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 2008

by Walter Williams

2008 January

Greed, Need and MoneyJanuary 02, 2008

Demagoguery about greedy rich people or greedy corporate executives being paid 100 or 200 times their workers’ salaries is a key weapon in the politics of en...

Black CollegesJanuary 09, 2008

The Lincoln Institute, a Washington-based black think tank, published an article titled “What Does the Future Hold for Historically Black Colleges?” in its S...

Tyranny UpdateJanuary 16, 2008

Last December, President Bush signed an energy bill that will ban the sale of Edison’s incandescent bulb, starting with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and ending ...

Subprime BailoutJanuary 23, 2008

A subprime lender is one who makes loans to borrowers who do not qualify for loans from mainstream lenders. It’s a market that has evolved to permit borrower...

Stimulus Package NonsenseJanuary 30, 2008

Some Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls are preaching economic doom and gloom, disappearing middle class, and failing health care industry. What...

2008 February

Silly TalkFebruary 06, 2008

It’s not easy being me. I’m disturbed by statements that many Americans accept or don’t question that are ludicrous, if not crazy. The terms “change,” “agent...

They're Coming After YouFebruary 13, 2008

My February 2002 column, “They’re Coming After You,” warned that Americans who enthusiastically supported the anti-tobacco zealots’ attack on smokers were, l...

Costs vs. BenefitsFebruary 20, 2008

If we look to benefits only, we’ll do darn near anything because there’s always a benefit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that t...

Africa: A Tragic ContinentFebruary 27, 2008

President Bush’s trip to Africa and promise of increased foreign aid will do little or nothing to solve the ongoing tragedy in most places on the south-of-Sa...

2008 March

Liberty versus SocialismMarch 05, 2008

A fortnight ago, I wrote about Mississippi Legislature House Bill 282 that would have imposed fines or revoked licenses of food establishments that served ob...

Big Corn and Ethanol HoaxMarch 12, 2008

One of the many mandates of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls for oil companies to increase the amount of ethanol mixed with gasoline. President Bush said,...

Peace-loving MuslimsMarch 19, 2008

All of us should give some serious thought to some of the ideas contained in an article circulating the blogsphere titled “Why a Peaceful Majority is Irrelev...

Is Obama Ready For America?March 26, 2008

Some pundits ask whether America is ready for Obama. The much more important question is whether Obama is ready for America and even more important is whethe...

2008 April

The Poverty HypeApril 02, 2008

The psychology of victimhood and the politics of envy are powerful political tools and we see them being exploited this political season. Politicians telling...

Political LoathsomenessApril 09, 2008

Do any of the prospective nominees of either party deserve respect from the American people? The answer partially depends on your knowledge, values and respe...

Foreign Trade AngstApril 16, 2008

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, pandering to anti-trade activists, suggest that should they become president, they will restrict tr...

Politics and Black AmericansApril 23, 2008

Dr. Thomas Sowell’s recent column, “Republicans and Blacks,” (April 10, 2008) pointed out the foolhardiness of Republican strategy to secure more black votes...

Cigarette SmugglingApril 30, 2008

While it’s politically popular to impose confiscatory taxes on America’s 40 million tobacco smokers, there are a number of consequences one might consider, b...

2008 May

Environmentalists' Wild PredictionsMay 07, 2008

Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let’s look at some environmentalist predictions that they would prefer we forget.

Congressional Problem CreationMay 14, 2008

Most of the great problems we face are caused by politicians creating solutions to problems they created in the first place. Politicians and a large percenta...

Control Criminals Not GunsMay 21, 2008

Every time there’s a highly publicized shooting, out go the cries for stricter gun control laws, and it was no different with the recent murder of Philadelph...

Futures MarketsMay 28, 2008

In searching for villains for rising food and oil prices, some commentators have turned to speculators, namely people trading on the Chicago Mercantile Excha...

2008 June

Dumb Or Ill-informedJune 04, 2008

What assumptions do congressmen make about the American people? Do they assume that we’re dumb or ill-informed about the energy problems we are experiencing?...

Are Americans Pro-Slavery?June 11, 2008

Let’s do a thought experiment asking whether Americans are for or against slavery. You might say, “What are you talking about, Williams? We fought a war that...

Airport TyrannyJune 18, 2008

It’s been at least five years since I’ve flown commercial, and for good reason: I don’t wish to be arrested for questioning actions by often arrogant, rude T...

Problem of IgnoranceJune 25, 2008

I have no idea of the number of traffic signals in our country, but whatever the number, how many of my fellow Americans would like the U.S. Congress to be i...

