Walter E. Williams from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:53:47 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Walter E. Williams from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/walter-e-williams-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams 521a472cfcc8e6b83bad4fd48d7d2487 Economic Conspiracies for 08/31/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/08/16/economic-conspiracies Wed, 31 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A general economic principle is that any law or regulation that restricts market entry tends to impose the greatest burden on those who can be described as poor, latecomers, discriminated-against and politically weak.</p> <p>The president of the NAACP's St. Louis chapter, Adolphus Pruitt, has petitioned a circuit court judge to reject the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission's conspiratorial call to issue a temporary restraining order that would force Uber to shut down. He says the order would negatively impact nearly 2,000 African-Americans who work as Uber partners in black neighborhoods that have long been ignored by taxis and other transportation providers. In a statement, Pruitt said, "The immediate harm of a (temporary restraining order) would strand thousands of African American riders who depend on Uber to travel around a city that has measurable gaps in its transportation system and has failed to serve our neighborhoods for decades."<p>Updated: Wed Aug 31, 2016</p> a8c219d644e2cff653c7038a2af9646c College Campus Lunacy for 08/24/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/08/16/college-campus-lunacy Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As the fall semester begins, parents, students, taxpayers and donors should be made aware of official college practices that should disgust us all.</p> <p>Hampshire College will offer some of its students what the school euphemistically calls "identity-based housing." That's segregated housing for students who &#8212; because of their race, culture, gender or sexual orientation &#8212; have "historically experienced oppression." I'd bet the rent money that Hampshire College will not offer Jewish, Irish, Polish, Chinese or Catholic students segregated housing. Because there is no group of people who have not faced oppression, Hampshire College is guilty of religious and ethnic discrimination in its housing segregation policy.</p> <p>University of Connecticut administrators think that more black men will graduate if they spend more time together. According to Campus Reform, they are building a new residence hall to facilitate just that. Dr. Erik Hines, the faculty director for the program, said that the learning community "is a space for African-American men to ... come together and validate their experiences that they may have on campus. ... It's also a space where they can have conversation and also talk with individuals who come from the same background who share the same experience." By the way, Hampshire College and the University of Connecticut are not alone in promoting racially segregated student housing.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 24, 2016</p> 14a2d9d04913dc8704acad217efa9bf0 Is Free Trade Causing Job Loss? for 08/17/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/08/16/is-free-trade-causing-job-loss Wed, 17 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>International trade figures heavily in the presidential race. Presidential candidate Donald Trump said, "Hillary Clinton unleashed a trade war against the American worker when she supported one terrible trade deal after another - from NAFTA to China to South Korea." And adding, "A Trump Administration will end that war by getting a fair deal for the American people. The era of economic surrender will finally be over." He lamented, "Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers have seen the jobs they love shipped thousands and thousands of miles away."</p> <p>Hillary Clinton has offered her own condemnations of trade and globalization. Some see her stance on trade as little more than typical campaign rhetoric. Bill Watson's Reason magazine article "Hillary Clinton's Protectionist Promises Would Do Serious Economic Damage," looked at Clinton's trade agenda. Watson concluded that for "fans of free trade and globalization, Clinton is a much more appealing candidate simply by not being horrible."</p> <p>It is true that the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States has been in steep decline for almost a half-century, but manufacturing employment disguises the true story of American manufacturing. U.S. manufacturing output has increased by almost 40 percent. Annual value added by U.S. factories has reached a record $2.4 trillion. To put that in perspective, if our manufacturing sector were a separate nation, it would be the seventh richest nation on the globe.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 17, 2016</p> 9f9e53ef22111cfb550aadd9db09fd76 The Decline of Civility for 08/10/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/08/16/the-decline-of-civility Wed, 10 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>One of the unavoidable consequences of youth is the tendency to think behavior we see today has always been. I'd like to dispute that vision, at least as it pertains to black people.</p> <p>I graduated from Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High School in 1954. Franklin's predominantly black students were from the poorest North Philadelphia neighborhoods. During those days, there were no policemen patrolling the hallways. Today close to 400 police patrol Philadelphia schools. There were occasional after-school fights &#8212; rumbles, as we called them &#8212; but within the school, there was order. In contrast with today, students didn't use foul language to teachers, much less assault them.