Walter Williams's blog

Will the West defend itself?

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Leftists and progressives believe that the U.S. should become more like Europe. They praise Europe’s massive welfare state, socialized medicine and stifling economic regulation and accept its unwillingness to defend itself against barbarism. I wonder whether America’s leftists and progressives want to import some of Europe’s barbaric extremism associated with its Muslim population. Read More»

Basic economics — Answer these questions

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"Whether one is a conservative or a radical, a protectionist or a free trader, a cosmopolitan or a nationalist, a churchman or a heathen, it is useful to know the causes and consequences of economic phenomena.” That quotation, from Nobel laureate George J. Stigler, is how Dr. Thomas Sowell begins the fifth edition of “Basic Economics.” It’s a book that explains complex economic phenomena in a way that many economists cannot. And, I might add, it provides an understanding of some economic phenomena that might prove elusive to a Ph.D. economist. Read More»

Liberals’ use of black people, Part II

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Last week’s column focused on the ways liberals use blacks in pursuit of their leftist agenda, plus their demeaning attitudes toward black people. Most demeaning are their double standards.

It was recently reported that Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, spoke at a 2002 gathering hosted by white supremacist leaders when he was a Louisiana state representative. Some are calling on Scalise to step down or for House Speaker John Boehner to fire him. There’s no claim that Scalise made racist statements. Read More»

Liberals’ use of black people

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Back in the day, when hunting was the major source of food, hunters often used stalking horses as a means of sneaking up on their quarry. They would walk on the opposite side of the horse until they were close enough to place a good shot on whatever they were hunting. A stalking horse not only concealed them but also, if their target was an armed man and they were discovered, would take the first shot. That’s what blacks are to liberals and progressives in their efforts to transform America — stalking horses. Read More»

Should profiling be banned?

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Last week, the Obama administration announced new curbs on racial profiling by federal law enforcement. Before deciding whether this is good or bad policy, we might try to develop a description/definition of racial profiling or any other kind of profiling.

A good definition of profiling in general is the use of an easily observed physical characteristic as a guess for some other, difficult-to-observe characteristic. The reason people profile is that information is costly and they seek methods to economize on information costs. One way to do that is through profiling. Read More»

Elites’ contempt for you

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Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and paid architect of Obamacare, has shocked and disgusted many Americans.

In 2013, he explained to a University of Pennsylvania audience: “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.” He added that the “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.” Read More»

Obama vs. us

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Suppose you saw a person driving his car on the wrong side of a highway, against the traffic. Would you call him a stupid and/or incompetent driver?

You say, “Williams, what kind of question is that? Of course he’s one or the other!”

I’d say, “Hold your horses. What are his intentions?” If the driver’s intentions are to cause highway calamity, one can hardly call his actions stupid or incompetent. Given his intentions, he is wisely acting in a manner to achieve his objectives. Read More»

Africa’s tragedy

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Here’s how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: “Anyone who believes President Bush’s Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it’s overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people.”

More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations. Read More»

Western anti-Semitism unleashed

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Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has accused both Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in the Gaza conflict. Her harshest criticism, as well as that of most nations, has been reserved for the Israeli government, charging that it has committed war crimes in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions. Read More»

Please stop helping us

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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.” Read More»

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