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Walter E. Williams

Articles by Walter E. Williams

When is it wrong to classify?

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates' arrest has given new life to the issue of racial profiling. We can think of profiling in general as a practice where people use an observable or known physical attribute as a proxy or estimator of some other unobservable or unknown attribute. Race or sex profiling is simply the use of race or sex as that estimator. Profiling represents mankind's attempt to cope with information cost. God would not have to profile, since God is all-knowing. Published August 22, 2009

WILLIAMS: Achievement gap grows in U.S. schools

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international comparison of 15-year-olds conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that measures applied learning and problem-solving ability. Published June 6, 2009

WILLIAMS: Housing boom and bust

Hot off the press is my colleague Thomas Sowell's 43rd book, "The Housing Boom and Bust." The book is an eye-opener for anyone interested in the truth about the collapse of the housing market, which played a major role in our financial-market crisis. Published May 30, 2009

WILLIAMS: Nomenclature nonsense

What to call black people has to be confusing to white people. Having been around for 73 years, I have been through a number of names. Published May 16, 2009

WILLIAMS: Deceptive health battles

Most Americans accept the continuing attack on tobacco companies and smokers, but how do they feel about the massive government deception? Published April 11, 2009

WILLIAMS: A look at Sweden's way

Government health care advocates once sang the praises of Britain's National Health Service (NHS). That's until its poor delivery of health care services became known. Published March 21, 2009

WILLIAMS: Defining cowards

Attorney General Eric Holder said the United States is "a nation of cowards" when it comes to race relations. Published February 25, 2009

WILLIAMS: No free-ride Claus

My George Mason University colleague Professor Richard Wagner wrote the following comments, which were published by Office of the House Republican Leader. Published January 30, 2009

WILLIAMS: Inaugural protocol

President Barack Obama was sworn into office placing his hand on Abraham Lincoln's Bible. That is the last Bible I would use to be sworn into office. You say, "Why? Didn't Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation free your ancestors?" It all depends where they were living. Let's examine the document's text to see why. Published January 20, 2009

WILLIAMS: Congress' financial mess

News media people, often plagued with little understanding, fail miserably in their duty to inform the public. This is particularly evident in their reporting on the current financial meltdown, suggesting it was caused by deregulation and free markets. Published January 18, 2009

WILLIAMS: The rich vs. the pols

Sometimes I wish there were a humane way to get rid of the rich. Without the rich for whipping boys, we might be able to concentrate on what's best for the 99.5 percent of the rest of us. Published January 7, 2009

WILLIAMS: Teaching economics

Many professors, mostly on the liberal side of the political spectrum, use their classrooms to proselytize students. I have taught economics for the last 40 years and challenge anyone to find even one student, among the thousands who went through my classes, who can say, "Professor Williams used his class to proselytize students." Published January 2, 2009

WILLIAMS: Counterfeiting vs. monetary policy

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 future. If we do have a rapid inflation, it's likely that members of Congress, as they did in the financial meltdown, will blame it on everybody except themselves. Before Congress begins to shirk their responsibility, let's understand what an inflation is and is not. Published December 18, 2008

WILLIAMS: Bailouts and bankruptcy

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 economic downturn into a true calamity. Right now the Big Three auto companies, and their unions, are asking Congress for a $25 billion bailout to avoid bankruptcy. Let's think about that a bit. Published December 10, 2008

WILLIAMS: Americans' supreme ignorance

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 50 percent of Americans. Published December 4, 2008

WILLIAMS: Theft hidden by 'virtue'

Evil acts can be given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution or caring for the less fortunate. Published November 29, 2008

WILLIAMS: Getting beyond race

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 national achievement. Published November 13, 2008

WILLIAMS: Capitalism and fiscal woes

There has always been contempt for economic liberty. Historically, our nation was an important, not complete, exception. Published November 9, 2008