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One of America’s leading public intellectuals, Walter Williams, has passed away. In 2014, I shared a teaser for Suffer No Fools, a video biography of his life. To commemorate the life of this great man, here’s the full video. I first got to know Walter when I was a Ph.D. student at George Mason University […]

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The biggest mistake of well-meaning leftists is that they place too much value on good intentions and don’t seem to care nearly as much about good results. Pope Francis is an example of this unfortunate tendency. His concern for the poor presumably is genuine, but he puts ideology above evidence when he argues against capitalism […]

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What’s the relationship between the Rahn Curve and the Laffer Curve? For the uninitiated, the Rahn Curve is the common-sense notion that some government is helpful for prosperous markets but too much government is harmful to economic performance. Even libertarians, for instance, will acknowledge that spending on core “public goods” such as police protection and […]

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I periodically mock the crazy statists of California. The state is almost surely doomed to suffer a Greek-style fiscal chaos. The only unknown is whether Illinois will beat the Golden State into default. The politicians in Sacramento impose very high taxes to fund a bloated bureaucracy that oversees a bunch of politically correct nonsense. But […]

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Since starting this blog, I’ve cited several columns by Walter Williams (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), in large part because he’s so good at explaining economic concepts, but also because he’s very effective when demonstrating how big government undermines both freedom and […]

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It isn’t fair to compare and contrast the views of a distinguished economist with the envious ramblings of a career politician/community activist. But it’s also not right for the government to use coercion to impose bad policy, so I don’t feel guilty about sharing this excerpt from a recent Walter Williams column. President Barack Obama, […]

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I’ve been fortunate to know Walter Williams ever since I began my Ph.D. studies at George Mason University in the mid-1980s. He is a very good economist, but his real value is as a public intellectual. He also has a remarkable personal story, which he tells in his new autobiography, Up from the Projects. I’ve […]

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I don’t think I’ve ever promoted a book since starting this blog, but the new autobiography from Walter Williams is too good not to recommend. But don’t believe me. Walter was just interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, and you can get a flavor for his blunt style and crisp analysis. Speaking for myself, I’m […]

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Walter Williams has a column about the House GOP’s commitment to make sure legislation is consistent with the Constitution. As with most things he writes, it is very much worth reading. Walter starts by explaining what Boehner and the rest of the Republicans have promised to do. He then points out that – if they’re […]

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Just because something is free, that doesn’t mean there is no cost. This is the core message of Walter Williams’ column, which uses the example of “employer-paid” Social Security taxes to explain how politicians specialize in giving us very expensive things for “free.”  Scarcity means there’s no free lunch. Having more of one thing requires […]

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With his usual bluntness, Professor Walter Williams of George Mason University explains why profiling is not always a sign of racism or sexism. And it certainly doesn’t necessarily indicate animus. His column explains that rational profiling can lead to injustice for law-abiding young black men, but he hits the nail on the head by stating […]

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I’ve only excerpted three paragraphs, but you should read his entire column. It is very tragic that the vision of liberty put forth by the Founders has been so undermined by modern politicians who swear an oath to the Constitution without having any idea what the document actually says. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 […]

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I have mixed feelings about the right response to illegal immigration. I don´t favor amnesty because of my respect for the rule of law and because it would encourage more illegal immigration. On the other hand, I certainly do not want law enforcement resources diverted to hassling people who are in America solely in search […]

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Because the looters and moochers in Washington have made a mockery of the Constitution, Professor Williams wonders whether the only solution is for advocates of limited government to split off and create an America based on traditional principles of self reliance and individual freedom: I believe we are nearing a point where there are enough […]

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Walter Williams correctly summarizes what it means to make healthcare a “right.” And he also dusts off that quaint document, long forgotten in Washington, called the U.S. Constitution.

