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, 22 Feb 2019 04:43:58 -0800 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 35811d558f6d6b9805cf6ea991254ade Plunder: An American Way of Life for 02/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/02/19/plunder-an-american-way-of-life Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Frederic Bastiat, a French economist and member of the French National Assembly, lived from 1801 to 1850. He had great admiration for our country, except for our two faults &#8212; slavery and tariffs. He said: "Look at the United States. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person's liberty and property." If Bastiat were alive today, he would not have that same level of admiration. The U.S. has become what he fought against for most of his short life.</p> <p>Bastiat observed that "when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." You might ask, "What did Bastiat mean by 'plunder'?" Plunder is when someone forcibly takes the property of another. That's private plunder. What he truly railed against was legalized plunder, and he told us how to identify it. He said: "See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."<p>Updated: Wed Feb 20, 2019</p> 90b6086e8ecb4e885d85779b2bf6b133 Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence for 02/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/02/19/marijuana-mental-illness-and-violence Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Twenty-two other states, along with U.S. territories Puerto Rico and Guam, allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Let's examine some hidden issues about marijuana use. Before we start, permit me to state my values about medical or recreational use of any drug. We each own ourselves. If we choose to take chances with substances that can ruin our health, lead to death and otherwise destroy our own lives, that's our right. But we do not have a right to harm others in the process of harming ourselves.</p> <p>Alex Berenson is a graduate of Yale University, with degrees in history and economics. He delivered a speech last month at Hillsdale College's Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., on the hidden dangers of marijuana use (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/yd933ocy" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/yd933ocy</a>). He told his audience, "Almost everything that you think you know about the health effects of cannabis, almost everything that advocates and the media have told you for a generation, is wrong."<p>Updated: Wed Feb 13, 2019</p> 9ecec78d979e07803c6f8040f85a1542 Is Reality Optional? for 02/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/02/19/is-reality-optional Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Suppose I declare that I am a king. Should you be required to address me as "Your Majesty"? You say, "Williams, that's lunacy! You can't prove such nonsense." You're wrong. It's proved by my declaration. It's no different from a person born with XY chromosomes declaring that he is a woman. The XY sex determination system is the sex determination system found in humans and most other mammals. Females typically have two of the same kind of sex chromosome (XX) and are called the homogametic sex. Males typically have two different kinds of sex chromosomes (XY) and are called the heterogametic sex.</p> <p>Governments are beginning to ignore biology and permit people to make their sex optional. Sex can be changed on one's birth certificate, passport, Social Security card and driver's license. In New York, intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual's preferred name, pronoun or title is a violation of the New York City Human Rights Law. If a person born with XY chromosomes asserts that he is a woman, then repeatedly addressing the person by the name on his birth certificate, referring to the person as "him" or addressing him as "Mister" violates the law and subjects the villain to heavy penalties. The law requires acknowledgment that sex is optional rather than a biological determination.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 06, 2019</p> 161bea431bffa95173d17ebea089dc99 Demonizing White Men for 01/30/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/19/demonizing-white-men Wed, 30 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p></p><p><p>Updated: Wed Feb 06, 2019</p> ed1401f0fea10e32843e77d8d2276bf4 Who Benefits From Democratic Control? for 01/23/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/19/who-benefits-from-democratic-control Wed, 23 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In 1976, Gerald Ford won 15 percent of the black vote. That's the most of any recent Republican presidential candidate. In most elections, blacks give Democrats over 90 percent of their votes. It's not unreasonable to ask what have blacks gained from such unquestioning loyalty to the Democratic Party. After all, the absolute worst public safety conditions and other urban amenities for blacks are in cities that have been controlled by Democrats for decades. Let's look at it.</p> <p>What cities are the deadliest for blacks? The Trace, an independent nonprofit news organization, answers that question. Using 2017 data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program, The Trace (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/y9bvwlh2" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/y9bvwlh2</a>) listed the 20 major U.S. cities with the highest homicide rates &#8212; factoring in both the number of people murdered in cities and their populations. Chicago, with 589 murders in 2018 &#8212; one murder every 15 hours &#8212; is often called the nation's murder capital. But that's dead wrong.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 23, 2019</p> c93e9b31774cab8b88b011a981271077 Politics of Immigration for 01/16/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/19/politics-of-immigration Wed, 16 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Here are a couple of easy immigration questions &#8212; answerable with a simple "yes" or "no" &#8212; we might ask any American of any political stripe: Does everyone in the world have a right to live in the U.S.? Do the American people have a right, through their elected representatives, to decide who has the right to immigrate to their country and under what conditions? I believe that most Americans, even today's open-borders people, would answer "no" to the first question and "yes" to the second.