Walter Williams's blog

A modest proposal

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California was once the land of opportunity, but it is going down the tubes. Several of California’s prominent cities have declared bankruptcy, such as Vallejo, Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernardino. Others are on the precipice, and that includes Los Angeles, California’s largest city.

California’s 2012 budget deficit is expected to top $28 billion, and its state debt is $618 billion. That’s more than twice the size of New York’s state debt, which itself is the second-highest in the nation. Read More»

The Census and the Constitution

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The Census Bureau estimates that the life cycle cost of the 2010 Census will be from $13.7 billion to $14.5 billion, making it the costliest census in the nation’s history.

Suppose you suggest to a congressman that given our budget crisis, we could save some money by dispensing with the 2010 census. I guarantee you that he’ll say something along the lines that the Constitution mandates a decennial counting of the American people and he would be absolutely right. Read More»

Black opportunity destruction

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“Do you mean he is taller than me am?” sarcastically barked Dr. Martin Rosenberg, my high school English teacher, to one of the students in our class.

The student actually said, “He is taller than me,” but Rosenberg was ridiculing the student’s grammar. The subject of the elliptical (or understood) verb “am” must be in the subjective case. Thus, the correct form of the sentence is: He is taller than I.

This correction/dressing down of a student, that occasionally included me, occurred during my attendance at North Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin High School in the early ‘50s. Read More»

Global warming update

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John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, in an hour-long television documentary titled “Global Warming: The Other Side,” presents evidence that our National Climatic Data Center has been manipulating weather data just as the now disgraced and under investigation British University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit. Read More»

We need diversity

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It’s not at all uncommon to watch a college basketball game and see that 90 to 100 percent of the players are black. According to the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport report titled “The 2008 Racial and Gender Report Card,” the percentage of black male basketball players in Division I was an all-time high at 60.4 percent. It was 45.9 percent in football and 6.0 percent in baseball. Read More»

Haiti’s avoidable death toll

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Some expect Haiti’s 7.0 earthquake death toll to reach over 200,000 lives. Why the high death toll? Northern California’s 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was more violent, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, resulting in 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, about eight times more violent than Haiti’s, and cost 3,000 lives.

As tragic as the Haitian calamity is, it is merely symptomatic of a far deeper tragedy that’s completely ignored, namely self-inflicted poverty. Read More»

Global warming is a religion

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Manmade global warming, for many, is an Earth-worshipping religion.

The essential feature of any religion is that its pronouncements are to be accepted on the basis of faith as opposed to hard evidence. Questioning those pronouncements makes one a sinner.

No one denies that the Earth’s temperature changes. Millions of years ago, much of our planet was covered by ice, at some places up to a mile thick, a period some scientists call “Snowball Earth.” Read More»

Untrue Beliefs

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Here’s a sample of last week’s news reporting: “A new decade is about to start ...”, “What better way to start a new year and decade ...”, and “ABC ‘World News’ Decade Look-Back.” One would think that the first decade of the third millennium came to an end midnight Dec. 31 and the new decade began a minute after midnight. Read More»

Black education

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Detroit’s (predominantly black) public schools are the worst in the nation and it takes some doing to be worse than Washington, D.C.

Only 3 percent of Detroit’s fourth-graders scored proficient on the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) test, sometimes called “The Nation’s Report Card.” Twenty-eight percent scored basic and 69 percent below basic. Read More»

Voluntarism or self-interest?

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How many things in our lives would we like to depend upon the generosity and selflessness of our fellow man, and do you think we would like the outcome?
You say, “Williams, are you now putting down generosity and selflessness?”
No, I’m not. Let me ask the question in a more direct way. Say you want a nice three-bedroom house. Which human motivation do you think would get you the house sooner: the generosity of builders or the builders’ desire to earn some money? Read More»

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