</p> <p>Places such as the Richard Allen housing project, where I lived, became some of the most dangerous and dysfunctional places in Philadelphia. Mayhem &#8212; in the form of murders, shootings and assaults &#8212; became routine. By the 1980s, residents found that they had to have window bars and multiple locks. The 1940s and '50s Richard Allen project, as well as other projects, bore no relation to what they became. Many people never locked their doors; windows weren't barred. We did not go to bed with the sound of gunshots. Most of the residents were two-parent families with one or both parents working.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 10, 2016</p> fcbaddda71028edb3657f18641cb325e Compensating Differences for 08/03/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/08/16/compensating-differences Wed, 03 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>What economists call an ability to make "compensating differences" is a valuable tool in everyone's arsenal. If people are prohibited from doing so, they are always worse off. You say, "Williams, I never heard of compensating differences. What are they?"</p> <p>Jimmy Soul's 1963 hit song, "If You Wanna Be Happy," explained the concept of compensating differences. His lyrics went: "If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife. So from my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you." His point was that an ugly woman would treat you better. But more importantly, a less attractive woman's willingness to compensate for her differences enables her to effectively compete with a pretty woman.</p> <p>It goes the other way around, too. I've presented people with the following scenario: Suppose you saw a fat, ugly cigar-smoking old man married to a beautiful young woman. What kind of prediction would you make about the man's income? Everybody I've asked guesses that he would have a high income. The fat, ugly cigar-smoking old man would essentially be telling the beautiful young woman, "I can't compete for your hand the same way a guy like Williams can, so I'm going to offset my handicap by offering you a higher price."<p>Updated: Wed Aug 03, 2016</p> 3882d480db7fc75fac7b103fcfd8b112 What Can Discrimination Explain? for 07/27/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/16/what-can-discrimination-explain Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A guiding principle for physicians is primum non nocere, the Latin expression for "first, do no harm." In order not to do harm, whether it's with medicine or with public policy, the first order of business is accurate diagnostics.</p> <p>Racial discrimination is seen as the cause of many problems of black Americans. No one argues that racial discrimination does not exist or does not have effects. The relevant question, as far as policy and resource allocation are concerned, is: How much of what we see is caused by current racial discrimination?</p> <p>From the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, black youth unemployment was slightly less than or equal to white youth unemployment. Today black youth unemployment is at least double that of white youth unemployment. Would anyone try to explain the difference with the argument that there was less racial discrimination during the '40s and '50s than today?<p>Updated: Wed Jul 27, 2016</p> f767b9779027b3e5ec94b7fd762bd870 Challenges for Black People: Part II for 07/20/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/16/challenges-for-black-people-part-ii Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The prospects for a better future are nearly hopeless for roughly 20 percent of black people &#8212; those who reside in big-city crime-infested and dysfunctional neighborhoods. There is virtually nothing that can be done about it without a major rebuilding of the black community from within. Let's examine some of the aspects of the problem and the dismal prognosis, given the status quo.</p> <p>The most important social unit is the family. Many talk about the "breakdown" in the black family when a far more accurate description is that the family doesn't form in the first place. About 73 percent of black babies are born to unwed mothers. By the way, that percentage was 25 in 1963 and 11 in 1938. The absence of fathers is crucial. Even President Barack Obama recognized this when he said that "children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison." Female-headed households are a devastating problem, but the solution lies almost exclusively within the black community. It's a massive job for black churches and social organizations. If there is a role for government to play, it's to stop subsidizing such behavior with handouts.</p> <p>Education and skills acquisition are vital to upward mobility. But what goes on in many predominantly black schools is no less than a betrayal to those blacks and whites who sacrificed their blood, sweat and tears during the civil rights struggle of the 1940s, '50s and '60s in an effort to secure better educational opportunities. Nationally, an average of 1,175 teachers and staff were physically attacked each day of the 2011-12 school year. Most of this occurred at predominantly black schools. In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. Some Chicago teachers are treated for post-traumatic stress. Given this climate of fear, intimidation and disorderliness, one should not be surprised by an outcome that shows that the average black student who manages to graduate from high school has an academic achievement level of a white seventh- or eighth-grader.