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 2004

by Walter Williams

2004 January

An urban legendJanuary 07, 2004

Literally hundreds of readers informed me that in last week’s column, “Some Things I Wonder About,” my reference to a Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City – who s...

How can it be?January 14, 2004

It might have been Ross Perot who first used the expression that America is turning into a nation of “hamburger flippers,” in reference to the decline in goo...

Black educationJanuary 21, 2004

What needs to be done to improve black education? Whether it’s civil rights organizations, politicians or the education establishment, you’ll get answers tha...

Sweatshop exploitationJanuary 28, 2004

Here’s a question. Suppose you see people lining up for hours, and people willing to pay a month’s salary in bribes, in order to get a $2 a day factory job. ...

2004 February

The anti-free trader's true enemyFebruary 04, 2004

There’s the “Free Trade but Fair Trade” crowd, and the “Level Playing Field” crowd, and the “America First” crowd, all calling for tariffs and other internat...

Governed by rules, not menFebruary 11, 2004

Having been deserted by her husband, my mother worked. That meant that my one-year-younger sister and I often lunched by ourselves during our pre-teen years....

Goodies costFebruary 18, 2004

The first concept an economics student learns is that for every benefit there’s also a cost – or, as my longtime colleague and friend Nobel Laureate Milton F...

Congressional miraclesFebruary 25, 2004

In Marcus Cook Connelly’s spiritual play, “Green Pastures,” God lamented to the Angel Gabriel, “Every time Ah passes a miracle, Ah has to pass fo’ or five mo...

2004 March

Let's get marriedMarch 03, 2004

The Massachusetts high court ruled that people of the same sex have a right to be married. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and County Clerk Nancy Alfaro, in...

Educational ineptitudeMarch 10, 2004

What passes for educational enlightenment these days boggles the mind. Matt Gouras, of The Associated Press, writing in the Jan. 5 Seattle Times tells a stor...

Saddam Hussein's weaponsMarch 17, 2004

Listening to the political and media rhetoric about the war in Iraq, you?d think that only President Bush thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruct...

Price gougingMarch 24, 2004

The Virginia Senate just passed the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act of 2004, which now awaits Gov. Mark Warner’s signature. In part, the act sa...

Minimum gasoline pricesMarch 31, 2004

A couple of weeks ago, heading down to George Mason University, I pulled into my favorite Wawa gasoline station just off the Bel Air, Md., exit on I-95 South...

2004 April

Democrat magiciansApril 07, 2004

 Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines magician as “one who performs tricks of illusion and sleight of hand” and “one skilled in magic,” a “sorcerer.” That’s ...

College updateApril 14, 2004

In far too many instances, what passes as college life and education today is no less than shameful. Under the name of diversity and political correctness, b...

Racial profilingApril 21, 2004

 What is racial profiling, and is it racist? We can think of profiling as using cheap-to-observe characteristics as indicators or proxies for more-costly-to-...

Poor education prognosisApril 28, 2004

 Drs. Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom’s new book “No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning” shows that the government education whites receive is nothin...

2004 May

Reinstating the military draftMay 05, 2004

 Last year, Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) introduced bills calling for reinstatement of the military draft. A far more descri...

U.S. atrocities in IraqMay 12, 2004

 It?s the end of the semester at George Mason University, and for the past couple of weeks, I?ve been too busy preparing final exam harassment for my student...

Educational ineptitude IIMay 19, 2004

Several weeks ago, my column “Teacher Ineptitude” was about the sorry state of teacher quality and concluded that while teacher ineptitude is neither flatter...

Managing a disasterMay 26, 2004

Imagine you’re a head physician faced with a large-scale disaster such as the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, the Oklahoma City bombing or battlef...

2004 June

Three cheers for the CosJune 02, 2004

 May 17 saw several gatherings commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court school desegregation decision in Brown vs. Board of Educatio...

Three cheers for the Cos, Part IIJune 09, 2004

Bill Cosby's May 17 remarks at a Washington, D.C., gathering commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court dec...

Price discriminationJune 16, 2004

 Suppose you saw a fat, old, ugly, cigar-smoking man married to a beautiful young lady, what prediction would you make about the man’s income? If you’re like...

Will the West survive?June 23, 2004

The Muslim world is at war with Western civilization. We have the military might to thwart them. The question is: Do we have the intelligence to recognize th...

