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 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:47:27 -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 8f2c13529651db65ac9696748f5724d8 Women and Men Are Equal for 08/16/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/08/17/women-and-men-are-equal Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Google fired software engineer James Damore for writing a 10-page memo critical of the company's diversity policy. The memo violated the company's code of conduct by "advancing harmful gender stereotypes" by suggesting that biological factors were part of the cause for the male/female gap in the tech industry. </p> <p>I shall make the case that Google's actions were totally justified. Other than differences in certain physical attributes such as genitalia, capacity to give birth and the presence of functional mammary glands, males and females are identical in every other respect. Any remaining male/female differences are a direct result of oppression, discrimination and victimization by the larger society. To examine just one aspect of female victimization, let's examine the majors of female college students compared to their male counterparts. <p>Updated: Wed Aug 16, 2017</p> 618fbec2ac5dc7fed44d8a534bcc36b7 Is College Education Worth It? for 08/09/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/08/17/is-college-education-worth-it Wed, 09 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>August is the month when parents bid farewell to not only their college-bound youngsters but also a sizable chunk of cash for tuition. More than 18 million students attend our more than 4,300 degree-granting institutions. A question parents, their college-bound youngsters and taxpayers should ask: Is college worth it?</p> <p>Let's look at some of the numbers. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "when considering all first-time undergraduates, studies have found anywhere from 28 percent to 40 percent of students enroll in at least one remedial course. When looking at only community college students, several studies have found remediation rates surpassing 50 percent." Only 25 percent of students who took the ACT in 2012 met the test's readiness benchmarks in all four subjects (English, reading, math and science). Just 5 percent of black students and 13 percent of Hispanic students met the readiness benchmarks in all four subjects. The NCSL report says, "A U.S. Department of Education study found that 58 percent of students who do not require remediation earn a bachelor's degree, compared to only 17 percent of students enrolled in remedial reading and 27 percent of students enrolled in remedial math."<p>Updated: Wed Aug 09, 2017</p> 03e46a100a9828ded8450d30b8387128 Conflicting Visions for 08/02/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/17/conflicting-visions Wed, 02 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For the most part, people share common goals. Most of us want poor people to enjoy higher standards of living, greater traffic safety, more world peace, greater racial harmony, cleaner air and water, and less crime. Despite the fact that people have common goals, we often see them grouped into contentious factions, fighting tooth and nail to promote polar opposite government policies in the name of achieving a commonly held goal. The conflict is centered around the means to achieve goals rather than the goals themselves. The policies that become law often have the unintended consequence of sabotaging the achievement of the stated goal.</p> <p>Let's look at a policy pushed by advocacy groups, politicians and poorly trained, perhaps dishonest, economists &#8212; mandated increases in the minimum wage. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman claimed in a 2014 interview with Business Insider that there is actually not much risk of significantly higher wages hurting workers. He argued that low-wage workers are in non-tradable industries for which production cannot be moved overseas and are in industries in which labor cannot be easily replaced by technology. Krugman's vision is one that my George Mason University colleagues and I try to correct.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 02, 2017</p> 21fa7a8e4e1c13afc7cdc134a463eb81 Western Values Are Superior for 07/26/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/17/western-values-are-superior Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Here's part of President Donald Trump's speech in Poland: "The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?" </p> <p>After this speech, which was warmly received by Poles, the president encountered predictable criticism. Most of the criticism reflected gross ignorance and dishonesty.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 26, 2017</p> bf2c9d24d8af645358d4849e79ddd0c3 Slavery for 07/19/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/17/slavery Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Too many people believe that slavery is a "peculiar institution." That's what Kenneth Stampp called slavery in his book, "Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South." But slavery is by no means peculiar, odd or unusual. It was common among ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Armenians and many others. Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe. White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only after A.D. 1600 that Europeans joined with Arabs and Africans and started the Atlantic slave trade. As David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, "The Globalist," "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom."</p> <p>While slavery constitutes one of the grossest encroachments on human liberty, it is by no means unique or restricted to the Western world or United States, as many liberal academics would have us believe. Much of their indoctrination of our young people, at all levels of education, paints our nation's founders as racist adherents to slavery, but the story is not so simple.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 19, 2017</p> beba71620a545d34a583046e3f10d2be Minimum Wage Cruelty for 07/12/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/17/minimum-wage-cruelty Wed, 12 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There are political movements to push the federal minimum hourly wage to $15. Raising the minimum wage has popular support among Americans. Their reasons include fighting poverty, preventing worker exploitation and providing a living wage. For the most part, the intentions behind the support for raising the minimum wage are decent. But when we evaluate public policy, the effect of the policy is far more important than intentions. So let's examine the effects of increases in minimum wages.