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 20, 2016</p> ea19c99af046122a76374b84e5e97bb6 Challenges for Black People for 07/13/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/16/challenges-for-black-people Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Barack Obama and his first attorney general, Eric Holder, called for an honest conversation about race. Holder even called us "a nation of cowards" because we were unwilling to have a "national conversation" about race. The truth of the matter is there's been more than a half-century of conversations about race. We do not need more. Instead, black people need to have frank conversations among ourselves, no matter how uncomfortable and embarrassing the topics may be.</p> <p>Among the nation's most dangerous cities are Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Memphis, Milwaukee, Birmingham, Newark, Cleveland and Philadelphia. These once-thriving cities are in steep decline. What these cities have in common is that they have large black populations. Also, they have been run by Democrats for nearly a half-century, with blacks having significant political power. Other characteristics these cities share are poorly performing and unsafe schools, poor-quality city services, and declining populations.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 13, 2016</p> b9d5dd441b43ebae10013654fac6377a Thinking Beyond Stage One for 07/06/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/16/thinking-beyond-stage-one Wed, 06 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce dramatically increased tariffs on some Chinese steel products, such as cold-rolled steel, which is used to make appliances, cars and electric motors. Tariffs were raised by 500 percent on some other Chinese steel products. President Barack Obama and the major 2016 presidential aspirants, particularly Donald Trump, believe this measure will protect jobs in the U.S. steel industry. There is no doubt that steel industry jobs will be saved. But there is an ignorance and/or incapacity of being able to think beyond stage one when evaluating public policy. Measures to protect steelworker jobs pay attention to only the seen effects of public policy; they ignore the unseen. In other words, they look at only the visible beneficiaries of public policy and ignore the invisible victims.</p> <p>U.S. steel companies want to restrict steel imports so that they can sell more steel to American companies and charge them higher prices. That means more employment and greater profits for those in the steel industry. We can think of those observations as the seen, or stage-one, effects of import restrictions.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 06, 2016</p> d2d5445865ba4769d79b9d01ca3d6792 Multiculturalism: A Failed Concept for 06/29/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/16/multiculturalism-a-failed-concept Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that multiculturalism has "utterly failed," adding that it was an illusion to think Germans and foreign workers could "live happily side by side." The failure of multiculturalism is also seen in Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and other European countries. Immigrants coming from Africa and the Middle East refuse to assimilate and instead seek to import the failed cultures they fled.</p> <p>Leftist diversity advocates and multiculturalists are right to argue that people of all races, religions and cultures should be equal in the eyes of the law. But their argument borders on idiocy when they argue that one set of cultural values cannot be judged superior to another and that to do so is Eurocentrism.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 29, 2016</p> 68365ac728640fa8b13e6b5c62936064 Purification of America for 06/22/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/16/purification-of-america Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In 2008, Barack Obama promised a fundamental transformation of America. Where that promise has gone unfulfilled the most is in areas of sexual and racial discrimination. What's worse is the official sanction given to such discrimination. Let's look at some of it.</p> <p>Visit just about any California men's prison and you will see that one's race determines whom he cells with, the toilet and shower he uses, and what recreation areas he enjoys. Then there is sexual discrimination. Female correctional officers earn the same pay as their male counterparts. However, when it comes to extracting a dangerous inmate from his cell, it is always a five- or six-male officer team that risks bodily injury. How fair is that? Why not have both male and female cell extraction teams?</p> <p>Harvard University has announced new rules that will punish students who join single-sex clubs, including fraternities and sororities. Part of that punishment will make them ineligible for college endorsement for top fellowships, such as the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. As an aside, Rhodes scholarships should be banned; Cecil Rhodes was one of the architects of South African apartheid.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 22, 2016</p> e05541353ea411e45f89a0fbb36083e0 Money Going to Washington for 06/15/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/16/money-going-to-washington Wed, 15 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>According to a New York Post article (May 22, 2016), in just two years, Hillary Clinton &#8212; former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state &#8212; collected over $21 million in speaking fees. These fees were paid by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity Investments, UBS, Bank of America and several hedge fund companies.