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Back in the 1980s, the irreplaceable Walter Williams produced a documentary based on one of his more controversial books, The State Against Blacks. Someone has done a great service and posted the documentary on Youtube.com. Everything Walter said back then is true today – and just as applicable. The only discordant note is that when […]

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I asked a couple of years ago, “How long can California survive big government?” Based on migration patterns, the answer is “Not much longer.” Simply stated, bad fiscal and regulatory policy have produced a long-run decline for the Golden State. So we shouldn’t be surprised that people are fleeing. And it appears Californians like escaping […]

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I’ve written a couple of times about a disturbingly large share of young people support statist economic policies. A good example can be seen in this polling data from the Pew Research Center (relevant data circled in red). Christopher Ingraham wrote about this survey in the Washington Post. According to the Pew Research Center, 39 […]

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Back in 2013, I wrote about Phil Mickelson escaping high-tax California and moving to zero-income tax Florida. The famed golfer grew up in California, but decided that the 2012 decision to boost the top tax rate to 13.3 percent mattered more than beautiful climate and wonderful scenery. Needless to say, Mickelson’s not the only tax […]

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Part I of this series featured Dan Hannan explaining how the emergence of capitalism led to mass prosperity, while Part II featured Madeline Grant explaining how competition and cooperation make markets so successful. Today, in Part III, Andy Puzder compares capitalism with socialism. The core theoretical argument in the video is that capitalism is based […]

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This video from Dan Hannan crams 10,000 years of human history into 5 minutes. We learn about the “stationary bandit” of government and find out how our ancestors endured pervasive oppression and misery. But there’s a happy ending to the story. It’s called capitalism. There are many useful insights in this video. We learn why […]

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There are lots of millionaires in the world. About 20 million of them, including about 6 million of them in the United States. I’d like those numbers to increase, which is why I’m always advocating pro-market policies. Capitalism is not only superior to socialism, it’s also better than other alternatives (social justice, redistributionism, state planning, […]

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I don’t know whether I’ll live 3 more years or 30 more years. But I’m increasingly convinced that my “Never-Answered Question” will still be unanswered when I kick the bucket. One of the reasons for my confidence is that folks on the left have remarkably shoddy arguments on economic issues. For instance, in a column […]

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Today is Thomas Sowell’s 90th birthday. The man is a living legend. I’ve cited his great work many times, and I definitely urge people to read what Walter Williams just wrote about his long-time friend. And I also recommend this Mark Perry column, which contains 15 of Sowell’s most insightful quotes, as well as two […]

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In this interview from last March, I groused that the Supreme Court – largely thanks to statist Justices appointed by one of America’s worst presidents – basically decided, starting in the 1930s, that it would no longer be bound by the Constitution’s provisions that protect economic liberty. I’m not a lawyer, much less an expert […]

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Since libertarians are motivated by the non-aggression principle, it’s easy to understand why they support the capitalist system of voluntary exchange rather than alternative systems based on government coercion. But there are some who think markets are immoral, and that’s the topic of this book and this related video. Virgil Henry Storr and Ginny Seung […]

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Back in 2013, I talked to the BBC about Pope Francis and his bizarre hostility to free enterprise. Sadly, it doesn’t appear that the Pope took my advice (though I think it’s amusing that at least someone in the Vatican is paying attention). There’s a wealth of evidence that markets are the best way of […]

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Regulatory policy has been one of the bright spots of the Trump Administration (along with tax policy). But it’s not a perfect record. In a column for Townhall, Steve Sherman describes how the Labor Department launched a regulatory attack against Oracle in the final days of the Obama Administration. President Obama was not a good […]

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The Babylon Bee is America’s best site for political satire, with several appearances in my collection of libertarian humor. The site is great even when libertarians get mocked. Check out the following three stories. We’ll start with one about a vapid millennial (who presumably took part in this poll). Local socialist millennial man Matthew Hatter […]

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California is suffering a slow but steady decline. Bad economic policy has made the Golden State less attractive for entrepreneurs, investors, and business owners. Punitive tax laws deserve much of the blame, particularly the 2012 decision to impose a top tax rate of 13.3 percent. I’ve already shared some anecdotal evidence that this tax increase […]

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