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 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:18:37 -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 71915863d3fd965a9cafbfc6172612ec Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong for 04/26/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/04/17/environmentalists-are-dead-wrong Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom. Let's take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we can have in today's environmentalists' predictions.</p> <p>In 1970, when Earth Day was conceived, the late George Wald, a Nobel laureate biology professor at Harvard University, predicted, "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." Also in 1970, Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist and best-selling author of "The Population Bomb," declared that the world's population would soon outstrip food supplies. In an article for The Progressive, he predicted, "The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years." He gave this warning in 1969 to Britain's Institute of Biology: "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." On the first Earth Day, Ehrlich warned, "In 10 years, all important animal life in the sea will be extinct." Despite such predictions, Ehrlich has won no fewer than 16 awards, including the 1990 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' highest award.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 26, 2017</p> 79dd609358e791693346c7c10cc87bf3 Worse Than Racists for 04/19/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/04/17/worse-than-racists Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As a group, black Americans have made the greatest gains &#8212; over some of the highest hurdles and in a very short span of time &#8212; of any racial group in mankind's history. What's the evidence? If one totaled up the earnings of black Americans and considered us as a separate nation with our own gross domestic product, we would rank among the 20 richest nations. It was a black American, Gen. Colin Powell, who once headed the world's mightiest military. Black Americans are among the world's most famous personalities, and a few are among the world's richest people.</p> <p>The significance of these and other achievements is that at the end of the Civil War, neither a slave nor a slave owner would have believed such progress would be possible in a little over a century &#8212; if ever. As such, it speaks to the intestinal fortitude of a people. Just as importantly, it speaks to the greatness of a nation in which such gains were possible. Nowhere else on the face of the earth would such progress be possible except in the United States of America. The big and thorny issue that confronts our nation is how these gains can be extended to the one-third or more of the black population for whom they have proved elusive.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 19, 2017</p> 6f8006fbe1dbc2e2ef4a767f269dbbe9 Metastasizing Academic Cancer for 04/12/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/04/17/metastasizing-academic-cancer Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The average American has little knowledge of the extent to which our institutions of higher learning have been infected with a spreading cancer. One aspect of that cancer is akin to the loyalty oaths of the 1940s and '50s. Professors were often required to sign statements that affirmed their loyalty to the United States government plus swear they were not members of any organizations, including the Communist Party USA, that sought the overthrow of the United States government. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down loyalty oaths as a condition of employment in 1964.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Today we're seeing the re-emergence of the mentality that gave us loyalty oaths, in the form of mandating that faculty members write "diversity statements," especially as part of hiring and promotion procedures. They are forced to pledge allegiance to the college's diversity agenda.</span> For example, the University of California, San Diego requires that one's "Contributions to Diversity Statement" describe one's "past experience, activities and future plans to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, in alignment with UC San Diego's mission to reflect the diversity of California and to meet the educational needs and interests of its diverse population (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/mm6vzzq" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/mm6vzzq</a>)." George Leef, director of research at The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, has written an article titled "Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty 'Diversity Statements'" (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/mxy363c" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/mxy363c</a>). His article documents the growing trend of mandated faculty diversity statements &#8212; such as that at Virginia Tech, in which "candidates should include a list of activities that promote or contribute to inclusive teaching, research, outreach, and service."<p>Updated: Wed Apr 12, 2017</p> 68431ccecac39befaabd7fd4f2e270db Is Profiling OK? for 04/05/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/04/17/is-profiling-ok Wed, 05 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Profiling is needlessly a misunderstood concept. What's called profiling is part of the optimal stock of human behavior and something we all do. Let's begin by describing behavior that might come under the heading of profiling.