</p> <p>The average wage for a cashier is around $10 an hour, about $21,000 a year. That's no great shakes, but it's an honest job for full- or part-time workers and retirees wanting to earn some extra cash. In anticipation of a $15-an-hour wage becoming federal law, many firms are beginning the automation process to economize on their labor usage.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 12, 2017</p> 3fdf6d6ae07331b0c0206c362c961e2c Colleges: Islands of Intolerance for 07/05/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/17/colleges-islands-of-intolerance Wed, 05 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Is there no limit to the level of disgusting behavior on college campuses that parents, taxpayers, donors and legislators will accept? <span class="column--highlighted-text">Colleges have become islands of intolerance, and as with fish, the rot begins at the head.</span> Let's examine some recent episodes representative of a general trend and ask ourselves why we should tolerate it plus pay for it.</p> <p>Students at Evergreen State College harassed biology professor Bret Weinstein because he refused to leave campus, challenging the school's decision to ask white people to leave campus for a day of diversity programming. The profanity-laced threats against the faculty and president can be seen on a YouTube video titled "Student takeover of Evergreen State College" (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/yah2eo3p" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/yah2eo3p</a>).<p>Updated: Wed Jul 05, 2017</p> 46bda3d913ff591c11e1f9562decc6ab Were Confederate Generals Traitors? for 06/28/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/17/were-confederate-generals-traitors Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>My "Rewriting American History" column of a fortnight ago, about the dismantling of Confederate monuments, generated considerable mail. Some argued there should not be statues honoring traitors such as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis, who fought against the Union. Victors of wars get to write the history, and the history they write often does not reflect the facts. Let's look at some of the facts and ask: Did the South have a right to secede from the Union? If it did, we can't label Confederate generals as traitors.</p> <p>Article 1 of the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the war between the Colonies and Great Britain, held "New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States." Representatives of these states came together in Philadelphia in 1787 to write a constitution and form a union.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 28, 2017</p> 95838e5519d8741578ed4cd99f1fb0f9 A New Twist on Teaching Economics for 06/21/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/17/a-new-twist-on-teaching-economics Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>Greg Caskey is a 27-year-old Abington, Pennsylvania, native who is a social sciences teacher at Delaware Military Academy. The academy is a thriving charter high school in Wilmington, Delaware, that was founded in 2003 by two retired military officers, Charles Baldwin and Jack Wintermantel. Students from all socio-economic backgrounds attend the school, which is doing a stellar job of teaching reading, writing and arithmetic and, just as importantly, moral character and self-discipline.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 21, 2017</p> f28db61beb959a4c3a64f3d1a3379ced Rewriting American History for 06/14/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/17/rewriting-american-history Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>George Orwell said, "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history." In the former USSR, censorship, rewriting of history and eliminating undesirable people became part of Soviets' effort to ensure that the correct ideological and political spin was put on their history. Deviation from official propaganda was punished by confinement in labor camps and execution.</p> <p>Today there are efforts to rewrite history in the U.S., albeit the punishment is not so draconian as that in the Soviet Union. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee monument removed last month. Former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton wanted the statue of Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, as well as the graves of Forrest and his wife, removed from the city park. In Richmond, Virginia, there have been calls for the removal of the Monument Avenue statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gens. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. It's not only Confederate statues that have come under attack. Just by having the name of a Confederate, such as J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, Virginia, brings up calls for a name change. These history rewriters have enjoyed nearly total success in getting the Confederate flag removed from state capitol grounds and other public places.</p> <p>Slavery is an undeniable fact of our history. The costly war fought to end it is also a part of the nation's history. Neither will go away through cultural cleansing. Removing statues of Confederates and renaming buildings are just a small part of the true agenda of America's leftists. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and there's a monument that bears his name &#8212; the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. George Washington also owned slaves, and there's a monument to him, as well &#8212; the Washington Monument in Washington. Will the people who call for removal of statues in New Orleans and Richmond also call for the removal of the Washington, D.C., monuments honoring slaveholders Jefferson and Washington? Will the people demanding a change in the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School also demand that the name of the nation's capital be changed?<p>Updated: Wed Jun 14, 2017</p> 5e14af1f36251431c903357a408de974 Democrats' Hoodwinking of Blacks for 06/07/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/17/democrats-hoodwinking-of-blacks Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Ask any black person which political party has been black people's political ally. With near unanimity, blacks would answer the Democratic Party. Asked which political party has been hostile to blacks, they'd say the Republican Party with similar unanimity. For better answers, check out Prager University's five-minute clip "The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party," by Carol Swain, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/kq3gxuw" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/kq3gxuw</a>).