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 2007

by Walter Williams

2007 January

Rules more important than personalitiesJanuary 03, 2007

Not that many complimentary things are said about politicians. When a problem arises, people say, “Government ought to do something.” They seem to have forgo...

Trans Fat banJanuary 10, 2007

In the wake of New York City’s ban on restaurant use of trans fat, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the ban is “not going to take away anybody’s ability to go ou...

Trade Deficits: Good or Bad?January 17, 2007

Two recent articles ought to give pause to current political and journalistic ignorance, perhaps demagoguery, about our international trade deficit. In a Dec...

FearmongeringJanuary 24, 2007

Political commentator Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) warned that “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous ...

Minority ViewJanuary 24, 2007

Fearmongering political commentator Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) warned that “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and he...

Property rightsJanuary 31, 2007

“Imprimis” is Hillsdale College’s monthly publication that has over 1.25 million readers. It’s Hillsdale’s way of sharing the ideas of the many distinguished...

2007 February

World PovertyFebruary 07, 2007

If you’re looking for a map of world poverty, check out the “2007 Index of Economic Freedom” jointly published by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street...

Do we want socialized medicine?February 14, 2007

Problems with our health care system are leading some to fall prey to proposals calling for a nationalized single-payer health care system like Canada’s or B...

Nonsense IdeasFebruary 21, 2007

There are some ideas and feelings that sound plausible but given just a wee bit of thought can be shown to border on lunacy. Let’s examine a few.

Democracy or LibertyFebruary 28, 2007

Does democracy really deserve the praise it receives? According to Webster’s Dictionary, democracy is defined as “government by the people; especially: rule ...

2007 March

Regrets for slaveryMarch 07, 2007

Both chambers of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s General Assembly passed a resolution saying government-sanctioned slavery “ranks as the most horrendous of al...

Economics and SmokingMarch 14, 2007

The most fundamental principle of economics is the law of demand, which postulates that the higher the cost of a behavior, the less people will do of it, whi...

A Donor with BackboneMarch 21, 2007

James W. McGlothlin, chairman and CEO of The United Company of Bristol, Va., and a former member of The College of William & Mary’s Board of Visitors and...

Global Warming HeresyMarch 28, 2007

Most climatologists agree that the earth’s temperature has increased about a degree over the last century. The debate is how much of it is due to mankind’s a...

2007 April

The Shame of Higher EducationApril 04, 2007

Many of our nation’s colleges and universities have become cesspools of indoctrination, intolerance, academic dishonesty and the new racism. In a March 1991 ...

Phony Science and Public PolicyApril 11, 2007

The public has become increasingly aware that the science behind manmade global warming is a fraud. But maybe Americans like bogus science in pursuit of cert...

Exploiting IgnoranceApril 18, 2007

So many Americans graduate high school and college having learned what to think as opposed to acquiring the tools of critical, independent thinking. Likewise...

Murder at VPIApril 25, 2007

The 32 murders at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) shocked the nation, but what are some of the steps that can be taken to reduce the probability that su...

2007 May

Rules of EngagementMay 02, 2007

The March 23 Iranian capture of 15 British Royal Navy sailors should raise a number of questions. The sailors were part of the crew of HMS Cornwall, a state-...

The Temperamental Minimum WageMay 09, 2007

The first fundamental law of demand postulates that the lower the price of something, the more will be demanded, and the higher the price, the less will be d...

Things to Think AboutMay 16, 2007

Last week, Japan pledged $100 million in grants to fight global climate change. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world’s majo...

Creating Effective IncentivesMay 23, 2007

What should our response be if terrorists set off a nuclear explosion, or some other weapon of mass destruction, in one of our cities? I put this question to...

FDA: Friend or Foe?May 30, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with ensuring that only safe and effective drugs are marketed. Such a task is highly complex and fraug...

2007 June

Compassion Versus RealityJune 06, 2007

Dr. Thomas Sowell, a distinguished economist and longtime friend and colleague, recently wrote a series of columns under the title “A War of Words.” He point...

Competition or MonopolyJune 13, 2007

Are consumers better off with a competitive or monopolistic provision of goods and services? Let’s apply that question to a few areas of our lives.

The Law Versus OrdersJune 20, 2007

Suppose a person is raped and we arrest the rapist. Should his status, whether he’s a senator, professor or an ordinary man, play a role in the adjudication ...

Straight Thinking 101June 27, 2007

Just about the most difficult lesson for first-year economics students, and sometimes graduate students, is that economic theory, and for that matter any sci...