</p> <p>There's nothing new about this vision. Americans have held this view throughout our history, during times when immigration laws were very restrictive and when they were more relaxed. Tucker Carlson, host of Fox News Channel's "Tucker Carlson Tonight," gives us an interesting history lesson about immigration at Prager University (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/ydylykfk" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/ydylykfk</a>). It was prompted by his watching a group of protesters who were denouncing President Donald Trump's immigration policies. They were waving Mexican flags and shouting, "&#161;S&#237;, se puede!" ("Yes, we can!")<p>Updated: Wed Jan 16, 2019</p> 5c637047e46db438f3ffb9054b4fbec0 Black Education: A Glimmer of Hope for 01/09/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/01/19/black-education-a-glimmer-of-hope Wed, 09 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p></p><p>In reference to efforts to teach black children, the president of the St. Petersburg, Florida, chapter of the NAACP, Maria Scruggs, said: "The (school) district has shown they just can't do it. ... Now it's time for the community to step in." That's a recognition that politicians and the education establishment, after decades of promises, cannot do much to narrow the huge educational achievement gap between Asians and whites on the one hand and blacks on the other.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 09, 2019</p> b8fe4bebf0bedd3c23ff2b8bbda8d25c The Worst Enemy of Black People for 01/02/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/18/the-worst-enemy-of-black-people Wed, 02 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Malcolm X was a Muslim minister and human rights activist. Born in 1925, he met his death at the hands of an assassin in 1965. Malcolm X was a courageous advocate for black civil rights, but unlike Martin Luther King, he was not that forgiving of whites for their crimes against black Americans. He did not eschew violence as a tool to achieve civil and human rights. His black and white detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. Despite the controversy, he has been called one of the greatest and most influential black Americans.</p> <p>Many black Americans have great respect for Malcolm X. Many schools bear his name, and many streets have been renamed in honor of him, both at home and abroad. But while black Americans honor Malcolm X, one of his basic teachings goes largely ignored. I think it's an important lesson, so I will quote a large part of it.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 02, 2019</p> a2eaf3efb696070ac73d60f468d94d89 Disparities Galore for 12/26/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/18/disparities-galore Wed, 26 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Much is made about observed differences between sexes and among races. The nation's academic and legal elite try to sell us on the notion that men and women and people of all races should be proportionally represented in socio-economic characteristics. They make statements such as "Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32 percent of the US population, they (constituted) 56 percent of all incarcerated people in 2015" and "20 percent of Congress is women. Only 5 percent of CEOs are."</p> <p>These differences are frequently referred to as disparities. Legal professionals, judges, politicians, academics and others often operate under the assumption that we are all equal. Therefore, inequalities and disparities are seen as probative of injustice. Thus, government must intervene, find the cause and engineer a policy or law to eliminate the injustice. Such a vision borders on lunacy. There's no evidence anywhere or at any time in human history that shows that but for some kind of social injustice, people would be proportionally represented across a range of socio-economic attributes by race and sex.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 26, 2018</p> 8e17def07bcdb3c664be80194cd92367 FDA Policies Kill for 12/19/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/18/fda-policies-kill Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's responsibilities are approval and regulation of pharmaceutical drugs. In short, its responsibility is to ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs. In the performance of this task, FDA officials can make two types of errors &#8212; statistically known as the type I error and type II error. With respect to the FDA, a type I error is the rejection or delayed approval of a drug that is safe and effective &#8212; erring on the side of over-caution &#8212; and a type II error is the approval of a drug that has unanticipated dangerous side effects, or erring on the side of under-caution.</p> <p>Let's examine the incentives of FDA officials. If FDA officials err on the side of under-caution and approve a drug that has unanticipated dangerous side effects, the victims of their mistake will be highly visible. There may be congressional hearings, embarrassment to the agency and officials fired.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 19, 2018</p> 4f754eef5784e0fb9aed69f47993c675 Acceptable Racism for 12/12/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/18/acceptable-racism Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>How appropriate would it be for a major publicly held American company to hire a person with a history of having publicly made the following statements and many others like them? (In the interest of brevity, I shall list only four.) "The world could get by just fine with zero black people." "It's kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old black men." "Dumbass f&#8212;-ing black people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants." "Are black people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically only being fit to live underground like groveling bilious goblins?"