</p> <p>In 2015, lobbyists spent $3.22 billion lobbying Congress. In 2013 and 2014, just 10 chemical companies and allied organizations spent more than $154 million lobbying the federal government. The Center for Responsive Politics in 2013 reported that The Dow Chemical Co. "posted record lobbying expenditures" in 2012, "spending nearly $12 million," and was "on pace to eclipse" that amount. Fourteen labor unions were among the top 25 political campaign contributors between 1989 and 2014.</p> <p>Many Americans lament the fact that so much money goes to Washington. Let's ask ourselves why corporations, labor unions and other groups spend billions upon billions of dollars on political campaigns, pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a speech and wine and dine politicians and their staffs. Do you think that these are just civic-minded Americans who want to encourage elected officials to live up to their oath of office to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution? Do you think that people who spend billions of dollars on politicians just love participating in the political process? If you believe that either one of those notions applies, you're probably a candidate for a straitjacket and padded cell.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 15, 2016</p> 3427da6b33f55fe17fd4f2fdec297dc7 Elitist Arrogance, Part II for 06/08/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/16/elitist-arrogance-part-ii Wed, 08 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A basic economic premise holds that when the price of something rises, people seek to economize on its use. They seek substitutes for that which has risen in price. Recent years have seen proposals for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Some states and localities, such as Seattle, have already legislated a minimum wage of $15 an hour.</p> <p>Nobody should be surprised that fast-food companies such as Wendy's, Panera Bread, McDonald's and others are seeking substitutes for employees who are becoming costlier. One substitute that has emerged for cashiers is automated kiosks where, instead of having a person take your order, you select your meal and pay for it using a machine. Robots are also seen as an alternative to a $15-an-hour minimum wage. In fact, employee costs are much higher than an hourly wage suggests. For every employee paid $15 an hour, a company spends an additional $10 an hour on non-wage benefits, such as medical insurance, Social Security, workers' compensation and other taxes. That means the minimum hourly cost of hiring such an employee is close to $25.</p> <p>The vision that higher mandated wages (that exceed productivity) produce no employment effects is what economists call a zero-elasticity view of the world &#8212; one in which there is no response to price changes. It assumes that customers are insensitive to higher product prices and investors are insensitive to a company's profits. There is little evidence that people are insensitive to price changes, whether they be changes in taxes, gas prices, food prices, labor prices or any other price. The issue is not whether people change their behavior when relative prices rise or fall; it is always how soon and how great the change will be. Thus, with minimum wage increases, it is not an issue of whether firms will economize on labor but an issue of how much they will economize and who will bear the burden of that economizing.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 08, 2016</p> 941c00e10f544273d48379dda05dcba6 Elitist Arrogance for 06/01/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/16/elitist-arrogance Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>White teenage unemployment is about 14 percent. That for black teenagers is about 30 percent. The labor force participation rate for white teens is 37 percent, and that for black teens is 25 percent. Many years ago, in 1948, the figures were exactly the opposite. The unemployment rate of black 16-year-old and 17-year-old males was 9.4 percent, while that of whites was 10.2 percent. Up until the late 1950s, black teens, as well as black adults, were more active in the labor market than their white counterparts. I will return to these facts after I point out some elitist arrogance and moral bankruptcy.</p> <p>Supporters of a $15 minimum wage are now admitting that there will be job losses. "Why shouldn't we in fact accept job loss?" asks New School economics and urban policy professor David Howell, adding, "What's so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs, forcing employers to upgrade, and having a serious program to compensate anyone who is in the slightest way harmed by that?" Economic Policy Institute economist David Cooper says: "It could be that they spend more time unemployed, but their income is higher overall. If you were to tell me I could work fewer hours and make as much or more than I could have previously, that would be OK."</p> <p>What's a "crappy job"? My guess is that many of my friends and I held the jobs Howell is talking about as teenagers during the late 1940s and '50s. During summers, we arose early to board farm trucks to New Jersey to pick blueberries. I washed dishes and mopped floors at Philadelphia's Horn & Hardart restaurant, helped unload trucks at Campbell Soup, shoveled snow, swept out stores, delivered packages and did similar low-skill, low-wage jobs. If today's arrogant elite were around to destroy these jobs through wage legislation and regulation, I doubt whether I and many other black youths would have learned the habits of work that laid the foundation for future success. Today's elite have little taste for my stepfather's admonition: Any kind of a job is better than begging and stealing.