2007 July

Do People Care?July 04, 2007

Back in the late 1960s, during graduate study at UCLA, I had a casual conversation with Professor Armen Alchian, one of my tenacious mentors. Professor Alchi...

Illegal ImmigrationJuly 11, 2007

President Bush and his pro-amnesty allies both in and out of Congress suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of the American people. Like any other publi...

Economists on the LooseJuly 18, 2007

On July 11, New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen wrote an article titled, “In Economics Departments, a Growing Will to Debate Fundamental Assumptions.” The...

Health Care: Government vs. PrivateJuly 25, 2007

Sometimes the advocates of socialized medicine claim that health care is too important to be left to the market. That’s why some politicians are calling for ...

2007 August

Economic ThinkingAugust 01, 2007

Historical costs, sometimes called sunk costs, are irrelevant to decision-making because they are costs that have already been incurred. That’s something tha...

Silencing DissentAugust 08, 2007

Global warming has become a big-ticket item in the eyes of its supporters. At stake are research funds, jobs and the ability to control lives all over the gl...

Deadly EnvironmentalistsAugust 15, 2007

Environmentalists, with the help of politicians and other government officials, have an agenda that has cost thousands of American lives.

Liberal Views, Black VictimsAugust 22, 2007

Last year, among the nation’s 10 largest cities, Philadelphia had the highest murder rate with 406 victims. This year could easily top last year’s with 240 m...

The Pope Sanctions the OECD ThugsAugust 29, 2007

London’s Times Online recently reported that, according to Vatican sources, Pope Benedict XVI is working on his second encyclical, a doctrinal pronouncement ...

2007 September

Economics and Property RightsSeptember 05, 2007

Economic theory does not operate in a vacuum. Institutions, such as the property rights structure, determine how the theory manifests itself. Similarly, the ...

Insulting BlacksSeptember 12, 2007

“I don’t feel no ways tired. I come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy. I don’t believe He brought me this far,” d...

Stupid, Ignorant or Biased?September 19, 2007

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s closest adviser and architect of the New Deal, Harry Hopkins, advised, “Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect, beca...

Global Warming HysteriaSeptember 26, 2007

Despite increasing evidence that man-made CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas and contributor to climate change, politicians and others who wish to contr...

2007 October

Betrayal of the Civil Rights StruggleOctober 03, 2007

Five police “mini-stations” will be located in Detroit public schools this year, primarily due to the merging of students from several high schools on the ci...

Attacking Talk RadioOctober 10, 2007

The major news media no longer have the monopoly they once enjoyed. The way millions of Americans get their news and news analysis is through talk radio. The...

Academic CesspoolsOctober 17, 2007

The average taxpayer and parents who foot the bill know little about the rot on many college campuses. “Indoctrinate U” is a recently released documentary, w...

Congressional Constitutional ContemptOctober 24, 2007

Here’s the oath of office administered to members of the House and Senate: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution o...

Are the Poor Getting Poorer?October 31, 2007

People who want more government income redistribution programs often sell their agenda with the lament, “The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting...

2007 November

Academic Cesspools IINovember 07, 2007

In last month’s column “Academic Cesspools,” I wrote about “Indoctrinate U,” a recently released documentary exposing egregious university indoctrination of ...

Congressional and Leftist LiesNovember 14, 2007

An important component of the leftist class warfare agenda is to condemn President Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. This claim is careless, ignorant or dishones...

The Greatest GenerationNovember 21, 2007

The “greatest generation” is a term sometimes used in reference to those Americans who were raised during the Great Depression, fought in World War II, worke...

Bitter Partisan PoliticsNovember 28, 2007

Some people complain about bitter partisan politics. I welcome it. The greater the number of decisions made in the political arena the greater the conflict. ...

2007 December

Income MobilityDecember 05, 2007

Listening to people like Lou Dobbs, John Edwards and Mike Huckabee lamenting the plight of America’s middle class and poor, you’d have to conclude that thing...

Racial Hoaxes and the NAACPDecember 12, 2007

Last May, firefighters at a Baltimore, Md., fire station came under scrutiny for displaying a deer with an afro wig, gold tooth, gold chain and a cigarette h...

Academic SlumsDecember 19, 2007

Every three years, the Organiszation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducts its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). PIS...

Hiding Black Interracial CrimesDecember 26, 2007

If you’re like I am, you’ve heard scores of media reports about the 2006 Duke University rape case, in which three white lacrosse players were falsely accuse...