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Posts Tagged ‘African-Americans’

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 going to steal his line about how “Politicians exploit economic illiteracy.” Read the entire WSJ column here, but mostly get his book and read that.

Even in the antebellum era, when slaves often weren’t permitted to wed, most black children lived with a biological mother and father. During Reconstruction and up until the 1940s, 75% to 85% of black children lived in two-parent families. Today, more than 70% of black children are born to single women. “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do,” Mr. Williams says. “And that is to destroy the black family.” …Walter Williams was a libertarian before it was cool. And like other prominent right-of-center blacks—Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele—his intellectual odyssey began on the political left. …”I thought some laws, like minimum-wage laws, helped poor people and poor black people and protected workers from exploitation. I thought they were a good thing until I was pressed by professors to look at the evidence.” …He earned his doctorate in 1972 from UCLA, which had one of the top economics departments in the country, and he says he “probably became a libertarian through exposure to tough-mined professors”—James Buchanan, Armen Alchian, Milton Friedman—”who encouraged me to think with my brain instead of my heart. I learned that you have to evaluate the effects of public policy as opposed to intentions.” …in 1982 he published his first book, “The State Against Blacks,” arguing that laws regulating economic activity are far larger impediments to black progress than racial bigotry and discrimination. Nearly 30 years later, he stands by that premise. …Mr. Williams’s writings have sought to highlight “the moral superiority of individual liberty and free markets,” as he puts it. “I try to write so that economics is understandable to the ordinary person without an economics background.” His motivation? “I think it’s important for people to understand the ideas of scarcity and decision-making in everyday life so that they won’t be ripped off by politicians,” he says. “Politicians exploit economic illiteracy.” …he says. “When I fill in for Rush, I get emails from blacks who say they agree with what I’m saying. And there are a lot of white people questioning ideas on race, too. There’s less white guilt out there. It’s progress.”

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At a recent speech in Atlanta, a somewhat famous former elected official made some rather blunt comments about welfare. According to a news report:

In discussing welfare, he said rules instituted by liberals to limit benefits to single mothers discouraged blacks from forming families. “Slavery didn’t break up the black families as much as liberal welfare rules,” he said.

So who was this Neanderthal? Was it Klansman/charlatan David Duke? Was it former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, who made George Wallace seem cuddly by comparison?

None of the above. It turns out that the article was discussing comments made by Andrew Young, the former Mayor of Atlanta and Ambassador to the United Nations. He was at the Jimmy Carter Center to talk about his new book,  “Walk in My Shoes: Conversations Between a Civil Rights Legend and His Godson on the Journey Ahead.”

Setting aside my sarcasm, kudos to Young for putting concern for families before left-wing political correctness. As indicated by my previous post on welfare destroying the human spirit, luring people into dependency is a tragic example of misguided government policy (a problem that is particularly severe in certain states, particularly the Northeast). And Young is not the only one to note that African-Americans have been the biggest victims.

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Republican is a dirty word for many African-Americans, often for good reason. But blacks should be equally hostile to Democrats – at least if actual results count for anything. This is the basic message of this video sent to me by a black friend. 

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