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 2003

by Walter Williams

2003 January

Celebrating multiculturalism and diversityJanuary 01, 2003

What I celebrate as a source of pride and self-esteem is the fact that I have brown eyes. You say, “Williams, that goes to prove what we’ve been saying all a...

Washington's education establishmentJanuary 08, 2003

“Fiddling Whilst Rome Burns” was my column several weeks ago. It looked at the disastrous state of education in the nation’s capitol, where at only one of th...

Government against its citizensJanuary 15, 2003

Democrat Mary Landrieu’s successful Louisiana senatorial race against Republican challenger Suzanne Haik Terrell highlights some of the less appreciated and ...

Poverty mythsJanuary 22, 2003

A typical belief among the world’s foreign aid agencies is there’s a “vicious cycle of poverty” that makes economic development virtually impossible for the ...

Affirmative action or racismJanuary 29, 2003

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear Grutter and Gratz vs. Bollinger, a case challenging the University of Michigan’s racial preferences, and President ...

2003 February

Affirmative action or racism IIFebruary 05, 2003

Last week’s column discussed some of the controversy surrounding the University of Michigan’s admissions practices, where blacks and Hispanics are given poin...

FAA aviation aversion therapyFebruary 12, 2003

Aversion therapy is sometimes used when there are associated behavior patterns that are pleasant but might be regarded by a third party as undesirable.

Poverty in AmericaFebruary 19, 2003

If you’re a poor adult in America, for the most part, it’s all your fault. That’s true, at least today, whether you’re black, white, brown or polka dot.

Affirmative action bake saleFebruary 26, 2003

Not all college students support racial preferences, and some UCLA students made their feelings known in a highly innovative way.

2003 March

Different visions, different policyMarch 05, 2003

We’re often confronted by the enigma of decent people professing identical goals but advocating polar opposite policies. Sometimes the political alignment is...

Congress' insidious discriminationMarch 12, 2003

There’s a little known law called the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. It remains on the books today. Before saying what the law is and its effects, let me run by yo...

Market wondersMarch 19, 2003

We’ve all seen gasoline prices rising; is that good news or bad news? Congress could enact price controls and “odd and even” days for gasoline purchases like...

High-powered war technologyMarch 26, 2003

Early March, Mrs. Williams and I abandoned the snow and the cold to vacation in Panama City, Fla. We savored the hospitality of our many friends, not to ment...

2003 April

Ruled by scoundrelsApril 02, 2003

The March 10 issue of Human Events carried a special report on the 10 most outrageous government programs. Their 18 judges included conservative/libertarians...

Does political power mean economic power?April 09, 2003

Much of the ’60s and ’70s civil rights rhetoric was that black political power was necessary for economic power. In 1967, Clevelanders heeded Malcolm X’s inf...

Call it as it isApril 16, 2003

There’s considerable unnecessary confusion and debate on public policy issues that would be more intelligently discussed and resolved if we’d say what is act...

From whence comes income?April 23, 2003

Here’s part of a letter from a reader: “A hard-working, conscientious person can earn $10,000 a year in a fast-food restaurant. At the same time, movie stars...

2003 May

Economic stupidityMay 01, 2003

Imagine that you and I are in a rowboat. I commit the stupid act of shooting a hole in my end of the boat. Would it be intelligent for you to respond by shoo...

The morality of marketsMay 07, 2003

My recent column “From Whence Comes Income” sparked considerable favorable reader response, not to mention thoughtful reader correction of my grammar error i...

Prescription for less wealthMay 14, 2003

Maytag recently announced that it’s moving its Galesburg, Ill., production facility to Mexico. A group called Americans Against NAFTA has protested Maytag’s ...

Dopey ideas and expressionsMay 21, 2003

How many times have we applauded those who “made a difference in the lives of others” and been admonished to do the same? On the face of it, that has to be o...

Affirmative action gradingMay 28, 2003

Dr. Mike S. Adams, an associate professor of criminal justice at University of North Carolina’s Wilmington campus, has given me an excellent idea for grading...

2003 June

White guilt, black exploitationJune 04, 2003

Few Americans have heard of the National Slave Memorial Act (HR 196) that proposes to erect a National Slave Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C...

Is this the America we want?June 11, 2003

Oreo cookies should be banned from sale to children in California. That’s according to Stephen Joseph, who filed a lawsuit against Nabisco last month in Cali...

Protecting the environmentJune 18, 2003

Disagreement with the world’s environmentalist wackos doesn’t mean that one is for dirty air and water, against conservation and for species extinction. Dr. ...

How much we tolerateJune 25, 2003

Marc Epstein teaches history at Jamaica High School in Queens, N.Y. He wrote the summer 2003 issue of Education Next’s feature story, titled “Security Detail...

