This is the classic method of busybodies and tyrants; they start out with something trivial or small and then magnify and extend it. If these people are successful in banning the use of …

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Unasked and Unanswered Questions
  19 Jun 2013     12:04 am

Grutter v. Bollinger was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s racial admissions policy. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the majority, said the U.S. Constitution “does not prohibit the Law School’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” But what are the educational benefits of a diverse student body?

Intellectuals argue that diversity is necessary for academic excellence, but what’s the evidence? For example, Japan …

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Unnecessary Tragedy
  12 Jun 2013     12:04 am

Last week a federal judge ordered Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, to be moved to the adult lung transplant list. That gives her a better chance of receiving a potentially lifesaving transplant. Sarah Murnaghan’s fate should force us to examine our organ transplant policy.

There are more than 88,000 Americans on the organ transplant waiting list. Roughly 10 percent of them will die before receiving an organ. These lost lives are not so much an act of God …

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Understanding Liberals and Progressives
  5 Jun 2013     12:04 am

In order to understand the liberal and progressive agenda, one must know something about their world vision and values. Let’s examine some of the evidence.

Why the 1970s struggle to ban DDT? Alexander King, founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome, wrote in a 1990 biographical essay: “My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use. In Guyana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly …

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Americans Deserve the IRS
  29 May 2013     12:04 am

Individually, Americans do not deserve to be subservient to such a fear-mongering, intimidating and powerful agency as the Internal Revenue Service; but collectively, we do. Let’s look at it.

Since the 1791 ratification of our Constitution, until well into the 1920s, federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product never exceeded 5 percent, except during war. Today federal spending is 25 percent of our GDP. State and local government spending is about 15 percent of the GDP. That means government spends more than 40 cents of each dollar we earn. …

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We Are the Idiots
  22 May 2013     12:04 am

Dr. Henry Miller, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Gregory Conko, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in their Forbes article “Rachel Carson’s Deadly Fantasies” (9/5/2012), wrote that her 1962 book, “Silent Spring,” led to a world ban on DDT use. The DDT ban was responsible for the loss of “tens of millions of human lives — mostly children in poor, tropical countries — have been traded for the possibility of slightly improved fertility in raptors (birds). This remains one of the monumental human tragedies of the last …

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Hating America
  15 May 2013     12:04 am

Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are accused of setting the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon, attended the University of Massachusetts. Maybe they hated our nation before college, but if you want lessons on hating America, college attendance might be a good start. Let’s look at it.

“We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it.” That’s taught to University of Hawaii students by Professor Haunani-Kay Trask. Richard Falk, professor emeritus at Princeton …

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