2008 July

The Ultimate ResourceJuly 02, 2008

Why is it that mankind enjoys cell phones, computers and airplanes today but not when King Louis XIV was alive? The necessary physical resources to make cell...

Scapegoating SpeculatorsJuly 09, 2008

Despite Congress’ periodic hauling of weak-kneed oil executives before their committees to charge them with collusion and price-gouging, subsequent federal i...

Oklahoma RebellionJuly 16, 2008

One of the unappreciated casualties of the War of 1861, erroneously called a Civil War, was its contribution to the erosion of constitutional guarantees of s...

Black EducationJuly 23, 2008

“Hard Times at Douglass High,” is an HBO documentary that aired last June. It captured much of the 2004-2005 school year at Baltimore’s predominantly black F...

Environmentalists' Hold on CongressJuly 30, 2008

Let’s face it. The average individual American has little or no clout with Congress and can be safely ignored. But it’s a different story with groups such as...

2008 August

A Nation of ThievesAugust 06, 2008

Edgar K. Browning, professor of economics at Texas A&M University, has a new book aptly titled “Stealing from Each Other.” Its subtitle, “How the Welfare...

Patterns of Black ExcellenceAugust 13, 2008

Most people know the tragic state of black education today. We know that billions of dollars are spent on federal government programs such as No Child Left B...

Economic MythsAugust 20, 2008

By taking a couple of courses in economic theory, we could immunize ourselves from nonsense spouted by politicians and pundits, but in the meantime check out...

Is College Worth It?August 27, 2008

As parents pack their youngsters off to college, they might ask themselves whether it’s worth both the money they will spend and their children’s time. Dr. M...

2008 September

Academic Mismatch ISeptember 03, 2008

Which serves the interests of the black community better: a black student admitted to a top-tier law school, such as Harvard, Stanford or Yale, and winds up ...

Academic Mismatch IISeptember 10, 2008

Last week’s column demonstrated the harm, suffered by black students, that results from law school race-based admission policies. The bottom line was that bl...

Stubborn IgnoranceSeptember 17, 2008

Here’s what the U.S. Constitution says: “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur ...

Scaring Us to DeathSeptember 24, 2008

There is a H.L. Mencken quotation that captures the essence of this year’s politics: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, an...

2008 October

Destroying LibertyOctober 01, 2008

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis warned, “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without und...

Lessons From the BailoutOctober 08, 2008

In my more cynical moments, I think that we Americans deserve what we get from our politicians, many of whom can be generally described as nothing less than ...

Political Monopoly PowerOctober 15, 2008

The Federalist Papers, written by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, is the document most frequently referred to when trying to get a feel for t...

Affordable Health CareOctober 22, 2008

One of the campaign themes this election cycle is “affordable” health care. Shouldn’t we ask ourselves whether we want the politicians who brought us the “af...

WackonomicsOctober 29, 2008

For the U.S. Congress, news media, pundits and much of the American public, a lot of economic phenomena can be explained by what people want, human greed and...

2008 November

Capitalism and the Financial CrisisNovember 05, 2008

There has always been contempt for economic liberty. Historically, our nation was an important, not complete, exception. It took the calamity of the Great De...

Getting Beyond RaceNovember 12, 2008

Despite the fact that President-elect Barack Obama’s vision for our nation leaves a lot to be desired, the fact that he was elected represents a remarkable n...

Evil Concealed by MoneyNovember 19, 2008

Evil acts can be given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution or caring fo...

Trade versus ProtectionismNovember 26, 2008

There’s a growing anti-trade sentiment in our country. Much of the dialogue is grossly misinformed. Let’s try to untangle it a bit with a few questions and o...

2008 December

Ignorance Reigns SupremeDecember 03, 2008

How about a few civics questions? Name the three branches of government. If you answered the executive, legislative and judicial, you are more informed than ...

Bailouts and BankruptcyDecember 10, 2008

Let’s not allow Congress and members of the bailout parade panic us into allowing them to do things, as was done in the 1930s, that would convert a mild econ...

Counterfeiting versus Monetary PolicyDecember 17, 2008

Congress is on a spending binge. With all the calls for bailouts, economic stimulus and other assorted handouts, there is a real risk of inflation in our fut...

Global Warming Rope-A-DopeDecember 24, 2008

Americans have been rope-a-doped into believing that global warming is going to destroy our planet. Scientists who have been skeptical about manmade global w...

Teaching EconomicsDecember 31, 2008

Many professors, mostly on the liberal side of the political spectrum, use their classrooms to proselytize students. I have taught economics for the past 40 ...