</p> <p>Prior to making decisions, people seek to gain information. <span class="column--highlighted-text">To obtain information is costly, requiring the expenditure of time and/or money. Therefore, people seek to find ways to economize on information costs.</span> Let's try simple examples.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 05, 2017</p> faf1a7f1f2f8829e34f06ead7e781c18 Educational Sabotage for 03/29/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/03/17/educational-sabotage Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Nationally, black junior high and high school students are suspended at a rate more than three times as often as their white peers, twice as often as their Latino peers and more than 10 times as often as their Asian peers. According to former Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the "huge disparity is not caused by differences in children; it's caused by differences in training, professional development, and discipline policies. It is adult behavior that needs to change." In other words, the Education Department sees no difference between the behavior of black students and white, Latino and Asian students. It's just that black students are singled out for discriminatory discipline. Driven by Obama administration pressures, school districts revised their discipline procedures by cutting the number of black student suspensions.</p> <p>Max Eden, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has written a report, "School Discipline Reform and Disorder: Evidence from New York City Public Schools, 2012-16." The new discipline imposed on public schools is called restorative justice. Rather than punish a student through exclusion (suspension), restorative justice encourages the student who has misbehaved to reflect on his behavior, take responsibility and resolve to behave better in the future. The results of this new policy are: increased violence, drug use and gang activity. Max Eden examines the NYC School Survey of teachers and students and finds that violence increased in 50 percent of schools and decreased in 14 percent. Gang activity increased in 39 percent of schools and decreased in 11 percent. For drug and alcohol use, there was a 37 percent increase while only 7 percent of schools improved.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 29, 2017</p> cfd7aa3a1381b07de42347b89852dec5 Transgender Challenges for 03/22/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/03/17/transgender-challenges Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Determining one's own sex or that of another used to be a simple matter. First, there was the matter of appearance, whether a person looked like a male or looked like a female. If appearance produced some uncertainties, one could determine sex by examining a person's birth certificate. If appearance and a birth certificate produced uncertainties, the ultimate, absolute proof of sex was a person's chromosomes; XX marked a female, and XY marked a male. Case closed.</p> <p>But those old-fashioned simple methods of identifying sex have changed. In fact, relying on those old tried-and-true methods of sex identification qualifies one for opprobrium, with the charge of being homophobic. Today &#8212; independent of appearance, genitalia, birth certificate and chromosomes &#8212; one is a male or female based on how one labels oneself.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 22, 2017</p> 55492aa7e77b5ffd0d21ccaf429888e8 Liberty Is Not for Wimps for 03/15/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/03/17/liberty-is-not-for-wimps Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Most Americans, whether liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican, do not show much understanding or respect for the principles of personal liberty. We criticize our political leaders, but we must recognize that their behavior simply reflects the values of people who elected them to office. That means we are all to blame for greater governmental control over our lives and a decline in personal liberty. Let me outline some fundamental principles of liberty.</p> <p>My initial premise is that each of us owns himself. I am my private property, and you are yours. If we accept the notion of self-ownership, then certain acts can be deemed moral or immoral. Murder, rape and theft are immoral because those acts violate private property. Most Americans accept that murder and rape are immoral, but we are ambivalent about theft. Theft can be defined as taking the rightful property of one American and giving it to another, to whom it does not belong. It is also theft to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 15, 2017</p> 611495ddac92cb7742d22dcde019c9de College Campus Disgrace for 03/08/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/03/17/college-campus-disgrace Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>While college administrators and professors accept disgraceful behavior, we as taxpayers, donors and parents should not foot the bill. Let's look at some of that behavior.</p> <p>A University of Washington Tacoma Writing Center press release told students that expecting Americans to use proper grammar perpetuates racism. The University of Nebraska Omaha will host a workshop for "anti-racist allies" to develop "action plans" that confront America's "foundation of systemic oppression" in the context of "the current political climate." The workshop was inspired by professor Tammie Kennedy's recent book, titled "Rhetorics of Whiteness." She will lead a discussion on "taking action against white supremacy."