</p> <p>I think most Americans would find such blatant racism despicable and would condemn any company that knowingly hired such a person. Leftists of every stripe would be in an uproar, demanding the dismissal of such an employee. College students and their professors would picket any company that hired such a person. I could be wrong about this, so I'd truly like any employer who'd hire such a person to come forward.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 12, 2018</p> 7dbcbe42d4804b5b53ccfbb446052f0e Miseducated or Stupid? for 12/05/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/12/18/miseducated-or-stupid Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>A recent Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation survey found that 51 percent of American millennials would rather live in a socialist or communist country than in a capitalist country. Only 42 percent prefer the latter (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/ybsejy3f" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/ybsejy3f</a>). Twenty-five percent of millennials who know who Vladimir Lenin was view him favorably. Lenin was the first premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Half of millennials have never heard of Communist Mao Zedong, who ruled China from 1949 to 1976 and was responsible for the deaths of 45 million Chinese people.</p> <p>The number of people who died at the hands of Josef Stalin may be as high as 62 million. However, almost one-third of millennials think former President George W. Bush is responsible for more killings than Stalin (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/yb43dlhm" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/yb43dlhm</a>). By the way, Adolf Hitler, head of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, was responsible for the deaths of about 20 million people. The Nazis come in as a poor third in terms of history's most prolific mass murderers. According to professor Rudolph Rummel's research, the 20th century, mankind's most brutal century, saw 262 million people's lives destroyed at the hands of their own governments (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/lu8z8ab" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/lu8z8ab</a>).<p>Updated: Thu Dec 06, 2018</p> c7fcca4403566a617963fec8bd60f744 Black Education: What Makes Sense? for 11/28/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/11/18/black-education-what-makes-sense Wed, 28 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>What do you think of the proposition that no black youngsters should be saved from educational rot until all can be saved? Black people cannot afford to accept such a proposition. Actions by the education establishment, black and white liberal politicians, and some civil rights organizations appear to support the proposition. Let's look at it with the help of some data developed by my friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell.</p> <p>The Nation's Report Card for 2017 showed the following reading scores for fourth-graders in New York state's public schools: Thirty-two percent scored below basic, with 32 percent scoring basic, 27 percent scoring proficient and 9 percent scoring advanced. When it came to black fourth-graders in the state, 19 percent scored proficient, and 3 percent scored advanced (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/y85a4phm" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/y85a4phm</a>).<p>Updated: Wed Nov 28, 2018</p> 0b2a6339617dd94b988cbd79a5560861 Fruits of College Indoctrination for 11/21/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/11/18/fruits-of-college-indoctrination Wed, 21 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Much of today's incivility and contempt for personal liberty has its roots on college campuses, and most of the uncivil and contemptuous are people with college backgrounds.</span> Let's look at a few highly publicized recent examples of incivility and attacks on free speech.</p> <p>Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, were accosted and harassed by a deranged left-wing mob as they were leaving a dinner at Georgetown University. Sen. McConnell was harassed by protesters at Reagan National Airport, as well as at several venues in Kentucky. Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife were harassed at a Washington, D.C., restaurant. Afterward, a group called Smash Racism DC wrote: "No &#8212; you can't eat in peace &#8212; your politics are an attack on all of us. You're (sic) votes are a death wish. Your votes are hate crimes." Other members of Congress &#8212; such as Andy Harris, Susan Collins and Rand Paul &#8212; have been physically attacked or harassed by leftists. Most recent is the case of Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson. A leftist group showed up at his house at night, damaging his front door and chanting, "Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!" "Racist scumbag, leave town!"<p>Updated: Wed Nov 21, 2018</p> a7ab5b3f1566eb4b1e7294f9c04ce395 We Have an Identity Problem for 11/14/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/11/18/we-have-an-identity-problem Wed, 14 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>According to a recent report in The New York Times, Health and Human Services Department officials have been circulating a proposal to define sex. Their memo says, "Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth." They add, "The sex listed on a person's birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person's sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence." I think the latter statement lacks complete rigor. It's chromosomes, not what's on a birth certificate, that determine one's sex. Therefore, if a fetus has XX chromosomes, a female is born, and if a fetus has XY chromosomes, a male is born.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">What's an open-and-shut case in biology can become confused in the political/social arena</span>, particularly when one's sex is referred to as one's gender. By the way, before modern times, the term gender was used solely when referring to the grammar of some languages, such as French, in which nouns and pronouns are masculine, feminine or neuter and require words syntactically associated with them. Gender has become completely disassociated with biological reasoning. For example, in the past when a person signed up for a Facebook account, "male" and "female" were the only options. In 2014, Facebook introduced 50 gender options, including intersex, gender nonconforming, non-binary and androgynous (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/y9sb3a3j" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/y9sb3a3j</a>).