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 01, 2016</p> 61be642703ab3be2f8d3560c7500f982 You Are What You Say You Are for 05/25/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/16/you-are-what-you-say-you-are Wed, 25 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last year, I declared myself a springbok trapped in a human body. A springbok is a highly agile individual who is among the "least concern" species and resides in the southeastern part of the African continent. With such a declaration, some people will suggest that I am suffering from a condition known as species dysphoria, in which one thinks he is a wild animal trapped in a human body. Species dysphoria is similar to gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person believes he is a woman trapped in a male body or a man trapped in a female body.</p> <p>Many people will argue that I am in need of psychological counseling. I'd dismiss such a suggestion as animalphobia. You might ask, "Williams, why in the world would you want to call yourself a springbok?" The reason is simple. There is nothing in the Internal Revenue Code that says springboks have a federal tax obligation. If government officials were to demand taxes, I would ask the U.S. Department of Justice to intercede, plus they would be reported to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.</p> <p>In these modern times, reality is coming to be seen as optional. Say you are a man and want to be able to check out the ladies' bathroom. You simply say you have transgendered yourself and are a lady. At schools, you could visit the ladies' locker room and maybe even shower with the ladies. In the interest of equality, these options would also be open to those who think they are men trapped in women's bodies and have transgendered themselves into men.<p>Updated: Wed May 25, 2016</p> ad8f19606da3df6f1d7c2a8a2cde2efc Scalia School of Law for 05/18/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/16/scalia-school-of-law Wed, 18 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>George Mason University School of Law has just been renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Accompanying the name change was a receipt of a $30 million gift: $10 million from the Charles Koch Foundation and $20 million from an anonymous donor. The combination of the names of Scalia and Koch has led to a number of George Mason University faculty getting their panties in a bunch &#8212; and understandably so. Let's look at it.</p> <p>Justice Antonin Scalia had a reputation on the court and in his written opinions as a person who revered the U.S. Constitution and the limits it places on the federal government. Many of my George Mason University colleagues have contempt for the U.S. Constitution and the limitations it sought to impose on the federal government. These are people who believe that it's OK for the U.S. Congress to forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another American. That means people, such as Scalia, who respect the Constitution are a despised minority.</p> <p>Then there is the panty-bunching effect of the generous contribution made by the Charles Koch Foundation. In the interest of full disclosure, Charles Koch and I have shared a personal friendship for over 30 years. Charles Koch is a person with a long history of being a lover of liberty. When one is a lover of liberty, he will see government's primary function as being a protector of liberty. The economic system most consistent with personal liberty is a free market system where individuals have the right to engage in peaceable, voluntary exchange. Government's primary function is to protect persons and their property and prevent fraud, theft and the initiation of violence. Such a limited government and free market vision is offensive to most of my colleagues, whether they own up to it or not, and that in turn makes any affiliation with the Charles Koch Foundation offensive.<p>Updated: Wed May 18, 2016</p> 1fa93a630b9fc5d8e29b4b30a88da2e7 Fiddling Away Black Futures for 05/11/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/16/fiddling-away-black-futures Wed, 11 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Most black politicians, ministers, civil rights advocates and professionals support Hillary Clinton's quest for the presidency. Whoever becomes the next president, whether it's a Democrat or Republican, will mean little or nothing in terms of solutions to major problems that confront many black people. We've already seen that even a black president means little or nothing. Politics and political power cannot significantly improve the lives of most black people and may even be impediments.</p> <p>Blacks hold high offices and dominate the political arenas in Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and other cities. Yet these are the very cities with the nation's poorest educational outcomes, highest crime rates, high illegitimacy rates and other forms of social pathology. Let's look at this pattern, focusing just on Philadelphia, Detroit and Baltimore, cities with large black populations and black-held political power for nearly a half-century.