<p>Updated: Wed Mar 08, 2017</p> 69b502dff860f9ea7c88cfbef791cfb9 Undermining Academic Achievement for 03/01/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/02/17/undermining-academic-achievement Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, "The president's decision to ask Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education should offend every single American man, woman, and child who has benefitted from the public education system in this country." Expressing similar sentiments, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond said, "I expect that Mrs. DeVos will have an incredibly harmful impact on public education and on black communities nationwide." Those and many other criticisms of Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could be dismissed as simply political posturing if we did not have an educational system that is mostly mediocre and is in advanced decay for most black students.</p> <p>According to The Nation's Report Card, only 37 percent of 12th-graders were proficient in reading in 2015, and just 25 percent were proficient in math (<a href="https://www.nationsreportcard.gov" target="_blank">https://www.nationsreportcard.gov</a>). For black students, achievement levels were a disgrace. Nationally, 17 percent of black students scored proficient in reading, and 7 percent scored proficient in math. In some cities, such as Detroit, black academic proficiency is worse; among eighth-graders, only 4 percent were proficient in math, and only 7 percent were proficient in reading.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 01, 2017</p> 5358d4c0b9632c11ef4cee3d8392707a There's Nothing Free for 02/22/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/02/17/theres-nothing-free Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It was Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman who made famous the adage, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Professor Friedman could have added that there is a difference between something's being free and something's having a zero price. For example, people say that there's free public education and there are free libraries, but public education and libraries cost money. Proof that they have costs is the fact that somebody has to have less of something by giving up tax money so that schools and libraries can be produced and operated. A much more accurate statement is that we have zero-price public education and libraries.</p> <p>Costs can be concealed but not eliminated. If people ignore costs and look only to benefits, they will do darn near anything, because everything has a benefit. Politicians love the fact that costs can easily be concealed. The call for import restrictions, in the name of saving jobs, is politically popular in some quarters. But few talk about the costs. We know there are costs because nothing is free.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 22, 2017</p> 403e74e5cb3250dfd61f5df1c2b595c8 Pawns of Liberals for 02/15/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/02/17/pawns-of-liberals Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Ordinary black people cannot afford to go along with the liberal agenda that calls for undermining police authority. That agenda makes for more black crime victims. Let's look at what works and what doesn't work.</p> <p>In 1990, New York City adopted the practice in which its police officers might stop and question a pedestrian. If there was suspicion, they would frisk the person for weapons and other contraband. This practice, well within the law, is known as a Terry stop. After two decades of this proactive police program, New York City's homicides fell from over 2,200 per year to about 300. Blacks were the major beneficiaries of proactive policing. According to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald &#8212; author of "The War on Cops" &#8212; seeing as black males are the majority of New York City's homicide victims, more than 10,000 blacks are alive today who would not be had it not been for proactive policing.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 15, 2017</p> c0e575a4e0066e9afe3b03c9a6412287 Minimum Wage and Discrimination for 02/08/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/02/17/minimum-wage-and-discrimination Wed, 08 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>There is little question in most academic research that increases in the minimum wage lead to increases in unemployment. The debatable issue is the magnitude of the increase. An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases. The substitution effect might explain why Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners and executives, argues for higher minimum wages. Let's look at substitution effects in general.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">When the price of anything rises, people seek substitutes and measures to economize.</span> When gasoline prices rise, people seek to economize on the usage of gas by buying smaller cars. If the price of sugar rises, people seek cheaper sugar substitutes. If prices of goods in one store rise, people search for other stores. This last example helps explain why some businessmen support higher minimum wages. If they could impose higher labor costs on their less efficient competition, it might help drive them out of business. That would enable firms that survive to charge higher prices and earn greater profits.