2003 July

Destroying black youthJuly 02, 2003

In last week’s U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision, Justice Clarence Thomas’ dissent included a quotation from an 1865 speech by abolitionist Fr...

Media ignoranceJuly 09, 2003

People in the major news media have come in for considerable and sometimes bitter criticism. They’ve been charged with anti-Americanism, leftism, bias and ju...

Insider tradingJuly 16, 2003

Some of us know more about some things than others, and we often exploit that advantage. I know more about my driving habits than my auto insurance company. ...

We made itJuly 23, 2003

Whenever someone says that this or that government program is absolutely necessary, I always wonder, “What did people do and how did they survive before the ...

Drug industry destructionJuly 30, 2003

Last week, the House voted 324 to 101 to make it easier for Americans to import lower-priced prescription drugs sold in Canada and Europe for their own use. ...

2003 August

Race board neededAugust 06, 2003

The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Grutter vs. Bollinger permits colleges to award a “plus” to black, Hispanic and American Indian student applications ...

Africa: A tragic continentAugust 13, 2003

Anyone who believes President Bush’s Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie...

Exporting jobsAugust 20, 2003

Among George Orwell’s insightful observations, there’s one very worthy of attention: “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” L...

Foreign trade angstAugust 27, 2003

I’ve written a nationally syndicated column for nearly 25 years. Columns critical of Social Security and handouts to farmers used to bring the angry self-ser...

2003 September

America's academic tyrantsSeptember 03, 2003

Many of America’s colleges and universities have become the modern leaders of racism and intolerance. Recently, we were treated to information about racism a...

Click it or ticketSeptember 10, 2003

Imagine you’re having a backyard barbeque. A cop walks in and announces, “This is a random health and safety check to see whether you’ve removed the skin fro...

We need a job-saving lawSeptember 17, 2003

Recent advocacy of free trade in this column has caused considerable reader apoplexy and anxiety, not to mention accusations of unconcern with worker plight....

The right to dealSeptember 24, 2003

Suppose you want to deal with me but I don’t want to deal with you. Should I be forced to?

2003 October

Is it permissible?October 01, 2003

We all can agree that having money to pay our mortgage or rent on time is very important. Since some people are spendthrifts and don’t manage their money wel...

Trashing rule of lawOctober 08, 2003

For most of our history, we followed the British system of common law, including laws dealing with tort liability. This heritage has been attacked by courts ...

Racial censorshipOctober 15, 2003

Rush Limbaugh’s comment on ESPN regarding Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb was: “I don’t think he’s been that good from the get go. I think wh...

No excusesOctober 22, 2003

 ”Excellent schools deliver a clear message to their students: No Excuses. No excuses for failing to do your homework, failing to work hard in general; no ex...

No excuses part IIOctober 29, 2003

Last week’s column discussed parts of Abigail and Stephen Thernstrom’s new book, “No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning.” It’s a gap that finds the ...

2003 November

Commerce clause abuseNovember 05, 2003

Several weeks ago, under the title “Is It Permissible?” I discussed how Congress systematically abuses the Constitution’s “welfare clause” to control our liv...

A politician's public serviceNovember 12, 2003

Presidential aspirant Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., unwittingly performed a public service in his address to the Teamsters Local 238 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last...

Harm's a two way streetNovember 19, 2003

The largest losers of America’s anti-tobacco crusade aren’t tobacco companies and smokers, it’s the American people who are incrementally giving up private p...

Jobs come and goNovember 26, 2003

In 1970, the telecommunications industry employed 421,000 switchboard operators. In the same year, Americans made 9.8 billion long distance calls. Today, the...

2003 December

Economic straight thinkingDecember 03, 2003

A fortnight ago, I wrote “Harm’s a Two-Way Street,” a column that generated considerable reader response, some of it angry and nasty. The gist of the column ...

Let's do some detective workDecember 10, 2003

I’d like to enlist the services of my fellow Americans with a bit of detective work. Let’s start off with hard evidence. The Federalist Papers were a set of...

Getting back our libertiesDecember 17, 2003

Last week’s column, “Let’s Do Some Detective Work,” provided unassailable evidence that the protections of liberty envisioned by the Constitution’s Framers m...

Parting company is an optionDecember 24, 2003

A fortnight ago, in “Let’s Do Some Detective Work,” I provided unassailable evidence that Congress had vastly exceeded powers delegated to it by our Constitu...

Some things I wonder aboutDecember 31, 2003

Early in our marriage, 40-some years ago, Mrs. Williams would return from shopping complaining about the unreasonable prices. Having aired her complaints, sh...