Self-inflicted povertyJune 30, 2004

Did you learn that the United States is rich because we have bountiful natural resources? That has to be nonsense. Africa and South America are probably the ...

2004 July

The Cos againJuly 14, 2004

Note: Some readers may object to language in the fourth paragraph 

Free health careJuly 21, 2004

 Let’s start out by not quibbling with America’s socialists’ false claim that health-care service is a human right that people should have regardless of whet...

Socialism is evilJuly 28, 2004

 What is socialism? We miss the boat if we say it’s the agenda of left-wingers and Democrats. According to Marxist doctrine, socialism is a stage of society ...

2004 August

Conservatives, liberals and blacksAugust 04, 2004

 During the first Reagan administration, I participated in a number of press conferences on either a book or article I’d written or as a panelist in a discus...

Economics 101August 11, 2004

 Economic ignorance allows us to fall easy prey to political charlatans and demagogues, so how about a little Economics 101? How many times have we heard “fr...

Socialism is evil: Part IIAugust 17, 2004

Positive reader response to “Socialism Is Evil” was quite surprising.  That column argued that it was an immoral, not to mention unconstitutional, act for Co...

The appeasement diseaseAugust 25, 2004

President Bush’s foreign-policy critics at home and abroad share characteristics and visions that have previously led to worldwide chaos and untold loss of l...

2004 September

The power of the richSeptember 01, 2004

 The truly rich don’t deserve all the political hype we hear; they’re only a tiny percentage of our population and not that important. According to recent U....

Income inequalitySeptember 08, 2004

 Last month, the U.S. Bureau of the Census reported its findings on income and poverty. Median real income remained constant between 2002 and 2003 at $43,000...

Danger of no tax liabilitySeptember 15, 2004

 In last week’s column, I reported on the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation’s study that estimated that 44 percent of income earners will legally have no...

Productive inequalitySeptember 22, 2004

Shaquille O’Neal ($32 million), Tiger Woods ($80 million), Oprah Winfrey ($210 million), Barry Bonds ($23 million), Mel Gibson ($210 million) and Lance Armst...

American despotismSeptember 29, 2004

 Last week, Washington Post columnist George Will penned a column “Despotism in New London” (Sept. 19, 2004). In it, he described how Connecticut’s Supreme C...

2004 October

Believe it or notOctober 06, 2004

 Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., enforces an academic policy that defies belief. Say I’m a freshman taking your class in biology. I learn little from you...

School violence tolerationOctober 13, 2004

I’m wondering just when parents, especially poor minorities, will refuse to tolerate day-to-day school conditions that most parents wouldn’t dream of tolerat...

Political demagogueryOctober 20, 2004

 Politicians have a field day misleading Americans who, as a result of having been dumbed down by our education system, can’t think, reason or analyze. How m...

How should you vote?October 27, 2004

 When you vote for a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate, what should be your selection criteria? I’m all too afraid that most Americans, we...

2004 November

Is politics the way?November 03, 2004

Black politicians and the civil rights establishment take it as an act of faith that progress for black people requires racial politics and government progra...

Why we're a divided nationNovember 10, 2004

Recent elections pointed to deepening divisions among American people, but has anyone given serious thought to just why? I have part of the answer, which sta...

Economic lunacyNovember 17, 2004

 Here are a couple of newspaper headlines following Florida’s bout with hurricane disasters: “Storms create lucrative times,” St. Petersburg Times (Sept. 30,...

Attacking CondiNovember 24, 2004

Dr. Condoleezza Rice, President Bush’s national security adviser and now his secretary of state nominee, has been the subject of nasty, demeaning and disresp...

2004 December

Attack on decencyDecember 01, 2004

Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” Nicollette Sheridan’s towel malfunction and naked leap into the arms of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owe...

Higher education in declineDecember 08, 2004

College costs have risen dramatically over the last several decades. In many cases, it’s difficult to find a college where per-student costs are under $20,00...

Higher education in decline IIDecember 15, 2004

Last week’s column discussed the sad and tragic state of affairs in higher education. According to loads of letters received in response to that column, it’s...

National sales taxDecember 22, 2004

 Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.) has authored H.R. 25 “To promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishin...

Attacking Western valuesDecember 29, 2004

School boards have recently banned songs and music containing references to Santa Claus, Jesus and other religious Christmas symbols. The New York City schoo...