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 08, 2017</p> a9cd56a8970b46ee002777ed95fef557 Lower Conduct Standards for Liberals for 02/01/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/17/lower-conduct-standards-for-liberals Wed, 01 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>One can only imagine the widespread media, political and intellectual condemnation of Republicans and conservatives if, after the inauguration of Barack Obama, they had gone on a violent and vicious tear all over the nation as did Democrats and liberals after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. They committed acts such as assaulting Trump supporters, setting fires and stoning police. Suppose Republicans/conservatives had carried signs that read "F&#8212;- Obama" or talked about "blowing up the White House." The news media, instead of calling them protesters, would have labeled them evil racists, obstructionists and everything else except a child of God. The reason for the difference in treatment is simple. Republicans and conservatives are held &#8212; and hold themselves &#8212; to higher standards of behavior. By contrast, Democrats and liberals are held &#8212; and hold themselves &#8212; to less civilized standards of behavior. Let's look at some of the history of conservative and liberal behavior.</p> <p>One of the nastiest more recent liberal events was the Occupy movement around the nation. During Occupy protests, there were rapes, assaults, robberies and holdups. These people publicly defecated and urinated on police cars. The mess they left after their demonstrations can be described as no more than a pigsty. Does anybody recall any Democratic official, from the president on down, admonishing them to behave? Contrast their behavior with that of tea party protesters. Tea partyers didn't set fires, stone police or engage in the other kinds of despicable behavior the liberal Democrats did. On top of that, they left the areas where they protested clean.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 01, 2017</p> b4a81b7c9e33691a0fffa3401d4f4145 Universities Cave to Snowflakes for 01/25/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/17/universities-cave-to-snowflakes Wed, 25 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>One wonders just how far spineless college administrators will go when it comes to caving in to the demands of campus snowflakes. For those unfamiliar with the term "snowflakes," it is increasingly being used to characterize college students easily traumatized by criticism and politically incorrect phrases. <span class="column--highlighted-text">They demand safe spaces and trigger warnings so as not to be upset by views that challenge their own. Snowflakes feel as though they must be protected against words, events and deeds that do not fully conform to their extremely limited, narrow-minded beliefs built on sheer delusion.</span> This might explain their behavior in the wake of Donald Trump's trouncing of Hillary Clinton.</p> <p>Generosity demands that we forgive these precious snowflakes and hope that they grow up. The real problem is with people assumed to be grown-ups &#8212; college professors and administrators who tolerate and give aid and comfort to our aberrant youth. Let's look at tiny samples of it.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 25, 2017</p> 4d54bfd6806c68c2c03048aab79e307b International Trade Thuggery for 01/18/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/17/international-trade-thuggery Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>President-elect Donald Trump's threats against American companies looking to relocate in foreign countries have won favorable review from many quarters. Support comes from those alarmed about trade deficits, those who want a "level playing field" and those who call for "free trade but fair trade," whatever that means.</p> <p>Some American companies relocate in foreign lands because costs are lower and hence their profits are higher. Lower labor costs are not the only reason companies move to other countries.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 18, 2017</p> e97790b506518c9583abf24ab34dad14 The Black Community and Crime for 01/11/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/17/the-black-community-and-crime Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The FBI reported that the total number of homicides in 2015 was 15,696. Blacks were about 52 percent of homicide victims. That means about 8,100 black lives were ended violently, and over 90 percent of the time, the perpetrator was another black. Listening to the news media and the Black Lives Matter movement, one would think that black deaths at the hands of police are the major problem. It turns out that in 2015, police across the nation shot and killed 986 people. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), 258 were black (26 percent) and 172 Hispanic (17 percent). A study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, demonstrates that the odds of a black suspect's being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than a black suspect's getting killed by a white officer. Politicians, race hustlers and the news media keep such studies under wraps because these studies don't help their narrative about racist cops.</p> <p>The homicide victim is not the only victim, whether he is a criminal or not, for there are mourning loved ones. No one ever fully recovers from having a son, daughter, husband, mother or father murdered. Murder is not the only crime that takes a heavy toll on the black community. Blacks are disproportionately represented as victims in every category of violent crime &#8212; e.g., forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 11, 2017</p> 3d77ba4e166c324ff912fcdd7dd45b1d Liberal Struggle Against Reality for 01/04/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/17/liberal-struggle-against-reality Wed, 04 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>We will never understand liberals and progressives until we recognize that they often see reality as a social construct subject to being challenged and changed. For example, throughout the world, boys and girls have different toy preferences. Typically, boys like to play with cars and trucks, whereas girls prefer dolls. Liberals explain this with the assertion that boys and girls are socialized and encouraged to play with different types of toys by their parents, peers and "society." Growing scientific evidence suggests that toy preferences have a biological origin. Even studies of male and female primates find that they exhibit similar toy preferences. Despite the growing evidence of biological determinism, liberals have managed to intimidate toy sellers into getting rid of the labels "toys for boys" and "toys for girls."