Walter E. Williams bio photo

Walter E. Williams

Bradley Prize Winner 2017

Professor of Economics.
wwilliam@gmu.edu
(703) 993-1148
D158 Mason Hall
Department of Economics
George Mason University

Related Sites:
The homepage of George Mason University.
Homepage of the Department of Economics at GMU.

Archived Columns From 2002

by Walter Williams

2002 January

Who may harm whom?January 02, 2002

Webster’s Dictionary defines harm as: to hurt, damage, injure. People who don’t or can’t think believe that government should step in to prevent one person f...

South Africa after apartheidJanuary 09, 2002

Moral crusaders have the habit of heading off to their next crusade without bothering to see whether anything went wrong on their last one. During the ’80s, ...

DiversityJanuary 16, 2002

Diversity is simultaneously an important and contemptible term in today’s climate of political correctness. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, divers...

Diversity IIJanuary 24, 2002

Last week’s column focused upon diversity-multiculturalism madness on college campuses. Now there’s the diversity flap in New York City.

Dependent on D.C.January 30, 2002

“The shift from personal autonomy to dependence on government is perhaps the defining characteristic of modern American politics. In the span of barely one l...

2002 February

How much for the war on terrorism?February 06, 2002

President George Bush’s State of the Union address told us that legislation passed, expenditures made and troops deployed are just the beginning of our war o...

Stifling black studentFebruary 13, 2002

Racial preferences, quotas and affirmative action in university admission practices have lost political and, increasingly, legal support.

The cost of academic integrityFebruary 19, 2002

Since the 1960s, academic achievement scores have plummeted, but student grade point averages (GPAs) have skyrocketed. The Academy of Arts and Sciences repor...

A new racist strategyFebruary 27, 2002

In 1996, California’s voters passed Proposition 209, which outlawed racial quotas for college admission. That didn’t mean the end of the quest for racial quo...

2002 March

They're coming after youMarch 06, 2002

Most Americans were pleased with the legislative attack on cigarette smokers, not to mention confiscatory tobacco taxes. We reveled in the EPA’s dishonest st...

Giving backMarch 13, 2002

How many times have we heard people being applauded for “giving back”?

Campaign finance reformMarch 20, 2002

There’s a story about Catholic priests who contracted to have a new church built for their congregation. When the church was completed, and just before the p...

The Real LincolnMarch 27, 2002

Do states have a right of secession? That question was settled through the costly War of 1861. In his recently published book, “The Real Lincoln,” Thomas DiL...

2002 April

Secession or nullificationApril 10, 2002

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed Loyola University (Maryland) professor of economics Thomas DiLorenzo’s “The Real Lincoln,” a book that presented abundant e...

America's biggest crookApril 17, 2002

The Enron case made headlines because fraud and deception of such magnitude is fairly unusual in the corporate world. Washington fraud and deception of a muc...

Do peace treaties produce peace?April 24, 2002

Europe has been at peace for an unprecedented nearly six decades. Why? It surely is not because of peace treaties between enemy states, and it’s surely not b...

2002 May

Who should decide?May 01, 2002

There are six-person and there are three-person families. So is it fair that a six-person family live crowded in a 1,500 square foot house, while that three-...

Celebration of libertyMay 08, 2002

May 9 marks the 25th anniversary of the Washington, D.C., based Cato Institute.

Caring about the futureMay 15, 2002

How often do we hear politicians, labor bosses, business leaders and other Americans expressing concern about the nation’s children and their children? I gen...

Do we want democracy?May 22, 2002

What’s so good about democracy – generally understood as having trust in the general will of a democratic people, as expressed by a vote of the majority, to ...

Creating povertyMay 29, 2002

Several years ago, I was invited to deliver a lecture in Porto Alegre, a beautiful city in southern Brazil. Before my lecture, I did a bit of window-shopping...

2002 June

Threats to rule of law in AmericaJune 05, 2002

Institutions – established law, custom and practices – matter and should not be ignored. How is it that Western Europe and the United States managed to amass...

We need to profileJune 12, 2002

Imagine you’re a munitions manufacturer, and you manufacture hand grenades for the military. Your contract requires a guarantee that 99 percent of the hand g...

Does it count?June 19, 2002

If someone does something wonderful, but didn’t intend to, does it count? Should we see ourselves as blessed?

The role of profitsJune 26, 2002

Profits are misunderstood, seen as unearned and sometimes condemned as evil. Maybe that’s why people often reverently pronounce, with an air of moral superio...