<p>Updated: Wed Nov 14, 2018</p> a2b267e145ec877906c19d2a79abf6a7 Skin in the Game for 11/07/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/11/18/skin-in-the-game Wed, 07 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In describing the GOP tax cuts, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that they and bonuses American workers were getting were "crumbs." They were "tax cuts for the rich." Some argued that the tax cuts would reduce revenues. Pelosi predicted, "This thing will explode the deficit." How about some tax facts?</p> <p>The argument that tax cuts reduce federal revenues can be disposed of quite easily. According to the Congressional Budget Office, revenues from federal income taxes were $76 billion higher in the first half of this year than they were in the first half of 2017. The Treasury Department says it expects that federal revenues will continue to exceed last year's for the rest of 2018. Despite record federal revenues, 2018 will see a massive deficit, perhaps topping $1 trillion. Our massive deficit is a result not of tax cuts but of profligate congressional spending that outruns rising tax revenues. Grossly false statements about tax cuts' reducing revenue should be put to rest in the wake of federal revenue increases seen with tax cuts during the Kennedy, Reagan and Trump administrations.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 07, 2018</p> 3d931bc106406b17235dd2f491ca07a6 Democratic-Controlled House for 10/31/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/10/18/democratic-controlled-house Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Democrats are hoping the coming election will give them a majority in the House of Representatives. Republicans and much of our nation dread that prospect. My question is: What would a House majority mean for the Democrats? Let's look at it.</p> <p>To control the House of Representatives, Democrats must win at least 218 seats, which many predict as being likely. To control the Senate, Democrats must win enough seats to get to 51, which many predict is unlikely. Let's say the Democrats do take the House. If they were to pass a measure that Republicans in both houses didn't like and President Donald Trump didn't like, either, he could use his veto pen. To override Trump's veto, Democrats would need to meet the U.S. Constitution's requirement that they muster a two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives (290 votes) and a two-thirds vote in the Senate (67 votes). Neither would be likely.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 31, 2018</p> d9f3bac58a942b3b57e462996a1f897f Price Gouging During a Natural Disaster for 10/24/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/10/18/price-gouging-during-a-natural-disaster Wed, 24 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Thirteen states &#8212; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia &#8212; have enacted laws to combat what is seen as price gouging in the wake of natural disasters. Price gouging is legally defined as charging 10 to 25 percent more for something than you charged for it during the month before an emergency. Sellers convicted of price gouging face prison terms and fines.</p> <p>Price gouging in the wake of natural disasters is often seen as evil exploitation by sellers to rip off desperate customers. Let's hold off on that conclusion until after you give thought to some very important questions. First let's see what we can agree upon.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 24, 2018</p> d5857f865e21e70a633ff8c03c161edc The Electoral College Debate for 10/17/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/10/18/the-electoral-college-debate Wed, 17 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, seeking to represent New York's 14th Congressional District, has called for the abolition of the Electoral College. Her argument came on the heels of the Senate's confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. She was lamenting the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, nominated by George W. Bush, and Justices Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, nominated by Donald Trump, were court appointments made by presidents who lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College vote.</p> <p>Hillary Clinton has long been a critic of the Electoral College. Just recently, she wrote in The Atlantic, "You won't be surprised to hear that I passionately believe it's time to abolish the Electoral College."<p>Updated: Wed Oct 17, 2018</p> 4b185cdccc3581472829faf16c81bb84 Real Economics for 10/10/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/10/18/real-economics Wed, 10 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A widely anticipated textbook, "Universal Economics," has just been published by Liberty Fund. Its authors are two noted UCLA economists, the late Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen. Editor Jerry L. Jordan was their student and later became a member of President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers, as well as the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Professor Alchian was probably the greatest microeconomic theorist of the 20th century, while Professor Allen's genius was in the area of international trade and the history of economic thought. Both were tenacious mentors of mine during my student days at UCLA in the mid-1960s and early '70s.</p> <p>"Universal Economics'" 680 pages, not including its glossary and index, reflect a friendly chat I had with Professor Alchian during one of the UCLA economics department's weekly faculty/graduate student coffee hour, in which he said, "Williams, the true test of whether someone understands his subject is whether he can explain it to someone who doesn't know a darn thing about it." That's precisely what "Universal Economics" does &#8212; explain economics in a way that anyone can understand. There's no economic jargon, just a tiny bit of simple mathematics and a few graphs.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 10, 2018</p>