</p> <p>Another reality issue that's extremely annoying to liberals and progressives is chromosomal sex determination. The XX/XY sex determination system is found in humans. Females have two of the same kind of sex chromosome (XX), whereas males have two distinct sex chromosomes (XY). This chromosomal reality is seen as limiting, annoying and an artifact of a patriarchal, chauvinistic society. So liberals and progressives want to change it. Say you are an XY (male) individual but would like to conduct your affairs in a facility designated for XX (female) individuals, such as a ladies' room. You can satisfy your desire by claiming that you are transgender &#8212; that is, you've switched from one gender to another. Therefore, if one has XY chromosomes, he can behave as if he were an XXer. Plus, there is the expectation of being addressed according to one's chosen gender. The Minneapolis Police Department has a new rule that requires officers to address transgender people using their preferred names and pronouns. When an XYer is arrested but claims he is a woman, I wonder whether the police will place him in a cell with XXers. Just how far the Minneapolis authorities will go is in question; maybe they, too, believe that reality is optional.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 04, 2017</p> 534b00e5bcb5a9144a89eaf4dd83aab2 Wealth, Poverty and Politics for 12/28/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/16/wealth-poverty-and-politics-6facb Wed, 28 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of his classic "Wealth, Poverty and Politics." At the very beginning, he quotes Alexander Hamilton, who said, "The wealth of nations depends upon an infinite variety of causes." <span class="column--highlighted-text">The book's 16 chapters apply Hamilton's notion to domestic, as well as international, differences in wealth. In both academic and popular literature, it is implicitly assumed that economic equality is natural, automatic and common. Thus, people see wealth inequality as a mystery that must be explained. The fact of the matter is precisely the opposite.</span></p> <p>The ancient Greeks had geometry, philosophy, architecture and literature at a time when Britain was a land of illiterate tribal people living at a primitive level. Of course, by the end of the 19th century, Britain was far ahead of the Greeks and ultimately controlled one-quarter of the planet's land. Such historic reversals have occurred elsewhere. The ancient Chinese were far ahead of Europeans, but by the 19th century, the relative positions of the Chinese and Europeans were reversed. Just these two examples prove that the same people are not always on top.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 28, 2016</p> 85b83d61c4ae71fbefc800922ddf4201 Inclusiveness and Diversity for 12/21/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/16/inclusiveness-and-diversity Wed, 21 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Sometimes it seems as if every other word from the mouths of academicians is "inclusiveness" or "diversity." How sincere and truthful are these people about their "inclusiveness and diversity" religion?</p> <p>Suppose a group of engineering students do not want to include black or Mexican students in their study group. Should they be permitted to have freedom of association or restrained from freely associating? The true test of one's commitment to freedom of association does not come when he permits people to be free to associate in those voluntary ways he deems appropriate. The true test comes when he permits people to associate in ways he deems offensive. I suspect that most academics believe that people should be permitted to associate only in ways they deem appropriate. This is no less than totalitarianism.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 21, 2016</p> d8fd09a3b93dec4450ea5436f6bc46a7 Please, No More Miracles for 12/14/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/16/please-no-more-miracles Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>President-elect Donald Trump has warned companies that they are not going to leave the United States anymore "without consequences." He has lived up to his threat by pressuring Carrier to give up its planned move to Monterrey, Mexico, in exchange for a taxpayer handout. It is a safe bet that other U.S. companies will be descending on Washington looking for handouts in the name of "fair trade" and "leveling the playing field."</p> <p>Part of Carrier's problem is the congressional miracle created for the U.S. metal industry. Import restrictions placed on steel, copper tubing and aluminum extrusions benefit American producers of those products. Not having to worry about foreign steel, copper tubing and aluminum extrusions, American producers of those products can charge higher prices and maintain higher employment. The real cost of import restrictions is the harm they do to steel-, copper- and aluminum-using manufacturers. Companies can escape some of those U.S. government-imposed costs simply by moving across the border.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 14, 2016</p>