2002 July

Which is worse: WorldCom or Congress?July 03, 2002

President Bush said he was “deeply concerned” about some of the accounting practices in corporate America and called “outrageous” the disclosure that WorldCo...

The idiots ruleJuly 10, 2002

We have no less than unadulterated idiots in charge of airport security.

Death by governmentJuly 17, 2002

Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories has developed an injectable antibiotic called Tigecycline. It can be used to treat resistant pathogens – bacteria that are immune t...

Educational vouchersJuly 24, 2002

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Cleveland school voucher case, Zelman vs. Simmons-Harris, that taxpayer funds that go to parents who might use the money ...

What or who is the market?July 31, 2002

Every day, we hear something about markets. Your 6 o’clock news anchor might say, “The market had a bad day.” Last year, Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan G...

2002 August

Parting companyAugust 07, 2002

Each July 4, we celebrate the founding of our nation, but how many Americans understand, much less respect, the founding principles? I fear that, for most Am...

America: a sissified nationAugust 14, 2002

Benjamin Franklin warned, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” But that’s what t...

Whose business is it?August 21, 2002

My health and other aspects of my well-being are the business of whom?

Phony diversityAugust 27, 2002

You’ve written a tuition check, carted your son or daughter off to college, given those last minute admonitions and made those tearful good byes. For those t...

2002 September

Freedom of associationSeptember 04, 2002

Do Americans really cherish freedom of association? Are there any justifiable restrictions on freedom of association? In my book, any restriction on one’s ri...

Poor language, poor thinkingSeptember 11, 2002

Here’s what the Harvard University Civil Rights Project’s “scholars” said in a July 2001 press release: “Almost half a century after the U.S. Supreme Court c...

Why America's become sissifiedSeptember 18, 2002

“America: A Sissified Nation” was the title of an August 2002 column that brought in hundreds of favorable responses, mostly from American men and women who ...

Right versus wishesSeptember 25, 2002

We hear so much about “rights” – a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food a...

2002 October

Zimbabwe reparationsOctober 02, 2002

Shakespeare Maya, Zimbabwe’s leader of the opposition National Alliance for Good Governance, opined, “This land was stolen from our ancestors, and it follows...

Killing peopleOctober 09, 2002

Activists in the environmentalist movement have a callous disregard for people. You say: “What do you mean, Williams? We can’t think of a more caring people....

Another Nobel laureateOctober 16, 2002

Here’s what I said in last year’s November column: “George Mason University economists are leaders in economic thinking. They include scholars such as Nobel ...

Wanting blacks to think alikeOctober 23, 2002

When asked to comment about Secretary of State Colin Powell’s position on the possible use of military force against Iraq, singer/activist Harry Belafonte sa...

Economic asininitiesOctober 30, 2002

Whenever there’s a World Trade Organization, Monetary Fund or World Bank meeting, crowds of idealistic, useful idiots show up to riot and protest against wha...

2002 November

The politics of envyNovember 06, 2002

In his Oct. 20, 2002, New York Times Magazine article titled “For Richer: The Disappearing Middle Class,” Princeton University economist Professor Paul Krugm...

The great generation?November 13, 2002

The American generation who suffered through the Great Depression and defeated the tyrannical designs that Adolf Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo Hideki had for t...

Family SecretsNovember 20, 2002

Airing the “family’s” dirty laundry in public can qualify one for less-than-flattering descriptions. That’s particularly applicable to a black person, and ev...

Non-politically correct thinkingNovember 27, 2002

There’re lots of terms used in ways that have great emotional worth but little analytical value. Take the term discrimination. When selecting a wife, some 43...

2002 December

Taxation 101December 04, 2002

We need government, and that means taxes. But when we think about government spending, and the taxes needed to finance its spending, we should also think of ...

Middle East peace recipeDecember 11, 2002

Frederic Bastiat, 19th century French economist, predicted, “If goods don’t cross borders, troops will.” That’s precisely the theme of a July 1 Weekly Standa...

Double standardsDecember 19, 2002

During World War II, ex-Ku Klux Klansman, now U.S. senator, Robert Byrd vowed never to fight “with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, ...

Fiddling whilst Rome burnsDecember 26, 2002

Casey Lartigue, policy analyst for the Washington, D.C., based Cato Institute, has written a report in the Dec. 10 issue of Policy Analysis that constitutes ...