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 Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:04:01 -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 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> 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>