Walter E. Williams bio photo

Walter E. Williams

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 2005

by Walter Williams

2005 January

Are we a republic or a democracy?January 05, 2005

We often hear the claim that our nation is a democracy. That wasn’t the vision of the founders. They saw democracy as another form of tyranny. If we’ve becom...

Greedy or ignorantJanuary 12, 2005

“The Dog and His Bone” is one of Aesop’s many instructive fables. It’s about a dog carrying a bone in his mouth. As he was crossing a footbridge over a strea...

Weaker than we thinkJanuary 19, 2005

“On Sept. 11, one in 3,000 New Yorkers perished, but in the same year, over one in 1,000 urbanites were murdered in three major cities in the Western Hemisph...

Should we save jobs?January 26, 2005

Now that the elections are over, there’s little political gain for demagoguery about jobs, but let’s prepare ourselves for the next time. Losing a job means ...

2005 February

Anti-intellectualism among the academic eliteFebruary 02, 2005

Dr. Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard University, has been excoriated for suggesting that innate differences between men and women might be one of the r...

Not yours to giveFebruary 09, 2005

Charity to man’s fellow man is praiseworthy, and Americans are the most generous people on Earth. According to a quote by American philanthropist Daniel Rose...

Social Security deceitFebruary 23, 2005

President Bush’s call to allow Americans to take a portion of the money they pay as Social Security taxes to set up private retirement accounts has to be a g...

Weak-kneed corporate CEO'sFebruary 24, 2005

On Jan. 20, 2005, J.P. Morgan Chase announced that it had completed research to determine whether it had any links to slavery. Its website (www2.bankone.com/...

2005 March

Are CEOs overpaid?March 02, 2005

In the wake of the Enron and WorldCom corporate scandals, the purveyors of envy have found another opportunity to preach about what they consider the evils o...

More Social Security deceitMarch 09, 2005

A fortnight ago, I explained some of the congressional deceit that has become part and parcel of Social Security. One was the 1936 promise of maximum wages s...

Anti-intellectualism at HarvardMarch 16, 2005

Dr. Larry Summers, Harvard’s president, remains under siege for remarks made in his Jan. 14 address to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Dr. S...

Minimum wage, maximum follyMarch 23, 2005

Senators Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., both introduced proposals to increase the minimum wage from its current $5.15 an hour. Sen. Kenne...

2005 April

Stupid airport securityApril 06, 2005

For most of my professional life, I’ve traveled frequently – sometimes boarding a commercial flight two, three or four times a month for lucrative speaking e...

Stupid airport security IIApril 13, 2005

Hundreds of readers responded to last week’s column about airport security. These were letters from Americans who fit no terrorist profile – airline pilots, ...

Stupid airport security IIIApril 20, 2005

Several airport security screeners have sent me polite letters criticizing some of my comments in my last two columns, prompting this question to you: In man...

The productive vs. the unproductiveApril 27, 2005

“The Greatest Century That Ever Was: 25 Miraculous Trends of the Past 100 Years” is the appropriate title of a 1999 article authored by Stephen Moore and the...

2005 May

Only in AmericaMay 04, 2005

Let’s talk about the rich – those people who, according to former Congressman Richard Gephardt, are “winners in life’s lottery.” Or the people whom director ...

How not to be poorMay 11, 2005

Ministers Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Anthony Williams and others recently met to discuss plans to celebrate the 10...

Ripping off the systemMay 18, 2005

How many times have we heard advertisements from law firms that specialize in elder law urging, “If you anticipate that you may have to enter a nursing home ...

Our trade deficitMay 25, 2005

I buy more from my grocer than he buys from me, and I bet it’s the same with you and your grocer. That means we have a trade deficit with our grocers. Does o...

2005 June

Destroying effective policingJune 01, 2005

Police departments must use race and sex preferences in hiring as a result of federal court consent decrees and political pressures. To meet these demands, m...

Victimhood: Rhetoric or reality?June 08, 2005

If you listened to the rhetoric of black politicians and civil rights leaders, dating back to the Reagan years, you would have been convinced that surely by ...

Click it or ticketJune 15, 2005

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an office within the U.S. Department of Transportation, just finished its annual campaign to get ...

Do we want this?June 22, 2005

America’s socialists advocate that we adopt a universal healthcare system like our northern neighbor Canada. Before we buy into complete socialization of our...

Confiscating propertyJune 29, 2005

Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 ruling in Kelo v. New London helps explain the socialist attack on President Bush’s nominees to the federal bench. First, ...