</p> <p>In Philadelphia, only 19 percent of eighth-graders score proficient in math and 16 percent in reading. In Detroit, there is only a 4 percent proficiency level in math and 7 percent in reading. In Baltimore, it's a 12 percent proficiency in math and 13 percent in reading. These results are even more depressing when one tallies the percentages of students scoring "below basic" on the National Assessment of Education Progress test, often referred to as "the nation's report card." Below basic means that a student is unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at his grade level. In Philadelphia, 47 percent scored below basic in math and 42 percent in reading. In Baltimore, it was respectively 59 and 49 percent. In Detroit, 73 percent scored below basic in math and 56 percent in reading.<p>Updated: Wed May 11, 2016</p> 8db0cc559867f5834d8b6ef8bd558520 Common Sense for 05/04/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/16/common-sense Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Republican presidential aspirant John Kasich stirred up angry words from women's organizations and the Democratic Party by his response to a question from a female college student at a town hall meeting in Watertown, New York, regarding sexual assault. Kasich said all the right things about prosecuting offenders, but what got the Ohio governor in trouble with leftists was the end of his response: "I'd also give you one bit of advice: Don't go to parties where there's a lot of alcohol, OK? Don't do that." Let's examine that advice. To do so, let's ask some general questions about common sense.</p> <p>Does one have a right to put his wallet on the hood of his car, attend a movie show, return and find his wallet and its contents undisturbed? You say, "Williams, you've lost it! Why would one do such a crazy thing?" If that's your response, you miss the point made by Kasich's critics. People are duty-bound to respect private property rights. So why shouldn't one feel at ease leaving his wallet on the hood of his car and expect it to be there when he returns?</p> <p>If the person's wallet were stolen, what would you advise? Would it be to counsel people to respect private property rights? Put into the context of feminists' responses to Kasich's suggestion, you might argue that it's outrageous to suggest that people "restrict their behavior." Plain, ordinary common sense would say yes, a person has the right to lay his wallet on the hood of his car and expect it to be there when he returns. But we don't live in a world full of angels; therefore, the best bet is for one to keep his wallet in his pocket.<p>Updated: Wed May 04, 2016</p> de2b28d36f3b223fecb97b078b7ce7aa A Superior Vision for 04/27/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/04/16/a-superior-vision Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last month, I celebrated the beginning of my 81st year of life. For nearly half that time, I have been writing a nationally syndicated column on many topics generating reader responses that go from supportive to quite ugly. So I thought a column making my vision, values and views explicit might settle some of the controversy.</p> <p>My initial premise, when looking at all human issues, is that each of us owns himself. I am my private property, and you are your private property. If you agree with that premise, then certain human actions are moral and others immoral. The reason murder is immoral is that it violates private property. Similarly, rape and theft are immoral, for they, too, violate private property. Most Americans will agree that murder and rape violate people's property rights and are hence immoral. But there may not be so much agreement about theft. Let's look at it.</p> <p>Theft is when a person's property is taken from him &#8212; through stealth, force, intimidation, threats or coercion &#8212; and given to another to whom it does not belong. If a person took your property &#8212; even to help another person who is in need &#8212; it would be called theft. Suppose three people agreed to that taking. Would it be deemed theft? What if 100,000 or several hundred million people agreed to do so? Would that be deemed theft? Another way to ask these questions is: Does a consensus establish morality?<p>Updated: Wed Apr 27, 2016</p> 1059dbffabbf2e1b276f7ebd598f3c19 Rights Versus Wishes for 04/20/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/04/16/rights-versus-wishes Wed, 20 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Here is what presidential aspirant Sen. Bernie Sanders said: "I believe that health care is a right of all people." President Barack Obama declared that health care "should be a right for every American." The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: "Every person has a right to adequate health care." President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his January 1944 message to Congress, called for "the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health." And it is not just a health care right that people claim. There are rights to decent housing, good food and a decent job, and for senior citizens, there's a right to prescription drugs. In a free and moral society, do people have these rights? Let's look at it.</p> <p>In the standard historical usage of the term, a "right" is something that exists simultaneously among people. As such, a right imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. Again, that right imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference.</p> <p>Contrast those rights to free speech and travel with the supposed rights to medical care and decent housing. Those supposed rights do impose obligations upon others. We see that by recognizing that there is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy. If one does not have money to pay for a medical service or decent housing and the government provides it, where do you think the government gets the money?<p>Updated: Wed Apr 20, 2016</p>