</p> <p>Since its founding in the late 1820s, the Democratic Party has defended slavery, started the Civil War and opposed Reconstruction. The Democratic Party imposed segregation. Its members engaged in the lynchings of blacks and opposed the civil rights acts of the 1950s and '60s. During Reconstruction, hundreds of black men were elected to Southern state legislatures as Republicans, and 22 black Republicans served in the U.S. Congress by 1900. The Democratic Party did not elect a black man to Congress until 1935.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 07, 2017</p> 086ebd3260f11d4b99d70cbe367ca85a Overpopulation Hoax for 05/31/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/17/overpopulation-hoax Wed, 31 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 1798, Thomas Malthus wrote "An Essay on the Principle of Population." He predicted that mankind's birthrate would outstrip our ability to grow food and would lead to mass starvation. Malthus' wrong predictions did not deter Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich from making a similar prediction. In his 1968 best-seller, "The Population Bomb," which has sold more than 2 million copies, Ehrlich warned: "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." This hoax resulted in billions of dollars being spent to fight overpopulation.</p> <p>According to the standard understanding of the term, human overpopulation occurs when the ecological footprint of a human population in a specific geographical location exceeds the carrying capacity of the place occupied by that group. Let's look at one aspect of that description &#8212; namely, population density. Let's put you, the reader, to a test. See whether you can tell which country is richer and which is poorer just by knowing two countries' population density.<p>Updated: Wed May 31, 2017</p> ea29c64313a2a483510ff0fad75051d2 How to Live in Peace for 05/24/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/17/how-to-live-in-peace Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Millions of people love Apple computers and wouldn't be caught using a PC. By contrast, there are many millions of PC users who feel the same way about Apple computers. Many men like double-breasted suits, but I wouldn't be caught dead in one. Some people swear by Cadillac cars, but my favorite is Mercedes-Benz.</p> <p>Despite these strongly held preferences, there's no conflict. We never see Apple computer lovers picketing firms that serve PC lovers. Mercedes-Benz lovers don't battle Cadillac lovers. In free markets, people with strong differences in preferences get along and often are good friends. The reason is simple. If you like double-breasted suits and I like single-breasted suits, we get what we want.<p>Updated: Wed May 24, 2017</p> fed222a3019bf62e88d0794d2c5d5be7 Sheer Lunacy on Campus for 05/17/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/17/sheer-lunacy-on-campus Wed, 17 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Parents, taxpayers and donors have little idea of the levels of lunacy, evil and lawlessness that have become features of many of today's institutions of higher learning. Parents, taxpayers and donors who ignore or are too lazy to find out what goes on in the name of higher education are nearly as complicit as the professors and administrators who promote or sanction the lunacy, evil and lawlessness. As for the term "institutions of higher learning," we might start asking: Higher than what? Let's look at a tiny sample of academic lunacy.</p> <p>During a campus debate, Purdue University professor David Sanders argued that a logical extension of pro-lifers' belief that fetuses are human beings is that pictures of "a butt-naked body of a child" are child pornography. Clemson University's chief diversity officer, Lee Gill, who's paid $185,000 a year to promote inclusion, provided a lesson claiming that to expect certain people to be on time is racist.<p>Updated: Wed May 17, 2017</p> a5e91f1f1883cd2d6e23f3d51d5c3ef8 What Do Leftists Celebrate? for 05/10/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/17/what-do-leftists-celebrate Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>May Day celebrations were held all across the fruited plain, with leftist radicals and unionists worshipping the ideals of communism. Communism is an ideology calling for government control over our lives. It was created by Karl Marx, who &#8212; along with his collaborator, Friedrich Engels &#8212; wrote a pamphlet called "Manifesto of the Communist Party." In 1867, Marx wrote the first volume of "Das Kapital." The second and third volumes were published posthumously, edited by Engels. Few people who call themselves Marxists have ever even bothered to read "Das Kapital." If one did read it, he would see that people who call themselves Marxists have little in common with Marx.</p> <p>For those who see Marx as their hero, there are a few historical tidbits they might find interesting. Nathaniel Weyl, himself a former communist, dug them up for his 1979 book, "Karl Marx: Racist." For example, Marx didn't think much of Mexicans. When the United States annexed California after the Mexican War, Marx sarcastically asked, "Is it a misfortune that magnificent California was seized from the lazy Mexicans who did not know what to do with it?" Engels shared Marx's contempt for Mexicans, explaining: "In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will be placed under the tutelage of the United States."<p>Updated: Wed May 10, 2017</p> 3c34ab26778af0076c98045cac506b20 Trade Ignorance and Demagoguery for 05/03/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/05/17/trade-ignorance-and-demagoguery Wed, 03 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When we discuss international trade and balance of payments, there are two types of accounts. There is the current account, which includes goods and services imported and exported and receives the most political attention. In 2016, the American people imported $479 billion worth of goods and services from Chinese producers, and we sold $170 billion worth of goods and services to Chinese customers. That made for a $309 billion current account deficit. In other words, we purchase more goods and services from Chinese producers than Chinese consumers purchase from American producers.</p> <p>How much of a problem is it when there is a deficit, or a negative imbalance, on current accounts? Let's look at it.<p>Updated: Wed May 03, 2017</p> 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>