2005 July

Dependency on governmentJuly 06, 2005

William Beach has just written a report for the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation titled “The 2005 Index of Dependency.” Between 1962 and today, Ame...

Aid to AfricaJuly 13, 2005

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is pressuring the rich nations of the world to give more foreign aid to Africa – to the tune of $25 billion a year by 2010....

Slavery reparationsJuly 20, 2005

The slavery reparations shakedown lobby is gearing up for attacks on American industry. They’ve failed in the courts and Congress, so they’re going after wea...

Will we defend ourselves?July 27, 2005

Much ado in our country and Europe has been made about alleged mistreatment and torture of suspected terrorist prisoners. First, there were stories and hand-...

2005 August

Human rights v. property rightsAugust 03, 2005

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Kelo v. New London, statements have been made about property rights that are demonstrative of th...

Making intelligent errorsAugust 10, 2005

We’re not omniscient. That means making errors is unavoidable. Understanding the nature of errors is vital to our well-being. Let’s look at it.  There are tw...

Civil rights todayAugust 17, 2005

When I think of the behavior of today’s civil rights organizations, I often think of the March of Dimes. In 1938, President Roosevelt helped found the Nation...

Security or hysteria?August 24, 2005

Driving through downtown Washington, D.C., a few weeks ago, I asked myself: What’s happened to the character of the American people? There were barricaded la...

Gasoline pricesAugust 31, 2005

Nationally, the average per gallon price for regular gasoline is $2.50.  Are gasoline prices high? That’s not the best way to ask that question. It’s akin to...

2005 September

Economic lunacySeptember 07, 2005

According to a couple of poorly trained economists, there’s a bright side to Hurricane Katrina’s destruction. J.P. Morgan senior economist Anthony Chan belie...

The role of pricesSeptember 14, 2005

The fallout from Hurricane Katrina has featured a lot of ignorance and demagoguery about prices. Let’s look at some of it. One undeniable fact is that the hu...

Is it permissible?September 21, 2005

Last week, President Bush promised the nation that the federal government will pay for most of the costs of repairing hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, adding, ...

Hurricane evacuation lessonsSeptember 28, 2005

Evacuations are not a benign process. Twenty-four people were killed when a bus carrying 38 Houston nursing home residents and six employees caught fire in a...

2005 October

Blaming BushOctober 05, 2005

President Bush, in his post-Hurricane Katrina address to the nation, said, “And to the extent that the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I ta...

Dumb responsesOctober 12, 2005

Bill Bennett, former secretary of education and drug czar, now host of the “Morning in America” talk radio show, caused quite a stir and hand-wringing in his...

A nation of sheepleOctober 19, 2005

President Bush informed the nation, during a press conference, that he might seek to use the U.S. military to quarantine parts of the nation should there be ...

Ammunition for poverty pimpsOctober 26, 2005

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of New Orleans, President Bush gave America’s poverty pimps and race hustlers new ammunition. The president sa...

2005 November

Do we really care about children?November 02, 2005

I cringe with disgust when I hear politicians say, “We’re doing it for the children.” What’s worse is so many Americans mindlessly fall hook, line and sinker...

Windfall profitsNovember 09, 2005

In the wake of high gasoline prices and high oil company profits, House Speaker Dennis Hastert demands that oil companies explain why they are making so much...

What's inflation?November 16, 2005

Last month, President Bush nominated Dr. Ben S. Bernanke, currently chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, as chairman of Federal Reserve ...

Leftist hate for AmericaNovember 23, 2005

Princeton University professor and columnist Paul Krugman deservedly won Forbes.com’s “Dunce of the Week” award for his New York Times column “French Family ...

Dead-end jobsNovember 30, 2005

Certain jobs are derisively referred to as “burger flipper” or “dead-end” jobs. I’d like someone to define a dead-end job. For example, I started out as a pr...

2005 December

Basic economicsDecember 07, 2005

With all the recent hype and demagoguery about gasoline price-gouging, maybe it’s time to talk about the basics of exchange. First, what is exchange? Exchang...

Betrayal of the struggleDecember 14, 2005

Last month, when Rosa Parks was laid to rest in Detroit, her eulogy contained well-deserved praise for her brave defiance of segregation laws that led to the...

The consumer rip-offDecember 21, 2005

Since allegations of oil company price-gouging have become topical, let’s look at real price manipulation. Suppose a dairyman wants to sell a gallon of milk ...

Do we deserve it?December 28, 2005

Philosopher David Hume warned that, “It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” That’s why we should guard against any encroachment on liber...